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South African Battles describes 36 battles spread over five centuries. These are not the well-trodden battlefields of standard histories, but generally lesser-known ones. Some were of critical importance, while some were infinitely curious.

Who, for instance, has heard of the battles of Nakob, Middelpos, Mome Gorge or Mushroom Valley? Who knows about the four black women that Bartolomeu Dias brought with him on his pioneering voyage of exploration? Who knows that there was a significant battle in what is now the Kruger National Park in 1725? Who knows about the military episode where not a shot was fired but which brought South Africa into the Great War? Who knows that Germany once invaded South Africa?

Written in a light, humorous and personal style, each chapter is self-contained, like a short story. They can be read one a night, and mulled over next day with the promise of further enjoyment to come. South African Battles is an ideal bedside book, as well as an engaging travel companion. But there is also a twist in the tale at the end. Caveat lector, or lectrix!

Paperback 415 pages. Published August 2013

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Bevin Shirley
Forgotten and unknown conflicts that shaped South Africa

With a burning interest in the history of South Africa and in the Natal-KZN battlefields from tramping over most of these for almost 60 years, this easy reading and fascinating book came as a huge leap in my knowledge of South African military and historical conflicts.
Did you know? ; 1] Bartholomew Diaz is the first formally recorded European visitor to South Africa and on display at Wits University, is the actual stone cross planted by him on our east coast in 1488. 2] In 1823 a huge force of some 40 000 Mantatees attacked Latakoo town near Kuruman! 3] The 1914 Rebellion against British rule after the formation of the Union, started in Memel and ended up at Mushroom Valley. 4] In action in the Boer War at Tontelboschkolk and other battle sites , a bitter enemy of the British was Jacob van Deventer who was knighted after the 1st World War for his role as commander-in-chief in the East African Campaign.
Thank you the Late Tim Couzens for your hard work and dedicated research in writing this book and giving me so many new and intriguing knowledge gems of South Africa.


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