Buffalo Battalion: South-Africa’s 32 Battalion – A tale of sacrifice (Louis Bothma)

Buffalo Battalion, 2nd revised edition (2019), is the English version of the runaway Afrikaans bestseller, Die Buffel Struikel (first published in 2006)

From the ashes of two Angolan wars – a terrorist and a civil war – a new South African Army unit was born; a unit that had to fight South Africa’s terrorist war on Angola’s side of the border – a stepchild, hidden away aside in the bush.

This unit was South Africa’s famous 32 Battalion where the author of this book, Louis Bothma, was an officer in 1978. In the preface of the book, he says: I did not know what people were going to say about this book, but this is how it was – those years when boys had to be men. It is the true story of white and black soldiers – South Africans, South-Westers (Namibians), Angolans, Australians, Britons, Rhodesians (Zimbabweans) and others – who, through a combination of circumstances, landed up in the same battalion where they had to fight secretly for South Africa in a “terrorist war” beyond the country’s borders.

Bothma sums up: The book deals with more than just shooting. It is about who we were, how we came to be together, what we learned from each other, and what happened in the bush; our fears and expectations, our tears and happiness, our camaraderie and loyalty towards one other – even years after the Battalion had been disbanded and we scattered in all directions.

At the end of the book, the author summarizes 32 Battalion’s losses during the Border War. Attached is a list of deceased members as well as the 32 BN Graveyard Register.

Soft cover, 537 pages, maps, two photo sections and index