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101 Battalion (South Africa)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

35/101 Battalion
SWA 101 Battalion emblem.jpg
SWATF 101 Battalion emblem
Country Namibia,  South Africa
Allegiance South Africa
Branch South African Army,
TypeMotorised Infantry
Part ofSouth West African Territorial Force
Garrison/HQOndangwa, Etale, Rundu (17°57′55″S 19°43′56″E / 17.96528°S 19.73222°E / -17.96528; 19.73222)
EquipmentCasspir, Buffalo, Kwêvoël and Bedford Trucks
Colonel of
the Regiment
Commandant Welgemoed
Part of the South West African Territorial Force
Insignia of the South West African Territorial Force.svg
SWATF 101 Battalion beret badge
SWATF 101 Battalion beret badge.jpg
101 Battalion Beret showing Unit Badge and Infantry Bar
202 Battalion Beret showing the Beret Badge.jpg

101 Battalion (pronounced as one-o-one Battalion) was a quick-reaction unit of the South West African Territorial Force, composed of black and white commissioned and enlisted personnel.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Top 10 Comandantes - No Alemanes - Segunda Guerra Mundial


Their Feats Our History GmitU Presents: Welcome friends In today's video we will see the ones that I personally consider 10 of the most outstanding high-profile officers of the conflict. Of all nations with the exception of Germany. If it was already difficult to make a top ten German commanders and several were left out of the list, Even more accentuated will result in this video where it will cover a large number of countries. So you will see a large number of officers that will not appear, some, although famous, I do not consider them with the necessary level and therefore will not appear in this top ten. Many others could appear perfectly among the ten best, although for lack of places they have been left out. As I already invited you in the video of top 10 German commanders, I do it again so that you leave your lists with the best officers that you think are the most outstanding, Since in the end in these cases everything depends on our personal impressions. Number 10 Giovanni Messe. Unlike other Italian officers who were promoted before the conflict, commonly by partisan interests, Messe emerged during the conflict on the battlefield, distinguishing himself during the difficult and desperate situation in the Soviet Union. One of those high officers of dubious ability, General Ugo Cavallero a member of the Italian nobility and who had already been hated by Rommel, Deliberately he sent Giovanni Messe to North Africa when the forces of the axis were already in a critical situation, with the intention of getting rid of the Messe. Giovanni Messe was promoted to Marshal and would later be taken prisoner in Africa by the Allied forces. Giovanni Messe was a good officer, for some the best in Italy, and despite the limitations of the Italian army more commanders like him would have given, perhaps, greater strength and better results for the Alpine country during the conflict. Number 9 Air Marshal of the Royal Air Force Hugh Dowding. After the battle of England the phrase "never so many owed so much to so few" became very famous Referring to the British pilots and allies who defended the British Isles of the German Air Force. Not so well-known is Dowding, head of the Combat Command of the RAF during the Battle of Britain in 1940. He was the creator of the defensive framework known as the Dowding system, which integrated the radar, bandwidth frequencies and radio control of the fighters that defended the skies of England. Although fallen to some extent into oblivion, without Dowding's strategy, the outcome of the Battle of Britain could have been very different, and with it all the operations carried out during the following years of the conflict. For these reasons I consider him worthy of mention. Number 8 Harold Alexander. The British Marshal has one of the most extensive curricula of the military of high patent and in his civil life. During the Second World War he oversaw the final stages of the Allied evacuation from Dunkirk. He subsequently held senior management positions in Burma, North Africa and Italy. He served as Commander-in-Chief of the Middle East and commanded the 18th Army Group in Tunisia. Then he commanded the 15th Army Group in Sicily and Italy, He would end up being named Supreme Allied Commander in the Mediterranean. Montgomery was Alexander's subordinate in North Africa until the rise of Monty, promoted to Marshal, Alexander would again be the superior of the famous Montgomery. Alexander, who did not like to openly discuss with other officers of the high command, lost some prominence in front of Montgomery, although it is true that there are detractors of both officers. Bradley, the excellent American general, preferred Alexander for the American and British forces to work together instead of Montgomery. Although pressures made Alexander continue in the Italian theater. Sir Harold Alexander would be governor of Canada from 1946 to 1952. Number 7 Jacob Devers. In 1941 he was appointed head of the armored force, composed of two divisions and a battalion, based in Fort Knox. Devers was one of the allied officers who, based on German experiences, applied the tactical doctrine of the use of combined arms: infantry, artillery, armor and close air support. Although it is something very common nowadays it was a very premature job and even with a certain risk at the time. In 1943, Devers was appointed commander of the European Theater of Operations and collaborated closely with the Allied supreme commander in the planning to disembark in Normandy. Interestingly, Eisenhower requested several times to prioritize resources for the North African front, where most of the time Devers prevented it, since he considered Operation Overlord to be the crucial one. Eisenhower was later assigned to the General Staff of Normandy and Devers of North Africa. Devers would be responsible for the operations in Italian territory and the architect of the successful and extremely complex, operationally and logistically, Operation Dragoon in the South of France in 1944. Summarizing in a simpler than correct way we could say that Devers was the other Eisenhower of the American armed forces. Number 6 The Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Isoroku Yamamoto. Possibly the brightest Japanese officer in the conflict. Little can be contributed from this famous admiral. Responsible for planning the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Commander embarked on the battleship Yamato during the fruitless Battle of Midway Although his leadership was questioned after this battle he continued in his position so as not to affect the morale of the troops. During the campaign in Guadalcanal he would die. I have highlighted it in this top 10 although I have positioned it in a relatively low number, For the contradictory results and mainly for not being able to judge its complete performance until the end of the conflict in 1945. Number 5 Tomoyuki Yamashita, General of the Japanese Imperial Army He was the commander of the splendid campaign on Malaya and the impressive result in Singapore, where with less than half the men his rival defeated the British-Allied forces with a more than impressive end result. Yamashita received the nicknames of "Tiger of Malaysia" or of "Rommel of the Jungle" Marginalized to second line by a mistake during a speech was called to the front again in 1944 to defend The Philippines. Despite very hard losses Yamashita and his men only surrendered weeks after the Japanese surrender and without having been defeated. Although virtually they were. Number 4 George Patton Jr. Possibly the most popular and well-known American officer in the conflict. He participated in various campaigns, from North Africa, Italy, Normandy, the Ardennes and finally in Germany. He was even in charge of leading the phantom army that distracted the German high command before the Normandy landings. While it is true that General Patton can not be evaluated under really adverse conditions and that he was the protagonist of an arduous propaganda campaign to increase the morale of the troops, it is also true that his charisma and strength favored the performance of his troops. Personally I even have doubts about the total capacity of Patton, who received the command in France when the Norman front had collapsed in the western sector. I put it in number 4, for the varied compliments received by Patton by German high-patent officers. Model stated that Patton's decisions were excellent, who did what he had to do, at the right time and in the right way, and that he himself, Model, had done exactly the same. Taking into account the important role he played for the US Army and the opinion of the German officers, Patton occupies one of the top positions in this top 10. Number 3 Georgy Zhukov. Undoubtedly the most well-known Soviet officier of all. He was in charge of organizing the defenses of Leningrad, Moscow and Staligrad in the early stages of the conflict. Later he would participate in the Battle of the Kursk and Operation Bagration and in 1945 the capture of Berlin. Very famous and well-known is the Operation Uranus, where the German troops would be surrounded in Stalingrad. Less famous is the biggest defeat of Zhukov in Operation Mars, almost simultaneous to Uranus and that was hidden for many years by the Soviet regime. Zhukov facing the German troops prematurely sent the second wave of troops that had to explore the attack in depth, after the blockade of the initial attack. Although it was advanced a few kilometers the operation failed. and the losses of Soviet tanks exceeded the total number of armor available to encircle Stalingrad. Zhukov led and carried the main weight of the Red Army during the conflict becoming one of the best commanders of the Second World War. Number 2 Gustaf Mannerheim. If Zhukov was the main Soviet leader Mannerheim was from Finland. The Marshal of the Army would end up being named Marshal of Finland. Although he can not be awarded a large number of impressive victories, the potential he knew how to extract from the small Finnish army, in several aspects even laughable, was possibly the best of the conflict. During the winter war against the Soviet Union, although the country ended up yielding to the demands of Stalin, the Finnish performance was enormous, practically without air force and with many shortcomings managed to inflict great losses to the Red Army. Although again helped by the terrain during the Continuation War, it managed to advance and form a stable front, Although this was a secondary front, but of all the allies of Germany it was more self-sufficient. Which gave some air to the overloaded German army. As I said initially we will not see epic or glorious victories, but the performance of Finland considering its limited armed forces was extraordinary. Undoubtedly the best among Germany's allies. Number 1 The Soviet Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky For some, including myself, Rokossovsky is considered a more skilled and brilliant officer than Zhukov. Rokossovsky stressed as a brilliant military during the withdrawal of Smolensk, for slowing down the German advance and he surprised everyone by the masterful leadership of his men during the defense of Moscow. In the following year he returned to show his genius covering the retreat of the Red Army around Bryansk and the Don River. He participated in the offensive on Stalingrad and the defense of Kursk. Famous is the description of his meeting with Stalin for the organization of Operation Bagration. The Soviet leader wanted the typical single advance employed by the Red Army, Rokossovsky advocated a two-point advance. Stalin had the marshal retire three times and rethink his opinion, All three times the marshal defended the double advance. Finally, Stalin put his hand on the shoulder pad where his patent looked. Those present expected the Soviet leader remove his badges. We must bear in mind that the now marshal had escaped the great purge of the Soviet leader by miracle and had been sentenced to life imprisonment. Stalin ended up accepting the new vision that went against the doctrine used by the Red Army. Operation Bagration was a success and ruled out any possibility for Germany to avoid defeat. Subscribe if you have not done it yet and want to see more content like this, give me a like if you liked the video and see you soon.




The unit was formed in January 1976 as 1 Owambo Battalion,[1] renamed to 35 Battalion in January 1978,[1] 35 Battalion recruited exclusively among the Owambo. and were only given basic training, but this changed after 1978 when the training intensified with an emphasis on rural counterinsurgency operations.


The South West Africa Territory Force, SWATF[2] renumbered battalion numbers according to their geographical positioning on the border. The prefix 10 pertained to battalions operating to the west of the Kavango River, 20 to the Kavango or central region and 70 to the eastern region. Under this system, 35 Battalion was renamed 101 Battalion in 1980.

SWATF Northern Sector Map
SWATF Northern Sector Map


Until 1980 101 battalion was used as small teams attached to SADF units as trackers and interpreters.

Light Infantry

By 1981 101 converted to a light infantry battalion.

By 1983 at least 2700 men had been recruited and trained, many converted SWAPO insurgents.

Introduction of the Romeo Mike Concept

A significant development in 101's operations occurred during 1982 with the adaption of Koevoet tactics to a military context. The Reaction Force concept or Romeo Mike developed into two Special Service Companies (901 and 903) in 1984 and a further two (902 and 904) by 1985.[3] Their purpose was to relentlessly track and surround exhausted insurgents. Once a track was detected, elements of a team would dismount from a Casspir and follow the track at a run with the remainder of the team rested and following in the Casspir, and swapping over with the runners frequently, thus sustaining a fast pursuit of the insurgents. When contact was made, the full team with Casspir would charge in. The Romeo Mikes’s other three Casspirs would be close of each other and would also react.


101 Battalion consisted of:

  • a HQ,
  • a support company,
  • a light workshop,
  • a training wing,
  • Special service companies, translating Police tracking concepts to suit Army operations:
    • 901 and
    • 903 Special Service Companies.

These Companies concentrated on external operations and pursuit of infiltrators. Another two reaction force companies was activated,and

  • a Reconnaissance Wing.


Each team in a company had:

  • 4 X Casspirs
  • 1 X Kwêvoël 50
  • 2 X Hispano Suiza 20mm cannons,
  • 6 X 50 cal Browning machine guns
  • 4 X Light machine guns and
  • 4 X 60mm patrol mortars


101 Battalions reaction force teams averaged about 200 contacts annually.[4] By 1985 101 Battalion fought under its own command instead of being detached to external units.

101 Battalion was part of the Sector 10 response to the Cuban buildup and SWAPO incursions, known as the Merlyn Forces in  1989 South West Africa
101 Battalion was part of the Sector 10 response to the Cuban buildup and SWAPO incursions, known as the Merlyn Forces in 1989 South West Africa


101 Battalion was disbanded on 30 June 1989 upon the independence of Namibia in 1990-91.[1]

101 Battalion's Colours and Standard were finally laid up in the unit church of 5 Reconnaissance Regiment on 10 April 1990.


From Officer Commanding To
1981 Cmdr W.H. Welgemoed c. 1988
1988 Col L. Marais c. 1988
1988 Col L. Kotze c. 1989
From Regimental Sergeant Major To
c. 1985 WO1 C. Schutte c. Nd

Decorations awarded to 101 Battalion members

  • Rifleman D. Hashihamwenda Honoris Crux Silver
  • Luitenant N. Prinsloo Honoris Crux
  • 2 Luitenant D. Bok Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J.J. Bronkhorst Honoris Crux
  • Corporal T. Stander Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J. Theunissen Honoris Crux
  • Corporal F. Frederick Honoris Crux
  • Corporal J.H Steenkamp Honoris Crux
  • L Corporal Roux Honoris Crux
  • Rifleman Schoombee Honoris Crux

Roll of Honour

  • 1987: Abraham,W., Rfn [5]:35641
  • 1985: Abrosuis,A., Rfn [5]:34876
  • 1979: Akaando,J., Lt [5]:35161
  • 1987: Alugodhi,H., Cpl [5]:35702
  • 1987: Alweendo,L., Rfn [5]:35697
  • 1986: Amupolo,P., Cpl [5]:35689
  • 1977: Analati,T., Lt [5]:35168
  • 1982: Andreas,R., Rfn [5]:13
  • 1985: Andreas,H., Rfn [5]:35686
  • 1989: Anunyela,E., Rfn [5]:35724
  • 1986: Boas,R., Rfn [5]:35687
  • 1987: Botes,D., 2Lt [5]:127[a]
  • 1981: Briers,C.A., Maj [5]:2080
  • 1987: Cerement,P., Rfn [5]:35700
  • 1985: Daniel,T., Rfn [5]:34883
  • 1988: Diederichs,J.H., 2Lt [5]:350[a]
  • 1988: Diedericks,J.H., 2Lt [5]:35713
  • 1979: Djolomien,M., Cpl [5]:35162
  • 1985: Domingos,M., Rfn [5]:34881
  • 1986: Domingus,J., Rfn [5]:35690
  • 1987: Dreyer,M.C.M., Lt [5]:369[a]
  • 1987: Epafu,P., Rfn [5]:35710
  • 1985: Felosiano,J., Rfn [5]:34879
  • 1987: Fernando,M., L-Cpl [5]:35696
  • 1985: Fillemon,J., Rfn [5]:34884
  • 1983: Fillipus,N., Rfn [5]:35170
  • 1978: Frans,J., Lt [5]:35157
  • 1985: Gabriel,I., Rfn [5]:482[a]
  • 1977: Gagiano,K., Lt [5]:485[a]
  • 1979: Gottlieb,A., Lt [5]:35159
  • 1988: Haifiku,L., Rfn [5]:35717
  • 1988: Haimbodi,H., Rfn [5]:35718
  • 1988: Haindula,S., Rfn [5]:35716
  • 1983: Hamutenya,S., Rfn [5]:35169
  • 1986: Hochapfel,C.V., Cmdt [5]:591
  • 1985: Ismael,P., Rfn [5]:35685
  • 1985: Iyango,K., Rfn [5]:34869
  • 1981: Jacob,B., Lt [5]:35167
  • 1985: Jakob,S., Rfn [5]:35684
  • 1987: Job,T., Rfn [5]:35704
  • 1981: Johannes,A., Lt [5]:35166
  • 1985: Jonas,E., Rfn [5]:34861
  • 1986: Jonas,L.N.D., Rfn [5]:35694
  • 1985: Kandjii,J., Rfn [5]:34877
  • 1989: Kapentse,N., Rfn [5]:35726
  • 1980: Kapuna,S., Rfn [5]:35163
  • 1986: Kavari,K., Cpl [5]:35691
  • 1986: Kefas,T., Rfn [5]:35693
  • 1987: Leonard,E., Rfn [5]:35699
  • 1986: Londo,I., L-Cpl [5]:35692
  • 1978: Mandingi,N., Rfn [5]:35158
  • 1989: Mandume,J., Rfn [5]:35725
  • 1987: Martin,J., Sgt [5]:35701
  • 1977: Mathias,J., Sktr [5]:35156
  • 1985: Mbango,J., Rfn [5]:34873
  • 1989: McCann,M.S., 2Lt [5]:34725
  • 1982: Meulemo,N.K., Rfn [5]:953
  • 1987: Meyer,E.A., Spr [5]:954[a]
  • 1985: Mikael,H., Rfn [5]:959
  • 1987: Moses,M., Rfn [5]:35707
  • 1982: Moses,R., Rfn [5]:989
  • 1984: Nangolo,J., L-Cpl [5]:35171
  • 1985: Nangolo,J., Rfn [5]:35683
  • 1987: Nangula,E., Rfn [5]:35706
  • 1987: Ndjolonimus,M., Rfn [5]:35698
  • 1987: Nyawala,E., Rfn [5]:35695
  • 1984: Paulus,J., Rfn [5]:35682
  • 1984: Paulus,A., Rfn [5]:35472
  • 1987: Petrus,V., Rfn [5]:35709
  • 1988: Petrus,F., L-Cpl [5]:35720
  • 1988: Petrus,J., Rfn [5]:35721
  • 1980: Phillipus,E., Rfn [5]:35165
  • 1987: Rademeyer,A.H. du B., Capt [5]:1189[a]
  • 1988: Robert,W., Rfn [5]:35719
  • 1988: Savinga,J., Rfn [5]:35723
  • 1988: Semba,G.K., Rfn [5]:35722
  • 1979: Shangweni,S., Lt [5]:35160
  • 1987: Sheepo,T., Rfn [5]:35712
  • 1987: Shilulu,G., Rfn [5]:35708
  • 1980: Shipago,I., Lt [5]:35164
  • 1987: Shitongeni,W., Cpl [5]:35703
  • 1987: Simon,E., Rfn [5]:35705
  • 1987: Steyn,E.A., Spr [5]:1347[a]
  • 1987: Strydom,H.L., Cpl [5]:1365[a]
  • 1988: Sutter,M.C., Spr [5]:35715
  • 1987: Tamsen,E., L-Cpl [5]:1398[a]
  • 1986: Thomas,N., Rfn [5]:35688[a]
  • 1986: Thomas,N., Cpl [5]:1422
  • 1987: Uusshona,M., Rfn [5]:35711
  • 1988: Venter,H.J., L-Cpl [5]:1582[a]
  • 1982: Vilho,H., Rfn [5]:1599
  • 1984: Ward,D.J., SSgt [5]:1630[a]
  • 1984: Ward,D.J., SSgt [5]:35172[a]
  • 1987: Wetton,C.D., Spr [5]:1650[a]
  • 1988: Yeo,E.C., Cpl [5]:1684[a]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p This person is marked on the Fort Klapperkop Memorial wall with an * as having died during operations or in combat.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Units of the South West African Territorial Force (SWATF)". Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Heitman,H.R. Modern African Wars(3): South West Africa, Osprey Publishing
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq Dovey, John. "SA Roll of Honour:". Just Done Productions Publishing. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  • Snyman, PHR (1989). Beeld Van Die SWA Gebiedsmag (in Afrikaans). ISBN 9780621126426.

Further reading

  • Helmoed-Romer Heitman (Author), Paul Hannon (Illustrator), Modern African Wars (3): South-West Africa (Men-At-Arms Series, 242), Osprey Publishing (November 28, 1991) ISBN 1-85532-122-X.
This page was last edited on 24 July 2019, at 09:19
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