The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging



Military History Zoom Library

Lectures on Zoom from May 2020

Biological terrorism
Zoomlecture by Malcolm Kinghorn on 11 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC Malcolm Kinghorn
Biological terrorism is the deliberate release by non-state entities of biological agents such as viruses, bacteria or toxins to cause illness or deaths in target populations. In spite of international efforts to eliminate such weapons though the Biological Weapons Convention, some states are suspected of being likely to have offensive biological weapons, which could target animals and crops in addition to humans. There is growing international concern that some terrorist groups are recruiting the expertise required to develop biological weapons.
Link to video file:Biologicalterrorism.mp4
File size:11.3 MBytes
File type:mp4

DETECTIVE CONSTABLE JOHN CHRISTIAN HOEHLER, KPM, SAP
Zoomlecture by Mac Alexander on 18 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC Malcolm Kinghorn
History of how Christie Hoehler,a policeman on the East Rand for 14 years between the First and the Second World Wars, was awarded the King's Police Medal, highest medal for police bravery, for saving a person from being crushed by a train in April 1927. Later he left the SAP and established with his brother an asbestos mine in what is now Mpumalanga, did very well from it and he was able to retire early. He then devoted himself in his passion, which was breeding racing pigeons and competing with them.
Link to video file:Christie Hoehler KPM.mp4
File size:10.3 MBytes
File type:mp4

Visit to Gothenberg Air Force Museum,Sweden
Zoomlecture by Franco Cilliers on 18 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC Malcolm Kinghorn
Visit to the ..... museum which highlighted cold war era Swedish underground air force base. Aircraft included Viggen,
Link to video file:Gothenburg Air Force Museum.mp4
File size:19.5 Mbytes
File type:mp4

The Military Service of the Wiggill 1820 Settler Family by direct descendant, Mac Alexander
Zoomlecture by Mac Alexander on 8 June 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC Malcolm Kinghorn
McGill Alexander is a direct descendant of an 1820 Settler, Isaac Wiggill. The year 2020 marks the Bi-centennial of the arrival of the British 1820 Settlers in South Africa.
The 1820 Settlers arrived almost halfway through the Cape Frontier Wars, which lasted from 1779 to 1878 along the Eastern Frontier of the Cape Colony.
The Wiggill family were involved in the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Frontier Wars between 1834 and 1853 in the Bathurst and Fort Beaufort areas and were besieged in Bathurst in the Sixth and Seventh Wars and Post Retief in the Seventh and Eighth. During each of these wars, their farms were destroyed and they lost all their possessions.
The talk is filled with illustrations showing structures built by the settlers to provide protection and support their farming. Structures such as Bradshaw's Mill (the first wool mill built in South Africa), the Wiggill house in Bathurst and Wiggill's kraal and horizontal windmill, Post Retief fort and barracks in the Winterberg. Includes views of the landscape in the area and views from where Khoi rebels shelled Post Retief with a cannon.
Link to video file:Wiggills in the wars.mp4
File size:29.1 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

The Hydroger Bomb - Peace or Annhilation by Gil Jacobs
Zoomlecture by Gil Jacobs on 11 June 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
Gil started by explaining the differences between the Atomic Bomb used in WW2 and the Hydrogen Bomb which increased the yield by 1000 times. The hydrogen or "thermo-nuclear" bomb comes from the fusion of hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei.
Edward Teller, one of the team which developed the first atomic bombs, started agitating for the development of the H-Bomb during the A-Bomb build. The other scientists strongly opposed this emphasizing that a development path should be observed. However, in August 1949 the Soviet Union exploded an atomic bomb causing President Harry S Truman to give the go-ahead for developing the H-Bomb 1n 1950. In November of 1952 the first hydrogen bomb was detonated on Eniwetok Atoll. With a yield of 10 megatons, the island of Elugelab was wiped away. Testing took place at Bikini Atoll, the "Castle Bravo" test being on 1st March 1954. No fewer than 23 Atom and Hydrogen bomb tests were conducted at Bikini Atoll between 1956 and 1958. The H-Bomb is deliverable several ways; by air with Bombers such as the B-52; Submarine launched missiles such as Polaris and by Minuteman missiles, ground-launched from deep silos.
Notable amongst the people who were opposed to thermonuclear weapons were Robert Oppenheimer - "Father of the Atomic Bomb", Joseph Rotblatt - the only scientist who left the A-Bomb project after Germany's surrender, Albert Einstein who deeply regretted the part he played in initiating the bomb's development, and the great controversial philosopher Bertrand Russell who was nuclear's most vociferous opponent.
Gil discussed how when many countries have such technology (currently 9), the possibility of an unplanned war increases.
Link to video file:Hydrogen Bomb - Peace or Annhilation
File size:54 MBytes (21 minutes)
File type:avi

Kitchener's Ladies by Dr Anne Samsom
Zoomlecture by Dr Anne Samsom given from Sussex,UK on 25 June 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
Presentation on the women who influenced Lord Kitchener in his later years
Link to video file:Kitchener's Ladies
File size:21 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to pdf file:Kitchener's Ladies (script)
Military History - one heavy metal song at a time by AL du Pisani
Zoomlecture by AL du Pisani given from Johannesburg on 9 July 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
Lecture about the popular Swedish band Sabaton, who sing about war and heroes and other things relating to military history
Link to video file:Sabaton
File size:74 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Additional reading for lecture on Sabaton

Knit your bit: Patriotic Knitting by Barbara Ann Kinghorn
Zoomlecture by Barbara Ann Kinghorn on 11 August 2020 hosted by SAMHSEC.
An illustrated talk by Barbara Ann Kinghorn on how persons of all ages and on all social levels at home in the British Empire and the United States were encouraged to knit garments for the Forces during both World Wars. Barbara Ann covered the history of knitting and showed how knitting had been made socially acceptable by Queen Victoria herself knitting scarves for British soldiers serving in the South African War of 1899 to 1902. She stressed the therapeutic benefits of knitting and the opportunity of knitting for others presented during the COVID 19 pandemic crisis.
Link to video file:Knit your bit
File size:32 MBytes (41 minutes)
File type:mp4

'The impact of the 1909/10 Union discussions on South Africa's entry into WW1'. by Martin Plaut
Zoomlecture by Martin Plaut given from the UK on 13 August 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
The lecture discussed how the South African franchise was shaped by the imminence of the First World War when the Union of South Africa was formed. The Imperial Defence Conference in 1909 overshadowed the discussions on the Union, when the MP's arrived in London (including Smuts and Botha) to present their case Britain had little option but to accept their demands, and endorse the Union Constitution unamended, since they needed South Africa's support in the coming conflict - thereby removing the black population's right to vote.
Link to video file:The impact of the 1909/10 Union discussions on South Africa's entry into WW1
File size:100 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:avi
Link to video file:Discussion after presentation session 1
File size:17 MBytes (5 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion after presentation session 2
File size:129 MBytes (36 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Tribute to Sergeant-major Jock Hutton" by Mac Alexander
Zoomlecture given at the SAMSEC RPC meeting on 31 August 2020
Jock Hutton died on 12 August 2020. He served in the British Airborne Forces (1943-56), the Rhodesian SAS (1961-80) and the South African Special Forces (1980-85). He participated in parachute operations Normandy on D-Day (1944), crossing the Rhine (1945), Suez (1956) and Chimoio/Tembuť in Mozambique (1977).
Link to video file:Jock Hutton
File size:9 MBytes (7 minutes)
File type:mp4

'Novels, some SA inspiration, and the formation of MI5 and MI6' Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from the UK on 10 September 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
William Le Queux, the author of various spy novels at the turn of the twentieth century is regarded as the inspiration for the formation of MI5 and MI6. However, Roger Pocock, founder of the Legion of Frontiersmen later commanded by Dan Driscoll of Driscoll's Scouts, also had a part to play. In this talk, Anne discusses the links between them all.
Link to video file:Novels and the formation of MI5
File size:29 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4

'War and Peace in the Anglo Boer War - starting a war is a lot easier than stopping one' by Robin Smith
Zoomlecture given from the Howick,KZN on 8 October 2020,hosted by MHS Jhbg
Starting with the Bloemfontein conference, then the Boer ultimatum and, like all the wars of the first half of the 20th century, the huge enthusiasm of the population on both sides to go to war. Roberts's reaction after the occupation of Pretoria and the advance to Komatipoort was that the war was practically over. He returned to England to become Commander-in Chief in London. Kitchener was left to mop up and, at first, without the vital resources of manpower.

Various offers and counter-offers for peace were made between February 1901 and 1902 but the final document was only agreed and signed about an hour before the deadline of midnight on 31 May 1902.
Lecture given in two parts, namely Starting the War and Ending the War.
Link to video file:Starting the War
File size:27.2 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Ending the War
File size:30.4 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4

'The Great Sea Trek of 1820" by Eric Kelly
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 12 October 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
As part of SAMHSECís commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Arrival of the 1820 Settlers, Ericís talk focused on the movement of the 1820 Settlers from the United Kingdom to South Africa. The talk was in two parts, namely Putting The Scheme Together and Departure.
In Part 1, Eric described how the Governor of the Cape Colony, Lord Charles Somersetís scheme for British people to be settled in the Eastern Cape met an almost overwhelming positive response after it was approved by the British Government in July 1819. Eric described the purpose and terms of the scheme and the make-up of the various Settler parties.
Part 2 was to a large extent based on personal reminiscences of the voyages of the 21 ships which transported the approximately 4 000 men, women and children Settlers to South Africa. The ships sailed from various ports, with the first getting underway in early December 1819 and arriving in Algoa Bay to disembark the Settlers from April 1820.
Link to video file:Putting The Scheme Together
File size:132 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:avi
Link to video file:Departure
File size:118 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4

'East London Railway Station War Memorial " by Malcolm Kinghorn
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 26 October 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
The War Memorial on the East London Railway Station consists of 2 panels with the Rolls of Honour of the South African Railways and Harbours' officers and men who have given their lives in the Great War 1914-1918 or in the World War 1939-1945. The inscriptions are in English and Dutch on the former and English and Afrikaans on the latter.
One of the soldiers on the Great War Memorial is Private J.J.C. Human. He is in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records as 21357 Private J.J.C. Human, Second Regiment South African Infantry, who died in England on 21 October 1918, after being evacuated wounded from France. He is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery. The presentation closed with a photograph of one of his grandsons visiting his grave in the 1960s
Link to video file:East London Railway Station War Memorial
File size:3.3MBytes (3 minutes)
File type:mp4

'The Butcher of the Somme" by John Stevens
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 9 November 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
An illustrated talk by John Stevens on the reputation of Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE (19th June 1861 - 29th January 1928). John covered the role of former Prime Minister David Lloyd-George in the decline of Haig's post-war reputation, which was further diminished in the 1960s by Charles Chilton's 1961 radio programme The long, long trail, Joan Littlewood's 1963 stage production Oh, What a Lovely War, Richard Attenborough's 1969 film of the same name and various historians who promoted the concept of the British soldiers of the Great War having been lions led by donkeys. After discussing other historians' more positive view the British Army leadership in the war, John covered the reality of Haig's military career and ended by quoting Churchill as having said of Haig that "He might be, surely he was, unequal to the prodigious scale of events, but no one else was discerned as his equal or his better".
Link to video file:Butcher of the Somme Pt1
File size:46 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Butcher of the Somme Pt2
File size:55 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

'Wireless in the Boer War" by Dr Brian A Austin
Zoomlecture given from Liverpool,UK on 12 November 2020, hosted by Johannesburg branch
The Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902) was the first occasion in which wireless communications were used in military conflict. Both the British and Boer forces had intentions to use this latest invention in the field of battle. Brian explained the state of the art at that time and the issues that were uncovered when technology meets the battlefield. This war further led to advancements in radio technology for the British Navy.
A discussion session was held after the lecture which provided further explanations and this discussion session is included.
Link to video file:Wireless in the Boer War
File size:62 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion session of Wireless in the Boer War
File size:139 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4


South African Military History Society / scribe@samilitaryhistory.org