From the inside front fly leaf: Al Venter's latest book on South Africa's 23-year Border War along the Angolan frontier offers a host of new perspectives. These include details about units like the South African Air Force 44 Squadron which converted Dakota aircraft into flying gun platforms similar to those used in America's war in South-East Asia. He also has American nuclear specialist David Albright - one of the leading authorities on nuclear proliferation - take a long hard look at Pretoria's atom bomb program. Elsewhere he deals with the medium-range intercontinental ballistic missile programme that was developed (with Israeli help) in conjunction with building the bomb.
Combat - South Africa at War along the Angolan Frontier, by Al J. Venter & Friends
Published by Helion in 2018, 344 pages. Hardback with Dust Jacket (N7634PE)
Brand New Books
Most salient, Venter takes a fresh look at the enemies that were ranged against the SADF, and in particular how SWAPO guerrillas fared. They were obviously a gutsy, well-trained and well-motivated guerrilla force to have survived almost a quarter century of hostilities: indeed, as an insurgent force they were streets ahead of other guerrilla groups such as those who fought the Portuguese and the Rhodesians.
There is also, within more than 20 chapters - written either by the author or by specialist friends - a fascinating chapter on covert communications during the war which stretched almost all the way across Africa and into the Indian Ocean. Another chapter looks at what gave the six-wheeled 'thin-skinned' Ratel Infantry Combat Vehicle the ability to tackle Soviet main battle tanks in combat during the course of several Angolan conventional bush war battles and thrash them, a world first that remains unbeaten.