https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/issue/feed Scientia Militaria - South African Journal of Military Studies 2021-06-30T14:37:27+00:00 Evert Kleynhans kleynhans@sun.ac.za Open Journal Systems <p>The journal is published bi-annually by the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University, South Africa. It is an accredited, peer reviewed scholarly journal, which investigates a broad spectrum of matters and issues relating to military affairs, and publishes both discipline-based and inter-disciplinary research.</p> https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1327 Editorial 2021-06-30T14:37:27+00:00 Evert Kleynhans kleynhans@sun.ac.za 2021-05-21T09:56:29+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Evert Kleynhans https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1307 The South African security predicament: making sense of the objective realities 2021-06-03T06:50:18+00:00 Abel Esterhuyse Abel@sun.ac.za <p>This article reflects an effort to make sense of the objective realities of the South<br>African security predicament. The objective realities on the security agenda are rooted<br>in the practical reality of experience and are open for public discussion, debate and<br>speculation. These realities are informed by the threats facing South Africans on a<br>daily basis. Government provides security with subjective content to the extent that<br>political power demarcates the threat agenda, prioritises the items on the threat agenda,<br>and foots the security bill. Since the creation of the Union in 1910, South Africa has<br>had to find a balance between the security realities emanating from three key security<br>domains – irrespective of the ruling entity: security threats from outside Africa, those<br>threats facing the country from within Africa, and security threats from within the<br>borders of South Africa. The article aims at a scholarly demarcation of some of the most<br>critical, important, and key features of the South African security agenda using these<br>three domains as a framework for discussion. On a secondary level, the discussion also<br>critically reflects on the ability of the human security paradigm to address the South<br>African security predicament.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Abel Esterhuyse https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1260 Promoting psychological adaptation among navy sailors 2021-06-03T06:50:58+00:00 Charles H Van Wijk chvanwijk@gmail.com Jarred H Martin jarred.martin@up.ac.za <p>The mandate of the Institute for Maritime Medicine (IMM) is to support and enhance<br>the operational performance of sailors of the South African Navy during maritime<br>operations, while also ensuring positive long-term mental health outcomes of sailors<br>who serve their country at sea. To achieve this, the IMM proposes to re-orientate the<br>mobilisation and demobilisation programmes used for ship-based maritime operations<br>towards a predict-and-promote (P&amp;P) approach, to enhance the psychological adaptation<br>of sailors to the emotional demands of deployment as well as to support more adaptive<br>forms of mental health resilience, both before and after sea-going operations.<br>First, this article aims to present the proposed P&amp;P approach for enhancing<br>psychological adaptation during and after seaward deployments, with a specific focus<br>on assessing personal emotional regulation (ER). For effective implementation, this<br>approach is contingent on several clinical assumptions about ER in the operational<br>environment, namely: the absence of significant psychopathology; the stability of<br>the ER measure; the role of dispositional factors in operational adaptation; and the<br>availability of population-specific normative data, which act as an interpretative guide<br>of ER profiles for sailors. The second aim is to consider support for these assumptions,<br>using previous experience during the mobilisation and/or demobilisation of ships<br>involved in maritime operations. Support was found for all four assumptions, indicating<br>the clinical and operational utility of the P&amp;P approach at the IMM broadly, and the<br>assessment of ER for sailors in particular.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Charles H Van Wijk, Jarred H Martin https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1318 Hypersonic weapons and the future of nuclear deterrence 2021-06-03T06:51:53+00:00 Eben Coetzee coetzeee2@ufs.ac.za <p>It is widely accepted today that hypersonic weapons pose insurmountable challenges<br>to nuclear deterrence. Although speed has always been a critical factor in warfare, the<br>development of hypersonics provides unprecedented advantages in terms of the speed<br>and agility of missiles. The increase in the speed and agility of hypersonic missiles<br>drastically reduces the response time of nuclear states, encouraging the pre-emptive use<br>of force. Two arguments inform the latter claim. The first holds that the speed and agility<br>of hypersonic missiles are likely to render existing and future missile defences obsolete.<br>The second contends that the failure of missile defences coupled with the reduction<br>of the response time of nuclear states encourages the pre-emptive use of force. Where<br>nuclear states are unable to field survivable second-strike forces, the stability of nuclear<br>deterrence becomes highly problematic. Besides these arguments, the dual-use nature of<br>hypersonic weapons ostensibly increases the risk of nuclear escalation. Against this bleak<br>assessment, in this article, the author questions the destabilising effects of hypersonic<br>weapons on deterrence stability, arguing that nuclear deterrence is – and is likely to<br>remain – deeply stable. A thoroughgoing consideration of the strategic implications<br>of nuclear weapons provides optimism about the stability of nuclear deterrence in<br>the face of the development of hypersonic weapons. Two arguments are advanced in<br>support of the continuing stability of nuclear deterrence. First, missile defences have<br>(and are likely to remain) inefficacious, with the development of hypersonic weapons<br>merely reinforcing (rather than establishing) this fact. Second, a would-be aggressor<br>contemplating the pre-emptive use of force would have to believe that it could destroy<br>all of an adversary’s nuclear force before any can be launched.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Eben Coetzee https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1249 The German attack on the Witboois at Hornkranz, Namibia, April 1893 2021-06-03T06:52:29+00:00 Petrus Hendrik van Rooyen rooi@unam.na <p>For many, when the Namibian struggle for liberation is mentioned, the struggle for<br>liberation by the South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) comes to mind.<br>For others to the south of Namibia, it recalls images of a border war and incursions<br>into Angola to ‘stop SWAPO’, the latter seen as a communist pawn directed and armed<br>by the Soviet Union and Cuba. More than that is seldom asked about or seen in terms<br>of the bigger historical collage. The brutal era of German colonisation is habitually<br>overlooked. The Namibians’ struggle for liberation lasted nearly a century. It started<br>through, for example, the massacre or battle, depending on your view, in April 1893.<br>This previously poorly researched story about which little is written is told in this article.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Petrus Hendrik van Rooyen https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1317 The South African National War College military history staff ride as a deep learning experience 2021-06-03T06:53:24+00:00 James Jacobs Jacobs jacobschristiaanjames@gmail.com Johan Wassermann johan.wassermann@up.ac.za <p>In this article, based on a study rooted in interpretivism, the South African National<br>War College military history staff ride, as an education and training method related to<br>the curriculum of the senior staff programmes since 2002, is discussed. The education<br>and training process, with specific reference to the staff ride to military battle sites and<br>the associated application of the theory of operational art, were researched according<br>to the tenets of the theory of deep learning. While using the historical–comparative<br>method during the staff ride enabled the majority of the students to determine which<br>viable options were available to the commander, not all students were necessarily able<br>to relate deep learning to critical thinking. Consequently, in certain instances, surface<br>learning tended to dominate simply because that was the educational world into which<br>the students had been socialised. Furthermore, the facilitation process did not always<br>fully serve the students by completely weaning them off learning habits associated with<br>surface learning. Consequently, while being able to claim some deep learning successes<br>using the staff ride, continuous reflection and educational interventions are needed<br>to maintain the successes achieved and to use these as a building platform for deep<br>learning during future staff rides.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Johan Wassermann, James Jacobs Jacobs https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1319 A reassessment of the tank battle between 4th Armoured Brigade and Panzerregiment 5 during Operation Crusader in North Africa on 19 November 1941 2021-06-03T06:54:14+00:00 Andreas Biermann 683942@soas.ac.uk <p>Operation Crusader took place in the wide context of an integrated, multi-service<br>theatre-level offensive operation in the Western Desert and the Mediterranean from<br>October 1941 through to January 1942. Seen through this lens, Operation Crusader was<br>simply the Army and the Royal Air Force component of a multi-service theatre-level<br>offensive conducted by Allied forces. The operation ended with an almost complete<br>defeat of the Axis troops, the lifting of the seven-month siege of Tobruk and the retreat<br>of the surviving Axis forces to a position on the border of the colonial provinces of<br>Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, in central Libya.<br>Operation Crusader was the first army-level offensive undertaken by the Allied<br>forces in World War II, lasting from 17 November 1941 to 15 January 1942.355 The<br>aim of Operation Crusader was to trigger a large-scale tank battle with Axis tank forces<br>outside the besieged desert port of Tobruk in Libya, to destroy the Axis armoured<br>forces, and to pave the way to lift the siege of Tobruk, which had been conducted by<br>the Axis forces since April 1941. Operation Crusader was the first step in a set of three<br>operations expected to lead to the clearing of the North African coast from Axis forces<br>and subsequently allow an invasion of Sicily in 1942. The battle was the largest tank<br>offensive conducted by Allied forces in either World War I or World War II until the<br>Second Battle of El Alamein in late October 1942. It was characterised by a number of<br>tank battles between the Axis forces under the command of General der Panzertruppen<br>Erwin Rommel and Allied infantry and armoured forces under Lieutenant-General Alan<br>Cunningham and then Lieutenant-General Neil Ritchie, who fought under the overall<br>direction of General Claude Auchinleck, the Commander-in-Chief Middle East. 356 357<br>The conduct of the battle showed weaknesses in the doctrine of British armoured<br>forces, but it ultimately ended in a victory for the Allied forces. This article analyses<br>the first clash of British and German tanks during Operation Crusader and provides a<br>new perspective on the performance of an experienced British cruiser tank regiment,<br>which calls into question the overall assessment of how British armour performed<br>during the battle. The re-assessment provided in this article is in particular related to the<br>performance of both sides in the battle and the performance of both sides against their<br>tactical objectives on the day, as well as the comparative losses in tanks.&nbsp; The article covers the first engagement of British 4th Armoured Brigade with German<br>armour during the opening stage of Operation Crusader between 17 and 20 November<br>in which it managed to thwart a German counterattack. Utilising primary documents,<br>such as war diaries, messages and reports, this article provides a new perspective on the<br>established view of the battle that also affects our view of the performance of British<br>armoured units at regimental level during this period of the Desert War. The article<br>presents a reassessment of comparative tank combat performance in the early phase<br>of Operation Crusader by analysing the first engagement between Allied and German<br>armour with a view to correcting misconceptions that have until now clouded the<br>historical record, such as the one expressed in General Auchinleck’s despatch on the<br>period, “But our tanks and anti-tank guns were no match for the German, although<br>they were fought with great gallantry:”.358 It also considers hitherto unused primary<br>evidence to shed new light on the losses in tanks suffered by both sides during the battle,<br>and considers how the opposing forces performed in the context of their operational<br>objectives.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Andreas Biermann https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1326 Ratels on the Lomba: The story of Charlie Squadron 2021-06-03T06:54:54+00:00 Jean Pierre Scherman schermanjeanpierre@yahoo.com <p>Ratels on the Lomba bursts onto the page like a shot from a cannon, full of dramatic<br>scenes of warfighting, with blood flowing and where bullets are pinging off armour<br>plates. It is, however, far more than just another book on the Border War (1966–1989). If<br>you are looking for a feel-good book, describing how the valiant South African Defence<br>Force (SADF) fought and won, then look elsewhere. This book tells the story of a small<br>sub-unit, fewer than 100 men strong, from the perspective of the soldier on the ground,<br>where the bullet meets the meat. It reads more like a horror story than like a war story<br>– but we will get back to that.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Jean Pierre Scherman https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1324 Soldaat en mens 2021-06-03T06:55:31+00:00 Abel Esterhuyse Abel@sun.ac.za <p>In most paradigm militaries of the world, there seems to be an expectation for a<br>general to write and publish his or her biography as soon as possible after retirement<br>from active duty – a type of ‘first duty’ in retirement. These biographies are often critical<br>for militaries, much like in the medical, law and clerical professions, to grow their body<br>of knowledge and empower the next generation of soldiers. For armed forces in general,<br>military history of this nature has always played an important role in the geographical<br>and cultural contextualisation and shaping of their doctrine. Without a sound and<br>comprehensive military historical foundation for the development of their doctrine,<br>militaries remain dependent on the imported knowledge base of paradigm militaries.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Abel Esterhuyse https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1325 The opportunist: The political life of Oswald Pirow, 1915-1959 2021-06-03T06:56:07+00:00 David Katz dkatz@icon.co.za <p>Finding a mainstream South African publisher for an academic work on South<br>African history is a daunting prospect for an author. Doing so when it involves a niche<br>topic on an obscure personality in a forgotten period of South African history can be<br>even more disheartening. Praise for Protea Book House, who backing Mouton, have<br>provided a mainstream publishing vehicle to bring a fascinating period of our history<br>back into the public domain. Works such as The opportunist: The political Life of<br>Oswald Pirow, 1915–1959 might otherwise have remained inaccessible to the general<br>public, either residing in the rarefied atmosphere of academia or gathering dust on a<br>shelf in a university library as an academic print. The hard truth is that well-researched,<br>peer-reviewed and skilfully written works of history do not necessarily translate into<br>bestsellers, and in most cases, the opposite is true. Publishers with a keen eye on their<br>bottom-line have a set of criteria designed to maximise profit, which often clashes with<br>the lofty standards demanded by academia. For that reason, it is always welcome when<br>a work such as this book by Mouton manages to bridge the academic–popularist divide.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 David Katz https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1323 Gunship Over Angola : The Story of a Maverick Pilot 2021-06-03T06:57:25+00:00 Anri Delport anri_delport@hotmail.com <p>“Most war stories”, according to Hynes, “begin with a nobody-in-particular<br>young man, who lives through the experience of war, to emerge at the end defined<br>by what has happened to him.”443 One such “nobody-in-particular young man” was<br>national serviceman 74257684BC Private Stephen Pierre Joubert, born on 3 July 1958<br>in Chingola, then Northern Rhodesia.444 Since the age of five, he and his family lived<br>in Pretoria. He had a typical childhood in most respects.445 Barely seventeen years<br>old, he, like many other young men, reported for national service. One year later,<br>in 1977, he stood in a “perfectly pressed” uniform with “buttons and badges [that]<br>sparkled like diamonds” in a large room in a nondescript building at the South African<br>Airforce (SAAF) Gymnasium in Valhalla, Pretoria.446 Facing him was an intimidating,<br>expressionless collection of brass seated in a semicircle. It was Joubert’s second Pilot<br>Selection Board interview for the Pupil Pilot’s Course. Among the brass was the<br>legendary aviator, World War II and Korean War veteran, then chief of the SAAF,<br>General Bob Rogers. The general asked the first question, “[h]ow long have you wanted<br>to be a pilot?” Joubert responded, “[s]ince I stopped wanting to be an ice cream seller,<br>sir!”447 Two years later, “on an early November day”, 21-year-old Joubert with wings<br>pinned to his chest stepped onto AFB Ondangwa in South West Africa, now called<br>Namibia.448 The events that followed changed him forever. It was as Hynes notes, “out<br>of that nobody, war has forged a self”.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Anri Delport https://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1322 The Battle of Bangui: The inside story of South Africa's worst military scandal since Apartheid 2021-06-03T06:58:07+00:00 Evert Kleynhans kleynhans@sun.ac.za <p>The Battle of Bangui has assumed near mythical proportions within South Africa,<br>and specifically in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). During the<br>battle that occurred in March 2013, a small force of crack South African troops engaged a<br>7 000-strong Seleka rebel force in an effort to stem their advance on Bangui – the capital<br>of the politically unstable and resource-rich Central African Republic (CAR). Over the<br>course of two days, the South African force fought a number of gallant actions and<br>inflicted heavy casualties on the advancing rebel forces. However, the South Africans<br>could not hold out indefinitely, especially against overwhelming odds and after taking<br>some casualties during the ensuing fighting. Moreover, they soon found themselves<br>surrounded in their makeshift base within Bangui, where they were ultimately forced to<br>negotiate a ceasefire with the Seleka rebels. Following the ceasefire, the South African<br>contingent returned to South Africa, and so began the process of trying to make sense<br>of the rationale to deploy SANDF troops to CAR, and what exactly happened during<br>the so-called ‘Battle of Bangui’. Most importantly, the country, the defence force, and<br>the respective families, had to come to grips with the unnecessary loss of South African<br>lives in a seemingly distant corner of Africa.</p> 2021-05-21T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Evert Kleynhans