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180806-A-NH731-0038

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

180806-A-NH731-0038

U.S. Army Soldier assigned to 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment "Wolfhounds," 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, fires an M240L machine gun at the support-by-fire position during a combined arms live-fire exercise at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, August 3, 2018. The exercise is part of an overall training progression in order to maintain combat readiness in preparation for a Joint Readiness Training Center rotation later this year. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Lt. Ryan DeBooy)



Puma 2

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Puma 2

U.S. Army Soldiers with 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, provide support by fire during a multinational training event for exercise Puma 2 with Battle Group Poland at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland on June 14, 2018 as part of Saber Strike 18. This year's exercise, which runs from June 3-15, tests allies and partners from 19 countries on their ability work together to deter aggression in the region and improve each unit's ability to perform their designated mission.

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III /22nd Mobile Public Affairs. Detachment)



Parachute Assault!

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Parachute Assault!

A C-17 from the Hawaii National Guard banks right by the Dolomite Mountains as paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade parachture onto Juliet Drop Zone in northern Italy. This parachute assault called "Rock Drop" is a battalion sized seizure of contested territory is a joint operation between the 2-503rd Infantry (The Rock) supported by Italian Paratroopers. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the Contingency Response Force for US Army Europe, Africa and the Middle East, capable of deploying ready forces within 18 hours of notification.



Lethal, Agile, Combat Ready!

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Lethal, Agile, Combat Ready!

This is what a paratrooper looks like when he is just 10 feet above the ground. This is a sight that is feared by our enemies, a Sky Soldier descending from the heavens who is trained a ready for battle. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is always lethal, agile, and combat ready!



Rock Drop

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Rock Drop

The tail of the US Air Force C-17 Globemaster reaches to the stormy sky as paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade board the aircraft to conduct a parachute assault onto Juliet Drop Zone in northern Italy. This parachute assault called "Rock Drop" is a battalion sized seizure of contested territory is a joint operation between the 2-503rd Infantry (The Rock) supported by Italian Paratroopers. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the Contingency Response Force for US Army Europe, Africa and the Middle East, capable of deploying ready forces within 18 hours of notification.

U.S. Army photo.



Ready to Board

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Ready to Board

U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to the 173rd Brigade Support Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade prepare to board an Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Aviano Air Base in preparation for airborne operation onto Juliet Drop Zone in Pordenone, Italy, May 22, 2018. The 173rd Airborne Brigade is the U.S. Army Contingency Response Force in Europe, capable of projecting ready forces anywhere in the U.S. European, Africa or Central Commands' areas of responsibility.

U.S. Army photo by Davide Dalla Massara.



Target Twosome

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Target Twosome

U.S. Soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa fire M4 carbine rifles on a training range in Arta, Djibouti, May 26, 2018. The 10th Mountain Division Soldiers train to maintain their weapon systems qualification in order to forward deploy forces to protect American interests on the continent of Africa.

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr.



I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

I Will Never Leave a Fallen Comrade

Pfc. Lookadoo Daniel, Palatka , Florida native, automated logistical specialist with 1st Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, carries another Soldier to safety to provide medical care during combat lifesaver training with Battle Group Poland at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, May 31, 2018. Battle Group Poland is a unique, multinational coalition of U.S., U.K., Croatian and Romanian Soldiers who serve with the Polish 15th Mechanized Brigade as a deterrence force in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence.

U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III.



Fire Away!

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Fire Away!

New York National Guard Soldiers from Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 258th Field Artillery, clear a M777 Howitzer, on Fort Drum, Watertown N.Y., May 22nd, 2018. The 258 was conducting Annual Training, which this year included training for the new M777 Howitzer. Soldiers spent the past two weeks preparing to fire these weapons, which are much larger, and more powerful than the previous cannon’s they used.

N.Y. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Andrew Valenza.



Atlantic Resolve

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Atlantic Resolve

U.S. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, zero their M1 Abrams tanks during Atlantic Resolve at Zagan Poland, June 2, 2018. Atlantic Resolve is a demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to collective security through a series of actions designed to reassure NATO allies and partners of America's dedication to enduring peace and stability in the region. (U.S. Army photo by Charles Rosemond)



Before the Jump

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Before the Jump

More than 500 U.S., French, Dutch, Romanian and German paratroopers jumped out of nine U.S., French, Dutch and German C-130s and C-160s near here June 3 to pay tribute to D-Day veterans who demonstrated the selfless service and sacrifice characteristic of the Greatest Generation. This year marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 -- most commonly known as D-Day. An epic multinational amphibious and airborne operation, D-Day forged partnerships and reinforced transatlantic bonds that remain strong today. Overall, U.S. service members from 20 units in Europe and the U.S. will participate in events and ceremonies May 30-June 7, in almost 40 locations throughout the Normandy region of France as part of Joint Task Force Normandy 74.



Transporting Troops

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Transporting Troops

An Alaska Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter approaches Malemute Drop Zone during airborne training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, May 30, 2018. Airmen from the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron, Soldiers assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, and Alaska Army National Guard aviators with the 1st Battalion, 207th Aviation Regiment, conducted the joint airborne jump training to increase interoperability and maintain mission readiness.

U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña.



Historic Jump into Normandy

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Historic Jump into Normandy

A World War II historic paratrooper jumped from a vintage Douglas C-47 wearing the uniform of the paratroopers who jumped into this very drop zone at Sainte Mere Eglise, France 74 years ago. These historic jumpers were joining a multi-national parachute demonstration being conducted by the 173rd Airborne Brigade which included paratroopers from the France, Holland, Germany, Romania and the United States.



Honoring D-Day Veterans

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Honoring D-Day Veterans

The 75th Ranger Regiment Color Guard posts the colors during the Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument commemoration ceremony, June 5, 2018 in Cricqueville en Bessin, France. This year marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 -- most commonly known as D-Day. An epic multinational amphibious and airborne operation, D-Day forged partnerships and reinforced transatlantic bonds that remain strong today. Overall, U.S. service members from 20 units in Europe and the U.S. will participate in events and ceremonies May 30-June 7, 2018, in almost 40 locations throughout the Normandy region of France as part of Joint Task Force Normandy 74.

U.S. Army photo.



Historic Jump in Normandy

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Historic Jump in Normandy

Paratroopers from France, Holland, Germany, Romania and the United States jumped into Iron Mike Drop Zone at Sainte Mere Eglise, France before a crowd of D-Day jump. The airborne operation was lead by paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade.

U.S. Army photo.



TAPS Honors

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

TAPS Honors

SAINTE-MARIE-DU-MONT, France (June 6, 2018) D-Day veteran John Roman (center) and Maj. Gen. Mark W. Palzer, commander of the 79th Theater Sustainment Command (center left), salute for the playing of French and U.S. taps during the Utah Beach Federal Monument Ceremony. This year marks the 74th anniversary of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 -- most commonly known as D-Day. An epic multinational amphibious and airborne operation, D-Day forged partnerships and reinforced transatlantic bonds that remain strong today. Overall, U.S. service members from 20 units in Europe and the U.S. participated in events and ceremonies May 30-June 7, 2018, in almost 40 locations throughout the Normandy region of France as part of Joint Task Force Normandy 74.

DoD photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Michael McNabb/Released.



I just can't wait ...

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

I just can't wait ...

Some family members couldn’t wait to welcome nearly 400 paratroopers from the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division home June 2 at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's Hangar 1 after their return from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel. (Army photo/John Pennell)



Digging out ...

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Digging out ...

A U.S. Army National Guard Soldier from New Jersey's 250th Finance Detachment shovels out a hasty fighting position during training on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., June 5, 2018. The 250th Finance Detachment was trained in base defense by instructors from the U.S. Army's 174th Infantry Brigade.

U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Matt Hecht.



D-Day Commemoration

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

D-Day Commemoration

Sgt. 1st Class Clyde Tyner (right), a platoon sergeant with 5th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, salutes during a 74th D-Day commemoration ceremony June 6, 2018 at Utah Beach along the coast of France. Tyner along with more than 50 other paratroopers were selected to represent the 82nd Airborne Division during the events remembering the events of June 6, 1944 and throughout WWII.

U.S. Army photo.



Volcanic View

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Volcanic View

News Crews from Local and National media outlets were escorted by the Hawaii National Guard to Leilani Avenue to cover the current conditions from fissure 8 in Pahoa, Hawaii, June 5, 2018. The Hawaii National Guard worked with local and national media entities to ensure they gained access and to ensure they reported the most current information to the community.

U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. James Ro.


 
Think Defence UK Defence Issues

It’s Time to Call it a Day

After a decade, am calling time on Think Defence and shutting up shop. Why I think it only fair that I explain why. Think Defence has always been a one man band and that man has other things like work, grandkids and lots of other projects to absorb his time, my time. Researching for content, [...]

The post It’s Time to Call it a Day appeared first on Think Defence.



New Content – Easibridge Lightweight Tactical Bridging

EasiBridge offers the world’s first truly man-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridging system. Exploiting the inherent flexibility of the EasiBridge systems, a further eight engineer/infantry “Super-Kit” capabilities can be used. Key benefits include; Portability; weighing just 4kg/m the EasiBridge sections can be easily carried by dismounted personnel and handled without mechanical assistance, Span Length; gaps of up [...]

The post New Content – Easibridge Lightweight Tactical Bridging appeared first on Think Defence.



Boxer and the British Army – Third Time Lucky

The ARTEC Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle will meet the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement that will equip the new Strike Brigades. Boxer and the British Army go back much further than widely known. There are three broad stages of the UK’s involvement with Boxer, starting in the late eighties/early nineties and this is [...]

The post Boxer and the British Army – Third Time Lucky appeared first on Think Defence.



Guest Post – Future Small Arms

This guest article was written by a retired naval weapons engineer with some small arms experience, as an exercise in seeing how much information can be gleaned from the internet on small arms, in the interests of ‘Thinking Defence’. Future Small Arms for the British Armed Forces. BACKGROUND HISTORY. A brief reminder of the types [...]

The post Guest Post – Future Small Arms appeared first on Think Defence.



Content Update – Ascension Island and the 1982 Falklands Conflict

Ascension Island, in the Mid-Atlantic, would play a decisive role in the 1982 Falkland conflict and arguably, the operation to retake the islands would have been impossible without it. Click here to read ordownload for a couple of quid below   …

The post Content Update – Ascension Island and the 1982 Falklands Conflict appeared first on Think Defence.



Long Read Update – The Inglis Bridges

Charles Inglis

An updated long read the Inglis Bridges is now available online and available for download as a PDF   …

The post Long Read Update – The Inglis Bridges appeared first on Think Defence.



Long Read Update – Operation Black Buck

Each of the reference and journal articles on Think Defence is subject to a regular update schedule. The first of these is the 25,090 word article on the 1982 Falklands Conflict Vulcan bomber missions against Stanley Airport codenamed Black Buck. I am committed to keeping all the Think Defence content free online but a new [...]

The post Long Read Update – Operation Black Buck appeared first on Think Defence.



Winston and Nellie (the Trenching Machine)

Nellie was the nickname given a unique trenching machine produced at the insistence of Winston Churchill during the early stages of WWII. Click here to read  

The post Winston and Nellie (the Trenching Machine) appeared first on Think Defence.



The Light Strike Brigade – A Concept

Counter insurgency operations in the Middle East and South Asia resulted in light forces becoming heavy forces. With a renewed interest in conventional operations in Europe and the evolving nature of operations elsewhere, a concept that gets back to mobility. We know that the British Army’s Strike Brigade is built around the concept of disaggregated [...]

The post The Light Strike Brigade – A Concept appeared first on Think Defence.



New Content – Military Motorcycles

Where quad bikes are focussed on load hauling, motorcycles tend to a focus on speed. The military motorcycle has generally lost favour in most western forces but is it time to have another look? Click to read… Military Motorcycles  

The post New Content – Military Motorcycles appeared first on Think Defence.



Military Quad Bikes (Small ATV)

A new long form post on the military application of quad bikes (small sit on ATV's) and a description of possible improvements in gap crossing, logistics and general utility

The post Military Quad Bikes (Small ATV) appeared first on Think Defence.



The Overburdened Infantry – New Long Form Content

Since there were first soldiers, the weight they have carried has been subject to cyclical variation but the upward trend that saw its zenith during operations in Afghanistan is now subject to a realisation that it is both unsustainable and undesirable. This is a new long form article on the subject that includes a look [...]

The post The Overburdened Infantry – New Long Form Content appeared first on Think Defence.



A Royal Navy FLO-FLO

I was having a conversation about the utility of the US Expeditionary Transfer Dock and its potential for the UK recently, so I thought a quick post on the subject would be interesting.

The post A Royal Navy FLO-FLO appeared first on Think Defence.



Thoughts on Future Force Design

Based on the #SDSR18 series in which I defined a number of general conditions, risks and approaches this post is a few thoughts on a resultant force structure. Part 1 – Breaking the Crisis Cycle Part 2 – Risks Part 3 – Alliances and Politics Part 4 – Defending Europe Part 5 – Middle East [...]

The post Thoughts on Future Force Design appeared first on Think Defence.



Site Update and a Look Forward to 2018

As we draw to the end of the year a look forward to 2018 and a site update. You may have noticed a new site design, hopefully this is faster and easier to navigate on desktops and mobile devices. Have also split the long form content into reference and journal articles, the former comprises programme [...]

The post Site Update and a Look Forward to 2018 appeared first on Think Defence.



Towards #SDSR18 – Middle East and Africa

Africa

The final of the ‘scene setting’ posts in this series, a look at the UK’s defence and security commitments and approaches in the Middle East, Africa and a small section on further east. Click HERE to read  

The post Towards #SDSR18 – Middle East and Africa appeared first on Think Defence.



Charles Edward Inglis and his many Bridges

Although most have probably heard of Donald Bailey, few have heard of Charles Inglis. yet it is Charles Inglis that designed the worlds first sectional military bridge. A number of different designs saw service in WWI and WWII. Click HERE to read more  

The post Charles Edward Inglis and his many Bridges appeared first on Think Defence.



Towards #SDSR18 – Defending Europe

Next in the series; the UK’s approach to the collective defence of Europe Click to read Toward SDSR 2018 – Defending Europe

The post Towards #SDSR18 – Defending Europe appeared first on Think Defence.



Towards #SDSR18 – Alliance and Politics

Next in the series, alliances, politics and a future direction of travel. Click to read Toward SDSR 2018 – Alliances, Politics and a Future Direction of Travel

The post Towards #SDSR18 – Alliance and Politics appeared first on Think Defence.



Towards #SDSR2018 – Risk

The next in the occasional series on SDSR 2018 the National Security Strategy Review. This time, a look at the main risks facing the UK If the UK is to avoid its finite defence resources being spread across multiple risk area in increasingly thinner layers it must prioritise, and learn to live with consequences. Some discussion [...]

The post Towards #SDSR2018 – Risk appeared first on Think Defence.



Towards SDSR 2018 – Part 1 (Breaking the Crisis Cycle)

It is easy to advance a case for more defence funding and in our echo chambers we would all agree, with the only dissent being about what to spend the extra money on. Instead, I am going to make a case for a series of difficult choices that avoid the tired old tropes of moving [...]

The post Towards SDSR 2018 – Part 1 (Breaking the Crisis Cycle) appeared first on Think Defence.



New Long Read – Anglo Engineering Concepts Vehicle Proposal

A proposal from Anglo Engineering Concepts to meet British Army vehicle capability gaps and drive down support costs by adopting system engineering thinking and a design language that places the designer close to the user. Anglo Engineering Concepts is run by an experienced design engineer that previously worked as one of the three design engineers [...]

The post New Long Read – Anglo Engineering Concepts Vehicle Proposal appeared first on Think Defence.



British Army Medium Weight Capability

In the late Nineties, the British Army concluded it needed to develop and field a Medium Weight Capability that would enable it to arrive quicker than a heavy force, but have greater resilience and combat power than a light force. The concept of what constituted this Medium Weight Capability has evolved through many iterations since [...]

The post British Army Medium Weight Capability appeared first on Think Defence.



The Story of the British Army’s Medium Weight Capability – Crowdsourcing

The last of the long form content articles on Think Defence to get a makeover is the story of ‘Scimitar to FRES to Ajax’ Have decided to broaden the scope to the struggle of the British Army to deliver a medium weight capability, normally, I would just get on with researching and writing, and publish [...]

The post The Story of the British Army’s Medium Weight Capability – Crowdsourcing appeared first on Think Defence.



Defence Studies Talk Series

Thought I would use Think Defence for something useful for once, not just indulging in my bridge and container fetish. Paul Barnes is a serving Warrant Officer in the British Army, highly educated, and one of the few serving soldiers I know that writes on his own blog. Paul has been on a quest to [...]

The post Defence Studies Talk Series appeared first on Think Defence.


 
Defense Update News Feed

Israeli Drone Dome Answers Britain’s Urgent Need to Counter Drones

The United Kingdom has ordered six Drone Dome from Israel's RAFAEL company under an Urgent Capability Requirement (UCR) program, providing quick reaction counter-unmanned aircraft systems (C-UAS) capability. The first phase of the deal is worth US$20 million and will be delivered this year.

The post Israeli Drone Dome Answers Britain’s Urgent Need to Counter Drones appeared first on Defense Update:.



Russia Unveils a new Cannon for the Armata T-15 AIFV

The T-15 and T-14 Armata family tanks and heavy APC are also on display at Army Forum 2018. According to UVZ, the new vehicles will be accessible to all visitors for the first time. Previously displayed with the 30mm turret, the T-15 was shown here for the first time with a 57mm cannon and two […]

The post Russia Unveils a new Cannon for the Armata T-15 AIFV appeared first on Defense Update:.



Super Hornets to Gain Counter-Stealth Capability with New IRST Sensor

The IRST will enable the Navy fighters to target adversaries beyond visual and radar range, and enhance survivability in radar denied environment, operate against existing and emerging air threats.

The post Super Hornets to Gain Counter-Stealth Capability with New IRST Sensor appeared first on Defense Update:.



China Conducts First Successful Flight of a Hypersonic Waverider Air Vehicle

China has successfully tested a hypersonic waverider air vehicle for the first time. The vehicle flew and maneuvered at a speed of Mach 6. The Xingkong-2 waverider type vehicle was launched on a missile and after separation from the rocket launcher the Xingkong-2 (Sky Star) accelerated to the hypersonic speed and performed several maneuvers before […]

The post China Conducts First Successful Flight of a Hypersonic Waverider Air Vehicle appeared first on Defense Update:.



Russian Giant Helicopter Prepares for Maiden Flight

As a modernized version it will bring earlier models to the T2 standard. The Mi-26 is operated by a crew of five but the improvements introduced by the BREO-26 avionics suite enables most missions to reduce the to crew to 2-3 persons.

The post Russian Giant Helicopter Prepares for Maiden Flight appeared first on Defense Update:.


 
Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) Military Vehicles News Feed
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Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) Military Aircraft News Feed
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From Flickr

SADF Varkpan

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

SADF Varkpan

South African Defence Force (SADF) fine dining utensil number one. An SADF "varkpan" (pig pan) from my two years National Service in 1979-1981. This one came back from 7 SA Infantry Battalion (7 SAI) at Bourke's Luck. Found in the back of a cupboard at my mom's place in Pretoria, SA on Sunday, October 16, 2016.



SADF Varkpan

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

SADF Varkpan

South African Defence Force (SADF) fine dining utensil number one. An SADF "varkpan" (pig pan) from my two years National Service in 1979-1981. This one came back from 7 SA Infantry Battalion (7 SAI) at Bourke's Luck. Found in the back of a cupboard at my mom's place in Pretoria, SA on Sunday, October 16, 2016.



War Comics

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

War Comics

Karl and I spotted these 70's war comics at an antique emporium this lunch time :-) "War comics" like these introduced my generation to foreign phrases for the first time: Banzai Nippon! Achtung Spitfeuer! Gott In Himmel! Teufel! Schweinehund! 😁 Photographed at The Fleetville Vintage Emporium, Hertfordshire, UK, Tuesday, August 23, 2016.



War Comics

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

War Comics

Karl and I spotted these 70's war comics at an antique emporium this lunch time :-) "War comics" like these introduced my generation to foreign phrases for the first time: Banzai Nippon! Achtung Spitfeuer! Gott In Himmel! Teufel! Schweinehund! 😁 Photographed at The Fleetville Vintage Emporium, Hertfordshire, UK, Tuesday, August 23, 2016.



1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Jackal - Unsent (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Jackal - Unsent (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980 Radio 5 - Stand At Ease Postcard - Unsent - Front (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980 Radio 5 - Stand At Ease Postcard - Unsent - Front (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Steenbuck - Unsent (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Steenbuck - Unsent (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Lioness - Unsent (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Lioness - Unsent (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980 Southern Cross Fund Postcard - Front (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980 Southern Cross Fund Postcard - Front (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Owl - 7 SAI ML Pautz - Front (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980-06-18 SWA Postcard Owl - 7 SAI ML Pautz - Front (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1980 Southern Cross Fund Postcard - Back (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1980 Southern Cross Fund Postcard - Back (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1981 Kronenbrau 1308 Label SADF (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1981 Kronenbrau 1308 Label SADF (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1981 SADF 81mm Mortar Sticker (1200)

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1981 SADF 81mm Mortar Sticker (1200)

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1981 Kronenbrau 1308 Label SADF

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1981 Kronenbrau 1308 Label SADF

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



1981 SADF 81mm Mortar Sticker

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

1981 SADF 81mm Mortar Sticker

On October 30, 2013, I found a small cardboard box amid a stack of larger boxes that put into storage in the basement of my mother’s home in Pretoria, South Africa, about three decades ago. When I pack stuff away, I usually record what's in the box by writing an inventory list on the outside. This one had nothing written on it, so I decided to take it upstairs to investigate. Back in my former bedroom, I opened the box up and found it to contain all manner of military ephemera from my two years compulsory national service in the South African Defence Force (July 1979 - July 1981). A menacing little time capsule from the worst years of my life.

The sticker from box of three 81mm mortars and the label from a bottle of Louis Luyt's "Kronenbräu 1308" beer. They stopped producing the latter in the early 80's.



Viva Umkhonto!

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa's capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch - I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The - "The Beat(en) Generation" - YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We're being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you've nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won't the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you'd like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I've found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©



Throw Well, Throw Shell

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

Throw Well, Throw Shell

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa's capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch - I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The - "The Beat(en) Generation" - YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We're being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you've nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won't the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you'd like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I've found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©



Viva Umkhonto!

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa's capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch - I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The - "The Beat(en) Generation" - YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We're being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you've nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won't the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you'd like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I've found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©



Viva Umkhonto!

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa's capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch - I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The - "The Beat(en) Generation" - YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We're being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you've nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won't the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you'd like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I've found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©



Viva Umkhonto!

anjin-san has added a photo to the pool:

Viva Umkhonto!

The Beaten Generation

During the course of 2015 I recommissioned my 21st birthday present from my father – a Micro Seiki MB-14ST that I brought over to the UK from my mom’s place in South Africa. I’ve also been slowly bringing over my collection of vinyl albums, meticulously selected and acquired, and lovingly cared for between the early-70’s and the late-80’s. They’ve also been stashed away at my mom’s place, protected from the elements in plastic sleeves and stored in bespoke cases holding about 50 albums apiece. Over the course of the past few months I’ve been playing some of the gems in my collection, and it’s been very rewarding to reconnect with my past. Both the good and the “interesting”.

On one of our trips to Europe in the late-80’s my future wife and I made our regular pilgrimage to the music stores, including WOM (World of Music) in Germany. It was here (in which city, I don’t recall) that I bought the LP "Viva Umkhonto!" a compilation of punk and hardcore music that featured previously unreleased material by European and US bands. The record was released in April 1987 as a collaborative effort by two independent labels, namely Mordam Records (USA) and De Konkurrent (Holland), both of whom were strong backers of the struggle against Apartheid. According to a statement on the back of the sleeve, “All money raised by this record goes to Umkhonto We Sizwe. So this was a benefit album for the military wing of the ANC (African National Congress).

For context, allow me to turn to Wikipedia:

Umkhonto We Sizwe (abbreviated as MK, Zulu for "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its founding represented the conviction in the face of the massacre that the ANC could no longer limit itself to nonviolent protest; its mission was to fight against the South African government. After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, MK launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned”.

The album itself was definitely banned in South Africa and so possessing it was illegal. I took it into the country through Jan Smuts Airport (subsequently known as “Johannesburg International” and now, “O.R. Tambo International”) on my return from my trip to Europe and kept it safely tucked away in the belly of the beast in South Africa's capital city, Pretoria.

On the tenth anniversary of the Soweto uprising, the Nationalist regime declared State of Emergency in June 1986. It forbade any action that could undermine the Apartheid state, nationwide. Also forbidden were any kind of “subversive statements”, defined as statements that promoted unlawful strikes, boycotts or civil disobedience, attacked military conscription, promoted disinvestment or sanctions, or that “aggravated feelings of racial hostility”. The penalty for engaging in these actions was a maximum of ten years imprisonment. Ouch - I definitely did not want to be caught with this album!

Of the people detained under these draconian regulations (circa-8,000 in the first couple of months) no names were published with the exception of those released at the discretion of the South African Police. Throughout the State of Emergency, newspapers had to engage in self-censorship, at the risk of being closed down by the government, and many used to print disclaimers alongside their articles that read” “This report has been restricted to comply with the Emergency Regulations”. Some newspapers and magazines were not able to appear, and no news came out of the black townships, except through the state’s Bureau of Information. At the time I stuck stickers on the front of my television screen and computer monitor that read “SABC News is Biased” just to remind myself to be vigilant about government disinformation.

The music on the compilation album is okay, but it’s the packaging and presentation that I really enjoyed as a snapshot of the times, and as an interesting piece of social history. Along with the record were included a poster and a booklet filled with newspaper clippings and ANC propaganda about the armed struggle against Apartheid. It also highlights companies that were breaking economic sanctions by continuing to do business with South Africa. The “Throw Well – Throw Shell” slogan is parody of oil the giant’s official marketing tag-line at the time, namely Go Well – Go Shell. I have uploaded a scan of this booklet to my DropBox.

I’m not going to comment on the accuracy or veracity of the information in the booklet, but in those turbulent times – under a state of emergency, with broad media censorship and where owning certain music could earn you a jail sentence – it was thrilling to see what people abroad were thinking and to read material that was not towing the official National Party line. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s fascinating to see how right Matt Johnson was back in 1989 (The TheMind Bomb). Although he wasn’t talking about South Africa, per se, when he sang that we were the “beaten generation, reared on a diet of prejudice and misinformation”, he pretty much hit the nail on the head. Prejudice and misinformation were weapons in the arsenal on both sides of the struggle in South Africa. I was one of the few pale South Africans to have the privilege of being exposed to both sides of that deformed coin.

The The - "The Beat(en) Generation" - YouTube Video Clip

When you cast your eyes upon the skylines
Of this once proud nation
Can you sense the fear and the hatred
Growing in the hearts of its population
And our youth, oh youth, are being seduced
By the greedy hands of politics and half truths

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

We're being sedated by the gasoline fumes
And hypnotized by the satellites
Into believing what is good and what is right
You may be worshiping the temples of mammon
Or lost in the prisons of religion
But can you still walk back to happiness
When you've nowhere left to run?

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

And if they send in the special police
To deliver us from liberty and keep us from peace
Then won't the words sit ill upon their tongues
When they tell us justice is being done
And that freedom lives in the barrels of a warm gun

The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Reared on a diet of prejudice and mis-information
The beaten generation, the beaten generation
Open your eyes, open your imagination

If you'd like to take a listen to "Viva Umkhonto!" I've found a ripped copy of the LP available for download here.

Also take a look at my Blogger posting.

Cheers, 2016 ©


 
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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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