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Greetings everybody,

Recently, I've stumbled across something called the 1 SWA (Southwest Africa) Infantry Battalion. This was a unit of the South African Union Defence Force during the second world war. Does anybody have any information on this unit?

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Where did you get the Info from? It is not a SA unit that would have served overseas, at best a local defense unit. As such I think only an Africa Defense medal for the members? I assume policing details with South Africans sent to SWA as much of the local population would have had German Sympathies?

Here you go!

Die Proclamation No 234 of 1939 der Südafrikanischen Union stellte Südwestafrika unter die Bestimmungen des Defence Act of 1912. Auf Grundlage der Verordnung entstand im November 1939 das SWA Command (deutsch etwa: „Kommando Südwestafrika“) aus Teilen der Bürgerwehr (Citizen Force, Reservisten) und weiteren Militäreinheiten. Am 1. Dezember 1939 wurde das 1 SWA Infantry Battalion (kurz: 1 SWA Inf Bn) mit Hauptquartier in Windhoek errichtet, das zur Union Citizen Force gehörte

So a citizen force unit based in Windhoek! Formed at the outbreak of the war to keep the more sentimental members of the population from doing silly things!

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Greetings Chris.

Thank you for sharing this information with me. However, I do have one last question. Would their uniforms and gear have been any different from the 'regular' Union Defence Force soldiers?

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I am guessing here, but I assume they wore "last years fashion" ...

In South Africa there was a strict division between the men who volunteered to serve overseas, and those who were willing to serve in South Africa.

Those serving in North Africa, Italy would have had the better more modern stuff... I assume the prewar UDF stuff?

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My personal guess would be that they used the most early type of South African P37, which you can see in the picture.

I also came across an image which contained mostly all South African pith helmet flashes during the second world war and earlier. On that image, I saw a white and black helmet flash which was labeled "SWAI", which makes me assume they also used the regular South African pith helmet.

About the uniform itself.. I'm not so sure.


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