North of the Red Line

Recollections of the Border War by Members of the SADF and SWATF: 1966-1989

Hanlie Snyman Wroth, Gerry van Tonder

Experiences of counter-insurgency and conventional warfare in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola as personally related and secretly photographed by members of the South African Defence Forces and special chapter written by former 'enemies” of Russia Veterans Association.
Publication date:
October 2016
Publisher :
30 Degrees South Publishers
Illustration :
243 colour & b/w photos, maps, illustrations
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781928211976

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
Unfortunately, due to sales rights restrictions, we cannot offer North of the Red Line for sale in your country.


• Detailed recollections of South African military anti-terrorist operations and conventional warfare in pre-1990 South West Africa and Angola.

• Includes accurate descriptions of the weapons, ordnance, vehicles and aircraft used by the South Africans on the one hand, and regional guerrilla and Angolan forces on the other.

• Personal, first-hand accounts and anecdotes by those who served in this theatre of conflict, including some by erstwhile enemies. From National Service soldiers, to Permanent Force Members of the SAAF, SAMS, Koevoet etc.

• Never before published photographs, taken secretly as this practice was strictly forbidden.

Over the years, much has been written about individuals and the forces and their operations in what became commonly known as South Africa's Border War, or Grens Oorlog, but never before has the human spirit of this 23-year-old conflict been so graphically and unashamedly captured and chronicled as in this book. Equally unique, was the exclusive use of social media to invite and encourage individuals to tell their personal stories, without apology or recrimination, and so provide an indelible oral history of the war. Over a period of three years, 21,000 of them spoke: national service troopies, permanent force officers, aviators, aircrew, medics, submariners and padres. Erstwhile antagonists also stepped up to the plate, placing their own personal first-hand experiences amongst those of their enemies of yesterday: Russians, Cubans, Angolans and SWAPO. The story is further enriched by the inclusion of a rich plethora of hitherto unseen ‘unofficial' photographs of stolen memories, in a war situation where the taking of any such photographs was strictly prohibited. Veterans unabashedly wear their hearts on their sleeves, speaking of the psychological impact of untold tragedy and grief; of bravery and unmitigated fear; of shenanigans and mischievous escapades to relieve the pressures of war; of miracles and fate; and of camaraderie.


This book is a must-read for all who were entangled in this war, and/or have an interest in the Border War - especially the loved ones and relatives of those who lost their lives in this war. It will certainly assist them in a personalised way on their road to a better understanding and/or closure.
Insight on Africa

"North of the Red Line” is a worthy read for anyone who has served in any military, or who has an interest in military strategy and history.
Robert Hammond

...never before has the human spirit of this 23-year-old conflict been so graphically and unashamedly captured and chronicled as in this book.
War in Angola