Sunday, November 01, 2009

Tribute to 32 Battalion - The Buffalo Soldiers Legacy

Known amongst Friend and Foe as "The Terrible Ones" (Os Terriveis) , this reputation was derived from operational successes and from its inception in 1975 until it's disbandment it was the most feared Unit by it's foes in Angola and South West Africa, and accounted for more enemy losses than any other Unit of the South African Defence Force.



32-Battalion was probably the most controversial unit of the SADF and its story virtually the untold story of the SWA/ Namibian Border War - a war which took place against the backdrop of the Cold War and which was in fact anything but cold in Africa. The Battalion, which also became the most successful counter insurgency unit of the SADF was comprised mainly of former FNLA and other anti-communist fighters from Angola who had sworn allegiance to the South African government. Together with their South African officers, these troops forged a formidable Battalion that became known as the best operational Battalion of the South African Defence Force – if not one of the best in the world.

The Battalion did not only play an integral part during Operation Savannah in 1975 as well as all other major external operations of the SADF such as the Battle of Cuito Quanavale in 1987/88 (one of the last great campaigns during the Cold War), but from 1976 until 1989 the battalion was deployed on an almost permanent basis to conduct offensive operations mainly inside Angola, acting as a buffer between the SADF’s regular forces and its communist enemies.

This elite unit’s activities covered a wide spectrum ranging from counter-insurgency and guerrilla operations; reconnaissance missions through to semi-conventional and even fully-fledged conventional operations during the last phases of the war, when the Unit was also tasked more and more to assist Jonas Savimbi’s guerrilla movement, UNITA, against the FAPLA and Cuban onslaughts. Because of the nature of its work, the Battalion’s activities were highly classified and few were privy to the contribution the battalion had made towards the war effort in southern Angola.

The Battalion saw action all year round, which resulted in an unmatched Esprit de Corps that gave this Elite unit its unique and unconventional character.

32-Battalion became legendary among friend and foe, and was the most decorated SADF Unit since WW-II.

Visit 32 Battalion website.

11 Opinion(s):

Buffalo Soldier 9 said...

How do you keep a people down? You 'never' let them 'know' their history.

The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry. Read, and visit site/great military history, http://www.rescueatpineridge.com

Anonymous said...

Proelio Procusi... Forged in Battle!!!

I had the privilege of serving in 32 BN as an artillery officer during the action at the Lomba River in 1987.

Unfortunately this was a secondment from our regiment - as many artillery officers were sent to serve in mechanized and motorized battalions as part of the "support" groups to those battalions.

I think you should ask FAPLA and the Cubans at Lomba who "supported" the crap out of them when they tried to push south...

As for the ANC now claiming Cuito as a "victory"... the SADF had no strategic interest in Cuito, and had long made it clear that the Lomba river was the point of no return for FAPLA and the Cubans. The day they crossed that river is the day thousands of them died. Claiming a "victory" in a battle that never happened is the preserve of liars, traitors, and cowards.

I will defend the men of 32 Bn who are still on patrol until I die.

Anonymous said...

I knew a guy that was from the 32-Battalion and let me tell you that he had no fear from anyone - he was tough as nails. He hated the blacks with a passion and openly told them so without ever fearing the consequences. If he was an example of someone from that battalion then they must have been very feared.

Doberman said...

@ anon 4:45, well said and thank you and your brave fellow soldiers, both black and white for your service to South Africa. As they say, a luta continua! It is a disgrace the way the rabid despicable ANC terrorists have treated the former soldiers of 32 Bat.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 4:47
Something doesn't ring true here.I have been closely associated with various ex-members of 32 for many years and hatred of blacks isn't in their make-up. After all their troops were black and the esprit de corps was outstanding. Nice try anon 4:47 but no cigar.

Doberman said...

I have to concur with 5:40. 32 Bat had a large black component so I can't see how anti-black racists would fit in so easily. Maybe you meant to say he was anti communist etc but no, if half of your battalion is black, fighting on your side, there's no time to be hating those black soldiers.

Anonymous said...

Still have my cammo beret, but with my inligting "jakkelskop" on it!

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

"large black component"???

ALL of our 32 troepe were "black" Angolans (ex-FNLA which our Colonel had brought over to SADF when he was still a Commandant)
They shot down a Hind with assault rifles and an LMG... a Russian Hind Gunship... I'm still not sure how they got that right but that thing was in a mess when we got there!

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

Two things!

1. The ANC wants them out of Pomfret and on one of the videos they still say how they hate the blacks

2. Thier names are not honoured in 'Freedom Park'.

Anonymous said...

Hi am samuel son of Mr.Sapi one of the 32 battalion this man were not paid all of their money by the leaders they were cheated

Samuel Sapi said...

Hi am samuel son of Mr.Sapi one of the 32 battalion this man were not paid all of their money by the leaders they were cheated