HISTORICAL REFERENCE &UPDATES in Militaria.

UPDATED:  SEPTEMBER 2017

Copyright 2013

South Africa
32 BN COMMEMORATIVE COINS were actually issued to all or most members of 32 battalion.  The coins were issued  as a token of appreciation of 32 battalion's service in the South-West Africa-Angola Border War and came in three variations: Dark brass; Polished silver metal; Gilt plated and the three variations are reputed to have been "classes" and issued according to rank. (Gilt for officer's, Silver for NCO's, Brass for Other Ranks.)  Some of these coins were numbered, with the numbers being stamped on the obverse of the coin, below the 32bn Buffalo head badge.  Some of the coins were not numbered but whether all issued coins were numbered or not is uncertain.
 
S. A. TEST JUMPER ASSOCIATION WINGS: Metal & enamel wings appeared in 2003. Similar design to the test jumper association wing from the early 1980's which were embroidered on Nutria.  Whether the metal versions are new "issue", new prototypes or undiscovered earlier versions is not certain.  The test jumper association wings, either in cloth or metal were completely unofficial & never authorized for wear by SADF personnel.
 
SOUTH AFRICAN ARMY -2005:  The SANDF began the issue of a single shoulder flash for all units of the army and also a single beret badge (unconfirmed).  However, the Para Brigades and the Special Forces are exempted and still retain their distinct shoulder flashes and beret badges. 
 
PATTERN 70 WEBBING:  The SADF officially designated this webbing as PATTERN 70, NOT pattern 71 as some mis-informed refer to it and NOT pattern 67 nor pattern 74 as it has been incorrectly referred to in an Osprey publication.
PATTERN 61/64 WEBBING:  The SADF officially designated this webbing first PATTERN 61, then modified items as pattern 64 then finally as PATTERN 61/64.
PATTERN 83 WEBBING:  The SADF officially designated this webbing as PATTERN 83, and many items are labeled as such.  It has been incorrectly referred to as Pattern 82 in an Osprey publication.
PATTERN 61/64 "RHODESIAN" RADIO POUCH:  It has been pointed out that someone on the internet is selling SA 61/64 magazine pouches as used by the Rhodesian Army as Radio pouches.......RUBBISH.  The Rhodesian never had a radio that small.  Even South Africa (a much richer and more technologically advanced country than Rhodesia) had to "procure" the US PRC 90 to issue to its Special Forces.
 
South African Special Forces

Prior to 1991, Special Forces was a separate branch of the SADF, with its own flag and commanding General. (SADF =  Army, Navy, Air Force, Medical Services & Special Forces)

1,2,4 & 5 Regiments. (and the unofficial 3 Recce)   AND   7 Medical Battalion Group. 

1991: Special Forces was “disbanded” as Branch of Service and then only had a Commandant (unit commander) and fell directly under the command of Army HQ.

1991: 7 Medical Bn Group falls back under SA Medical Services (SAMS)

1991: 2 RECONNAISSANCE RGT was disbanded.

 

LATE 1993 The “Recces” (Special Forces) was disbanded/reorganized/re-designated as 45 PARA BRIGADE, consisting of

-451 PARA BRIGADE (Formerly 5 Recce)

-452 PARA BRIGADE (Formerly 1 Recce)

-453 PARA BRIGADE (Formerly 4 Recce)

During this period the burgundy beret was still worn BUT with a metal 44 Para Beret Badge with black “elephant hide” leather backing.

 

1995 45 PARA BDE. was re-designated as SPECIAL FORCES BRIGADE.

-1 SPECIAL FORCES REGIMENT

-4 SPECIAL FORCES REGIMENT

-5 SPECIAL FORCES REGIMENT

The beret badge was changed back to one similar to the “Recce” beret badge, but with the colours inverted

 
 
South African Police
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE  -2009: Announced in October 2009, the SAPS will return to use of the Pre-1995 title of the South African Police (Force).  The wish of the new Police "Commissioner" is to introduce a stronger and more effective Police. The rank structure and titles will also be reverting back to the old SAP type.  Examples: SAPS "Inspector" becomes Warrant Officer;   SAPS "Superintendent" becomes Lt. Colonel;  SAPS "Senior Superintendent" becomes Colonel and so on including General's ranks and the reintroduction of Lieutenant & Major's ranks.  
JOHANNESBURG METRO POLICE -2000: The old Traffic police were reformed and renamed the Metropolitan Police. Greater training and wider duties were accorded the metro police as well as new uniforms.  While the metro police is still tasked with issuance of speeding violations and such they have greater powers of arrest than the old traffic police. The "Field Dress" uniform is currently a blue shirt with light brown/tan trousers & SWAT type "Jungle" boots. 
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE -1995: The SAP was renamed the South African Police Service (SAPS). New uniforms, insignia and rank badges were designed but unavailable for issue at that time.  In the interim SA Policeman were ordered to cover or remove from any insignia the letters SAP.  They were also ordered to cover or remove from their uniforms the "old" South African tri-colour flag which was usually on their nameplates.
RIOT UNITS -1995: Redesignated the INTERNAL STABILITY DIVISION, rubberized unit pocket flashes were changed to bear the ABS-ISD lettering.
 
RHODESIA
RHODESIAN LIGHT INFANTRY (R.L.I.) 3 COMMANDO "LOVER'S" WINGS   Metal & enamel versions of this wing appeared in 2003. The design is similar to the original RLI 3 Commando Wings.  Originals were bevo woven & an embroidered reproduction was made in SA in the 1980's. Whether these metal & enamel versions were made for a reunion or as "commemoratives" is uncertain.  No evidence exists of 3 Cdo RLI ever using metal wings.
RHODESIAN SHOULDER FLASHES:  Numerous metal & enamel shoulder insignia appeared in 2003. Some of these are of the 4 brigades, special forces as well as definite fantasy pieces such as Selous Scouts and the SAS. Obviously these are commemoratives since the Rhodesian army only used cloth shoulder insignia and not the metal/enamel type like South Africa.

RHODESIAN SELOUS SCOUTS PARACHUTE WINGS.  Completely bogus rubbish offered on ebay.  THE SELLER CLAIMS...."Vintage new old stock Rhodesian jump wings.   Originally manufactured in the United States for U.S. Army Special Forces Green Berets who trained with, and were awarded the honor by Rhodesia long ago."  ABSOLUTE LIE.  No official active duty US military personnel EVER trained with ANY Rhodesian forces.   (With the exception of a 2 or 3 private American ex-soldiers and ex-marines who were actually serving IN the Rhodesian army and qualified with the Selous Scouts)  Nor were there EVER any US personnel as "Advisors" in Rhodesia. (Unless SOF magazine journalists were secretly part of the US government).   Rhodesia was anathema to the United States at the time and under sanctions....... THE SELLER FURTHER CLAIMS:....."these are approximately 40 years old.......clutch back pin style.... These wings were manufactured by the Ira Green corporation.... COMPLETE CRAP!  No Rhodesian Bush War insignia were EVER made by US manufacturers except fakes and CERTAINLY NOT DURING THE RHODESIAN BUSH WAR.  And since no official US personnel were ever in Rhodesia, no US soldiers would be qualified to wear the wings.

RHODESIAN RANK SLIP-ONS.  A number of reproductions are appearing on ebay (2016).  Some are offered as reproductions, others as "originals" but are reproductions, despite what the seller claims. 
RHODESIAN CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORMS:  This is old news to some perhaps but many collectors labour under the assumption (promoted by disreputable sellers) that during the Rhodesian Bush War camouflage uniforms were manufactured in countries other than Rhodesia.  ABSOLUTE NONSENSE.  Not the US, not Spain, not ever South Africa made the camouflage uniforms worn by the Rhodesian Security Forces prior to 1980.  Rhodesia had a thriving textile industry and was more than capable of manufacturing their own clothing.  Besides, foreign currency was in short supply during the war years and was needed/used for more essential items....... and BEWARE of the PAKISTANI BRUSH STROKE CAMO being offered as Rhodesian and/or used in Rhodesia.  Never happened. 
 
 
South-West Africa
SOUTH-WEST AFRICA/KOEVOET METAL SHOULDER FLASHES:  Numerous metal & enamel shoulder insignia of the many Koevoet Call Signs appeared around 2003.  Almost all metal shoulder insignia for Koevoet are fantasies and never officially existed until AFTER Koevoet was disbanded in 1989/90. These are commemoratives only as the majority of Koeveot shoulder insignia was cloth or rubberized.
 
 
HELPFUL HINTS; SADF BADGES:   South African shoulder flashes, balkies etc with clear, "lucite" coating.  Scratches can be removed by rubbing the badge with BRASSO.  Works wonders even on gouges.
 
OSPREY ELITE No. 47. South African Special Forces. ERRATUM.
TEXT FOR PLATE C-3. Page 56, Paragraph 2:   LINE 6 reads "Although not produced after 1976, this pattern was adopted by the Recces Wing, old stock were used...................." LINE 6 SHOULD READ "Although not much issued in 32bn after 1976 this pattern was adopted by SA SPECIAL FORCES (The Recces) and new stock was produced using a poly/cotton blend material........."
           
 
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PARACHUTE WINGS -WORLD WIDE POLICE INSIGNIA: -Africa  POLICE INSIGNIA - Rhodesia POLICE INSIGNIA-S.Africa  POLICE INSIGNIA -World
POSTERS & PRINTS. RHODESIA INSIGNIA SPECIAL FORCES Insignia -AFRICA SPECIAL FORCES-S.Africa SPECIAL FORCES -World
UNIFORMS WEBBING EQUIPMENT   RECOMMENDED REFERENCE and/or /READING
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