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Askari Storm

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Askari Storm

U.S. Army paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment conduct a training patrol alongside British paratroopers of 2PARA, 16 Air Assault Brigade on Nov. 27, 2018 in Kenya, Africa. The training scenario was part of Operation Askari Storm, a multinational training exercise occurring in Kenya, Africa between U.S., British and other partner-nation forces. The training focuses on increasing the readiness and interoperability of the participating forces while placing them in tough, realistic scenarios against simulated near-peer adversaries.



Soldiers improve tactics with CBRXI

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Soldiers improve tactics with CBRXI

A Soldier with 91st Engineer Battalion,1st Cavalry Division secures a Cat 966H wheel loader after constructing a berm during exercise Combined Resolve XI, Dec. 4 at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany. The Soldiers built fighting positions and berms for CBRXI exercise which gives the U.S. Army’s regionally allocated combat forces in Europe the opportunity to execute a combat training center rotation with a joint, multinational environment demonstrating their integration into U.S. Army Europe operations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. John Onuoha / Released)



Exercise Rock Tundra

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Exercise Rock Tundra

U.S. Army Paratroopers assigned to 54th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 173rd Airborne Brigade, and Slovenian Armed Forces conduct urban breach training as part of Rock Tundra at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia, Dec. 5, 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 Paolo Bovo)



Exercise Rock Tundra

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Exercise Rock Tundra

A U.S. Army Paratrooper, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, engages targets with M240B machine gun during a live-fire exercise as part of Rock Tundra at Pocek Range in Postonja, Slovenia, Dec. 4, 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 Paolo Bovo)



"Cobra" Company, Georgian Armed Forces complete company event

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

"Cobra" Company, Georgian Armed Forces complete company event

A U.S. Soldier assigned to Cobra Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division pulls security during a multinational company combined arms live fire event in support of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program at the Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, Dec. 5, 2018. The GDRP is a joint program in which U.S. Army advises, mentor and train Georgian personnel and commanders in order to improve combat readiness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Hannah Tarkelly, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/ 1st ABCT, 1st CD/Released)



"Cobra" Company, Georgian Armed Forces complete company event

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

"Cobra" Company, Georgian Armed Forces complete company event

U.S. Army Sgt. Sanchez assigned to red platoon, Cobra Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and Georgian soldiers examine the range during a multinational company combined arms live fire event in support of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program at the Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, Dec. 5, 2018. The GDRP is a joint program in which U.S. Army advises, mentor and train Georgian personnel and commanders in order to improve combat readiness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Hannah Tarkelly, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment/ 1st ABCT, 1st CD/Released)



Spartan Training

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Spartan Training

Soldiers assigned to Task Force Raider take part in a Polish led Spartan Training at Bemowo Piskie, Poland Dec 4. The ability be on the cutting edge is significantly tied to how well nations share with each other what they are experiencing and learning.

Photo by Sgt. Arturo Guzman



Marne Week

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Marne Week

Maj. Gen. Leopoldo Quintas, commanding general of 3rd Infantry Division, finishes the Marne Mudder obstacle course during Marne Week at Fort Stewart, Ga., Dec. 4, 2018. Every year, 3rd ID celebrates Marne Week in order to recognize the achievements of the Dogface leaders, Soldiers and Families. This year, the Marne Division celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Marne-the historic World War 1 battle where the division adopted their moniker of the “The Rock of the Marne.’ (U.S. Army photo by Pfc. Devron Bost / released)



1st Special Forces Soldiers Compete in Menton Week Team Events

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

1st Special Forces Soldiers Compete in Menton Week Team Events

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington- A Soldier, with the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), competes in a stress fire shooting event Dec. 4, during the Menton Week team competition. The 1st SFG(A) and the Canadian Special Operations Regiment celebrate their on-going legacy as premier special operation professionals during the first week of December, and to commemorate the deactivation of the First Special Service Force. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Amanda Baker)



Smoke Cover

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Smoke Cover

U.S. Army Sgt. Donald Fadel, an infantryman assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division conducts a multi-national platoon live fire qualification in support of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program, an enduring training exercise between U.S. and Georgian forces at the Vaziani Training Area in Georgia, Nov. 25, 2018. The 2-8 CAV and Georgian Armed Forces worked together as a cohesive unit to qualify each platoon in preparation for the company combined arms live fire evaluation.

U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Hannah Tarkelly



Spartan Training

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Spartan Training

Soldiers assigned to Task Force Raider take part in a Polish led Spartan Training at Bemowo Piskie, Poland Dec 4. The ability be on the cutting edge is significantly tied to how well nations share with each other what they are experiencing and learning.



Georgia Defense Readiness Program

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Georgia Defense Readiness Program

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and Georgian Armed Forces conducted a multi-national platoon live fire qualification in support of the Georgia Defense Readiness Program, an enduring training exercise between U.S. and Georgian forces, Nov. 24-26, 2018.

Photo By Spc. Hannah Tarkelly



Giant Leap!

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Giant Leap!

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Levi McGowan, assigned to Bravo Company, 299 Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, jumps to reach the end of an obstacle during the Best Sapper Competition, Fort Carson, Colo., Nov. 29, 2018. This year’s competition includes nine two-person teams from units across Fort Carson. The top three teams will go on to compete in the Army-wide Best Sapper Competition in April 2019 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Asa Bingham



Re-enlistment in the Sky

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Re-enlistment in the Sky

U.S. Army Col. Darrell Doremus re-enlists Staff Sgt. Marqui Brown aboard a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in flight, Nov. 15, 2018.

U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Keegan Costello



1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) Receives Training in Operating in Subterranean

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (LI) Receives Training in Operating in Subterranean

Capt. De Lao, 1st Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division guards the corner of a hallway in a mock chemical environment during subterranean environment training at the platoon level at the Combined Arms Collective Training Facility (CAC-TF), Fort Drum, N.Y., Nov 15, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by SSG James Avery, 1BCT10MTN Public Affairs)



U.S. and British Paratroopers conduct Live Fire training in Kenya

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

U.S. and British Paratroopers conduct Live Fire training in Kenya

Paratroopers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division provide emergency medical care to a simulated casualty during a live-fire exercise alongside British paratroopers from 2 PARA. 16 Air Assault Brigade on November 16, 2018 in Kenya Africa as part of Operation Askari Storm. Askari Storm is an international partner training operation occurring in Kenya, Africa between elements of the U.S.’ 82nd Airborne Division and the British 16 Air Assault Brigade designed to improve the readiness and interoperability of the participating forces as they conduct live-fire scenarios and exchange best tactical and maneuver practices.



Securing a LZ in Afghanistan

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

Securing a LZ in Afghanistan

Afghanistan (November 21, 2018) - Raide rBrigade Troopers from 2nd Squadron, 1st Calvary Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division secure a landing zone for a CH-47 Chinook during combat operations. (U.S. Army by 1st Lt. Jesse Glenn)



2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

2018 U.S. China Disaster Management Exchange

U.S. Army and PRC PLA Soldiers work together to move debris during the practical field exchange of the 2018 Disaster Management Exchange, 13-18 Nov. in Nanjing, China. The DME is an annual USARPAC and PLA disaster risk reduction event, which underscores the commitment of both U.S. and the PRC to address Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief challenges across the region. The 2018 DME focused on an international disaster relief scenario following a hypothetical devasting earthquake in a third country. (U.S. Army Photo by SPC Geordan Tyquiengco)



'3 Geronimo' paratroopers hone their skills at night

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

'3 Geronimo' paratroopers hone their skills at night

After donning gas masks, U.S. Army paratroopers assigned to Dog Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, U.S. Army Alaska, engage a target with a M2A1 machine gun during mounted night live-fire training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, Nov. 16, 2018. During the training, the Soldiers engaged - from a mounted platform at night - multiple targets at varying distances with M240B and M2A1 machine guns to hone their mounted marksmanship skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Peña)



149th Chemical Company runs decontamination line in Paradise, CA

The U.S. Army posted a photo:

149th Chemical Company runs decontamination line in Paradise, CA

A Soldier with the 149th Chemical Company operates the soap and water functions at the decontamination site November 16 in Paradise, CA.


 
Think Defence UK Defence Issues

The British Army – Transformation in an Age of Complexity

I know, more retirements than Sinatra, as I might have mentioned, decided to keep the current site as is but do the odd long form post, maybe three or four per year. This is a lead in to a number of subsequent posts on British Army transformation https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/the-british-army-transformation-in-an-age-of-complexity/ Comments in the second part please

The post The British Army – Transformation in an Age of Complexity appeared first on Think Defence.



NEW LONG READ – Multi Role Vehicle Protected (MRV-P)

So I know I said I was packing TD in, but I couldn’t resist coming back for a new Long Read, and I still might do the occasional one going forward. This is a look at the Multi Role Vehicle – Protected, defined as A Cat A project intended to meet the requirement for a protected [...]

The post NEW LONG READ – Multi Role Vehicle Protected (MRV-P) appeared first on Think Defence.



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.


 
Defense Update News Feed

Ukraine Prepares Armed UGVs for a Future Robot War

In response to the hybrid warfare with the Russian Republic, industries across Ukraine were called to improve the warfighting capabilities of the Army by improving existing hardware and producing innovative concepts that could meet the current and future hybrid challenge. Remotely operated systems and capabilities were high on the agenda, with several remotely controlled weapon stations, turrets, and robotic ground vehicles.

The post Ukraine Prepares Armed UGVs for a Future Robot War appeared first on Defense Update:.



Autonomous Tracked ATVs Roam the UAE Desert

Sand-X Motors has launched an unmanned version of its Tracked All-Terrain Vehicle (T-ATV 1200).

The post Autonomous Tracked ATVs Roam the UAE Desert appeared first on Defense Update:.



Robotized T-72s in Russia?

The Russian Ministry of Defense plans an evaluation of an innovative robotic tank formation concept that will enhance the operational capabilities of mechanized formations in urban areas. The ‘Storm’ concept will employ a robotized T-72B3 tank in at least five configurations, to create a semi-autonomous ‘robotic vanguard’, coordinated and controlled by human operators from few kilometers away.

The post Robotized T-72s in Russia? appeared first on Defense Update:.



Mission Master Multi-Mission UGV – Rheinmetall

Rheinmetall Mission Master UGV (MMUGV) uses the 8x8 Avenger manufactured by Argo of Canada as a wheeled platform, designed to support troops on dismounted operations, providing logistic transport, surveillance, protection, medical evacuation, fire suppression, CBRN detection, and communication relay.

The post Mission Master Multi-Mission UGV – Rheinmetall appeared first on Defense Update:.



Ironclad UGV – BAE Systems

BAE Systems’ Ironclad UGV was unveiled at DSEI 2017. This tracked robot is designed to be small enough to negotiate tight urban environments and maintains the mobility needed for cross-country operation. It can be carried on a trailer or pickup truck or join other vehicles in a convoy.

The post Ironclad UGV – BAE Systems 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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