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    RECCE: South Africa...

    Chris Boonzaier

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    Just found this.... It will definately be THE book on the subject...

    Recce: A Collector’s Guide to the History of the South African Special Forces - P. Matthysen, M. Kalkwarf & M. Huxtable

    "The quintessential professional - prepared to die for his country, but not trained to … this is the elite 'Recce' soldier"

    This book has been some 15 years in the making and can claim, with some justification, to be the definitive publication on the 'Recces', unlikely to be topped for many, many years. The South African Special Forces have invariably been portrayed as a sinister force, used in covert operations locally and abroad but this is pure political expediency and media propaganda. The unit's operators are shy, humble soldiers, whose primary role is intelligence gathering, although they will take offensive action, ruthlessly, if necessary. Highly trained professionals in class of their own, these elite troops have garnered for themselves an international reputation par excellence. Book includes a comprehensive history and training methods and a plethora of memorabilia, actual-size badges, insignia, collectibles etc.

    The 'Producers'

    Paul Matthysen - Author. An ex-army platoon sergeant in the infantry corps, Paul also trained with the Hunter Group. Being interested in things military from a young age, he became a specialist in the field of insignia and uniforms, especially South African militaria. His speciality is World War II German insignia, for which he has won numerous awards at various exhibitions. Paul lives in Johannesburg and helps out in his daughter's bookshop.

    Matthew Kalkwarf - Co-author, Photography & Research Assistant. A qualified instructor NCO at the Army Gymnasium, Matthew later served with 2 South West African Specialist Unit. He retained his interest in the military after completing his service. His extensive sales experience has equipped him well to assist in this project, where excellent inter-personal skills are vital for research and interviews. His technical intelligence has proved invaluable during this process. Matthew lives in Johannesburg and manages his own company.

    Michael Huxtable - Layout Artist. With a keen interest in the military, Mike served two years' national service in the South African Defence Force Intelligence School during 1988/89. In 2003, he joined the SANDF Reserve Force, serving as Intelligence Officer with the Light Horse Regiment. His dream to publish books on South African military insignia came to fruition after meeting Paul Matthysen. He lives in Johannesburg.

    Softback, 384 pages. Over 1000 colour images, maps.

    Planned Release Date: Nov 2010

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    SA forces are not usually my subject of interest, but I have my order in for a book on Pathfinder Company, 44 Para Bde - "Pathfinder Company - The Phillistines" by Graham Gillmore.......

    Pathfinder Company: 44 Parachute Brigade 'The Philistines' - Graham Gillmore


    Colonel Jan Breytenbach writes in the foreword:

    "On Ascension Day, 1978, a composite South African parachute battalion jumped onto the tactical HQ of SWAPO's PLAN army, based at Cassinga, 250 kilometres north of the Angolan border to destroy the facility, their logistics, and to wipe out a strong concentration of SWAPO guerrillas. The airborne assault, part of Operation Reindeer, was an unqualified success; the whole base was destroyed. 608 PLAN fighters were killed, with many more wounded which pushed the final SWAPO death toll to well over a thousand. We lost only four paratroopers killed in action plus a dozen or so wounded. According to airborne experts in Britain and Australia, this was the most audacious parachute assault since the Second World War; the mounting airfield was well over 1,000 nautical miles away. I was the commander of that airborne assault, which although successful above all expectations, also highlighted many shortcomings, some of which nearly led to a disastrous outcome."

    44 Parachute Brigade was formed later that year, with the need for a specialist Pathfinder Company patently clear. Into the ranks came professional veterans from the UK, USA, Australasia, Rhodesia and elsewhere, from Rhodesian Special Forces units such as the SAS, Selous Scouts and the RLI, during the closing stages of and shortly after the Rhodesian Bush War.Formed by Col. Jan Breytenbach, the Pathfinder Company was organised to to provide an independent unit capable of conducting covert unconventional warfare in the border areas of South-West Africa (modern day Namibia) and Angola.The primary mission of the unit was the selection and operation of drop and landing zones for the remainder of the parachute brigade, and to establish OP's along SWAPO infiltration routes. The information gathered from these activities would then be relayed back to Section 10 headquarters who would deploy troops, such as 32 Battalion, to intercept and bring SWAPO into contact.The Pathfinder Company was disbanded in January 1982. The company never numbered more than 30 members, and given the short period of its existence, it created problems for SWAPO and its allies out of all proportion to its size.

    "This is their book, a collection of stories about the founding and deployment of a unit of 'Foreign Legionnaires', from different parts of the world who became welded together into a remarkable combat unit, unsurpassed by any other South African Defence Force unit in their positive and aggressive approach to battle. For me it was an honour to have faced incoming lead together with them."

    The Author

    Graham Gillmore enjoys country life in the natural beauty of East Anglia and the Fens but was born a Londoner in 1952. An innate fascination with history and all things military inevitably led him to joining the Grenadier Guards, and for six months the Guards Depot drilled into him soldiering skills of the highest standard. Graham left the British Army in 1977 to join the Rhodesian Light Infantry in their war to prevent communist terrorists overthrowing the country. After two years as the signals rep to Support Commando, 1RLI, Graham was promoted to Signals Troop Sergeant, but with the fall of Rhodesia to the Marxists in 1980, he moved to South Africa to continued the anti-terrorist fight with the Pathfinder Company, 44 Parachute Brigade. He returned to England still on crutches after being wounded in Angola and joined the Territorial Army. After a career in VIP security Graham is now a leading member of the Victorian Military Society for whom he runs The Diehard Company, an internationally known and highly regarded re-enactment group. He advises and writes articles on the British Army on Home Service and on campaign during Queen Victoria's reign.

    Softback, 260 x 215mm. 160 pages. 200 colour & b/w photos, maps.

    Dispatching early - mid July.

    NOTE for UK Residents: Steve Crump of '30 Degrees South UK' has invited anyone interested to attend the UK 'Pathfinder Company' book launch being held at the London Club of the Rifles, London - 16/09/10. 18:00hrs for 18:30 start. Guest Speakers - Graham Gillmore (Author) & Lt Col Stuart Tootal DSO, OBE (Former CO 3 PARA). Dress code: Lounge suits. Select 'Book Signing Copy' below. PS - there is no obligation to purchase from us in order to attend the Book Launch event, you can purchase from Steve Crump / 30DS directly.

    Three ordering options:-

    * Normal Copy - dispatch when stock in hand

    * Autographed Copy - dispatching from September 17th onwards

    * Book Signing Copy - Attend / collect at 30 Degrees South UK organised 'Launch Event & Book Signing'. We will pass your details to Steve Crump for the Invite - we will supply your copy there. (No P&P will be added to the order)

    Edited by leigh kitchen
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    • 5 months later...

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