André (Diedies) Diedericks was born in Pretoria on 7 December 1955, the youngest of four children. He reported for compulsory National Military Service on 7 January 1974 and within a few weeks he volunteered for Special Forces selection, a course that he would successfully complete. Andre would eventually serve in the Special Forces for two decades and would also pioneer the concept of small team operations. He rose to the rank of Colonel within the SADF and was also decorated twice for valour:
Decorations & Awards: Honoris Crux Silver (HCS); Honoris Crux (HC); Southern Cross Medal (SM); Military Merit Medal (MMM); Pro Patria Medal with Cunene clasp; Southern Africa Medal; General Service Medal; Unitas Medal; Good Service Silver (20 years) & Good Service Bronze (10 years).
Suffering from terminal cancer, Diedies passed away on 7 May 2005.
Following from experience gained in Rhodesian conflict, by C Squadron SAS and Later Selous Scout operator Chris Schullenberg a very experienced Small Team Operator. South African Special Forces began the selection process for suitable candidates to be trained in Small Team Operations. Candidates all had to be expert Trackers and well versed in Anti-Tracking Techniques. The Recce Moto "Stealth our Strength" very much came into play. Diedies a reconnaissance operator" became an expert "Close in exponent of the Art" from many years of Special Forces operations from the begging of Operation Savannah to the End of the Bush war. Small Teams consisting of many African and European Recce Operators, took part in vital Intelligence Gathering Operations. Diedies mentions names of fellow operators in Small Teams he operated with such as Viera, Sam Fourie, Greeff, Matias, Neves,Americo,Scales, Callow, Stadler, Victorno, Uys, Jose. Andre's story is told matter of factly as that of a highly professional soldier in the conduct of Special Forces operations far behind enemy lines, were one miscalculation could cost your life or worse capture. The enemy was never fully aware of how "in your face" the Small Teams operated. The tragedy is South Africa, the SADF and Recce's lost one of its most highly decorated sons, Col Andre Diedericks to Cancer. May he Rest in Peace.
Kevin Bewick, Intelligence Analyst.
A great read giving people who were involved in operations a better idea and strategy behind these special men
Although I never met the late Andre Diedericks, after reading his memoir, I feel that I know him well. This book, written mainly so that his daughters would know the truth about their famous but retiring father, is an unintended masterpiece. Diedies wrote it without pretence and with a great deal of humility. Although he was recognised as a hero, and received not one but two Honoris Cruxes for his bravery, he has no time for bragging or blowing a trumpet about his own achievements. When he gets to a part of the story when mention must be made of his valour in battle, he steps back and lets a colleague talk. Very often that buddy would be his close friend Koos Stadler, author of his own memoir simply titled "Recce". Read these two books together and you will share with me a feeling of huge respect for what these men did while we were sleeping.
Journey Without Boundaries is recommended without a moment's hesitation.
The book is also available in Afrikaans.