n Journal for Contemporary History - OPS Medic - operational medical orderlies during the Border War

Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



South Africa's armed conflict in what was then South-West Africa (SWA) and Angola in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s2 was essentially an infantryman's war. Unlike many of today's conflicts which rely heavily on armour and airpower to limit casualties to own forces, the conflict in SWA and Angola was a classic low-technology, counterinsurgency war. While South African troops were deployed in theatre by helicopter and armoured vehicles, more often than not, once deployed they relied on muscle power to come to grips with their opponent, criss-crossing vast swathes of the Operational Area on foot in their search for People's Liberation Army of Namibia (PLAN) insurgents.

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