The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging

Military History Journal
Vol 2 No 3 - June 1972


Notes, Questions and Replies

20. South Africans in the Royal Marines. The Star, Johannesburg, in its issue of 8th June, 1944, displays the group photograph below, taken during World War II of South Africans who had been seconded to the Portsmouth Division of the Royal Marines.
Cmdt. D. H. Ranger, MC, a post-war commanding officer of the Kaffrarian Rifles is one of those appearing in the photograph, and Lt. E. B. Norton is possibly the same person as the newly appointed Headmaster of St. Andrew's College, Grahamstown. Perhaps the best-known South African Royal Marine is Dr. P. J. Jacobs, MP, who rose to the rank of Major and whose book "Prelude to the Monsoon" records some of his wartime experiences.

J.J. Hulme

Officers seconded from Union Defence Force

First photo

Messerschmitt Me 262B-1a/Ul Back row: Lieuts. A. Bredenkamp, E. B. Norton, E. D. Clarke, C. A. D. Bircher, Q.S. Ford, Capt. L. L. A. McKay, W. H. England, P. E. B. Lefrere, D. R. Newton,,
Second row: Lieuts. S. L. Fouche, C. K. Brown MC., O. M. C. McKenzie, A. Atlas, D. H. Ranger, D. C. Thomas, A. L. Croneen, D. J. Malan, W. D. T. Phillips, M. J. van den Berg,
Front row: Lieuts. I. Goldstein, B. Linscott, H. T. Collett, Capt. T. H. Baker-Cresswell, Brigadier Chater, CB, DSO, OBE, Capt. Crockett, R. S. M. Gilliam, Capt. R. L. Plessis, Lieuts. D. Gilmour and J. J. A. McLaren.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Major Hulme has not included the following names, which appear above, in his note - Capt. T. H. Baker-Cresswell, Brig. Chater, Capt. Crockett and R. S. M. Gilliam. It is presumed that they were staff members of the Marine establishment concerned.

21. The article "The Verdict of History" on General de la Rey and the "Siener" van Rensburg, in the December 1971 issue, had at least one glaring error.
The article reads: ".... and with them was Count Harra Zeppelin, the man who invented the Graf Zeppelin which bombed London in World War I."

The glaring errors:
(i) The Zeppelin was invented by Graf Ferdinand von Zeppelin, not Harra.
(ii) The airship known as the "Graf Zeppelin" was built and launched quite some time after the Graf von Zeppelin's death. So he actually did not invent the "Graf Zeppelin."
(iii) The "Graf Zeppelin" was built purely as a passenger carrying commercial rigid airship. It never bombed London, nor did it have any provisions for carrying bombs or machine guns, etc. Also, it was built after the first World War, and scrapped before the second World War. As an aside I might add that it was a completely safe airship, even though it used hydrogen, and never injured a single passenger or crew member in its years of service.
(iv) A Graf, in the German, Austrian, or Swedish nobility is equal to an English Earl, or a French or Italian Count. So it properly would be Graf von Zeppelin, not Count.

Walter M Kaufman.

Note: The author and the editors express their thanks to Mr Kaufman for drawing their attention to the above.

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