Masters Degrees (Military History)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 9
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    The human transformation of the South African Navy between 1957 and 1993
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2023-03) Steyn, Leon; Van der Waag, Ian; Monama, Fankie; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies: Military History.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African Naval Forces became a permanent arm of the Union Defence Force (UDF) after the Second World War – on 1 April 1946 – and was named the South African Navy from 1 January 1951. Like other military forces of this period, the Navy remained a typical male-dominated organisation for the first decades of its existence. Furthermore, in South Africa, the policy of the National Party government, which came to power in 1948, shaped the permanent force component of the UDF as a White male Afrikaner dominated organisation. Two world wars were however notable deviations in this pattern. In order to solve its dire need for more manpower, African, Coloured and Asian men were recruited to serve in the UDF during both World Wars. Their contribution was significant – during the Second World War alone, 36% of whole-time volunteers were non-White. Gender restrictions were also relaxed as more than 21 000 women were recruited to serve in the UDF during the 1939-45 conflict. Their utilisation was mostly in auxiliary capacity, but their service in uniform nevertheless left an important, post-war, military legacy. The constant need for more “manpower” by the military, in a country that was racially segregated, was at the heart of this dichotomy. “Non-White” soldiers and women were needed by the military during times of conflict; yet were not considered for similar employment during the periods of peace in the inter- and post-war years. The nationalist military build-up of the SADF, which included the rapid expansion of the SA Navy from the late 1950s, again forced the defence authorities to consider suitable alternatives in order to meet the growing demand for manpower. They looked to the marginalised groups who had served, albeit in small numbers, during the world wars. The first group of Coloured soldiers was recruited for the South African Army from 1963 and for the Navy from 1965. Women were recruited for the Permanent Force from 1972 while Indian male recruits first joined in 1974. African men were mostly utilised in the Auxiliary Services of the SADF, but also employment with the SA Army in a permanent capacity from 1975. The first purposeful recruitment of Africans for the Navy however only followed in the early 1990s. This thesis aims to provide a better understanding of these human transformational events that unfolded – in a staged pattern – in the South African Navy amidst and as a result of the changing South African political and strategic landscape between 1957 and 1993. It is as much a history of the South African Navy as it is of the people that served the organisation during this time – and more widely of the political and socio-economic condition of South Africa itself. Previous historical studies on the Navy focussed exclusively on its development as an organisation, its equipment (ships) and naval operations. The Navy’s social history, especially as it relates to the groups under discussion, has been grossly neglected. This thesis therefore examines the enlistment of Coloureds, Indians, women and Africans into the South African Navy and their experience of military service during the period 1957 to 1993. This was a critical time in the history of country, witnessing the rise of the apartheid state and beefing up of the SADF. It investigates the events and circumstances that initiated the decision to recruit and integrate formerly marginalised sectors of the population into the Navy from the mid-1960s and the mid-1970s respectively and using prosopography to analyse their career progression by the early-1990s. The reintroduction of women to the Navy in 1972 and their particular utilisation and specific challenges to integrate into the organisation with emphasis on gender in the military; and the relative late recruitment of Africans to the Navy during the early 1990s, in contrast to the recruitment and appointment of Africans in the Army during the early 1970s comprise the various aspects investigated. The measure and nature of integration and how de-segregation was implemented on board ships and ashore are also examined. This allows a more nuanced understanding of the mutually reciprocal impacts that these appointments had on the service personnel and the organisation as a whole.
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    Challenges experienced by the female senior officers in the SANDF in Gauteng
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Choabi, Motshidisi Martha Salome; Makau, K.L.; Monama, F.L.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies. Military history. Dept. of Military Strategy.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The centrality of national law and policy making is considered essential in the restructuring of the military environment. These essential tools assess the extent to which transformation, leadership and equality policies and legislative measures substantively change the climate and culture of the military institution. To keep track on the restructuring of the military environment, it is necessary to map out some of the everyday struggles which may often be marginalised by an overemphasis by national and institutional policymakers for change. A qualitative research approach combined with an explorative, descriptive research design was employed to investigate and describe the phenomenon under study, namely the challenges experienced by senior female officers in the SANDF. Seventeen female senior officers of different Arms of Service (Colonels and Captains) were randomly chosen from a pool of 124 in Gauteng to participate in the study. The reason for sampling seventeen female senior officers is because they were the ones that responded positively to the recruiting emails that were sent out inviting female senior officers to partake in the study. Data was gathered by means of a semi-structured interview schedule which was administered during the individual interviews. The method of interviewing used was face-to-face which later changed to telephonic interviews because of the lockdown resulting from COVID 19. All interviews were transcribed, and the narratives were analysed on two levels. During the first level of analysis, themes were identified and preliminary labelling of meaningful units of data was done. These themes were then labelled to be given meaning so that they could form 27 coding categories. This was followed by a second level of analysis where the coding categories were further refined and reduced to seven pattern categories that were labelled and analysed using the PESTEL-S framework that served as a guide to threats and weaknesses from the narratives of participants to guide the organisation towards success. These categories represent the essential aspects on challenges, sources and causes of female senior officers’ challenges in the SANDF. Key findings of the study centred on the issue that 27 years in democracy the SANDF is still struggling with transformation, hence the cited challenges still experienced by female senior officers in different areas in the military environment. What stood out as overarching challenges were lack of support from leadership and lack of institutional/environmental support that eventually resulted in insufficient psycho-social support experienced by female senior officers. All is good and well on paper, but implementation seems to be hindered by passive resistance from the male counterparts in the organisation. According to MTT Report (2020), Sadie (2014), Richardson (2019) and the MTT Report (2020) concerted effort has to be put on institutions and the government to counter this passive resistance and get the transformation policies implemented in order to curb challenges females are confronted with. This includes passive lack of institutional /organisational support, lack of psycho-social support and lack of women empowerment. In the light of the findings, it is recommended that leadership socio-cognitive defences be addressed so that leadership can understand when women say “nothing for us without us”. This persuasive rhetoric echoes the sentiments of women for the leadership to understand the need to include women when making decisions on matters that affect women.
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    The influence of Second World War military service on prominent White South African veterans in opposition politics, 1939–1961
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-03) Plint, Graeme Wesley; Delport, Anri; Van der Waag, Ian; Stellenbosch University. School for Security and Africa Studies. Dept. of Military History.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The nexus between military service and political activism is explored in this thesis. The lives of 153 politically-exposed Second World War veterans are examined. Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘Capital’ and ‘Habitus’ are used to examine the ways in which the war shaped the political views of the servicemen as well as the ways in which the ex-servicemen could leverage their war service to further their post-war political careers. An examination of the fault lines of class and culture, in pre-war, White SouthAfrica, provided crucial insight into the initial habitus and motivation of the volunteer soldier. War-time military service drew together volunteers from every part of South Africa and from each strata of the White community. This provided a common platform to develop shared notions of a common ‘South Africanism’. This shared comradery facilitated their later mobilisation against the National Party (NP) after 1948.The ex-servicemen, having fought German and Italian forces on several warfronts, had been exposed to the dangers of totalitarianism. As a result, some returned with an embedded intolerance of authoritarianism and, after the war, the Springbok Legion (SL)acted as a clarion call against rising racial intolerance in South Africa. The more affluentex-servicemen, often in line with family tradition, joined the established United Party (UP). However, the widely unexpected defeat of the UP in 1948 by the NP triggered the ex-servicemen’s entry into politics. After the NP’s victory in 1948, a cohort of increasingly-politicised ex-servicemen used the NP’s wartime dalliance with fascism to mobilise ex-servicemen en masse as the Torch Commando (the Torch). The Torch Commando brought together ex-servicemen, active in parliamentary and extra-parliamentary politics, as a front against the NP in the 1953 elections. However, the UP’s defeat in the 1953 elections soon exposed the fault lines, particularly in terms of the ex-servicemen in parliamentary politics. The subsequent implosion of the Torch Commando led to the emergence of the Union Federal Party (UFP), and Liberal Party (LPSA) after the 1953 elections, which marked the end of the ex-serviceman identity as a coherent political identity and revealed an array of diverse political views amongst voting Second World War veterans. Tensions between the conservative and more progressive and liberal ex-servicemen in the UP led to the formation of the Progressive Party (PP) in 1959. Finally, increased government repression led to the detention of the more radical ex-servicemen in 1956 and 1960. Their subsequent involvement in the formation of armed formations in the form of the African Resistance Movement and Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) provides continuity between the war against fascism and the armed struggle against apartheid.
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    Exploring management practices of water resources and infrastructure at local government level as a threat to water security in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2020-12) Botha, Johannes Hendrikus; Liebenberg, J. C. R.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies: Military History.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Water resources management at local government level were explored as a threat to South Africa's national security. This study made use of a qualitative descriptive approach and an extensive literature review. The background to the current state of water affairs in South Africa and the management of water resources are discussed. The local government was chosen as the unit of analysis, as it serves the people in their communities. A theoretical and conceptual descriptive research approach was used and supported by accessible literature to create a connection between management theory and the current state of water management in South Africa. It is proposed that South Africa should make every effort to identify and address all water-related challenges that may contribute to water insecurity. Public entities are the backbone of the country’s water sector, spanning from catchment management agencies to municipal water service providers. They guarantee that there is water in the taps and that wastewater is treated. All businesses and all households use water and dispose of water; therefore water is everyone's business. South Africa’s rivers and streams are polluted every day, seemingly without any consequence management. The evidence shows that there is a loss of strategic direction and a struggle, if not some confusion, at local government level to get the fundamentals right. The basics need to be in place in business so that there is a sound basis from which to build and move forward. The same principle must apply to water management. Under normal circumstances, evidence shows that municipalities are unable to deal with even basic services such as clean water and sanitation, maintenance and repair of existing infrastructure. It is doubtful that local government will be able to deal with these challenges under extraordinary circumstances when extreme events such as droughts and floods take place as a consequence of climate change. Service delivery records indicate that local government is not rendering effective and efficient municipal services to all people. Some municipalities are entirely dysfunctional. In an attempt to identify poor management practices at local government as a threat to water security, it became evident that in cases where municipalities fail to render safe drinking water and dispose of wastewater responsibly, those municipalities are in breach of Section 24 of the Bill of Rights. Inappropriate and cavalier management practices deny South Africans a prosperous and secure future, as water is the cornerstone to the country’s future. Food security and water security are linked, and like a set of dominos that falls due to poor management practices, without water security, national security can come under threat.
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    A cold relationship: United States foreign policy towards South Africa, 1960 – 1990
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2016-12) Barnard, Tjaart; Liebenberg, J. C. R.; Van der Waag, I. J.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Military Science. School for Security and Africa Studies: Military History.
    ENGLISH SUMMARY: The diplomatic relations between the United States (USA) and South Africa (SA) had its birth in 1799 with the establishing of a consulate in Cape Town. Over the next two centuries the political dealings between the two countries were at times limited to almost merely acknowledgement of the other’s existence, while at other times there was very close cooperation on almost all levels of state. Diplomatic ties were strengthened during the Second World War, the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War when Americans and South Africans shared the same dugouts, flew in the same air missions, and opposed the same enemy on both the tactical as well as ideological fronts. During the Cold War, SA aligned itself with the Western world in the hope of being seen as staunchly anti-communist in order to fit in with the Cold War rhetoric of the West. Washington was delighted to have an ally in Southern Africa who would ensure, or so Washington hoped, that communism did not get a foothold in this strategically placed part of the globe. Unfortunately for the USA, South Africa’s apartheid policies went against everything that the USA proclaimed to stand for – freedom and democracy. The USA eventually found itself in a precarious position of having to choose between its own national interest and moral obligations. From 1960-1990 the USA-SA relationship oscillated as various personalities (presidents, politicians etc) and world events (e.g. Sharpeville massacre, Vietnam War, Watergate etc) impacted on it to various degrees. The USA-SA alliance consisted of political, economic and military relations (including nuclear weapons technology) which at times had to be clandestine in order for the USA to not lose its international prestige as leader of the free world. With SA however forging ahead with its policies of segregation and destabilisation the USA had to increasingly act under a cloak of plausible deniability in all spheres of its relationship with SA. The Soviet Union (USSR) and its allies (mainly Cuba) conducted military operations in Southern Africa and provided training to African liberation movements with the intention of helping them to achieve freedom from the apartheid regime or to protect themselves from Pretoria’s aggression, as was the case with Angola. Soviet support for the liberation movements in SA and the rest of Southern Africa was a mutual concern for both SA and the USA. Consequently the USA supported South African adventurism into its neighbouring countries under the auspices of preventing the communist forces from achieving world domination. By the end of the Cold War, the USA could no longer turn a blind eye to SA’s occupation of Namibia or the incursions into Angola. With assistance from the USA and other Western allies Pretoria was able to, in the greatest of secrecy and to the amazement of the world, built several nuclear weapons. SA’s nuclear programme never really reached a level where it could threaten the larger nuclear powers but it was troublesome enough to move the USA to action. By means of coercion and diplomatic pressure the USA managed to convince Pretoria to abandon its quest for a nuclear arsenal.