101 Battalion (South Africa)

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35/101 Battalion
SWA 101 Battalion emblem.jpg
SWATF 101 Battalion emblem
Active 1976-1989
Disbanded 1989
Country  Namibia,  South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Branch  South African Army,
Type Motorised Infantry
Part of South West African Territorial Force
Garrison/HQ Ondangwa, Etale, Rundu (17°57′55″S 19°43′56″E / 17.96528°S 19.73222°E / -17.96528; 19.73222Coordinates: 17°57′55″S 19°43′56″E / 17.96528°S 19.73222°E / -17.96528; 19.73222)
Equipment Casspir, Buffalo, Kwêvoël and Bedford Trucks
Engagements
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
Commandant Welgemoed
Insignia
Part of the South West African Territorial Force Insignia of the South West African Territorial Force.svg
SWATF 101 Battalion beret badge SWATF 101 Battalion beret badge.jpg
101 Battalion Beret showing Unit Badge and Infantry Bar 202 Battalion Beret showing the Beret Badge.jpg

101 Battalion (pronounced as one-o-one Battalion) was a quick-reaction unit of the South West African Territorial Force.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

The unit was formed in January 1976 as 1 Owambo Battalion,[1] renamed to 35 Battalion in January 1978,[1] 35 Battalion recruited exclusively among the Owambo. and were only given basic training, but this changed after 1978 when the training intensified with an emphasis on rural counterinsurgency operations.

Renaming[edit]

The South West Africa Territory Force, SWATF[2] renumbered battalion numbers according to their geographical positioning on the border. The prefix 10 pertained to battalions operating to the west of the Kavango River, 20 to the Kavango or central region and 70 to the eastern region. Under this system, 35 Battalion was renamed 101 Battalion in 1980.

SWATF Northern Sector Map

Tracking[edit]

Until 1980 101 battalion was used as small teams attached to SADF units as trackers and interpreters.

Light Infantry[edit]

By 1981 101 converted to a light infantry battalion.

By 1983 at least 2700 men had been recruited and trained, many converted SWAPO insurgents.

Introduction of the Romeo Mike Concept[edit]

A significant development in 101's operations occurred during 1982 with the adaption of Koevoet tactics to a military context. The Reaction Force concept or Romeo Mike developed into two Special Service Companies (901 and 903) in 1984 and a further two (902 and 904) by 1985.[3] Their purpose was to relentlessly track and surround exhausted insurgents. Once a track was detected, elements of a team would dismount from a Casspir and follow the track at a run with the remainder of the team rested and following in the Casspir, and swapping over with the runners frequently, thus sustaining a fast pursuit of the insurgents. When contact was made, the full team with Casspir would charge in. The Romeo Mikes’s other three Casspirs would be close of each other and would also react.

Structure[edit]

101 Battalion consisted of:

  • a HQ,
  • a support company,
  • a light workshop,
  • a training wing,
  • Special service companies, translating Police tracking concepts to suit Army operations:
    • 901 and
    • 903 Special Service Companies.

These Companies concentrated on external operations and pursuit of infiltrators. Another two reaction force companies was activated,and

  • a Reconnaissance Wing.
SWATF era 101 Battalion insignia

Equipment[edit]

Each team in a company had:

  • 4 X Casspirs
  • 1 X Kwêvoël 50
  • 2 X Hispano Suiza 20mm cannons,
  • 6 X 50 cal Browning machine guns
  • 4 X Light machine guns and
  • 4 X 60mm patrol mortars

Engagements[edit]

101 Battalions reaction force teams averaged about 200 contacts annually.[4] By 1985 101 Battalion fought under its own command instead of being detached to external units.

101 Battalion was part of the Sector 10 response to the Cuban buildup and SWAPO incursions, known as the Merlyn Forces in 1989 South West Africa

Disbandment[edit]

101 Battalion was disbanded on 30 June 1989 upon the independence of Namibia in 1990-91.[1]

101 Battalion's Colours and Standard were finally laid up in the unit church of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment on 10 April 1990.

Leadership[edit]

Leadership
From Officer Commanding To
1981 Cmdr W.H. Welgemoed c. 1988
1988 Col L. Marais c. 1988
1988 Col L. Kotze c. 1989
From Regimental Sergeant Major To
c. 1985 WO1 C. Schutte c. Nd

Decorations awarded to 101 Battalion members[edit]

  • Rifleman D. Hashihamwenda Honoris Crux Silver
  • Luitenant N. Prinsloo Honoris Crux
  • 2 Luitenant D. Bok Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J.J. Bronkhorst Honoris Crux
  • Corporal T. Stander Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J. Theunissen Honoris Crux
  • Corporal F. Frederick Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J.H Steenkamp Honoris Crux
  • L Corporal Roux Honoris Crux
  • Rifleman Schoombee Honoris Crux

Roll of Honour[edit]

  • 1987: Abraham,W., Rfn [5]:35641
  • 1985: Abrosuis,A., Rfn [5]:34876
  • 1979: Akaando,J., Lt [5]:35161
  • 1987: Alugodhi,H., Cpl [5]:35702
  • 1987: Alweendo,L., Rfn [5]:35697
  • 1986: Amupolo,P., Cpl [5]:35689
  • 1977: Analati,T., Lt [5]:35168
  • 1982: Andreas,R., Rfn [5]:13
  • 1985: Andreas,H., Rfn [5]:35686
  • 1989: Anunyela,E., Rfn [5]:35724
  • 1986: Boas,R., Rfn [5]:35687
  • 1987: Botes,D., 2Lt [5]:127[a]
  • 1981: Briers,C.A., Maj [5]:2080
  • 1987: Cerement,P., Rfn [5]:35700
  • 1985: Daniel,T., Rfn [5]:34883
  • 1988: Diederichs,J.H., 2Lt [5]:350[a]
  • 1988: Diedericks,J.H., 2Lt [5]:35713
  • 1979: Djolomien,M., Cpl [5]:35162
  • 1985: Domingos,M., Rfn [5]:34881
  • 1986: Domingus,J., Rfn [5]:35690
  • 1987: Dreyer,M.C.M., Lt [5]:369[a]
  • 1987: Epafu,P., Rfn [5]:35710
  • 1985: Felosiano,J., Rfn [5]:34879
  • 1987: Fernando,M., L-Cpl [5]:35696
  • 1985: Fillemon,J., Rfn [5]:34884
  • 1983: Fillipus,N., Rfn [5]:35170
  • 1978: Frans,J., Lt [5]:35157
  • 1985: Gabriel,I., Rfn [5]:482[a]
  • 1977: Gagiano,K., Lt [5]:485[a]
  • 1979: Gottlieb,A., Lt [5]:35159
  • 1988: Haifiku,L., Rfn [5]:35717
  • 1988: Haimbodi,H., Rfn [5]:35718
  • 1988: Haindula,S., Rfn [5]:35716
  • 1983: Hamutenya,S., Rfn [5]:35169
  • 1986: Hochapfel,C.V., Cmdt [5]:591
  • 1985: Ismael,P., Rfn [5]:35685
  • 1985: Iyango,K., Rfn [5]:34869
  • 1981: Jacob,B., Lt [5]:35167
  • 1985: Jakob,S., Rfn [5]:35684
  • 1987: Job,T., Rfn [5]:35704
  • 1981: Johannes,A., Lt [5]:35166
  • 1985: Jonas,E., Rfn [5]:34861
  • 1986: Jonas,L.N.D., Rfn [5]:35694
  • 1985: Kandjii,J., Rfn [5]:34877
  • 1989: Kapentse,N., Rfn [5]:35726
  • 1980: Kapuna,S., Rfn [5]:35163
  • 1986: Kavari,K., Cpl [5]:35691
  • 1986: Kefas,T., Rfn [5]:35693
  • 1987: Leonard,E., Rfn [5]:35699
  • 1986: Londo,I., L-Cpl [5]:35692
  • 1978: Mandingi,N., Rfn [5]:35158
  • 1989: Mandume,J., Rfn [5]:35725
  • 1987: Martin,J., Sgt [5]:35701
  • 1977: Mathias,J., Sktr [5]:35156
  • 1985: Mbango,J., Rfn [5]:34873
  • 1989: McCann,M.S., 2Lt [5]:34725
  • 1982: Meulemo,N.K., Rfn [5]:953
  • 1987: Meyer,E.A., Spr [5]:954[a]
  • 1985: Mikael,H., Rfn [5]:959
  • 1987: Moses,M., Rfn [5]:35707
  • 1982: Moses,R., Rfn [5]:989
  • 1984: Nangolo,J., L-Cpl [5]:35171
  • 1985: Nangolo,J., Rfn [5]:35683
  • 1987: Nangula,E., Rfn [5]:35706
  • 1987: Ndjolonimus,M., Rfn [5]:35698
  • 1987: Nyawala,E., Rfn [5]:35695
  • 1984: Paulus,J., Rfn [5]:35682
  • 1984: Paulus,A., Rfn [5]:35472
  • 1987: Petrus,V., Rfn [5]:35709
  • 1988: Petrus,F., L-Cpl [5]:35720
  • 1988: Petrus,J., Rfn [5]:35721
  • 1980: Phillipus,E., Rfn [5]:35165
  • 1987: Rademeyer,A.H. du B., Capt [5]:1189[a]
  • 1988: Robert,W., Rfn [5]:35719
  • 1988: Savinga,J., Rfn [5]:35723
  • 1988: Semba,G.K., Rfn [5]:35722
  • 1979: Shangweni,S., Lt [5]:35160
  • 1987: Sheepo,T., Rfn [5]:35712
  • 1987: Shilulu,G., Rfn [5]:35708
  • 1980: Shipago,I., Lt [5]:35164
  • 1987: Shitongeni,W., Cpl [5]:35703
  • 1987: Simon,E., Rfn [5]:35705
  • 1987: Steyn,E.A., Spr [5]:1347[a]
  • 1987: Strydom,H.L., Cpl [5]:1365[a]
  • 1988: Sutter,M.C., Spr [5]:35715
  • 1987: Tamsen,E., L-Cpl [5]:1398[a]
  • 1986: Thomas,N., Rfn [5]:35688[a]
  • 1986: Thomas,N., Cpl [5]:1422
  • 1987: Uusshona,M., Rfn [5]:35711
  • 1988: Venter,H.J., L-Cpl [5]:1582[a]
  • 1982: Vilho,H., Rfn [5]:1599
  • 1984: Ward,D.J., SSgt [5]:1630[a]
  • 1984: Ward,D.J., SSgt [5]:35172[a]
  • 1987: Wetton,C.D., Spr [5]:1650[a]
  • 1988: Yeo,E.C., Cpl [5]:1684[a]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p This person is marked on the Fort Klapperkop Memorial wall with an * as having died during operations or in combat.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Units of the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF)". sadf.info. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  2. ^ http://www.historicalpapers.wits.ac.za/inventories/inv_pdfo/AG1977/AG1977-A5-63-16-004-jpeg.pdf
  3. ^ https://samilhistory.com/2016/02/24/band-of-brothers-101-romeo-mikes/
  4. ^ Heitman,H.R. Modern African Wars(3): South West Africa, Osprey Publishing
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq Dovey, John. "SA Roll of Honour:". justdone.co.za. Just Done Productions Publishing. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  • Snyman, PHR (1989). Beeld Van Die SWA Gebiedsmag (in Afrikaans). ISBN 9780621126426.

Further reading[edit]

  • Helmoed-Romer Heitman (Author), Paul Hannon (Illustrator), Modern African Wars (3): South-West Africa (Men-At-Arms Series, 242), Osprey Publishing (November 28, 1991) ISBN 1-85532-122-X.