South African Military History Society

Tel (+27)(0)10-237-0675 Fax (+27)(0)86-617-8002


Past ZOOMeeting - Hosted by Johannesburg

The January lecture was by former Chairman Jan-Willem Hoorweg on the subject of Adolf Galland, German Fighter Ace of the Second World War.

Adolf Galland was the youngest German Luftwaffe general (at the age of 30!) and fighter ace who served through-out WW2 in Europe, flying 705 combat missions in the defence of the Reich. His early flying came in gliders near his home; he received his glider licence at 15 and was an instructor by 19. He was one of 18 successful applicants (out of 4 000) to be trained despite Germany not supposed to have any pilots. Lufthansa and Luftwaffe both offered him positions and he chose the latter. After a crash he suffered eye injuries but the files grounding him 'disappeared'. A second crash uncovered these irregularities (his CO was court-martialled and he had to undergo an eye test) but his memorising the charts enabled him to fly again.

He flew in the Kondor Legion during the Spanish Civil War and earned medals for his efforts. He was called to help develop the training for the Luftwaffe in the early days of WWII and contributed materially there too: 5 wings were operational when the Sudetenland ops started.

Initially flying strike craft - bombing rather than fighter planes - he transferred to a fighter squadron and was soon one of the aces. His 50th victory came the day after the Battle of Britain ended (1 Nov). He did not always agree with Goering.

His squadron flew surprisingly many sorties in Me 262s towards the end of the war.

Jan-Willem showed statistics of manufacturing of German aircraft types - the ME Bf 109 which Galland's Squadron flew forming the bulk of the Luftwaffe's workhorses even after the War.

Galland survived the war, became friends with ex-enemy Douglas Bader (whom he had shot down and for whom he organised a legs-drop) and wrote his memoirs - which formed the basis of this talk - in 1953.

The lecture - in two parts - is in the Zoom library

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Let know in order to be sent an invitation to the next ZOOM meeting.

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Johannesburg Branch

Our next zoom lecture will be on Thursday 10th February starting at 19h30

Speaker: Mike Marsh

Subject: The Gedenksboek of Deadwood Camp, St Helena 1900-1902

The talk will cover a scrapbook made by Boer Prisoners of War held captive on St Helena during the Boer War. It is a unique book in that it is a time capsule from that era and in that it records everyday events by the Boers themselves - their thoughts; their organisations; their camp news; their business ventures; how they raised funds for their families in concentration camps; how overseas contributors helped them with items such as musical instruments; how they educated their children who were also prisoners; their sports; their concerts and many other issues. It contains many photos of St Helena at that time as well as of the PoWs held in the camp.

The book was created by PoWs and at the end of their time on the island it was given to a British medic for safekeeping.

He took the book to South Africa and then to when he emigrated to Canada one hundred years ago. His family safeguarded the book, thinking it was medical records. He subsequently died and once a grandson passed away, his widow sent it to South Africa again 120 years after it had been created.

Following Dr Vicky Heunis' talk of the St Helena PoWs in December 2021, we opened the unsolicited package and found it was this amazing scrap book.

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Eastern Cape Branch (SAMHSEC)

Next zoominar will be on Monday 14 February 2022 starting at 19h30

Speaker: Ian Copley

Subject: The Vikings - they were the first sea-borne invaders and exerted a huge influence of the whole of Western Europe.

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KwaZulu-Natal Branch

Meet on the second Saturday of each month at 14h00 for 14h30 at St Cyprians Church Hall in Umbilo.

Contact Ulrich Duebi for details about the lecture: or 084 324 6583

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Becoming a Zoominati and enjoying Military History Society
meeting and talks from your own home.

Approximately 200 of our members receive announcements of forthcoming meetings and are invited to join the meetings. We wish to encourage more of those who are missing out to become involved.

All you need is a computer, OR A CELLPHONE, and a data connection and you can become part of the meetings. You will need to contact the Society to be added to the invite list and then you are all fitted out. You then click on the link in the invitation just before the meeting starts and it will hook you up to join the meetings.

The beneficial side-effect of becoming a Zoominati are that with your new found knowledge and experience, you can start Zooming with friends and family all over the world using the same facilities.

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This has been sent to all members who paid during 2021.

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Members with an interesting presentation on any aspect of military history are sought for ZOOMINARS and ZOOMeetings. A nominal 30-40 minute lecture, supported by Power Point or similar slides / photographs, but not video, is required

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Obituary - John Pennefather

Fellow members will no doubt join the committee in expressing sincere condolences to the family and friends of John Pennefather who passed away on 18 December. There will be a Zoomed memorial on Saturday 5 February - ask Joan for his daughter's contact details. He joined the Society in 1987 and had been awarded Honorary Life Membership a few years ago in recognition of his contribution to the knowledge of Military History in the Western Transvaal.

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Branch contact details

Eastern Cape details contact    Malcolm Kinghorn    041-373-4469

Gauteng details contact    Joan Marsh     010-237-0676

KwaZulu-Natal details contact    Charles Whiteing     082-555-4689

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