7 South African Infantry Division
7 South African Infantry Division was a formation of the South African Army, active from the 1960s to 1999. 7 Division and 17, 18 and 19 Brigades were established on 1 April 1965. Difficulties with manning levels saw the disestablishment of 7 Division on 1 November 1967 and its replacement by the Army Task Force and 16 Brigade. On 2 April 1971, a small band of officers were summoned to meet with Major General Stapelberg to inaugurate the establishment of 7 Division, South African Army; the meeting took place at the headquarters of the Transvaal Irish Regiment in Johannesburg. From 1 September 1972 Army Task Force Headquarters was redesignated HQ 7 Division. Two years it was decided to organize the Army's conventional force into two divisions, 7th and 8th South African Armoured Divisions, under a Corps Headquarters. Both were reserve formations, though the division and brigade HQs were Permanent Force; the headquarters of these two divisions were established on 1 August 1974. 1 South African Corps itself was established in August 1974 and was active until 30 January 1994.
7 Division was commanded by: Major General Neil Webster, original commanding officer of 7th Division.. Brigadier General Heim Roos. Brigadier General Gerrie Moolman assigned to the Division in 1971, as a Major, to assist with the establishment of the Division's headquarters, it appears from Colonel Lionel Crook's book on 71 Brigade that two of 7 Division's three brigades were redesignations of 17th and 18th Brigades. 71 Motorised Brigade was the former 17 Brigade, 72 Brigade was the former 18 Brigade, 73 Brigade was a new formation. 71 Motorised Brigade was established in Cape Town. Units transferred from Western Province Command to the new 71 Motorised Brigade included the Cape Field Artillery, the Cape Town Highlanders, Regiment Westelike Provinsie, Regiment Boland, Regiment Oranjerivier, South African Engineer Corps 3 field squadron, 74 Signal Squadron SACS, 4 Maintenance Unit SAOSC, 30 Field Workshop SAOSC, 3 Field Ambulance. 12 Supply and Transport Company established on 22 August 1961, became 4 Maintenance Unit on 1 September 1971.
72 Motorised Brigade was established in Kensington, Johannesburg 72 Motorised Brigade appears to have been made up of the following units, soon after formation in 1972. Infantry included 1st Battalion, Transvaal Scottish, the South African Irish Regiment, the Johannesburg Regiment, artillery was provided by the Transvaal Horse Artillery, armour by the 1 Light Horse Regiment, engineer support by 12 Field Squadron SAEC, signals by 72 Signals Unit SACS, service support by 31 Field Workshop and 7 Maintenance Unit. 73 Motorised Brigade was established in Pretoria.73 Motorised Brigade may have had its headquarters at Kensington for some time. 7 Division had its own Mobilisation Centre based at de Brug near Bloemfontein. 7 Division's major training exercises were held at Lohatla Army Battle School in the Northern Cape, called Quick Silver and Thunder Chariot, one of the most notable was the Thunder Chariot of 1984: In the early 1980s, the Army was restructured in order to counter all forms of insurgency while at the same time maintaining a credible conventional force.
To meet these requirements, the Army was subdivided into counterinsurgency forces. The Citizen Force, through the 8th Divisions, provided the Conventional Defence Force. In 1984 Northern Transvaal Command was subdivided and Far North Command formed; these two new Commands were regarded as theatres and as such had responsibility for conventional operations within their areas. Far North Command had 73 Motorised Brigade within its area. By 1985, 7 Division consisted of 71 Motorised Brigade, 73 Motorised Brigade and 82 Mechanised Brigade. 72 Motorised Brigade had been transferred to the command of 8th South African Armoured Division. In the latter half of 1991 the official division designation of 7 Division was altered to 7 South African Infantry Division. Between 1992 until 1 April 1997, the Army reduced each division's size while creating a third divisional headquarters, 9th South African Division. Divisional headquarters remained in the Johannesburg area; these 3 Divisions each now consisted of: a reconnaissance battalion, two anti-aircraft defence battalions, two battalions of artillery, a battalion of 127mm MRLs, an engineer battalion, two battalions of Olifant MBTs, two infantry battalions mounted in Ratel ICVs, two infantry battalions mounted in Buffel APCs.
To provide part of these forces, 6th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment joined 7 Division in 1991. 8th South African Armoured Division’s Brigades were disbanded in 1992 and the Battalions and Regiments came to answer directly to the Divisional headquarters. The Division itself was disbanded on April 1, 1997, when its former units became part of 7 South African Division as 74 Brigade. 9th South African Division, was effectively disbanded on April 1, 1997, when its former units became part of 7 South African Infantry Division again. They were all amalgamated into the 7th South African Infantry Division on 1 April 1997, became 75 Brigade. 7 South African Infantry Division itself was disbanded on 1 April 1999 and all army battalions were assigned to'type' formations, in accordance with the recommendations of the South African Defence Review 1998. John Keegan, World Armies, p. 639
South African Army Armoured Formation
The South African Army Armour Formation provides an Armour capability to the South African Army. The Formation came into being as part of a restructure. South African Armoured Corps units under the command of various different brigades and other formations were all grouped under one formation. All armour is assigned to the SA Army Armour Formation under the charge of a General Officer Commanding. South Africa employed armoured cars as early as 1915 during its invasion of the then-German South West Africa. After the end of the First World War a single Medium Mark A Whippet light tank was purchased for the Union Defence Force and was operationally employed during the 1922 Rand revolt; the tank in question is now on display at the Army College at Thaba Tshwane. The formation of an armoured corps was proposed in 1924. An armoured car section was formed the next year when two Vickers machine gun-armed Crossley armoured cars and two medium tanks were imported from Britain. During the severe economic depression of 1933, the government established the Special Service Battalion on 1 May 1933 as a job opportunities and social upliftment project.
The Springbok was first used as symbol for this unit until it was changed to the national flower - the Protea - in July 1934, still used today. The SSB was converted to an Armoured Car Regiment at the start of the Second World War, to a Tank Regiment. In April 1943 the SSB was deployed in North Africa and used a black beret sporting silver proteas as badge and a flash with orange and blue as its colours; when the SA Armoured Corps was proclaimed in 1946 and the SSB included in the corps as the only full-time unit, its symbols and colours were incorporated On 24 January 2014 the General Officer Commanding SA Army Armour Formation, Brigadier General Chris Gildenhuys handed over command to Brigadier General Andre Retief at a parade at the Tempe Military Base in Bloemfontein. The South African Army Armour Formation marked its 70th anniversary in October 2016 in Bloemfontein with the fourth Armour Symposium and a thanksgiving service; the Formation is structured as follows: School of Armour, These units are equipped with the Olifant Mk1B or Olifant Mk2 main battle tank.
1 South African Tank Regiment Pretoria Regiment Natal Mounted Rifles Regiment President Steyn These units are equipped with the Rooikat armoured fighting vehicle. 1 Special Service Battalion Umvoti Mounted Rifles Regiment Oranjerivier Light Horse Regiment Regiment Mooirivier SA Army Armour Formation SA Armour Museum SA Armour Association
Thomas François Burgers
Thomas François Burgers was the 4th president of the South African Republic from 1872 to 1877. He was the youngest child of Barend and Elizabeth Burger of the farm Langefontein in the Camdeboo district of Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony. After studying theology at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands, Burgers became the parson of Hanover, South Africa in 1859. A charmingly eloquent, but fiercely individualistic man, he had been influenced by Professor C. W. Opzoomer in the Netherlands and embraced his rationalist, liberal ideas. Burgers became involved in a stormy controversy with the Dutch Reformed Synod over his alleged liberalism and disbelief in the literal truth of the Bible, he was critical of traditional culture and emphasised knowledge and rationalism. In 1862, his unorthodox doctrine brought on him an accusation of heresy, in 1864 he was found guilty by the Synod and suspended; the Supreme Court overturned the decision, in 1865, he was readmitted to the ministry. Some of his liberal theological ideas and his diverting viewpoints can be found in the sketches he wrote about daily life in Hanover.
The burghers of the South African Republic urged Burgers to stand for the presidency, he was elected by the considerable majority of 2,964 to 388 in 1872. The South African Republic's first coins—the famous Burgerspond—was introduced in 1874; these were struck at Heaton's Mint in England when he was there on a visit. Some people in the South African Republic objected to the issue of the Burgerspond, because the portrayal of the President on coins likened him to a dictator; the 1905 New International Encyclopædia describes Burgers' policies as president as “characterized by brilliant but impracticable schemes, aiming chiefly at territorial expansion.” One of his plans, inspired by the neighbouring Cape Prime Minister John Molteno's massive railway programme, was to build a railway linking the Transvaal to the sea. In 1875 he traveled to Europe to raise funds, but his plans were thwarted by the Pedi chief Sekhukhune, whose lands lay in the path of the proposed railway. By 1877 Burgers was unpopular and his government was insolvent.
Britain, keen on expanding their empire, annexed the Transvaal. Burgers retired from political life, settled in the Cape Colony again, died in 1881, only forty-seven years old, leaving his family destitute. Coming to the family's aid, Burgers' former private secretary, Th. M. Tromp, published the sketches Burgers had written about his experiences as minister in Hanover; the proceeds of the book, in Dutch and published in the Netherlands, were used to alleviate his family's financial problems. He was a South African Freemason, he ended his days disheartened and in poverty. His body was disinterred in 1895, to be reburied in the Pretoria cemetery now known as the Heroes' Acre. Coins of the South African pound Burgers, Th. F.. Toneelen uit ons dorp. Den Haag: Henri J. Stemberg. Burgers, Th. F.. Tonele uit ons dorp. Kaapstad: Africana Uitgewers. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list de Jong-Goossens, Riet. "Menselijk en overtuigend: de dorpstonelen van Burgers". Maandblad Zuid-Afrika. 85: 78–79
Crocodile River (Mpumalanga)
The Crocodile River referred to as Crocodile River, is a large river traversing Mpumalanga province of South Africa. It originates north of Mpumalanga, in the Steenkampsberg Mountains. Downstream of Kwena Dam, the Crocodile River winds through the Schoemanskloof and down the Montrose Falls, it flows eastwards past Nelspruit and joins the Komati River at Komatipoort. The Crocodile River in Mpumalanga has a catchment area of 10,446 km2. Upstream it is a popular trout fishing place, it flows through the Nelspruit industrial area, the Lowveld agricultural area and borders the Kruger National Park. The decrease in flow of the river is due to water abstractions for irrigated fruit and sugar cane farming; the river forms the full southern border of the Kruger National Park. It creates the setting for game viewing on the banks of the river. Facilities include: Leopard Creek golf course, designed by Gary Player Malelane Rest Camp in Kruger Park Marloth Park Ngwenya Lodge Crocodile Bridge Rest Camp in Kruger Park The Elands River and Nels River are the tributaries to the Crocodile.
Elands River famous for its waterfalls, rises on the grassland plateau of the Drakenberg Mountains near the town of Machadodorp while the Nels river rises on the Drakensberg as well. List of rivers of South Africa List of reservoirs and dams in South Africa
155 mm Creusot Long Tom
The 155 mm Creusot Long Tom was a French siege gun manufactured by Schneider et Cie in Le Creusot and used by the Boers in the Second Boer War as field guns. Four guns, along with 4,000 common shells, 4,000 shrapnel shells and 800 case shot were purchased by the South African Republic in 1897; the guns were emplaced in four forts around Pretoria. The Long Tom gun consisted of a separate carriage; the barrel weighed 2,500 kg. The carriage weighed 3,000 kg; the gun was placed on a wooden platform, consisting of three layers of beams each measuring 7,5 cm by 7,5 cm by 4,5 m. The size of the platform was 4,5 m by 4,5 m by 22,5 cm; the layers were placed at right angles to one another. The platform weighed 5,200 kg; the platform had to be placed level in all directions to ensure that the range did not change when the gun pointed in a different direction. Near the "front" of the platform a pivot plate was securely attached to the platform. Recoil was controlled by a hydraulic cylinder. Chocks were placed behind the wheels to limit recoil.
To prepare the gun for transport a large tripod was placed over it and, using a block and tackle, the barrel lifted off the front trunnion cups and moved to the back trunnion cups. The trail was placed on a limber. 16 to 20 oxen were required to pull the gun over hard soil. Two wagons were required to transport the platform and the ammunition was transported on another two wagons; the propellant charge for the Long Tom was carried in a canvas bag, about 56 cm long. Black powder was used and this caused a large cloud of white smoke when the gun was fired; the enemy knew where the gun was. The common shell was 42 cm long and weighed 43 kg It was filled with an explosive called MC 30; the range was 9,880 m. This shell had a range of 6,800 m, it had time fuse. During the first part of the war the time fuses did not work properly. Case shot was used as a last resort. Case shot was effective up to 400 metres. During the Second Boer War the guns were deployed as field guns and siege guns at Vaal Krantz, Mafeking and Bergendal.
During the early stages of the war these guns gave the Boers an advantage as they had longer range than any British guns that were deployed in South Africa at the time. After all their ammunition had been expended, the guns were destroyed one by one, to prevent them from falling into British hands. Long Tom shells are incorporated in the Honoured Dead Memorial in Kimberley, commemorating those who fell in the town's defence, where they surround the gun called Long Cecil. Replicas of the original cannons can be seen at various places in South Africa, including Fort Klapperkop near Pretoria, in the Long Tom Pass in Mpumalanga, The Anglo-Boer War Museum in Bloemfontein and next to the town hall in Ladysmith. After the abortive Jameson Raid the government decided to build four forts around the capital, Pretoria; these were called Fort Klapperkop, Fort Daspoortrand and Fort Wonderboompoort. A Long Tom was placed in each fort. After war broke out, three Long Toms were sent to the Natal front and the remaining one sent to Mafeking.
The Long Tom arrived at Mafeking on 23 October 1899. It was hurriedly emplaced on a height called Jackal Tree, about 3,500 yards south of Mafeking on the Geysdorp road; the next day it hurled its first shell into town. On 6 November the Long Tom was moved to a new position, about 3,000 yards east of Cannon Kopje. On 14 February 1900 the Long Tom was moved to the western side of town, but did not remain there for long. On 11 April the Long Tom was sent back to Pretoria; the Boers had two Long Toms. The bombardment commenced on 2 November 1899, with one of the Long Toms firing from Pepworthy Hill; the second Long Tom started firing on 8 November. On 27 November the Boers emplaced it on Middle Hill. Two old howitzers were brought up and one had a lucky shot, killing or injuring nine Boer gunners and damaging the Long Tom itself.. The Boers moved the Long Tom on Pepworth Hill to Gun Hill on or about 7 December. A couple of nights the Brits launched a commando attack again this gun, damaged its muzzle with a charge of gun cotton and removed its breach block.
One of the Long Toms at Ladysmith was taken forward for use during the Battle of Vaal Krantz. Prior to 5 February 1900 an emplacement had been prepared for it on a hill called "Doringkop"; the gun arrived at Vaal Krantz on 5 February, but could not be placed on the hill because one of its wheels had broken and the hill was too steep anyway. The Boers managed to get it to the top that night, it started firing at 05:15 the next morning. British return fire only managed to destroy one of its ammunition wagons, but the setback was temporary; the Long Tom damaged by British forces on 7 December 1899 was taken back to Pretoria for repairs. There the front end of the muzzle was cut off, henceforth the gun was known as "the Jew"; the breechblock was replaced and it was ready for action. It was sent to Kimberley, where it was emplaced on a mine dump next to the Kamfers Dam on 6 February 1900; the battle of Diamond Hill took place east of Pretoria in June 1900. There was one Long Tom mounted on a railway truck parked at the Vandermerwe Station It is not known whether it fired a shot.
1 South African Tank Regiment
1 South African Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the South African Army, based at the Tempe military base in Bloemfontein as part of the South African Army Armour Formation. The Regiment was established in April 1999, composed of members of the old Tank Wing of the National Defence Force's School of Armour; this unit supplies the only full-time tank force to the SA Army. Lt Col William Nondala, the second CO, was the first black commanding officer appointed in the country's Armoured Corps. There were 724 available posts, but only 335 were staffed and 389 vacant in 2005; the highest shortage level was experienced at the level of trooper. The unit trains jointly with the reserve force units to enhance the ‘one force’ concept, because the reserve force is the expansionary capability of the SANDF in times of national defence. There is however only a small percentage of active reserves, because training call-ups are limited, due to budgetary constraints, it is equipped with the Olifant Mk.2 main battle tank.
The unit’s structure is a ‘type 38 regiment’, with 2 tanks at regimental headquarters and 12 tanks each in the three operational squadrons. There are support squadrons and tank transport squadrons; the Olifant tanks have been upgraded with new power packs and stabilized night vision equipment. The vehicles are capable of fire on the move manoeuvres; the Olifants may be replaced with a small number of new Main Battle Tanks some time after 2018. Due to a lack of funds for their primary armoured role and a shortage of regular infantry, the unit has been deployed in their secondary line infantry role on border patrol and external peacekeeping operations in central Africa; the C squadron was deployed from April to July 2004 along the Lesotho border and received praise from the Tactical headquarters and the farming community. Another squadron was deployed from December 2004 to March 2005. Several members of the unit have been deployed to the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC as part of the United Nations’ peacekeeping force MONUSCO and in Burundi as VIP protectors
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K