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South African Forces
South African Forces

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Brief Description

1 Light Horse Regiment
The Light Horse Regiment (LHR) was Formerly the Imperial Light Horse, the regiment was raised on the authority of the War Office (London) on September 21, 1899 from Uitlander refugees in Natal, a long history brought with it With the institution of the Republic and the break from the Commonwealth the name was to the Light Horse Regiment. Its official establishment date is given as 12 Dec 1902. In 1975 the Regiment was split into 1 LHR and 2 LHR, 1 LHR is here depicted.

1 Special Service Battalion
The Special Service Battalion (SSB) [Afr: Spesiale Diensbataljon] was established on 1 May 1933 in Roberts Heights (now Thaba Tshwane). In April 1942 the SSBs long and illustrious career with the Armoured Corps started when it was converted to an Armoured Car Regiment. In 1946, Special Service Battalion was resuscitated as a Permanent Force unit and reorganised on a two-battalion basis with the 1st Battalion as an armoured unit and the 2nd Battalion infantry. The former became a training regiment in 1953 (as 1 Special Service Battalion) and was responsible for the training of Armour soldiers, and played a major role in the Angolan/SWA conflict. The 2nd Battalion was renamed the 1 South African Infantry Battalion (1SAI) in 1951.

1 Spesiale Diensbattaljon (SDB)
The Special Service Battalion (SSB) [Afr: Spesiale Diensbataljon] was established on 1 May 1933 in Roberts Heights (now Thaba Tshwane). In April 1942 the SSBs long and illustrious career with the Armoured Corps started when it was converted to an Armoured Car Regiment. In 1946, Special Service Battalion was resuscitated as a Permanent Force unit and reorganised on a two-battalion basis with the 1st Battalion as an armoured unit and the 2nd Battalion infantry. The former became a training regiment in 1953 (as 1 Special Service Battalion) and was responsible for the training of Armour soldiers, and played a major role in the Angolan/SWA conflict. The 2nd Battalion was renamed the 1 South African Infantry Battalion (1SAI) in 1951.

2 Light Horse Regiment
The Light Horse Regiment (LHR) was Formerly the Imperial Light Horse, the regiment was raised on the authority of the War Office (London) on September 21, 1899 from Uitlander refugees in Natal, a long history brought with it With the institution of the Republic and the break from the Commonwealth the name was to the Light Horse Regiment. In 1975 the Regiment was split into 1 LHR and 2 LHR, here depicted. 2LHR formed part of 81 Armoured Brigade from 1974 until 1991

2 Special Service Battalion
2 Special Service Battalion (2 SSB) [Afr: 2 Spesiale Diensbataljon (2 SDB)] was established at Zeerust on 1 October 1973, as a second battalion after 1 Special Service Battalion had been created from the already famous Special Service Battalion, in 1946. The battalion was responsible for the training of Armour soldiers and played a major role in the Angolan/SWA conflict as well as internal operations in the RSA, in support of the police. Several squadrons have taken part in the Border War in Operations such as Savannah, Protea, Daisy, Modular, and Hooper. 2 SSB received the first Rooikat armoured cars in May 1990, and its National Colours on 30 June 1990. In 1992, as part of the reduction of the SA Army after withdrawal from SWA, 2 SSB underwent a change in role when it was transformed from an armoured car regiment to a motorised infantry battalion. Early in 1997, 2 SSB was one of the battalions that had to close down, and it was amalgamated with 10 SAI on 1 April 1997. 2 SSB was closed down on 30 August 1997 after the handing over of the base to 2 SAI.

3 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron
3 Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron was under command GP18 in the 80's Their task was to provide buffel drivers (only the drivers), particularly for the Commando units deployed at that time and during the emergency. (Op Xenon) {Info from Ken Koen]

5 Forward Delivery Squadron
5 Forward Delivery Squadron [Afr: 5 Voorafleweringseskadron] was an armour recovery and replenishment squadron of the South African Armoured Corps, established for a short period by Director Armour. The squadron was responsible for reissuing and moving tanks and heavy armour between bases and operational areas utilising heavy duty flatbed vehicles. It was the forerunner of the Tank Transporter Squadron (TTS) which today is a squadron of 1 SA Tank Regiment (an armour regiment in the SANDF).

1 Regiment President Steyn
Regiment President Steyn (RPS) was established on April 1, 1934, named for Marthinus Theunis Steyn, and raised in the Bloemfontein area. The unit was later converted to an armoured car regiment. In 1975 the regiment converted from armoured cars to tanks and formed part of 82 Mechanized Brigade. Its first active duty as a tank unit was when two squadrons took part in Operation Packer in March 1988

Light Horse Regiment
The Light Horse Regiment (LHR) was Formerly the Imperial Light Horse, the regiment was raised on the authority of the War Office (London) on September 21, 1899 from Uitlander refugees in Natal, a long history brought with it With the institution of the Republic and the break from the Commonwealth the name was to the Light Horse Regiment. Its official establishment date is given as 12 Dec 1902. In 1975 the Regiment was split into 1 LHR and 2 LHR, 1 LHR is here depicted.

Natal Mounted Rifles
The Natal Mounted Rifles (NMR) can trace their origins back to 25 Sep 1862. It became a mechanised unit prior to World War 2 and used Steward and Sherman tanks during WWII. They continued as a balanced and fully combat ready Tank Regiment and saw duty in SWA during the Border War and formed part of 81 Armoured Brigade from 1975 until 1983, then as part of 84 Motorised Brigade from 1983. The Regimental strength was buoyed by the regular intakes of national Servicemen during this period.

Pretoria Highlanders
The Pretoria Highlanders (PH) was founded by Peter Lawrence Goudie on the outbreak of World War II in 1939. They took part in took part in the invasion of Madagascar by SA forces in 1942. In 1946, the PH were converted to artillery and renamed 1 Anti-Tank Regiment (PH). In 1960, the regiment was converted to armour for internal security duties, and reverted to its original name of Pretoria Highlanders.

Pretoria Regiment
The Pretoria Regiment was formed as an infantry battalion on 1 Jul 1913, and converted to armour during World War 2. In the 1960's tank crews were converted to Centurions and Ferrets, eventually to Eland 60 and Eland 90 armoured cars and finally the new Olifant MBT. In December 1987 the Pretoria Regiment sent a squadron of tanks into the battle of Cuito Cuanavale during which they destroyed eight Angolan tanks. The regiment formed part of 81 Armoured Brigade from 1975 until 1991

Prince Alfred's Guard
Prince Alfred's Guard (PAG) was established as the Port Elizabeth Volunteer Rifle Corps in 1856, the title Prince Alfred's Guard (PAG) was unofficially assumed in 1860 and made official in 1874, when the name Prince Alfred's Volunteer Guard (PAVG) was adopted. Its official establishment date is given as 8 Jan 1877. During the 1970s and 1980s the unit took part in counterinsurgency operations using Elands. In 1984 the unit converted to the Olifant main battle tank in 9 SA Div.

Regiment Molopo
Regiment Molopo was raised in 1960 as an armoured car regiment equipped with armoured cars. It took part in the Bush War in South-West Africa and Angola and deployed elements which were combined with Regiment Mooirivier to field an armoured car squadron during Operation Askari in 1983/84, and in 1987, during Operation Moduler, it fielded a full squadron of tanks. It formed part of 81 Armoured Brigade from 1983 until 1991. The regiment was disbanded in 1991 and it memorabilia and colours were transferred to the Pretoria Regiment for safekeeping.

Regiment Mooirivier
Regiment Mooirivier (RMR) is the successor to 2 Anti-Tank Regiment, captured at Matruh in June 1942, shortly after 2 SA Division surrendered at Tobruk. Reconstituted in 1946, the unit was transferred from the artillery to the armour with effect from January 1956. Its official establishment date is given as 1 Jan 1954. Between 1956 and 1959 it was known as Regiment Hendrik Potgieter. This unit served in the 'Border War from 1975 to 1976 and 1983 to 1984.

Regiment Oranjerivier
Regiment Orange River [Afr: Regiment Oranjerivier] (ROR) was founded as Regiment Noordwes-Kaap, S.A.P.K. on September 12, 1952, but this name was changed in the same year to Regiment Hertzog. Its official establishment date is given as 1 Jul 1952. Due to a reorganisation of the Citizen Force the unit was redesignated Regiment Oranjerivier on January 1, 1960. It became the armoured car regiment of 71 Infantry Brigade on November 15, 1974

Regiment President Steyn
Regiment President Steyn (RPS) was established on April 1, 1934, named for Marthinus Theunis Steyn, and raised in the Bloemfontein area. The unit was later converted to an armoured car regiment. In 1975 the regiment converted from armoured cars to tanks and formed part of 82 Mechanized Brigade. Its first active duty as a tank unit was when two squadrons took part in Operation Packer in March 1988

Regiment Vrystaat
Regiment Free State (better known as Regiment Vrystaat) was eventually formed from 2 Regiment President Steyn (RPS) which had been established in 1975 when 1 RPS was converted to tanks and 2 RPS formed with armoured cars. In 2008 the two regiments amalgamated and became a single regiment, Regiment President Steyn, once again

Regiment Windhoek
Regiment Windhoek was established as an armoured car regiment in Windhoek in 1960, after a name change from Regiment South-West Africa (REGT SWA), which had originally been established in 1957 as part of the Union Citizen Force. [It was thought to have originated from 1 SWA Infantry Battalion (1 SWA BN) which had been established in 1939 as an infantry unit as part of the Union Citizen Force, which had mobilised in 1940, served in SA and in North Africa to finally be totally disbanded in 1943. 1 SWA BN was re-established in 1947 as a support unit. Because of this disbandment, Regiment Windhoek could not claim full antecedence to 1939]. In August 1980 Regiment Windhoek became part of the newly formed SWATF and was later renamed to 91 Armoured Car Regiment, forming part of 91 SWA Brigade.

School of Armour
The School of Armour was established on 1 April 1966. With the establishment of the SAAC on 18 October 1946, a requirement for qualified armour instructors also arose. An Armour Training Branch was established in 1946, which, in 1953, amalgamated with the Artillery to establish the School of Artillery and Armour in Potchef-stroom, and finally establishing the School of Armour in 1966 in Bloemfontein.

Sector 10 Armoured Car Squadron
10 Armoured Car Squadron was formed in 1982 by Capt Eddie van Jaarsveld and WO2 JJ Jacobs. It was housed in the Sector 10 HQ compound at first. John Wahl took over from WO2 Jacobs in Dec 82. In 83 the 10 Pantser base was built and subsequently moved in. The unit flash was worn from 84. It had a blue background. The units biggest ops was Operation Askari.

Umvoti Mounted Rifles
The Umvoti Mounted Rifles (UMR) was founded in Greytown on 16 May 1864 (their date), and served in the Zulu War 1879, the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902, Natal Zulu Rebellion 1906, SWA Campaign 1914-1915, and the Western Desert 1941-1943. The UMR did duty on the SWA Border. in 1962 the UMR became an Armoured Car Regiment. During 1984 the UMR was brigaded as the Armoured Car Regt of 84 Motorized Brigade.




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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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