The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging



History of the Society - NEWSLETTER NO. 4.

Documents from the archives

 NEWSLETTER NO. 4.
MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

		IT WILL APPEAR AS IF THE PROPHESIES OF A FEW PERSONS ARE
BEGINNING TO SHOW SIGNS OF BECOMING REALITY.                        
		WE HAVE, AS AT 1ST JUNE, 1966,  A PROSPECTIVE MEMBERSHIP OF 25
AS YET, THIS  IS INADEQUATE AND IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED THAT THE
MINIMUM SHOULD BE FIFTY BEFORE COMMENCING THE FORMATION OF THE
SOCIETY. THESE SHOULD ALL BE LOCAL MEMBERS.  I AM OF THE OPINION
THAT THE SOCIETY SHOULD FIRST BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE CAMPAIGNING
FOR OVERSEAS SUPPORT.
		THE MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN LONDON HAS ESTABLISHED A
BRANCH  IN RHODESIA. WE WILL,  THEREFORE, NOT ATTEMPT TO RAISE A
BRANCH THERE BUT WILL WELCOME MEMBERS FROM THAT COUNTRY.
		AS NO CHANGES HAVE BEEN SUGGESTED IN THE DRAFT COPY OF THE
RULES SENT TO YOU,  IT IS PRESUMED THAT YOU ARE IN AGREEMENT WITH
THEIR CONTENTS. TO DATE NO LETTERS HAVE BEEN RECEIVED IN THIS
REGARD.
		AMONGST OTHERS,  I HAVE CONTACTED THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRAL
AFRICAN DIVISION OF THE MILITARY HISTORICAL SOCIETY IN ENGLAND.
IN HIS FIRST LETTER HE SAID HE WOULD BE ONLY TOO PLEASED TO ASSIST
IN THIS VENTURE SUBJECT TO A NUMBER OF CONDITIONS WHICH HE THEN
PROCEEDED TO SET OUT.  IN A SUBSEQUENT LETTER HE SAID THAT THE M.H.S.
OF ENGLAND WAS AN OLD ESTABLISHED ORGANISATION AND CAN OFFER
FACILITIES BEYOND THE SCOPE OF NATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, SUCH AS
MUSEUMS. HE THEN PROPOSED THAT I JOIN THE M.H.S. AND THE CENTRAL
AFRICAN DIVISION WHEREUPON HE WILL APPOINT ME CHAIRMAN DESIGNATE
AND LIAISON OFFICER OF A SOUTH AFRICAN DIVISION OF THE M.H.S.
I THEN INFORMED HIM THAT WE WILL FIRST ATTEMPT TO ESTABLISH OUR OWN
SOCIETY AND SHOULD THIS FAIL, HIS PROPOSALS WILL BE CONSIDERED. THE
CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRAL AFRICAN DIVISION AND I HAVE NOT MET
PERSONALLY. THE ONLY COMMENT I HAVE TO MAKE IS THAT IT IS  INDEED
A MOST EXTREMELY SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS THAT , WITH THE EXCEPTION
OF A FEW, SUCH CONFIDENCE AND ENTHUSIASM IS LACKING IN THIS COUNTRY.
SOME	PREFER SUPPORTING OVERSEAS  INSTITUTIONS  INSTEAD OF THEIR OWN.
MR.  A.W. MILNE  INFORMS THAT IT MAY INTEREST US TO LEARN THAT
HE KNOWS THE WHEREABOUTS OF ALL THE ORIGINAL RECORDS OF THE SOUTH
AFRICAN WAR PRISONER-OF-WAR CAMP ON GREEN POINT COMMON. HE ALSO SAYS
THAT IF WE CAN PERHAPS GET THINGS GOING HE MAY BE ABLE TO TALK THE
PRESENT HOLDERS  INTO SURRENDERING THEM AS HE THINKS THEY DO NOT
PLACE MUCH VALUE ON THEM.
		CAPTAIN KOTZE HAS RAISED THE POINT OF A BILINGUAL SOCIETY
BECAUSE:	IT WILL OPEN NEW FIELDS OF RECRUITING, WILL ENABLE THE
SOCIETY TO WORK TOGETHER WITH PRESENT AFRIKAANS HISTORICAL SOCIETIES
AND WILL ENABLE KEEN POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTORS TO A JOURNAL TO PRODUCE
AN ARTICLE OF HIGHER STANDARD IN THEIR HOME LANGUAGE.
		MAJOR S. MUELLER WROTE ME A MOST INTERESTING LETTER FROM WHICH
I WISH TO QUOTE THE FOLLOWING:
		''THE TIMES, WHEN A NATION COULD STAY AWAY, WHEN THE WORLD IS  IN
MOVING, THESE TIMES ARE ABSOLUTELY FINISHED.
		THEREFORE I WILL SAY,  THAT YOUR IDEA OF MORE HISTORICAL MINDED
SOLDIERS AND VETERANS AND MY IDEA,  TO DISCUSS MILITARY PROBLEMS
OF TODAY AND TOMORROW, OF TACTICS AND MILITARY POLITICS AND OF
MILITARY ECONOMY SHOULD BE CONCENTRATED. A FEW GENTLEMEN HERE AND
THERE ARE MAKING A SECT. OUR INTEREST SHOULD BE TO  DEVELOP THE IDEA
OF DEFENCE PROBLEMS  IN THE WHOLE NATION. WE HAVE TO EXPLAIN THE
NATION THE SITUATION OF MILITARY  WORLD AFFAIRS. WE SHOULD ASSIST
TO BUILD UP AN UNDERSTANDING OF MILITARY PROBLEMS AND TO CREATE THE
THINKING ABOUT MILITARY NECESSITIES. THE DANGER OF THE PSYCHOLOGICAL
WAR AND THE DEFENCE AGAINST THIS WE HAVE TO TEACH. WE SHOULD TRY TO
CO-OPERATE WITH OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN WORLD IN THE DEFENCE
AGAINST THE COMMUNISM AND IN THE SAME WAY TO EXPLAIN THE SPECIAL
SITUATION OF SOUTH AFRICA.
	MEMBERS OF THIS SOCIETY SHOULD BE VERY MEN  INTERESTED IN THE
SECURITY OF THE NATION. THIS  INCLUDED LEADERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION
ECONOMY, POLITICS,  AND EVERY WAY OF LIFE, ESPECIALLY JOURNALISTS
WITH A RESPONSIBLE FEELING FOR THE DEFENCE OF THE WEST.  TEACHERS
FROM ALL SCHOOLS SHOULD BE  INFORMED ABOUT THE PROBLEMS.  BUT,  TO
MAKE  IT CLEAR,  THIS WOULD NOT BE AN ADDITIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTION
IN RIFLE SHOOTING OR WEEKEND DRILL.
	THIS SOCIETY CAN BE ARRANGED LIKE AN ORDER. THIS WILL BE
ORGANISED WHEN A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FRIENDS ARE TOGETHER.
	THIS SOCIETY CAN GIVE ALL THE INTERESTED PERSONS A HOME AND
CIRCLES WILL START ALL OVER THE COUNTRY.  THEY WILL ACTIVATE THE
INTERESTS FOR THE PROBLEMS OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY AND WILL BRING
PEOPLE TOGETHER, WHICH HAVE A BRAIN TO THINK ABOUT THIS. THERE IS NO
QUESTION, THE OFFICERS CLUBS HAVE TO BE AUTOMATICALLY MEMBERS OF
ThIS SOCIETY.''

	FROM OUR ENDEAVOURS DEPENDS THE SUCCESS OF THIS VENTURE.

South African Military History Society / scribe@samilitaryhistory.org