- Leopold Scholtz
- ARRSE Rating
- 5 Mushroom Heads
The book starts with an interesting introduction to the South African military at the time explaining the national service system,the situation in Angola and south west Africa and introducing the main characters of the story. At this time your also given a detailed description of the hero of the battle: the RATEL infantry fighting vehicle.
How the main story is then told is where it gets interesting. Veterans of Charlie coy had a Facebook group where they used to keep in touch and arrange reunions etc. Someone then approached the author about writing a book about the battle Charlie Coy had taken part in on the Lomba River.
The author has then pieced together the story using all these accounts varying from the limited view of a gunner in a RATEL putting HEAT into T54s to the commanders trying to control the chaos around them.
This gives an extremely detailed account of the battle from more than one perspective and makes for a real edge of the seat read.
The book continues after the battle into some of he other operations carried out by the unit while deployed over the Border and their tactics in a conflict where the enemy had air supremacy, arguably better equipment and Russian advisors.
This book is a must read for anyone interested in modern armoured warfare and anyone who is mechanised infantry (if we ever get a wheeled IFV). And for all other commanders looking into expeditionary operations where we don't hold the upper hand in technology,firepower and air power.
Excellent book,easy to read,couldn't put it down.
Reviewed by AIRBORNEJOCK