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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate
This book was written by a former regimental sergeant major of 32 battalion, a posting that he achieved at an unusual young age. He served on that unit for a good part of his military career.
Because of that, and because of the enthusiasm with which he describes the accomplishments of his unit and defends it against the defamations made by its foes, I approached the...
Published on 7 Sept. 2010 by Dr Estranhoamor

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
an intresting read if a little hard going, the writer spends a lot of time giving a lot of detail about weaponds/size of rounds/serial numbers on kit etc etc etc - a bit more human interest would be great.
Published on 15 Dec. 2010 by oldbean


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passionate, 7 Sept. 2010
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This review is from: 32 Battalion: The Inside Story of South Africa's Elite Fighting Unit (Paperback)
This book was written by a former regimental sergeant major of 32 battalion, a posting that he achieved at an unusual young age. He served on that unit for a good part of his military career.
Because of that, and because of the enthusiasm with which he describes the accomplishments of his unit and defends it against the defamations made by its foes, I approached the facts in this book with caution.
By I don't think there's real reason for that: first because the author went to great trouble to access confidential documents archived by South Africa's military. And also because if a military unit inspires such fierce loyalty, there must really be something special about it.

The result is, by far, one of the best military history books I ever read.
It combines careful presentation of the facts with exciting narration of military operations. It's enriched with a great amount of line drawings and maps (something I find lacking in almost all military books) that help a lot to understand the dimension of the incursions into Angola.
It's very well structured, starting by describing the context in which the battalion was founded (South Africa's intervention in Angola during the independence process, motivated by the struggle for independence of Namibia), followed by the "portfolio" of the unit (structure, home base, traditions, etc) and then by its "curriculum": the description of the military operations it was involved in.
As appendices you get a glossary of military terms and equipment (very useful for those unfamiliar), Roll of Honour and a list of the Battalion traditional songs.
To top it all a collection of photos taken on Buffalo Base and on military operations.

A great homage that other more prestigious and well-known military units should be envious of.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read, 3 Nov. 2009
By 
M. Hatcher (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 32 Battalion: The Inside Story of South Africa's Elite Fighting Unit (Paperback)
I found this book extremely interesting and in parts, was moved by the courage and determination of these men. Although the author is clearly a soldier and not a writer, the book flows well and will be thoroughly interesting to us military history nerds. A fantastic read.

The only problem I had (which has more to do with my brain capacity than the book) was trying to keep track of all the different factions, their leaders and who was an ally of who. I found writing a short summary of each on a piece of paper useful - I then used that as my bookmark :-)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 15 Dec. 2010
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This review is from: 32 Battalion: The Inside Story of South Africa's Elite Fighting Unit (Paperback)
an intresting read if a little hard going, the writer spends a lot of time giving a lot of detail about weaponds/size of rounds/serial numbers on kit etc etc etc - a bit more human interest would be great.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, 21 Sept. 2011
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I managed to get a third of the way through this book before giving up. I enjoy military history so sections that are dry (and focus on equipment etc, as others have said) aren't what deterred me. The author does mention early on that he contacted other former members of 32 Bn and no-one was willing to contribute and as such the book is a mixture of his own recollections and military records, which is something of a disappointment as I'm sure the book would have benefited from other individuals accounts - this may be why it comes across as so dry in places. But that isn't my real issue with the book. Nor is the slow narrative the real downfall of this book - it's the lack of a fluid writing style and a very disjointed feel due to the way the author has laid out the sections of the book. I can see his logic in the layout but it restricts any sort of narrative and as he goes through the history chronologically several times (whilst focusing on different aspects of the unit) it's difficult to keep track of what is going on.

I might not be doing the book justice by not reading it all the way through but from what I've seen so far even if the content improves the writing style is unlikely to.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As it was, 8 Jan. 2008
By 
Mr. M. R. Moran (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 32 Battalion: The Inside Story of South Africa's Elite Fighting Unit (Paperback)
Well written and interesting book on the period, recommended to those interested in the Wars of Southern Africa.
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