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Ex alto vincimus - We conquer from Above,
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This review is from: 19 with a Bullet: A South African Paratrooper in Angola (Paperback)
What an interesting life this man had and such a well compiled set of memories.
Korff allows for the whole experience, telling of his early days in a detailed, yet never boring way which introduces a reader to the main character in this life story and grows with him.
The description of Parabat selection is superb, giving a real sense of just how tough the selection course was, what it meant to pass and similarly how Korff dealt with failure (in special forces selection)
The active service section takes up the majority of the book, detailing campaigns from the late 70's and early 80's in Namibia and Angola. The combat described is fluid and sharp, as it probably was fighting in the African bush, with short and sharp engagements beginning and ending quickly. You get a real sense of what it was like as a townie facing his first campaign out in the Bush, especially in the earlier battles.
Similarly, one grows to know and like the other major characters in Korff's platoon and see them mature with him, to the point where one may feel bereft at their loss during combat, as the author no doubt was.
There is also a great deal of background explanation to the purpose and reason behind the campaigns that the SADF were fighting at the time, which means the reader with little knowledge of the Bush Wars never gets very lost.
I recommend this book as an excellent coming of age true story, to those interested in the military and those who want to know more about the Bush Wars. This book addresses each aspect and provides plenty of laughs, knowledge and loss for a reader from any of those angles.