The South African
Military History Society

Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging



Military History Zoom Library

Recordings of lectures given via Zoom from May 2020 till today(3.5+ years)

Latest lectures

Significant lectures - should not be missed - most recent talk first

Informative lectures

Field trips to military sites

Visits to Museums and interesting items

Tributes

Book reviews

"Edward, Mrs Simpson and the 3rd Reich" by Errol Back-Cunningham
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 15 February 2024 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
How the Nazis seduced Western Royals, Aristocracy and Capitalism
Link to video file:Royals Pt1
File size:42 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Royals Pt2
File size:42 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Battles of Lexington & Concord 19 April 1775" by Franco Cilliers
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 12 February 2024 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
The Battles of Lexington and Concord on 19 April 1775 were some of the early military engagements of the American Revolutionary War. They marked the outbreak of armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Patriot Militias from America's thirteen colonies.
Link to video file:Lexington & Concord Pt1
File size:25 MBytes (16 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Lexington & Concord Pt2
File size:30 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Fritz Haber and the use of science in warfare" by Andriza Liebenberg
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 18 January 2024 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
This German chemist received a controversial Nobel Prize in 1918 for developing the Haber-Bosch process which produces ammonia for use in explosives and in fertilizer. This helped food production world wide, but his military contribution was far more sinister - the poison gases of WW1's Western Front
Link to video file:Fritz Haber Pt1
File size:40 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Fritz Haber Pt2
File size:52 MBytes (33 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Chilean Commando training" by Mac Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 8 January 2024 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
In 1981, the SADF sent a paratrooper officer to undergo training with the Chilean Army Commandos. In this presentation, he provides some background orientation on the country of Chile in South America, a brief synopsis of its military history and a first-hand account of the training that he did with them in order to qualify as a commando. The course was extremely tough, both physically and psychologically, perhaps in part because he was the only foreigner and non-Spanish speaking participant. He concludes with comments on the value of the course to the SA military and the personal benefits he experienced.
Link to video file:Chilean Training Pt1
File size:43 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Chilean Training Pt2
File size:42 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Mussolini, his removal from power, Hitler's rescue, his cruel death" by Robin Smith
Zoomlecture given from Howick,KZN on 14 December 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Covers Mussolini's rise to power with the help of the Black Shirts, his ambitions to expand the Italian Empire, his take over of the government and his forming a pact with Hitler. His unsuccessful invasion of Greece, and his loss of popularity and his removal from power via the King and his imprisonment. The lecture covers the negotiations with the Allies about the surrender of Italy and the failure at the last minute which resulted in the Germans taking over the northern sections of Italy. It covers his rescue by German troopers from his prison and his reinstatement in a northern province of Italy, until the war was about to end with his fleeing to the north, being captured by the partisans and shot. Long after the war his body was entombed in a memorial in his home town. An excellent talk putting together the big picture.
Link to video file:Mussolini Pt1
File size:59 MBytes (31 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Mussolini Pt2
File size:57 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Wolfpacks off South Africa's coast" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 11 December 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
Operation Eisbar: German submarine offensive off the South African coast in 1942
By 1942, Allied anti-submarine operations in the North Atlantic limited the employment of German submarines in that theatre. Because of the amount of shipping which rounded the Cape of Good Hope, Operation Eisbar was aimed at disrupting shipping off the South African coast. By December 1942, an estimated 310 000 tons of shipping had been sunk through Operation Eisbar.
The lecture covered the organisation from the military parties as well as stories from some of the survivors of the 82 ships sunk.
Link to video file:U-boats Pt1
File size:30 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:U-boats Pt2
File size:30 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Robey Leibbrandt and Operation Weissdorn - The plot against Jan Smuts" by Andriza Liebenberg
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 16 November 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Operation Weissdorn was a plot by the German Abwehr to assassinate Jan Smuts and to be implemented by Robey Leibbrandt, a South African Olympic boxer who was recruited and trained while participating in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The lecture covered the movements of Robey and his eventual formation of the National Socialist Rebels in opposition to the Ossewabrandwag.
Link to video file:Robey Leibbrandt Pt1
File size:47 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Robey Leibbrandt Pt2
File size:27 MBytes (17 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Feeding an Army: South Africa 1914-1918" by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from UK on 19 October 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
A Comparison of Logistics across the various SA Theatres: German South West Africa (GSWA), German East Africa (GEA), Egypt, Palestine and the Western Front.
The lecture covered the ration requirements specified for the different armies and the challenges in getting those supplies to the forces taking into account logistic challenges caused by the lack of infrastructure and wartime conditions. Different forces from different regions required different diets and this led to the withdrawl of some groups as their dietary requirements could not be met and they were getting ill because of the incompatibility with the available foods. Getting water to the units or men and horses was a major challenge in the desert areas. The lecture also covered the adminstrative organisation that had to be created to supply the armies.
Link to video file:Feeding an Army
File size:89 MBytes (38 minutes)
File type:mp4

"South African Air Force, Warsaw Airlift, 13 August - 16 October 1944" by Martin and Jean Urry
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 15 September 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
On 3 August 1944, the Polish partisans in Warsaw called for urgent help from the Allies. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to send assistance. He ordered 205 Group, commanded by a South African officer, Brigadier J T (Jimmy) Durrant, to start with extensive flights to Warsaw, despite the extremely difficult circumstances that would seriously hamper these supply flights. This operation became known as the Warsaw Airlift. It involved 85 aircraft dropping some 485 containers (72 tons) of supplies.
The lecture covers the history of the airlift and the fate of many of the crews that crashed in the venture.
Every year there are commemorative services in South Africa and Poland to honour those involved. The lecture included details of some of these services and the close bond between the South African and Polish communities.
Link to video file:Warsaw Airlift Pt1
File size:49 MBytes (31 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Warsaw Airlift Pt2
File size:41 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Electronic Warfare(EW):the South African experience" by Dr Brian Austin
Zoomlecture given from UK on 17 August 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Dominating and controlling communications via radio is an important part of winning a war.
Dr Austin reviewed the systems that were developed in South Africa to monitor and disrupt the insurgents communications. He described the various elements needed in Electronic Warfare and how these were implimented by the SADF in its border war.
Much of the information was drawn from a recent book written by two former Directors of Signals in the SADF who had first hand involvement in setting up the system.
His explanations were clear and structured and persons wanting to get an undestanding of electronic warfare would find this lecture enlightening.
Link to video file:Electronic warfare in Africa Pt1
File size:40 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Electronic warfare in Africa Pt2
File size:16 MBytes (15 minutes)
File type:mp4

"A History of the Gallipoli Campaign in 13 Objects" by Ian Binnie
Zoomlecture given from UK on 13 July 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Ian describes the events of this WW1 campaign which are illustrated by 13 objects that were in use at that time.
Link to video file:Gallipoli Pt1
File size:44 MBytes (33 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Gallipoli Pt2
File size:58 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4

"German Navy capital ships in WW2" by Helmoed Heitman
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 10 July hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
German Navy capital ships in WW2: the fates of Graf Spee, Bismarck and Scharnhorst are well known, but the actions and fates of the other capital ships less so and there are some interesting bits of information even about the better known ships
Link to video file:German Navy Pt1
File size:47 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:German Navy Pt2
File size:48 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Veterinary history of the Anglo-Boer War" by Dr Arnold van Dyk
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 8 June 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Almost half a million horses and mounts were involved in the Anglo-Boer War. The lecture consists of short overview of sources, an introduction (mainly on horses), services on Boer side (Theiler - ZAR and Henning - OFS), Army Veterinary Department - including prominent officers and the 12 casualties on British side.
Link to video file:ABWvets Pt1
File size:67 MBytes (34 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:ABWvets Pt2
File size:58 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Capture of General Pieter Hendrik Kritzinger on 16 Dec 1901" by Dr Arnold van Dyk
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 8 May 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
General Pieter Kritzinger was probably the only senior Boer officer to invade the Cape Colony four times during the war. He did so as a burgher of the Rouxville commando in November 1899, during the failed attempt of General Christiaan de Wet during the second Boer invasion of the Cape Colony on 16 December 1900,and returned to the Cape Colony for a third time on 15 May 1901 as a General until withdrawing 15 August 1901.
After recuperating and resting in the Ladybrand district, he made a fourth and last attempt to invade the Cape Colony via Sand drift on the night of 14/15 December 1901. With his commando he crossed the Noupoort - de Aar railway line late afternoon of 16 December 1901. Whilst turning around for the third time to pick up stragglers he was shot through the chest and captured by soldiers of the third battalion Grenadier Guards.
Link to video file:Kritzinger Pt1
File size:44 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Kritzinger Pt2
File size:55 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Maynie Fleck and concentration camps in the Free State" by Dr Vicky Heunis
Zoomlecture given from Bloemfontein on 13 April 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Maynie Fleck (1877-1975): The South African associate of the British philanthropist and pacifist, Emily Hobhouse who contributed to humanitarian aid provided during and after the Anglo-Boer (South African) War, improving the conditions in the concentration camps and alleviating the suffering experienced by the Boer women and children during as well as after the Anglo-Boer.
Maynie Fleck was very involved in setting up and running humanitarian organisations in support of the women in the Bloemfontien Concentration Camp. Later they set up training for the women in the form of spinning and weaving schools which continued to the start of WW2.
Vicky has worked from original diaries of Fleck who recorded names of people in the camps, their needs and organised relief for their needs. As a result the papers provide a first hand insight to the conditions in the camps. Anyone wanting to research concentration camps during the Boer War needs to listen to this talk.
Link to video file:Maynie Fleck Pt1
File size:56 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Maynie Fleck Pt2
File size:35 MBytes (21 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Leonardo da Vinci as a military engineer" by Alan Mantle
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 13 March 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
Leonardo's work in the military arts, is another application of his creativity and part of an astonishing multitude of his talents. As a consummate innovator he not only invented war-machines, but even conceptualized them many centuries before some of the materials or even the mechanics or propulsion methods existed.
The talk describes his early life and work and the apparent motivation that brought him into the field of Military Engineering. It traces his activities, his movements and his role as a Military Engineer in the different periods of his life. These are the lesser known details of his work, while acting for the powerful rulers at that time.
Extracts from Leonardo's famous codices illustrate many of his military creations for defence and attack and his numerous designs that anticipated by centuries their actual realization.
Link to video file:Leonardo
File size:70 MBytes (54 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The first Swans of the South African Navy - 50 Years ago" by Commander Leon Steyn
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 9 March 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
1972 marked the first permanent appointment of women sailors to the South African Navy, 50 years ago.
Integrating women into the male dominated service provided many challenges for the women and the service.
Commander Leon Steyn, Officer-in-charge of the Naval Museum in Simon's Town, detailed the challenges and how these challenges were addressed. Information for the lecture was taken from official records, as well as personal reminiscences of the women involved 50 years ago.
The integration of women into the Navy was complex and no simple process as its training and operation was configured for only the male gender, especially in ships where quarters were cramped.
The evidence suggests that this first recruitment and service of women in the Navy served an important ground-breaking purpose to the future and expanded utilisation of women in our Navy.
Link to video file:Swans Pt1
File size:51 MBytes (31 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Swans Pt2
File size:42 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Development of the Ratel Infantry Combat Vehicle" by Franco Cilliers
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 13 February 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
The Ratel is a South African wheeled infantry fighting vehicle designed in response to a South African Army specification for a light armoured vehicle providing maximum firepower and strategic mobility to mechanised infantry in the vast distances of Southern Africa. The specifications were developed from 1970 onwards.The Ratel incorporates a mine-protected hull, an operating range of 1,000 kilometres and a 20mm cannon fitted with a twin-linked ammunition feed, allowing turret gunners to rapidly swap between ammunition types during combat. Approx 1300 were produced in South Africa by the South African Defence Industry during a period of UN sanctions.
Link to video file:Ratel Pt1
File size:33 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Ratel Pt2
File size:27 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The man who claimed to have killed Kitchener: Fritz Joubert Duquesne, the Boer Spy" by Errol Back-Cunningham
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 9 February 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Frederick "Fritz" Joubert Duquesne the Boer soldier, spy, saboteur, journalist, gentleman-adventurer and after-dinner speaker who ran the biggest German spy ring in the USA during WWII.
Link to video file:Duquesne Pt1
File size:37 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Duquesne Pt2
File size:28 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"General MacArthur and Korea" by Robin Smith
Zoomlecture given from Howick, KZN on 19 January 2023 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
"War is too serious a matter to be entrusted to the generals" is attributed to French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau during the First World War.
Politicians decide foreign policy and make the decision to go to war, generals are required to wage war and generally expect to be left alone to get on with winning it.
Politicians, according to their generals, constantly meddle with matters about which they had little understanding. This can lead to serious conflict. The removal from command of five-star General of the Army Douglas MacArthur in Korea in 1951 is an extreme example of such conflict.
Link to video file:MacArthur Pt1
File size:43 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:MacArthur Pt2
File size:44 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Australia's involvement in Second Boer War 1899-1902" by John Adeney
Zoomlecture given from Perth Australia on 9 January 2023 hosted by SAMHSSEC Branch.
Part 1 of John's talk dealt with Australia's role in the Second Anglo Boer War 1899 - 1902. Australian units were initially sent to South Africa on a state by state basis and Australians were the second most numerous force after the British. The lecture covered the numerous engagements of Australian forces throughout the war.
Part 2 focussed on the role of the First Contingent of Western Australian Mounted Infantry.
Link to video file:Australian involvement Pt1
File size:47 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Australian involvement Pt2
File size:39 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"WWII Dauntless Girls of S.A. Coastal Defence Artillery and Special Signals Services." by Dr Wim Myburgh
Zoomlecture given from Pringle Bay on 8 December 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
In just three days enemy activity sunk 14 ships passing the Cape.
As part of efforts to control this threat, almost 1000 young women were recruited and trained to be part of the teams that manned the Coastal Batteries that protected South Africa and the shipping routes around the country, as well as being part of the teams that operated the radar systems and the plotting rooms for monitoring the sea routes.
Wim has researched the role, the training and the experiences of these women. Wim has recenly published a book on this subject.
Link to video file:Dauntless Girls
File size:59 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Remembrance" by Kathleen Satchwell
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 17 November 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Kathleen follows how families, friends, the government, and society at large treated remembering the lives of those lost during the Great War.(WW1)
The presentation follows the families of a number of those killed and what the families have done to come to terms with their loss.
The discussion section covers some thoughts on the design of memorials.
Link to video file:Remembrance
File size:84 MBytes (50 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion on design of memorials
File size:8 MBytes (5 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Talana - History happened here today 123 years ago" by Pam McFadden
Zoomlecture given from Dundee KZN on 20 October 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch.
Pam McFadden, recently retired head of the Talana Museum in Dundee, KZN, spoke about the Battle of Talana on the 123rd anniversary of the battle. This was the first battle where the British soldiers were dressed in khaki. Pam detailed the course of the battle.
The Talana Museum, situated on the battlefield, promotes activities to keep the memories of the battle alive including the Ghost walk and re-enactments of the battle. During the Ghost walk some of the participants report seeing the ghosts that are reported on battlefield. The Museum has become a significant repository for records of the Anglo Boer War.
In the discussion section of the recordings a photo is shown that captured images of some of the ghosts and mention is made of other encounters with the ghosts on the battlefield.
Link to video file:Talana Pt1
File size:49 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Talana Pt2
File size:28 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Talana Discussion
File size:55 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4

"SADF Amphibious Boat Squadron" by Campbell Cooke
Zoomlecture given from Tulsa, USA on 10 October 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch
The South African Navy Amphibious Boat Squadron was established in 1984 under command of 1 Marine Brigade. Project Teljoy was registered in 1987 to cross-train paratroopers in an amphibious role. This gave the SADF the capability to disrupt from seaward logistic support to forces threatening to invade the then South West Africa from Angola.
Link to video file:Boat Squadron Pt1
File size:34 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Boat Squadron Pt2
File size:37 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Bruneval Radar Raid Feb 1942" by Dr Brian Austin
Zoomlecture given from the UK on 8 Septembar 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
"The Bruneval Raid" was one of the most remarkable of the various landings made by British forces on the coast of France before the almighty onslaught on "D Day" in June 1944. What made it so was its purpose to 'steal' a German Wurzburg radar from its operating site perched on a cliff top, 130m above the beach, near the village of Bruneval. That the raid was so successful was due to meticulous planning and training as well as the competence of the Royal Engineers who removed, as instructed, only those elements of the radar of interest to the 'boffins' back in England. Those RE sappers who performed that task were trained by none other than Colonel Basil Schonland, the 'father' of South African radar.
A Discussion section was subsequently recorded covering different aspects; that this was the first parachute battalion operation by the Allies; the information and knowledge gained from the raid; the development of Windows for jamming radars; the planning of the raid;the discovery of radar and tests for a death beam; the casualties as a result of the raid.
Link to video file:Bruneval radar raid Pt1
File size:32 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Bruneval radar raid Pt2
File size:23 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Bruneval radar raid Discussion
File size:35 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Crime behind the Wire: traitors, collaborators, stool pigeons" by Prof Ian van der Waag
Zoomlecture given from Stellenbosch on 11 August 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
The talk related to new research into crimes committed during WW2 by POWs in Europe. Information has being gathered from debriefing reports conducted with the approximately 14000 returning South African POWs. These reports were used by the UDF to identify approx 140 servicemen who had committed Section 4 or Section 5 crimes against their fellow prisoners or the state while they were in captivity. Many of these men were subsequently tried.
Link to video file:Crime regarding POWs Pt1
File size:50 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Crime regarding POWs Pt2
File size:30 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The largest single loss of SAAF Heavy Bombers in Italy WW2" by Martin and Jean Urry
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 8 August 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch
The talk is about the SAAF Heavy Bombers in Italy and the tragic events of the night of 12/13 October 1944 when 6 SAAF Liberator bombers with 48 airmen were lost during a mission in Northern Italy to drop supplies to partisans behind enemy lines. This remains the largest loss of aircraft and men for a single SAAF mission to date.
The talk covered in detail the commemorations and memorials at the actual individual sites of the crashes in the Alps
Link to video file:SAAF loss in Italy Pt1
File size:30 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:SAAF loss in Italy Pt2
File size:39 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The South African economy at war, 1914-1918." by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from United Kingdom on 14 July 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
It's said that money makes the world go round - and while most attention in war is given to the fighting front, a lot is going on behind the scenes to ensure money is available to purchase military necessities and ensure people are fed. While spending seems never-ending, someone ultimately has to pay.
As a result, mining (gold and diamonds), farming, shipping and manufacturing were all affected. With 10 per cent of the population involved in the war effort, this talk considers the impact of the war on the SA economy and the effect it had on those left behind and those who returned from the battle fronts.
Link to video file:S.A. Economy
File size:75 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Artifacts of Anglo-Boer War POWs held on the island of Bermuda" by Dr Vicky Heunis
Zoomlecture given from Bloemfontein on 9 June 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
Dr Vicky Heunis is a curator at the Museum of the Boer Republics in Bloemfontein and is an expert on the artifacts created by POWs during the Anglo Boer War, held at camps in St Helena, Ceylon, India and Bermuda. This talk dealt with the POW's held on Bermuda and was based on her recent visitr to the camp site in Bermuda.
Vicky has recently published a book on the artifacts created by the POWs in the various camps.
Link to video file:Artifacts from Bermuda Pt 1
File size:71 MBytes (34 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Artifacts from Bermuda Pt 2
File size:29 MBytes (13 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion of presentation
File size:19 MBytes (8 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Gedenksboek of Deadwood Camp St Helena 1900-1902 by Mike Marsh
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 10 February 2022 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
The talk covers 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 also details their revolt to the Census and Oath of Allegiance at the End of the War and how they were told about the terms of surrender in the Peace Treaty.
It contains many photos of St Helena at that time as well as of the PoWs held in the camp.
This is the first publication of this informations in 120 years since the book was created.
Link to video file:Gedenkboek
File size:128 MBytes (90 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Anti-Submarine Warfare in the South African Navy from 1922 to 1945" by Andre Rudman
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 9 May 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Link to video file:Anti-Submarine Warfare Pt1
File size:41 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Anti-Submarine Warfare Pt2
File size:25 MBytes (16 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Margaret Smith Dewar - WWI Nurse in South Africa, France, Brighton and Macedonia. by Kathleen Satchwell
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 21 April 2022 hosted by Johannesburg branch
The talk follows the life of a Scottish born and trained nurse, who moved to South Africa and nursed in Germiston. On declaration of war she went to England and joined the Scottish Womans Hospital which was running hospitals in France. Later she returned to England, joined the Queen Alexandra Military Nursing Service and was posted to Brighton. During this time some of her patients wrote in an autograph album. The talk includes many of the entries of poems and drawings by these patient soldiers.
A group of British nurses from Brighton, including Margaret, volunteered to nurse Serbian soldiers in Salonika with the British Medical Corps. Margaret died shielding her patients from German bombs that were raining down on the hospital.
Link to video file:Margaret Smith Dewar Pt1
File size:106 MBytes (33 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Margaret Smith Dewar Pt2
File size:63 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Biodiversity Management in present and post conflict areas by Adam
Zoomlecture given from Angola on 11 April 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The speaker is a conservationist with extensive experience in post-conflict re-establishment of game conservation in Southern and Central Africa. The talk was about the damage caused primarily by the Wars in Angola and the recovery efforts after the peace. In the war a lot of the wildlife was decimated from a large area in the country and some species even became extinct. After the peace poaching was destroying the efforts of trying to rebuild the wildlife and besides dealing with poachers with automatic weapons, landmines and the destruction of infrastructure that had happened during the war and that was not replaced, he detailed the progress of the communities to return the areas to the wildlife, and rebuild the local communities.
Link to video file:Biodiversity Pt1
File size:59 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Biodiversity Pt2
File size:31 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The escape of the German warships Goeben and Breslau in the Mediterranean in 1914 by Robin Smith
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 March 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Robin Smith told the interesting story of the fate of two German warships, Goeben and Breslau, in the Mediterranean just as war was breaking out in August 1914. Germany was already at war with Russia and France but not yet with Britain. Italy decided to remain neutral. On the 4th when First Lord Winston Churchill gave orders to the Royal Navy commander in Malta to find, follow and bring to battle the two German warships who were in the Mediterranean. They were intending to intercept French ships bringing their Colonial forces from Algeria but were ordered to make for Constantinople instead. Fortuitously they ran into the two British battle cruisers but neither side could open fire since they were not yet at war. The Germans were short of coal which the Italians refused to supply. Now at war, a British cruiser force refused to join action and they managed to evade the British and gain safe harbour in Turkey at Constantinople. Far from just clearing them out of the Mediterranean, the longer term consequence was the entry of Turkey on the side of Germany and the campaigns in Gallipoli and then Palestine, Egypt and Mesopotamia.
Link to video file:Goeben Pt1
File size:38 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Goeben Pt2
File size:41 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Vikings by Ian Copley
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 February 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The Vikings seaborne raids had an enormous impact on European military history
Link to video file:Vikings Pt1
File size:41 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Vikings Pt2
File size:8 MBytes (8 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Adolph Galland, German Fighter Ace of the Second World War by Jan Willem Hoorweg
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 13 January 2022 hosted by Johannesburg branch
Adolf Galland was a German Luftwaffe general and fighter ace who served throughout WW2 in Europe, flying 705 combat missions in the defence of the Reich. This talk will deal with his early life, his experiences during the Spanish Civil War and the first few years of WW2, followed by his experiences as General of the Fighters
Link to video file:Adolph Gallant Pt1
File size:85 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Adolph Gallant Pt2
File size:83 MBytes (32 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Heavy Load - Saving Norwegian gold reserves WW2 by Dr Barry Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Kristansand, Norway on 10 January 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC branch
In the early hours of April 9 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Norway. This talk covers the story of the operation that became known as "Gulltransporten", or Gold transport which was the secret removal of 50 tons of gold bullion from the national bank vaults in Oslo and its journey all the way to Troms in the far north of the country before its final evacuation to the UK and ultimately USA and Canada as part of the larger Operation Fish. During this time the cargo zig-zagged across the country largely under cover of darkness and being largely managed and protected by civilians and the local population. This successful evacuation not only denied the Nazi's and Vidkun Quisling's government access to the resources, but enabled the government to continue operation in exile and to fund the rebuilding post war
Link to video file:The Heavy Load Pt1
File size:54 MBytes (32 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:The Heavy Load Pt2
File size:37 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Keepsakes of conflict: The Art of Prisoners of War from St. Helena by Dr Vicky Heunis
Zoomlecture given from Bloemfontein on 9 December 2021 hosted by Johannesburg branch
In this presentation the subject of Prisoner-of-War Art produced during the Anglo-Boer (South African) War of 1899-1902 by Prisoners-of-War interned on St. Helena will be discussed from a cultural-historical viewpoint focusing on sub-themes such as relevant terminology, motivations for production, the availability of tools and raw materials, specialisation by craftsmen, inherent symbolism and meaning as well as the distribution, sale and exhibition of these objects.
Link to video file:The Art of Prisoners of War from St. Helena Pt1
File size:72 MBytes (32 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:The Art of Prisoners of War from St. Helena Pt2
File size:65 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Almost entirely a medical war: The South African Medical Corps in East Africa, 1940-1941 by Prof Ian van der Waag
Zoomlecture given from Stellenbosch on 14 October 2021 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
A key part of any military campaign is the support provided by the medical services for the campaign forces. The talk detailed the medical resources that were assembled for the campaign in Abyssinia under the direction of the Director of Medical Services Brig Orenstein. Based on past experience from WW1 campaigns in East Africa, many battle casualties were expected, but that turned out to be the least of the medical issues that the service had to address. Jan Smuts commented in 1941 that "our losses were ridulously small". The talk covered how the medical services had to deal mainly with non-battle casualties. The talk includes detailed graphs showing the different issues that had to be healed, and compared them with issues in other theatres of the war involving the South African forces.
Link to video file:Medical Corps in East Africa Pt1
File size:55 MBytes (32 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Medical Corps in East Africa Pt2
File size:13 MBytes (8 minutes)
File type:mp4

"SA German Internment at Fort Napier during WW1" by Johann Ahlers
Zoomlecture given from Pretoria on 9 September 2021 hosted by Johannesburg Branch
Shortly after the Anglo Boer War ended, South Africa became embroiled in the first World War as part of the British Commonwealth. The population of South Africa was split about becoming involved and a rebellion situation arose. After stamping out the rebellion the South African Government decided to intern all citizens of German origin and sympathies. 4000 civilians were interned in Fort Napier. Johann's grandfather was one of these civilians who objected strongly during the internment and led a local revolt burning down part of the camp and being imprisoned as a result. Johann traced the history of the German influence in South Africa as well as the rebellion and the internment. Included in the talk were photos of reaction of South African public to the sinking of the Lusitania.
Link to video file:Internment at Fort Napier Pt1
File size:96 MBytes (36 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Internment at Fort Napier Pt2
File size:105 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Polish Children's Home in Oudtshoorn 1943 to 1947" by Stefan Szewczuk
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 26 July 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
Following the German invasion of Poland on 1 September 1939, Russia invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. Between 10 February 1940 and 20 June 1941, 1.7 million Polish citizens were deported to Siberia. With the outbreak of German-Russian hostilities in June 1941, the surviving deportees were released to make their own way to freedom. The Union of South Africa Government agreed to accept 500 Polish orphans, accompanied by 10 adults, who were accommodated in the Polish Children's Home in Oudtshoorn, where they arrived on 10 April 1943. The Home was closed in 1947.
Link to video file:The Polish Children's Home in Oudtshoorn
File size:26 MBytes (17 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion after lecture
File size:63 MBytes (12 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Irredeemables: A brief story of Zonderwater Italian POW Camp and the prisoners of Special Cage (Block 8) " . by Claudia C J Fratini
Zoomlecture given from Pretoria on 8 July 2021 hosted by Johannesburg branch
Zonderwater Italian POW Camp housed approximately 100000 prisoners (of approx 170000 who were housed in South Africa) at its peak and aimed to be a model camp. With the surrender of the Italian Govt to the Allies in July 1943, a political divide occured in the camp among the prisoners, those backing the former government and those accepting the new reality. This event led to an election by the inmates to separate into the two factions with those backing the former government (approx 3000) going into their own special cage. The prisoners in the special cage produced a manuscript comprising a collection of 244 folios of artistic works which was called "In Marche" (On the March). This manuscxript was a work of art itself.
When the camp was closed in 1947 the Manuscript was saved by being smuggled out by the Chaplan, who gave it to a resident of Pretoria when he was repatriated, who looked after it for 18 years until the Chaplain could return to South Africa. The Chaplain then gave the manuscript to the Italian Chaplain of a Catholic Church in Pretoria who transferred it 22 years later to the Zonderwater Museum .
Claudia's talk also detailed some of the folios in the manuscript.
Link to video file:Zonderwater part 1
File size:32 MBytes (28 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Zonderwater part 2
File size:22 MBytes (21 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Allied Escapers in Italy: An Untold Story of WW2". by Anne Copley
Zoomlecture given from the UK on 28 June 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The talk focused on the Monte San Martino Trust, which commemorates the courage and compassion of Italian peasants who sheltered thousands of escaped Allied Prisoners of War (PoWs) after the Italian Armistice of September 1943.
The Trust provides bursaries for English Language study in England to young Italians, particularly those whose families had helped escapers. The Trust also has research and archive functions, ranging from preservation of original objects to research and collaboration, including with the Istituto Parri (IP), which specialises in research into anti-fascism and the Italian Resistance. The Trust has a joint project with IP to create an online portal entitled Italy and the Allies 1939-1947 , to bring under one roof existing and new research. The first section is about PoWs, which is the Trust s speciality..
This talk was a sequel to Alan Mantle s zoomlectures Italy 1943 to 1945: War and Civil War and Commemorating Private Reice Campbell, who died in Italy in 1944 .
Link to video file:Monte San Martino Trust part 1
File size:61 MBytes (33 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Monte San Martino Trust part 2
File size:21 MBytes (11 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion post lecture
File size:66 MBytes (16 minutes)
File type:mkv

"The historic context of the War in Horn of Africa" by Martin Plaut
Zoomlecture given from UK on 13 May 2021, hosted by Johannesburg branch
The current war in the northern Ethiopian region of Tigray has involved states from across the Horn of Africa, including Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.
But how should we understand Ethiopia and its closest neighbour Eritrea? The history of these states can be traced back in written records further than almost any other sub-Saharan African nation, and their soils have been trampled on by every invader from the Egyptians and Romans onwards. This has produced societies that are rich in culture but inherently unstable.
Talk included details of the German campaign to stir up the Arabs on the side Germans by Thesiger and Frobenius in a similar manner to that done by Lawrence of Arabia..
Link to video file:Context of the War in Horn of Africa part 1
File size:32 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Context of the War in Horn of Africa part 2
File size:3 MBytes (3 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to pdf file:Supporting notes for lecture

"The Polish Soviet War 1919-1921" by Stefan Szewczuk
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 June 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The Polish-Soviet War was a military conflict between Poland and Soviet Russia which lasted from 1919 to 1921.
Following World War I, Polish nationalism was sparked by the re-creation of an independent Polish state, which blocked the Bolshevik determination to carry the gains they had achieved during the Russian Civil War to Central Europe. The decisive Polish victory resulted in the establishment of the Russo-Polish border that existed until 1939.
Link to video file:The Polish Soviet War 1919-1921
File size:28 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4 

"Commemorating Private Reice Campbell, who died in Italy in 1944" by Alan Mantle
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 10 May 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
Private Reice Campbell was executed by the German forces in Italy and his body displayed in the village square. He had been a South African soldier that was captured in North Africa and taken to a POW camp in Italy. Upon leaving the camp he had joined up with the local partisans fighting the occupying German forces. Recently released archives had allowed his activities in Italy to be uncovered and this was published in an Italian book entitled "Una notte di guerra" by Raoul and Lorenzo Paciaroni. This talk is about the life of Private Campbell up to his death and the path Alan Mantle followed to trace his relatives, some of whom attended the lecture.
Link to video file:Private Reice Campbell
File size:69 MBytes (42 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Discussion post lecture
File size:103 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4

"South Africa s first operational parachute drop" by McGill Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 26 April 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The South African Army s parachute capability was established in Bloemfontein in April 1961. The first South African parachute operation took place in June 1974, when a company emplaned in Bloemfontein and deployed by parachute into the Caprivi Strip to counter a large infiltration of insurgents into the area. While the operation achieved its mission, it exposed a number of shortcomings. These were addressed and by the time the Bush War ended in 1990, the SADF had developed the most potent airborne force in Africa and one of the most balanced and capable airborne formations of any comparable country in the world.
Link to video file:South Africa s first operational parachute drop
File size:48 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Caroline Incident" by Malcolm Kinghorn
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 12 April 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The early use of force in self defence as embodied in International Law in the Law of Armed Conflict, also known as International Humanitarian Law, could either be preventative or pre-emptive. Preventative self defence is to neutralise a potential threat before attack is imminent or known to be planned and is not considered legitimate in International Law. Pre-emptive self defence is to neutralise a potential threat when attack is imminent and known to be planned and is considered legitimate in International Law if the necessity complies with the Caroline Test. The test states that the necessity for preemptive self-defense must be "instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deliberation". The principle is based on the Caroline Incident on the Canada/USA border in 1837 during the Upper Canada Rebellion.
Link to video file:Caroline Incident
File size:12 MBytes (10 minutes)
File type:mp4

"9 SAI vs General Smuts - The repercussions of a complaint by 9 SAI in 1916" by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from UK on 8 April 2021, hosted by Johannesburg branch
Between March and August 1916, 9 South African Infantry lost 1,200 men to disease and illness on their march from Himo to Kilosa via Kondoa Irangi in German East Africa. Their commanding officer Colonel Kirkpatrick was so shocked at the number lost that he registered an official complaint and called for an enquiry. This was ordered by Jan Smuts before he was replaced as Commander-in-Chief East Africa. The statements from the enquiry are revealing about the conditions the men found themselves having to cope with, rations, hospitalisation, transport etc. Smuts successor Reginald Hoskins had to deal with the outcome of the report, a week before being replaced by Jaap van Deventer as Commander-in-Chief East Africa. The political repercussions of the report for van Deventer s command led Smuts, in London, to recommend the report be suppressed. However, the enquiry was to lead to the sending out of the Army Surgeon General William Pike and ultimately three doctors court martialled. Between them, the enquiries covering the SAMC, EAMC, IMC and RAMC show how important medical arrangements were to the successful outcome of the campaign. In particular, the enquiry into the 9SAI/Kirkpatrick complaint sheds light on a little-documented time and South African military unit.
Link to video file:9 SAI versus Jan Smuts
File size:73.4 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Why is there a statue of Jan Christian Smuts in Parliament Square near the Houses of Parliament in Central London?" by John Myburgh
Zoomlecture given from Cape Town on 18 February 2021, hosted by Johannesburg branch
The talk seeks to give a Briton s view of Smuts, which would have been very different from the view that many fellow Afrikaaners, Africans, and Indians, had of him. The period covered is the first 40 years of the history of South Africa as a country, from Union in 1910 to the death of Smuts in 1950, which coincides with the last 40 years of his life.
Link to video file:Statue of Jan Christiaan Smuts Part 1 (up to WW2)
File size:132 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Statue of Jan Christiaan Smuts Part 2 (WW2 onwards)
File size:139 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Italy 1943 - 1945 War and Civil War" by Alan Mantle
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 11 January 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The Allied attack in July 1943 and their invasion of Italy forms the backdrop to the talk with the perspective on the lesser known events following Italy s armistice with the Allies.
The resulting German Invasion and Italy s formal reaction divided the nation into a state of War and Civil War between the Italian Fascist forces supporting the Germans and the partisan and Italian military forces fighting them and playing an active role in the Allied Campaign.
Link to video file:Italy campaign - Part1
File size:39 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Italy campaign - Part2
File size:31 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4

"At their duty's post they stood - Poetry written by South Africans during the Great War" by Kathie Satchwell
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 17 December 2020, hosted by Johannesburg Branch
Based on poetry published in local papers and magazines during and after the Great War, the lecture covers the change in emotions of white and black South African participants affected by the conflict. Together with the poetry, the talk was illustrated by 98 paintings and artworks depicting the actions and consequences of the war.
Not much had been published in South Africa but the sheer number of poems which the speaker had unearthed in newspapers, school and social and soldiers' magazines should not appear surprising. Since most, if not all, of the writers were soldiers rather than poets the emphasis was on cultural history rather than literary form.
The speaker identified several themes and divided the poetry accordingly, i.e. "sites of memory","the south african experience","motherland"; "the colonials";"the inferno";"delville wood"; "comradeship","the enemy";"grousing":"rescue";"german east africa";"imbongi";"s.s.mendi";"duty honour glory";"death"; "golgotha";"memorials";"afterwards".
Link to video file:South African Poetry - Part1
File size:42 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:South African Poetry - Part2
File size:32 MBytes (16 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

'The Great Sea Trek of 1820" by Eric Kelly
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 12 October 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
As part of SAMHSEC s commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Arrival of the 1820 Settlers, Eric s 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 Somerset s 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

'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

The Royal African Corps at the Cape from 1817 to 1823 by Patrick Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 11 August 2020 hosted by SAMHSEC
The Royal African Corps (RAC), a disciplinary regiment composed largely of so-called permanent punishment men, who were military misfits with criminal records and who required tough officers to maintain order, was stationed at the Cape from 1817 to 1823 to garrison the Eastern Frontier. Though rated at a low military value due to criminal activities by its soldiers, the RAC gave a good account of itself at the Battle of Graham's Town in April 1819 during the Fifth Frontier War. The unit remained on the Eastern Frontier until 1821. While awaiting transport to West Africa, the RAC assisted the Royal Engineers in building the Franschhoek Mountain Pass, which is still in use today."
(Eastern Cape,Disciplinary Regiment,Fredericksburg Military Village,Military misfits,Condemned units,Fifth Frontier War)
Link to video file:The Royal African Corps at the Cape
File size:40 MBytes (34 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Japanese submarines" by Errol Back-Cunningham
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 4 March 2021, hosted by Johannesburg branch
Starting with Mitchell's demonstration of how to sink a battleship using bombs that did not need to impact the ship, Errol detailed the developments in the Japanese Navy that led to an impressive range of submarines and torpedos that became a threat to major fleets. The Japanese had been ignored when monitoring navies by the Western alliance, who were caught by surprise when they went into battle by the performance of the submarines. Some of the submarines carried and lauched aircraft from their decks while others carried midget submarines to wreak havoc in enemies harbours. One aircraft launched from a submarine was the only aircraft to successfully bomb mainland USA during the war, setting fire to forests in Oregon. Their torpedoes had a variety of propulsion methods that enabled them to run without leaving rooster tails. Well illustrated talk including references,.
Link to video file:Japanese submarines in WW2 Pt1
File size:29.1 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Japanese submarines in WW2 Pt2
File size:5.5 MBytes (5 minutes)
File type:mp4

The Hydrogen 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


"The Attack of the Dead Men or the Battle of Osowiec Fortress" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 24 April 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
The Attack of the Dead Men, or the Battle of Osowiec Fortress, was a World War 1 battle in what is now north eastern Poland, on 6 August 1915. The battle got its name from the zombie-like appearance of the Russian combatants after they were gassed by the Germans.
Link to video file:Dead Men
File size:34 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Battle of Castle Itter on 5 May 1945" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 30 January 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
The lecture covered the Battle of Castle Itter on 5 May 1945. The battle was fought during the last days of the European Theatre of WW2, 5 days after Hitler s suicide and 2 days before Germany s unconditional surrender.
The SS were holding important prisoners in Castle Itter. A joint venture by a small US and German contingent fought the SS to free the prisoners. This was one of only two incidents reported where the US Army and German Wehrmacht combined missions to achieve a goal.
Link to video file:Battle of Castle Itter
File size:34 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Battle of Drobak Sound,Norway April 1940" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 27 March 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
The Battle of Dr bak Sound in the Oslofjord in southern Norway on 9 April 1940 marked the end of the "Phoney War" and the beginning of World War II in Western Europe.
The fortress defences worked flawlessly, sinking the Bl cher and forcing the German fleet to withdraw. The loss of the German flagship delayed the German occupation long enough for King Haakon VII and his government to escape from the capital.
Link to video file:Drobak Sound
File size:35 MBytes (21 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Grahamstown s South African Battlefield Reenactors (SABRE)" by Basil Mills
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 28 November 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The South African Battlefield Re-Enactors (SABRE) was established in Grahamstown in 1985 by Basil Mills to re-enact historical battles from South Africa and abroad. Today, SABRE has over two hundred members across the globe. For Basil, the re-enactments pay respect to those who have fallen in battle, honour their heroism and bring history to life through spectacle and story-telling.
Link to video file:Reenactment Group
File size:35 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Model ME 262 at the GFI Art Gallery in Port Elizabeth" by Peter Duffel-Canham
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 31 October 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
After the end of WW2 South Africa received some models of captured German aircraft for their research. This gift included a ME262 night fighter. Initially the aircraft was stored at Donnotar before being transferred to the S.A. National War Museum. Ron Belling made a painting featuring this aircraft, which painting is hung in the GFI Art Gallery, and now an accurate 1/32 model has been donated to the Gallery to display next to the painting.
Link to video file:Me262
File size:25 MBytes (12 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Man Under the Radar - Jack Nissenthal - The Dieppe Raid" by Linda Nissen Samuels
Zoomlecture given from UK on 25 July 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Jack Nissenthal was the RAF radar expert who volunteered to go ashore during the Dieppe Raid on 19 August 1942 to gather information on German radar.
Linda Nissen Samuels tells the story of her father in her recently published biography of her father entitled "The Man Under the Radar".
Link to video file:Jack Nissenthall
File size:43 MBytes (24 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Post-World War 2 French Armoured Fighting Vehicles and Operation Serval" by Franco Cilliers
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 11 July 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The lecture covered in detail the development of armoured vehicles by French companies post WW2. The talk detailed how these newly developed vehicles were used in Operation Serval in Mali to oust Islamic militants from the northern part of the country.
Link to video file:French armour Pt1
File size:40 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:French armour Pt2
File size:25 MBytes (15 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Commemoration of General de la Rey s Commandos laying down arms in 1902" by Stephan Botha
Zoomlecture given from Lichtenburg on 27 June 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
A Commemoration service was held at Swartruggens on 11 June 2022, to remember the event of General de la Rey s Commandos laying down arms in June 1902. As part of the Peace treaty, the Boers had to lay down their weapons and swear allegiance to King Edward. The talk included reports and photos from the actual event in 1902, and took place at one of the sites involved in the surrender of the Boers.
Link to video file:Commemoration
File size:39 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Jameson Raid: a cowboy connection" by Jaco Pretorius
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 13 June 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The lecture covers the timeline and the role players that have traditionally been connected to the staging of the Jameson Raid shortly before the Anglo Boer War. A recent book has made the claim that an American Engineer working for Cecol Rhodes actually was the driving force. Jaco examines this hypothesis.
Link to video file:Jameson raid pt 1
File size:25 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Jameson raid pt2
File size:12 MBytes (10 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Twelve secret voices: a handmade mystery of World War 1 by Anne and Damian Ward
Zoomlecture given from UK on 28 March 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
In 2018, Anne discovered a bedspread embroidered with twelve World War 1 regimental badges, including that of the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force, in a charity shop in Brecon, UK. But who had made it and why is a mystery. Talk uncovers the progress of their research in identifying where it was made and by whom
Link to video file:Bedspread description
File size:76 MBytes (10 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Detail images of the embroidery
File size:45 MBytes (9 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The South African Motorcyclist Corps. (1916-1918) by Errol Back-Cunningham
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 17 March 2022 hosted by Johannesburg
Based on the Diary of Alan Stuart-Findlay, Platoon 8, Potchefstroom 1916 to 1918. The South African Motorcycle Corp were formed using 400 BSA Motorcycles to be used as a mobile unit in the Great War in German East Africa. Errol detailed the operation of the specific motorcycles and then the operational issues as recorded in the diary of one of the participants, in a terrain that was not suitable for motorcycles.
Link to video file:Motorcycle Corp Pt1
File size:53 MBytes (34 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Motorcycle Corp Pt2
File size:57 MBytes (35 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Ebb and Flow of the Desert War 1940 to 1943. by Pat Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 31 January 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
The talk covered the various campaigns in North Africa during WW2. Included photos from his visit to the region in 2002.
Link to video file:Desert War 1940 to 1943
File size:27 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Experiences of Christmas during World War 1 by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from UK on 13 December 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC
Using diary entries and other first hand accounts, this talk explores the diversity of Christmas experiences during the First World War with particular reference to experiences in Africa.
Link to video file:Experiences of Christmas during World War 1
File size:84 MBytes (40 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Virtual Remembrance Ceremonies by Malcolm Kinghorn
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 25 October 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC
During the disruption caused by COVID pandemic, some remembrance ceremonies were conducted virtually, while others were put on hold. Virtual remembrance ceremonies were new to us, but the concept is not. Royal Navy divers have replaced the White Ensign on the wreck of the battleship HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow on 14 October every year since the ship was sunk by a German submarine on 14 October 1939 with the loss of more than 800 lives. The dive is coordinated with Royal Oak Association ceremonies in other parts of the country, for which the dive is a virtual event.
Link to video file:Virtual Remembrance Ceremonies
File size:5 MBytes (4 minutes)
File type:mp4

The Elizabeth Salt Saga 1819-2021: Myth and Reality by Pat Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 11 October 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC
This talk examines the relationship between what has been claimed for Elizabeth Salt, and what might actually have taken place. The core of the myth is of a woman, the wife of one of the British Soldiers, carrying ammunition through amaXhosa lines during the Battle of Graham s Town in April 1819. This belief is opened to scrutiny based on verifiable evidence.
Link to video file:The Elizabeth Salt Saga
File size:61 MBytes (39 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in war and peace " by Professor Ian Copley
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 30 August 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC
Ian Copley is a neurosurgeon with operational experience as a surgeon in the British, Rhodesian and South African armies.
His talk discusses the differences between acute and chronic stress, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after head injuries, the mechanism, complications and consequences of PTSD, the causes and treatment of shell-shock after the Battle of the Somme and the modern criteria for PTSD.
Link to video file:Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in war and peace
File size:31 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4

"A Historiography of Warfare with particular reference to the Anglo-Boer War." by Robin Smith
Zoomlecture given from Howick on 12 July 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC branch
The lecture covers some of the important literature of the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902. This seminal event in South Africa's history was documented shortly after the war by two multi-volume accounts, The Times History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902 and the (official) History of the War in South Africa 1899-1902. The genesis of these two works is covered in the talk. Both of them took nine years to write and both may be considered to be of historical integrity. The first was under the auspices of The Times, at that time a national institution with a disproportionate influence over British political and cultural life. It is a lively account and formed the basis of author Leo Amery's campaign for revolutionary reform of the British army. The official history contains little that would be controversial but its production was plagued by delays because of wrangles with the Treasury and the forced retirement of its editor, Major-General Sir Frederick Maurice. The two works were both considered to be historical works of great national importance. Only seventy years later was another chronological and comprehensive account written, The Boer War by a controversial Irish author, Thomas Pakenham. This book revived interest in the war and brought forth a flood of new material over the next few years to the centenary of the war and after..'
Link to video file:Historiography of Warfare part 1
File size:52 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Historiography of Warfare part 2
File size:55 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Minesweeping in the S.A.Navy" by Captain Robert Harm
Zoomlecture given from CapeTown on 8 March 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC branch
Captain Robert Harm, South African Navy (Retired)'s service included command of the minesweeper SAS East London and 147 Minesweeping Squadron. His talk focused on Naval Mines, Mine Warfare and Mine Countermeasures with emphasis on the South African Navy and included references to South Africa's Ton-class minesweepers and River-class minehunters
Link to video file:Minesweeping in the S.A.Navy
File size:29.9 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Facial furniture: beards and moustaches in the early UDF" by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from UK on 22 February 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC branch
The changing British regulations regarding facial hair and how that links with the Boer Commandos and Union Defence Force till the end of the 1914-1918 war.
Link to video file:Facial hair policies in the UDF
File size:25 MBytes (12 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The Siege of the Alc zar of Toledo" by McGill Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 8 February 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) is a conflict that is little known in South Africa. This presentation provides background to the war before focusing on the 70-day siege of the Alc zar (Fortress) of Toledo by Republican militia forces. The Alc zar, dominating the ancient city of Toledo, was defended by a disparate Nationalist force and some civilians. It was subjected to aerial and artillery bombardment that reduced it to a pile of rubble before it was relieved by Franco s Army of Africa, consisting of the Spanish Foreign Legion and Moroccan Regular troops. Though of no strategic value, Toledo held tremendous symbolic significance because of its historic and religious importance. The relief of the Alc zar was a propaganda victory for the Nationalists, sealed Franco s position as their leader and severely dented the morale of the Republican government forces.
The presentation is amply illustrated and is interspersed with personal observations by Mac Alexander, who studied for two years at the Spanish Army Staff College.
Link to video file:The Siege of the Alc zar of Toledo
File size:58 MBytes (43 minutes)
File type:mp4

"14 Platoon of B Company of Die Middellandse Regiment escape from Tobruk" by Ian Pringle
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 25 January 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
The escape from Tobruk of 14 Platoon of B Company of Die Middellandse Regiment led by Lt. Cecil Quills Featherstone, MC in June 1942. It is the story of a dash through advancing enemy forces to avoid capture and fight another day. The talk includes a discussion of the history of Die Middelandse Regiment and the close ties maintained by veterans of the unit after WW2.
Link to video file:Die Middellandse Regiment escape from Tobruk
File size:32 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"No grave but the sea" by Capt Charles Ross
Zoomlecture given from Johannesburg on 21 January 2021, hosted by Johannesburg branch
How the Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorate those that have no grave, but the sea
A talk detailing the various memorials set up by governments and the War Graves Board to commemorate persons that were lost at sea.
Memorials that were detailed were Thiepval, Menin Gate, Chatham Naval, Plymouth Naval, Portsmouth Naval, Bombay (Mumbai), Chitagong, Bombay 1939- 45, Halifax, Victoria, New Zealand Naval, Tower Hill, Liverpool Naval, Lee-on-Solent, Lowestoft, Runnymede Air Force, Malta, Hollybrook, Brookwood, Maseru, Attridgeville, Avalon, El Alamein, and Seaforth.
Link to video file:Buried at Sea - Part1
File size:51 MBytes (31 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Buried at Sea - Part2
File size:26 MBytes (14 minutes)
File type:mp4

"The story of the British 1820 Settler Bowker family in the Eastern Cape" by Stephen Bowker
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 December 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
Miles and Anna Maria Bowker and their young family from Mitford in Northern England arrived in Algoa Bay on 15 May 1820. They settled on their allotted farm Tharfield, between Port Alfred and the Great Fish River. The family was prominent in the affairs of the 1820 British Settlers in the Eastern Cape. The Bowkers participated in the 6th, 7th and 8th Frontier Wars. Stephen's talk included short descriptions of the respective contributions of each of the Bowker siblings to South Africa in the fields of politics, commerce, medicine, farming and natural history.
Link to video file:Bowker family history
File size:74 MBytes (55 minutes)
File type:mp4

Air to air operations in the Ogaden War by Franco Cilliers
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 30 November 2020, hosted by SAMHSEC
The talk focused on air to air operations during the war between Ethiopia and Somalia between July 1977 and March 1978. The war began with the ultimately unsuccessful Somali invasion of the Ethiopian region of Ogaden to gain control of its predominantly ethnic Somali population. The more effective use of air power by Ethiopia proved decisive in the defeat of the Somali invasion. The conduct of the war was influenced by involvement of both Cold War superpowers.
Link to video file:Air to air operations in the Ogaden War
File size:20 MBytes (12 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

'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

"Novels, some SA inspiration, and the formation of MI5 and MI6" by 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

"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

"Military History - one heavy metal song at a time - Sabaton" 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

"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)

"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
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

"Biological terrorism" by Malcolm Kinghorn
Zoomlecture on 11 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC
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
File size:11.3 MBytes
File type:mp4


"Field Trip to Bathurst by SAMHSEC" by Nick Cowley
Zoomlecture given from Bathurst on 27 November 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
An illustrated talk on SAMHSEC's field trip to Bathurst on 4 November 2023. The group visited the Methodist Church/Wesleyan Chapel, St John's Anglican Church and the Bathurst Military Post and its powder magazine, all of which contributed to the defence of Bathurst in the 6th Frontier War of 1834/35 & the 7th Frontier War of 1846/47. The field trip included a walking tour of 1820 era buildings. A discussion of the 1820 Settlers' role in South African history followed at the Toposcope on a hill overlooking the village. The field trip concluded with a visit to Bradshaws' Mill, which is the oldest water driven textile mill in the country.
Link to video file:Bathurst
File size:26 MBytes (12 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Field trip to Fort Brown and Fort Double Drift" by Pat and Anne Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 10 April 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
This talk is an overview of the SAMHSEC tour to Fort Brown and Fort Double Drift in the Eastern Cape. The tour happened on the 12 March 2023
The field trip focussed on Eastern Cape fortifications with particular reference to the history and construction of both Fort Brown and Fort Double Drift on the Great Fish River. Among other places of interest visited along the historic 'Queen's Road' were the Andrew Geddes Bain Monument, the Ecca Pass and the military cemetery near Fort Brown. Topics covered included various battles and skirmishes which took place during the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Frontier Wars, the ambush at the Koonap Hills, and the bridge over the Great Fish River.
These defences saw action from 1820 to 1878.
Link to video file:Fort Brown and Fort Double Drift Pt1
File size:38 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Fort Brown and Fort Double Drift Pt2
File size:20 MBytes (15 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Overview of the history of Fort Willshire" by Pat Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 25 July 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
This talk is an overview of the history of Fort Willshire in the Eastern Cape.
From 1819-1836 Fort Willshire was the most important military post in the Eastern Cape, even though no battles or even significant skirmishes were fought in its vicinity. For 12 years, it also became a major trading centre on the east Cape Frontier. Historically, it was also the focus of the interaction between military, social, economic, and political issues.
SAMHSEC are planning a field trip to the site in Oct/Nov 2022.
Link to video file:Fort Willshire Pt 1
File size:14 MBytes (10 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Fort Willshire Pt 2
File size:33 MBytes (18 minutes)
File type:mp4


"Three British War Memorials with a South African connection" by Pat Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 27 November 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
Three British War Memorials with links to South Africa are described and discussed in terms of their and appearance and content. The related units, the 'Highland Light Infantry' in Glasgow, the '6th Dragoon Guards' ('The Carabiniers') in London and 'The Cameronians' in Glasgow are also briefly discussed, including their participation in the East Cape Frontier Wars and the Anglo-Boer War. Particular attention is given to the Cameronians' affiliation with the Witwatersrand Rifles from the 1930s to 1968.
Link to video file:War Memorials
File size:47 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Rediscovering the SS Helmspey through rubber bales" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 30 October 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC Branch.
The SS Helmspey was sunk by U-516 11 miles south of Cape St Francis on 11 February 1943. Rubber bales, presumably from her cargo, started washing ashore in September 2023.
Link to video file:S S Helmspey
File size:26 MBytes (13 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Shoreham Aircraft Museum and the White Hart Inn by Pat Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 25 September 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
South African Pat Irwin recently visited war memorials in the village of Shoreham (UK). The Aircraft Museum contains relics of the Battle of Britain collected from locations around the village which was situated near the airfields involved in the Battle of Britain. He also visited Brasted where is the famed White Horse Inn favoured by RAF Pilots as a pub during the Battle. Both locations contain many historical photographs and memories of the people who took part in the Battle of Britain.
Link to video file:Shoreham Aircraft Museum
File size:62 MBytes (27 minutes)
File type:mp4

"National Army Museum London - A glimpse of what it has to offer" by Anne Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 11 September 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
South African Anne Irwin recently visited the Museum in London and discussed the value of dedicated military history museums in today s society. The displays current at the time of her visit focused on What makes a Soldier, showing the work of soldiers through the ages, from infantrymen to the Army Air Corps.
Link to video file:National Army Museum Pt1
File size:57 MBytes (25 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:National Army Museum Pt2
File size:30 MBytes (13 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

"Visit to Gothenberg Air Force Museum,Sweden" by Franco Cilliers
Zoomlecture on 18 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC
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
File size:19.5 Mbytes
File type:mp4

"Career and military service of Lady Sue Ryder" by Stephen Bowker
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 August 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
Margaret Susan Cheshire, Baroness Ryder of Warsaw, Lady Cheshire, CMG, OBE, best known as Sue Ryder, was a British volunteer with Special Operations Executive in WW 2 and a member of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, who after the war established charitable organisations, notably the Sue Ryder Foundation.
Link to video file:Sue Ryder Pt1
File size:45 MBytes (30 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Sue Ryder Pt2
File size:30 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Louis Zamperini, Olympian and War Hero" by Dylan Fourie
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 12 June 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
Louis Zamperini was an Italian-American Olympian at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
During World War 2, Zamperini served as bomber crew in the Pacific Theatre. He and another crew member survived 47 days in a life raft before being captured by the Japanese. His 2 years as a Prisoner of War left him with severe PTSD symptoms. After the war, he became a motivational speaker and evangelist.
Link to video file:Zamperini Pt1
File size:20 MBytes (14 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Zamperini Pt2
File size:38 MBytes (26 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Rob Roy McGregor - Rogue or Rough Diamond" by McGill Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 14 November 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Rob Roy MacGregor lived from 1671 to 1734. He was a Scottish Highlander and folk hero who participated in at least three Jacobite uprisings. Sometimes described as the Scottish Robin Hood, he went from being a respected cattle farmer to a notorious cattle rustler. A highly contentious and controversial individual, he played off clan chiefs against each other for his own benefit and ultimately lived the life of a brigand and adventurer, renowned as a champion of the poor.
An exceptional swordsman, he led his clan in battle against the forces of the king, was incarcerated in Newgate prison yet was granted a royal pardon. Rogue and rebel with a benevolent bent, he lived in turbulent times in a rough neighbourhood where every man was a soldier, whether he liked it or not
Link to video file:Rob Roy
File size:93 MBytes (33 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Leonard Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and 2 Bars, DFC" by Stephen Bowker
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 12 September 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire VC, DSO and DFC was both a fighter and a philanthropist, reaching massive achievements in two totally different phases of his life. During the Second World War he was the youngest Bomber Group Captain with the RAF, with over 100 missions over enemy territory. Statistically, he should have been killed four times.
During peace he established the world-wide charity of Cheshire homes for the disabled allowing them to live life with dignity, their way.
Link to video file:Cheshire Pt1
File size:35 MBytes (22 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Cheshire Pt2
File size:22 MBytes (17 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Out of the ordinary - Hope Urquhart" by John Moran
John Moran is researching books that he is writing about ordinary citizens and their circumstances through their everyday lives. This talk was about Hope Urquhart and his family, starting with his birth in Queensland Australia and concluding with an unfortunate accident in North Africa during WW2.
Zoomlecture given from Brisbane, Australia on 29 August 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Link to video file:Hope Urquhart
File size:76 MBytes (32 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Victor Clapham - 8 South African Infantry and Comrades Marathon" by Dr Anne Samson
Zoomlecture given from UK on 29 August 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Vic Clapham was the founder of the Comrades Marathon, an ultra marathon run annually in Kwa-Zulu Natal between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. Vic came up with the idea following his service with 8 South African Infantry in East Africa during the war years 1916-1917. This short talk tells of Vic's experiences.
Link to video file:Vic Clapham
File size:42 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Jack s War" by Paul McNaughton
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 28 February 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Paul s talk covers his father, Jack s service in North Africa in Die Middelandse Regiment and as a Vickers Machine Gun Platoon Commander in the Imperial Light Horse/Kimberley Regiment in the 6th South African Armoured Division in the Italian Campaign of 1944-45. The talk includes personal recollections as recounted to his sons in later years and stories by fellow soldiers who knew him and provides details to the broad canvas of the campaign.
Link to video file:Jack's war
File size:57 MBytes (21 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Wounded Warriors (Major General Millan Astray, Lt Gen Adrian Carton de Wiart, Brig E.P Hartshorn by McGill Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 13 September 2021 hosted by SAMHSEC
The lecture takes a look at some exceptional maimed men of war who rose to significant heights in their respective armies during the first half of the 20th Century. One was from a cultured Spanish family (Major General Millan Astray) and went on to found a foreign legion. Another was a Belgian aristocrat (Lt Gen Adrian Carton de Wiart) who won the VC and became a British general officer. The third was a British-born part-time South African officer (Brig E.P Hartshorn) who rose to the rank of brigadier and commanded a brigade in the Second World War. All of them fought in several wars, led their soldiers from the front, received multiple wounds, lost a limb and two of them also lost an eye. Yet all continued to serve with distinction in battle and were highly decorated.
Link to video file:Wounded Warriors Pt1
File size:42 MBytes (16 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Wounded Warriors Pt2
File size:26 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Kenneth Graham Gillings 1947 - 2016" by Graeme Fuller
Zoomlecture given from Durban on 12 Aug 2021 hosted by Johannesburg branch
A Personal Reminiscence and Tribute from his friend Graeme Fuller
Link to video file:Ken Gillings remembered part 1
File size:49 MBytes (34 minutes)
File type:mp4
Link to video file:Ken Gillings remembered part 2
File size:29 MBytes (19 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Tribute to Sergeant-major Jock Hutton" by Mac Alexander
Zoomlecture given at the SAMHSEC 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/Tembu in Mozambique (1977).
Link to video file:Jock Hutton
File size:9 MBytes (7 minutes)
File type:mp4

"Detective constable John Christian Hoehler, KPM, SAP" by Mac Alexander
Zoomlecture on 18 May 2020,hosted by SAMHSEC
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
File size:10.3 MBytes
File type:mp4


"The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: The True Story of the Women Who Sewed to Survive by L. J. Adlington" by Anne Irwin
Zoomlecture given from Grahamstown on 29 March 2023 hosted by SAMHSEC
Lucy Adlington s has written a well researched book entitled The Dressmakers of Auschwitz: the true story of women who sewed for their lives and touches on the conditions experienced by prisoners during the Holocaust.
The women who sewed to survive is a brief account of a group of twenty-five mainly Jewish women from Auschwitz who designed, cut and sewed high fashion garments for Hedwig H ss, wife of the camp commandant, and other SS wives in what was called the Upper Tailoring Studio.
Link to video file:Dressmakers
File size:31 MBytes (20 minutes)
File type:mp4

"International Humanitarian Law by Malcolm Kinghorn
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 25 April 2022 hosted by SAMHSEC
Because war crimes are violations of International Humanitarian Law, the allegations of war crimes being committed in the Russian invasion of the Ukraine are focusing attention on International Humanitarian Law.
International Humanitarian Law, also known as the Law of Armed Conflict, is a specific field of public international law that regulates the conduct of parties engaged in armed conflicts and seeks to limit the consequences of armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross as the lead humanitarian organisation in International Humanitarian Law, has published a comprehensive introduction to International Humanitarian Law, which is available as a free download from the International Committee of the Red Cross website. The book is recommended in order to better understand the implications of the allegations of war crimes being committed in the Russian invasion of the Ukraine
Link to video file:International Humanitarian Law
File size:31 MBytes (5 minutes)
File type:mp4

Book review of "The Battle of Bangui by Warren Thompson, Stephen Hofstatter and James Oatway" by Peter Duffel-Canham
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 26 April 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC
Link to video file:The Battle of Bangui
File size:15 MBytes (13 minutes)
File type:mp4

Book review of the autobiography "Jungle Man by Major P.L. Pretorius, CMG, DSO and Bar " by McGill Alexander
Zoomlecture given from Port Elizabeth on 29 March 2021, hosted by SAMHSEC branch
An autobiography by one of Africa's greatest big game hunters and a South African soldier of note during the First World War. He carried out pioneering special forces actions, including deep reconnaissance, during the East African Campaign, serving as the Chief Scout to General Jan Smuts. He was also the vital cog in finding the German cruiser SMS K nigsberg that had hidden in the Rufiji River Delta, enabling her to be crippled by the Royal Navy and forcing the captain to scuttle her. The exploits by Pretorius against the Germans paralleled those of his contemporary, Lawrence of Arabia and he ended the war highly decorated by the British government.
Link to video file:Book review Jungle Man
File size:29.9 MBytes (23 minutes)
File type:mp4

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