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School of Artillery (South Africa)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

School of Artillery
SADF School of Artillery emblem.png
SANDF School of Artillery Emblem
Active 1934 – current
Country  South Africa
Branch  South African Army
Role Artillery training school
Part of South African Army Artillery Formation
Garrison/HQ Potchefstroom 26°40′16″S 27°04′28″E / 26.67099°S 27.07446°E / -26.67099; 27.07446
Motto(s) Per Scientiam Vires
(Strength through Science)
Collar Badge Bursting grenade with seven flames
Beret Colour Oxford Blue
Artillery Battery Emblems
SANDF Artillery Battery emblems
Artillery Beret Bar circa 1992
SANDF Artillery Beret Bar

The School of Artillery is the South African Army's specialized artillery training school



Before the establishment of a South African artillery school in 1934[1] there were a number of earlier artillery training establishments. The first was formed at the Cape in August 1786 with Lt. Louis-Michel Thibault, later better known as an architect, as head of the ‘Militaire School’. It did not operate for long.

Almost a hundred years later an artillery school was proposed by Capt W E Giles, Royal Artillery, in a document submitted to the Cape Colonial Government in March 1880. It was not accepted.

School of Gunnery

On 14 September 1912 when the five regiments of the SA Mounted Rifles were about to be established, a School of Gunnery was opened at Auckland Park, Johannesburg, in the lines of the Transvaal Horse Artillery. Its purpose was to train officers and NCO’s for the first three permanent batteries that were to be established. The school closed down when war broke out in 1914 after only two courses had been completed.

Artillery Training Depot

The next artillery training institution was the Artillery Training Depot, established at Wynberg Camp, Cape Town, in August 1915 to train the artillery batteries that fought in East Africa, and later in Palestine.

Establishment of the Artillery Corps

A corps of South African Artillery was established by proclamation on 1 September 1934 to incorporate all the Permanent and Citizen Force units and on 7 September the two batteries lost their battery status and were formed into an Artillery Training Depot, armed with 4.5 inch howitzers, 18-pdrs and 3.7 inch howitzers.

The Depot staff was responsible for the training of all artillery recruits and all artillery units, except Cape Field Artillery (CFA), which was the responsibility of the Cape Command Training Depot.

Artillery School

By August 1935 the Artillery Training Depot was organized as a Depot Headquarters with three batteries. And on 24 October 1936 the title was altered to that of ‘Artillery School’. War was declared on 6 September 1939 and with no suitable area near Pretoria for gunnery practice, the School moved to Potchefstroom.

During the time the School was at Potchefstroom it underwent various changes of designation and became a unit of the Citizen Force when its title was altered to Artillery and Armoured Corps Training School (V), South African Artillery from 1 January 1944.

When the war was over it was re-established on 14 June 1946 as a Permanent Force unit known as the School of Artillery and Armour. It was housed in the main camp but when 4 Field Training Regiment was formed in 1953 the School moved to the former SA Air Force base below Hospital Hill.

Armour training was moved to Bloemfontein in 1964, and the school became a separate unit known simply as the School of Artillery on 1 February 1964, a name it has since retained.[2]

It was awarded the freedom of Potchefstroom on 10 March 1978.[citation needed]


The School conducts the following training:

Basic Instruction which includes: drill, safety, operation of muzzle loading, procedures for each position of a crew. Students are provided with knowledge of the various artillery systems, knowledge in the areas of observed fire, fire direction, and to manage maintenance.

Advanced Instruction includes: drill, safety, and operation up to battery level. Students are provided with the knowledge of manoeuvre force, target acquisition, survey, and counter-fire. Also included are typical field gunnery problems, fire direction, observed fire, and firing battery operations.

Officers are trained to manage fire direction operations, target acquisitioning, and deployment, in support management, maintenance and supply procedures, as well as communications/electronics. Officers may be eventually utilised as commanders, fire support officers, or fire direction officers.

Instructors Training: Students may also become Instructors in their own right after a period of time in the Formation.


Conventional Artillery

Variant Description Comment Image
G1 Howitzer 25 pounder, high explosive, anti tank and smoke shells  United Kingdom design
SANDF G1 Cannon
G2 Howitzer 5.5 inch medium gun, high explosive  United Kingdom design
SANDF G2 Cannon
G4 Howitzer 155mm, high explosive  Israel design, stopgap until the G5 cannon entered service
SANDF G4 Cannon
G5 Howitzer 155mm, high explosive, Samil 100 Gun tractor  South Africa design
G5 with Samil 100 Gun tractor
G6 Howitzer 155mm, high explosive, Self driven  South Africa design
SANDF G6 Rhino

Multiple Rocket Launcher Systems

Variant Description Comment Image
Valkiri MRLS 127mm rocket MLRS  South Africa design Unimog chassis, pre fragmented warhead, 24 launch tubes
Valkiri multiple rocket launcher system
Bateleur MRLS 127mm rocket MLRS  South Africa design Kwevoel chassis, pre fragmented warhead, 40 launch tubes
Bateleur Multiple Rocket Launcher

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Variant Description Comment Image
Vulture UAV Vulture unmanned aerial vehicle  South Africa design. Used for target acquisition, fall-of-shot detection and fire correction in support of Towed and Self Propelled Gun Howitzer Systems.[3]
Vulture Launcher Samil 100


Previous Dress Insignia

SADF era School of Artillery Insignia
SADF era School of Artillery Insignia

Current Dress Insignia

Proficiency badges

SA School of Artillery Leadership

From Commanding Officers To
10 December 1963 Cmdt H.J. Greyvenstein UKLGSC[a] 2 October 1966
3 October 1966 Cmdt C.L. Viljoen[b] 31 January 1968
1 February 1968 Cmdt R.F. Brown 18 December 1968
19 December 1968 Col J.D. Potgieter SM 29 August 1969
30 August 1969 Col R.F. Brown 30 April 1970
1 May 1970 Col F.E.C. van den Berg UKLGSC 14 August 1973
15 August 1973 Col J.J. Bisschoff 29 February 1976
1 March 1976 Col P.M. Lombard UKLGSC 7 January 1980
8 January 1980 Col C.F. Wentzel 31 December 1982
1 January 1983 Col J.A. Laubscher 8 January 1987
9 January 1987 Col J.G. Jacobs 3 January 1991
4 January 1991 Col M.A. Schalekamp SM MMM 30 April 1995
1 May 1995 Col T.J. Coetzee HC MMM 31 December 1998
1 January 1999 Col P. Franken MMM 1 January 2002
1 February 2002 Col K. Makina 1 December 2004
1 January 2005 Col T. Zungu 31 March 2008
1 April 2008 Col D.B.J. Schoonwinkel Present
From Regimental Sergeants Major To
4 January 1957 WO1 J.J.D. Nortjé 2 July 1967
6 July 1967 WO1 A.P. Van Den Berg 30 June 1969
1 July 1969 WO1 J.D. Kruger 31 December 1969
1 January 1970 WO1 J.H.J. Willemse PMM 12 May 1974
13 May 1974 WO1 M.T. Terwin 31 December 1977
1 January 1978 WO1 A.E. Hook 6 December 1980
7 December 1980 WO1 D.J. Venter 31 December 1982
1 January 1983 WO1 W.J. Van Coller 28 February 1984
29 February 1984 WO1 C.J. Badenhorst 30 April 1987
1 May 1987 WO1 A.E. Hook (Jnr.) 3 January 1991
4 January 1991 WO1 W.H.S. Collins 31 December 1994
4 January 1995 WO1 J.A. Boulter 31 December 1998
1 January 1999 WO1 J.F. Krüger 31 December 2000
1 January 2001 WO1 X.S. Siphunzi 11 July 2003
11 July 2003 WO1 J. Niemand 9 January 2005
10 January 2005 WO1 P.E. Petersen 1 November 2008
1 November 2008 MWO M.P. Mokoena n.d
n.d. MWO J.B. van Zyl n.d

Notes and references

  1. ^ United Kingdom Long Gunnery Staff Course
  2. ^ Later General Constand Viljoen SSA SD SOE SM MMM MP – Chief of the SANDF
  1. ^ Anon., "School of Artillery", South African Gunner (PDF), p. 9, archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2013, retrieved 31 March 2015
  2. ^ Englebrecht, Leon (1 February 2013). "South Africa (Order of Battle)". DefenceWeb. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  3. ^ "The Vulture UAV". Paramount Group. 2012. Retrieved 2015-04-01.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 September 2018, at 06:30
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