The South African Defence Force and Horse Mounted Infantry Operations, 1974-1985

  • JJP de Vries
  • S Swart


The South African Defence Force (SADF) made effective use of the horse mounted soldier in the Namibian Independence War or ‘Border War’, 1966 to 1989, in Namibia (South West African) and Angola, in a conflict usually depicted as a series of high profile mechanised infantry operations. Nevertheless, the legacy of the horse-mounted infantryman of the South African War era commando was evident in this unit, which proved competent in the counter-insurgency patrol in the Area of Operations, and subsequently domestic deployment during civilian struggle during the State of Emergency. This article offers an exploration of the Potchefstroom Equestrian Centre’s contribution to horse and rider training and the military use of horses in counterinsurgency and urban peace enforcement operations in the period c.1974-1985.

Keywords: Equestrian, horse, mounted unit, Equestrian Centre Potchefstroom, Border War


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-0020
print ISSN: 1022-8136