This page contains a selection of books covering topics about the South African Defence Force as well as current and past South African politics. If you have written a book and would like it linked from here, please contact the webmaster! If you would like to purchase one of these books, just click on the image below!
 
Surviving The Ride
Mine-protected and mine-resistant, ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles are today standard in the US, most major western armed forces and many other armies as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The valuable lessons learned by the South Africans with their early designs of these combat-proven vehicles has led the country to become one of the global leaders in the design of MRAPs which are locally manufactured and exported around the world. Surviving the Ride is a fascinating pictorial account featuring more than 120 of these unique South African-developed vehicles, spanning a forty-year period, with over 280 photographs, many of which are previously unpublished.

Author: Steve Camp, Helmoed-Roemer Heitman
ISBN: 978-1-928211-17-4
 
     
South Africa's Border War 1966-1989
Possibly the best book ever written on South Africa's military involvement in southern Africa. It reveals more about the battles fought by the SADF than most people are aware of, and together with loads of graphic images, boasts an in-depth coverage from 1966 to 1989. Along with special sections on relevant military units like the "Recces", and 32 Battalion, there are also important sections on the political decision making that took place behind the scenes.

Author: Willem Steenkamp
ISBN: 0-620-13967-6
 
     
Our South Africn Army Today
This book is a photo-essay, in the words of Lt. General C. L. Viljoen "of soldiers from different population groups engaged in different facets of soldiering - part-time and full-time soldiers rendering voluntary and compulsory military service."

Author: Bernard Marks
ISBN: 978-0868430140
 
     
South African War Machine
This book provides an insider's look at the South African Defence Force in the last decade of the apartheid era. It follows the general pattern of the "US War Machine" and "Soviet War Machine" volumes from Salamander Books. It begins with an overview of the SADF in the mid-1980s, followed by chapters on the Army, Air Force, Navy, Special Forces, Related Forces (of the "independent" homelands), and ARMSCOR (the state armaments manufacturer). Then are chapters on SADF operations in South Africa, South-West Africa, and Angola, and an "Outlook for the future", which contains speculation on the (now confirmed) SADF nuclear program.

Author: Helmoed-Römer Heitman
ISBN-13: 978-0831779290
 
     
South African Arms & Armour
a concise guide to armaments of the South African army, navy, and air force Hardcover Ė 1 Jan 1988

Author: Helmoed-Römer Heitman
ISBN-13: 978-0869776377
 
     
Borderstrike! - South Africa into Angola 1975-1980
A generation ago, soldiers of the South African Army slipped discreetly over the northern border of what was then known as South West Africa on the country's first real external combat operation since World War II. Operation Savannah marked the start of a protracted campaign, part counter-insurgency and part conventional, that did not end till 989, a decade and a half later. In 1983 Willem Steenkamp wrote the first detailed account about the early days.

Author: Willem Steenkamp
ISBN-13: 978-1920169008
 
     
Brutal Force - The Apartheid War Machine
The first book to provide a comprehensive analysis of the apartheid war machine, its deployment in Namibia and independent Africa and its role inside South Africa from the Sharpville massacre of 1960 to the State of Emergency in 1985-86. It documents the militariation of South Africa and its effect on the people of that country, and it assesses the strength of the apartheid military and nuclear force.

Author: Gavin Cawthra
ISBN: 0 904759 71 7
 
     
The Unspoken Alliance - Israel's Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa
A revealing account of how Israelís booming arms industry and apartheid South Africaís international isolation led to a secretive military partnership between two seemingly unlikely allies. Sasha Polakow-Suransky reveals the previously classified details of countless arms deals conducted behind the backs of Israelís own diplomatic corps and in violation of a United Nations arms embargo. Based on extensive archival research and exclusive interviews with former generals and high-level government officials in both countries, The Unspoken Alliance tells a troubling story of Cold War paranoia, moral compromises, and Israelís estrangement from the left. It is essential reading for anyone interested in Israelís history and its future.

Author: Sasha Polakow-Suransky
ISBN: 978-0-375-42546-2
 
     
At the Front - A General's account of South Africa's Border War
General Jannie Geldenhuys is widely regarded as one of the leading military commanders South Africa has produced. As Chief of the South African Defence Force from 1985 to 1990, he brought his experience to bear on the Border War in Namibia, and was part of the negotiating team that brought an end to the conflict in 1989. In this completely revised and updated edition, Geldenhuys reflects on a military career spanning more than four decades. At the Front covers the years before and during the protracted Border War, and consists of Geldenhuysí personal experiences and insights. He sheds light on the final years of the conflict and the negotiated settlement, and also writes of his early years, as he evolved from a rugby-mad young officer to a deep-thinking, reflective man with ever-sharpening insights into war, peace, politics and, most of all, himself.

Author: Jannie Geldenhuys
ASIN: B008HRM6Q4
 
     
War in Angola - The final South African Phase
In August 1987 South Africa sent a force into south-eastern Angola in support of Unita. When the last South African soldier crossed the Kavango to return to South West Africa on 1 September 1988, this force had irrevocably changed the strategic situation in the region

Author: Helmoed-Römer Heitman
ISBN-13: 978-0620143707
 
     
The Last Hot Battle of the Cold War
As a case study of ferocious fighting between East and West, albeit proxies for the great powers on all sides, this book unveils a remarkable episode of the end-game of the Cold War largely unknown to the public. The Angolans on both sides suffered heavily, but it was the apartheid South Africans versus Castro’s armed forces that provides utter fascination in one of history’s rare match-ups.

Author: Peter Polack
ISBN: 978-1612001951
 
     
Ops Medic - A National Serviceman's Border War
As a recent British immigrant the author was exempt from the compulsory two-year call-up for National Service that all white South African males faced when they turned 18. Despite this he volunteered for National Service in July 1984 and then volunteered to serve in the South African Medical Service. Following basic training he was posted to SAMS' Combat Medical Operation Company (Ops Company) for six months of advanced specialist training. In the lecture room and later in civilian hospitals he learned the arts of stabilising patients, stopping bleeding, maintaining airways, suturing wounds, administering drips and performing minor lifesaving medical procedures. On 1 March 1985 he was sent to SWA/Namibia, where he saw service in Angola until the SADF withdrew its troops a month later. From there he was posted to 53-Battalion's company base at Etale.

Author: Steven Webb
ISBN-13: 978-1919854298
 
     
An Unpopular War - Voices of South African National Servicemen
In the seventies, eighties and nineties, conscription had a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of young men, particularly those who had to serve in the Angolan war. This title is a collection of reflections and memories of that time, collected by JH Thompson, who interviewed men who did National Service. Contributors include ordinary soldiers, Special Forces members, helicopter pilots, chefs and religious objectors. The title captures the spirit and atmosphere, the daily duties, the boredom, fear and other intense experiences of an SADF soldier.

Author: J. H. Thompson
ISBN-13: 978-1770073012
 
     
Cross of Honour
The Honoris Crux (Cross of Honour) was South Africa's premier gallantry decoration awarded to members of th South African Defence Force between 1961 and 1991. The stories behind over 300 of those awards and other medals for bravery are graphically told - ranging from outstanding valour in all types of warfare to exceptional heroism displayed in saving lives. For these soldiers, sailors and airmen the common denominator was courage - and the Cross of Honour

Ian Uys
ISBN-13: 978-0958317320
 
     
Starting Out Collecting South African Militaria
Every good soldier wants to be remembered as a soldier, soldiering excellently. What better way is there to remember good soldiers and their expertise, than by presenting their military symbols to the world that they are serving. Dudley Wall, through this book, is doing justice to those soldiers who served with pride over the past decades in a South Afria where soldiering was very prominent during turbulent times

Dudley Wall
ISBN: 0-620-32784-7
 
     
South African Special Forces
This book provides a highly detailed account of the history, organisation, uniforms and insignia of South African Special Forces from their origins up to the early 90s – units such as the 44 Parachute Brigade, the Hunter Group and the infamous SWA Police COIN Unit 'Koevoet'. These elite units of the South African Defence Force and the special anti-terrorist units of the South African Police Forces comprised the largest, best trained and best equipped of any country in southern Africa. Robert Pitta and Jeff Fannell provide the text in a volume packed with photographs and illustrations.

Robert Pitta, Jeff Fannell, Simon McCouaig
ISBN-13: 978-1855322943
 
     

This website about the South African Defence Force is a tribute to all who served in the SADF, and a reminder to those who have long since forgotten ...