Research Articles (Military History)


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 45
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    Change, organisational culture and the development of the South African Military Academy to 2009
    (AOSIS, 2011-12-31) Visser, Deon; Van Dyk, G. A. J.
    This article investigates the impact of change and organisational culture on the growth and development of the South African Military Academy. It explores the impact of Nationalist Party rule since 1948 and black majority rule since 1994 on the institutional culture of the South African military and how that influenced the development of the Military Academy. This is intertwined with an investigation of the nature and impact of the diverging military and academic subcultures at the Academy. The article contends that, together with the historical exclusion of blacks and women from the military, the marginalisation of white English-speaking citizens by Nationalist Party rule denied the Academy the exploitation of a significant portion of the country’s human resource potential in the interest of institutional development. The same happened with the introduction of racial quotas and the marginalisation of whites since 1994. The Military Academy has, furthermore, historically been too reflective of the organisational culture of the South African National Defence Force and its predecessors instead of informing that culture to meet the challenges of military professionalism. The Academy has a potentially vital educational role to play in the South African and Sub-Saharan African militaries, but requires some changes in its organisational culture to fulfil that mission.
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    Black workers, typhoid fever and the construction of the Berg River : Saldanha military water pipeline, 1942 – 1943
    (AOSIS, 2008-04-11) Visser, Deon; Monama, Fankie
    War creates a huge need for labour to support the war efforts of the belligerent parties. In South Africa tens of thousands of ‘non-white’ workers were mobilised during the Second World War to satisfy the Union Defence Force’s (UDF’s) labour needs at home and abroad. This article, firstly, outlines the role of ‘non-white people’, particularly black Africans, in the UDF with special reference to those employed within the Union of South Africa. Secondly, it briefly delineates typhoid fever as an historical thorn in the flesh of military forces up to the early 20th century. It then looks briefly into the incidence of and perceptions on typhoid fever as a killer disease in South Africa on the eve of the Second World War. Against that background, the article investigates the employment of black workers on the construction of the Berg River-Saldanha Bay military water pipeline and the UDF’s response to the threat and subsequent outbreak of typhoid fever amongst the workers at the Berg River intake site in 1943. The article concludes that the public health authorities and UDF were aware of the threat of typhoid fever with regard to the Berg River water scheme, but did not take sufficient precautionary measures, which could have had serious repercussions for the Allied war effort. This incident should serve as a warning to the South African National Defence Force when deploying on peace support operations on the African continent where typhoid fever remains a serious threat next to Hiv/Aids.
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    Namibiese bosoorlog uit die pen van deurwinterde kryshistorikus
    (AOSIS, 2009-04-04) Visser, Deon
    No abstract available
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    War, aggression and self-defence
    (Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2020) Kleynhans, Andre
    This review is written against the background of the continuing Syrian conflict, and specifically Operation Peace Spring, the Turkish military intervention in northern Syria ostensibly aimed at creating a safe zone there for the resettlement of Syrian refugees present on Turkish territory. In terms of international law, the legality of this Turkish action has been analysed in some detail by a number of commentators and analysts in the popular media and on academic websites and blogs, illustrating that the branch of international law known as the jus ad bellum – the law with respect to the legality of war – remains one of the most dynamic and interesting fields of international law and international relations.
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    Legislative disconnect or institutional gatekeeping? challenges of researching South Africa's military past
    (Stellenbosch University, Faculty of Military Science (Military Academy), 2020) Kleynhans, Evert Philippus ; Gordon, Will
    The Department of Defence Archive in Pretoria is the repository of all military documents generated by the Union Defence Force, the South African Defence Force and the South African National Defence Force. This makes it the foremost source of primary information for researchers of South African military history. However, an almost total ban on access to archival documents from 1 January 1970 onwards complicates research into later periods. In fact, anyone researching post-1970 military-related topics has to apply for access to archival documents through the Promotion of Access to Information Act. The traditional weapon in the armoury of the historian – the systematic trawling of archives – is thereby negated, while the methodology of post-1970 historical research differs significantly from commonly accepted historical practices. Finding aids, the only access route to classified information in this analogue archive, offer only the briefest descriptions of the content of files, and researchers need almost esoteric intuition to identify documents that are even remotely relevant to their research. Additionally, a fee is payable for declassification, and the process can take several months to complete. This review article reports on the theoretical workings of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, and uses an actual research example as a case study to illustrate the practical implications of conducting research at the Department of Defence Archive in South Africa based on classified military documentation.