The Black Beret: The History of South Africa's Armoured Forces, Volume 1

Beginnings to the Invasion of Madagascar 1942

Willem Steenkamp

 
Date Published :
September 2016
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
150 b/w photos and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781910294680
Pages : 368
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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In stock
$59.95

Overview
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Volume 1 of "The Black Beret" starts with the early history of South Africa and ends with the invasion of Madagascar by the South African Forces during WWII. This volume covers topics such as how armor came to the battlefield, the use of horses vs armored car in German South West Africa in 1915, the first steps to mechanization, the birth of the Tank Corps, and the deployment into East Africa through Abyssinia to Addis Abba during the early years of WWII. We next experience the reverses and victories of the desert campaign with the 4th Armored Car Company amongst others, fighting alongside the Desert Rats, Operation Crusader, the disaster at Tobruk, through the Gazala gallop and on to the victory at El Alamein. We meet the newly reconstituted SA Armored Corps training at Khatadba in Egypt for deployment in the Italian campaign with the famous South African 6th Armored Division, and we ride with the armor element that takes part in the invasion of Madagascar. The development of the various marks of South African armored reconnaissance cars are touched upon but will be discussed in more detail in a later volume. This is an important and overlooked story, one told by Willem Steenkamp in a rich and unique style, and drawing on a significant number of sources, ably supported by many photographs and maps.

About The Author
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Willem Steenkamp has been a journalist, soldier, writer of fact and fiction, military tattoo producer and specialist tour guide. A military reservist, he was called up for military service on various occasions from 1976 onwards and took part in four external operations, including an attachment to 61 Mech on its first real test of strength: 1980’s 'Operation Sceptic'. After the end of the border conflict in 1989, he served on a presidential advisory council and as a security advisor during the 1994 election, as well as helping to write the seminal 1996 Defence Review. Subsequently, he was a consultant to the SA National Defence Force and Ministry of Defence on several occasions. He is the author of 18 factual books and novels, co-writer of a stage play and two television scripts, and has won three literary prizes.

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