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South African Arms and Armour

Author: Helmoed-Romer Heitman

ISBN: 0 86977 637 1

Reviewed By: Dean Wingrin

The author is no stranger to the South African military press, being the South African correspondent of Jane's Defence Weekly. As such, he has gained intimate knowledge of the equipment used by the old South African Defence Force.

The book was published in 1988, at the height of the Bush War, and follows the same style as the series produced by Salamander in the mid-1980s. It is a concise guide to the armaments of the South African Army, Navy and Air Force as it was then, making this book a useful reference source for period information on equipment used.

After a 13 page introduction to the structure and organisation of the three military arms, the book is divided into Ground Forces Equipment, Air Force Equipment and Navy Equipment. Within the Army section, catagories such as armoured vehicles, artillery, anti-aircraft, mine warfare, engineering, electronic equipment, infantry weapons and logistic vehicles (including field kitchens and workshop trailers) are all described. Even the RPG-7V is described, for which ammunition may have been manufactured in South Africa! The Navy section details all the ships, while the Air Force section deals with fighters, strike aircraft, helicopters, light aircraft, trainers, maritime aircraft, transport aircraft and weapons. Each aircraft is listed with vital data such as country of origin, fist flight and delivery dates, dimensions, power plant, perfomance details and armament. A brief description of the aircraft follows and a photograph is also included. A short glossary concludes the book.

As the book was published in 1988, the Cheetah D is described, as well as the Puma XTP-1 and Alpha XH1.

Although now very much dated with much of the aircraft details can be found in other books, it is still a useful resource when researching equipment used by the SADF during the 1970s and 80s, particularly that used by the Army.

215x117mm, 192pp, 43 f/c, 157 b/w

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