Koevoet Volume 2: South West African Police Counter Insurgency Operations During the South African Border War, 1985-1989 (PB) (2023)

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This second volume documents the continued deployment of Koevoet during the South-West African conflict and its further expansion and development as a counter-insurgency force. It details the tempo of day-to-day Koevoet operations in the operational area across Owamboland, the Kavango and Kaokoland, alongside the continued pursuit of SWAPO insurgents and PLAN fighters into Angola. In addition, this volume continues to trace the development of Koevoet doctrine, tactics and its ongoing co-operation with other arms, including the South African Defence Force, the South West African Territorial Force and the South African Air Force. All of which is set against the context of an emboldened SWAPO and PLAN who were securing ever greater leverage with, and amongst, the civilian population.

The challenge of sustaining counter-insurgency operations is examined, as is the continuing importance of intelligence gathering and analysis. Intelligence that was the key to shaping South Africa's approach to the 1988 US brokered peace talks with Cuba and Angola which paved the way for Namibian independence in November 1989. Koevoet Volume II details the establishment of the two UN monitoring missions - the United Nations Angola Verification Mission (UNAVEM) and the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) - and the plans for free, independent, elections and the return of PLAN and SADF units to their bases. However, this was compromised when SWAPO reneged on the ceasefire agreement and 1,600 PLAN fighters sought to move into Namibia to subvert the elections and to ensure SWAPO seized power. Koevoet was tasked to respond, along with other security assets in what was to become known as, 'Operation Merlyn' or the Nine Days War. This action is examined in detail, as is the rationale for Koevoet's disbandment; a demobilization process that would see the SAP abandon its trackers to a dangerous and uncertain fate.

Koevoet Volume 2 also examines the legacy of Koevoet, controversies and accusations of which there were many. A cutting edge COIN capability or Pretoria's Waffen SS?

Color profiles detail the continued development of Mine Protected Vehicles (MPVs) used by Koevoet, along with full color artworks that document the evolving uniforms and insignia of Koevoet.


Steve Crump
ISBN 10:
Helion & Company
Publication Date:
August 30, 2023

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