oa Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies - Striking Inside Angola with 32 Battalion, Marius Scheepers : book review

Volume 42, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1022-8136
  • E-ISSN: 2224-0020



The Angolan Bush War or the South African Border War has become something of a forgotten war. In South Africa, the war was heard of, but the details were not known to the general public. For all practical purposes it was a 'secret war'. "Relatives and friends had no idea what their loved ones were going through while serving [on] the border" (p. 13). Today, many South Africans have a limited or distorted understanding of why there was a border war or, for that matter, few can explain why South Africa was entangled in a quagmire of that sort for years on end in Angola. The consistent stream of border war literature has tried to fill this void. The main contributors from South Africa were at first commanding officers (veteran colonels and retired generals) but thereafter numerous former conscripts. The declassification of information paved the way for aspiring researchers interested in uncovering this 'secret war'. More recently, the opposing sides have started to chronicle 'their side of the story' and record details of 'their' experiences. A recent contribution is that of Gennady Shubin and Andrei Tokarev.

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