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- DescriptionThe Horis Crux (Cross of Hour) was South Africa's premier gallantry decoration awarded to members of the SA Defence Force between 1952 and 2003. The stories behind over 300 of these awards and other medals for bravery are graphically told - ranging from outstanding valour in all types of warfare to exceptional heroism displayed in saving lives. For these soldiers, sailors and airmen the common deminator was courage. The heroism of the Special Forces, or Recces, became legendary. We read the unbelievable but true stories of two-man teams who crept into enemy camps, sometimes hundreds of kilometres from their bases, to gather vital information. If discovered they had to extricate themselves from impossible situations, such as the frogman team which attacked an enemy bridge then fought their way out - against small arms fire and hand grenades, as well as against crocodiles! The Naval heroes range from the seaman who remained inside the sinking SAS President Kruger to rescue friends, to the frogmen who went inside the sinking MV Oceas to ensure that one remained behind. Two of them dived into the stormy sea to rescue floating passengers and crew, thereby ensuring the success of the greatest sea rescue of the century. One of the survivors had won the DCM in World War II, while his son had earned the Horis Crux in 1983. The awards were made irrespective of race, colour or creed - despite most of the events taking place during the Apartheid years. Men from diverse backgrounds learnt to live and fight together, especially among the Special Forces, where their lives often depended on each other. The award of the HC Gold to a black Recce attests to that. During a period of five months on five occasions he approached the enemy on his own and fought to the death, thereby displaying total disregard for his own safety. This new edition has been thoroughly revised and updated, to include t only new information but additional photographs, too.
- Author BiographyIan Uys was born in 1942. He volunteered for and served in the SA Air Force Gymnasium in 1960, then attended the University of Cape Town and graduated in B Commerce. Uys captained the UCT Boxing Team and was selected as South Africa's first AIESEC commerce student to work in the USA and Australia. After marrying Barbara Bowers, a former Londoner, he qualified as a chartered accountant then lived in England where he did VC research. In 1973 he wrote and published For Valour, the history of Southern Africa's Victoria Cross Heroes. Uys has been interested in the personal reminiscences of personalities caught up in military history and has written more than 20 books about them. He served in the Heidelberg Commando in the seventies. In 1977 he was a platoon commander in the operational area and was awarded the De Wet Decoration. In 1989 he ran for parliament as a Democratic Party candidate for Germiston District, a strong National Party Ward. Though he lost, he believes that in a small way it contributed to the change in the country the following year. Uys is a practising auditor in Knysna, Southern Cape, and has three children and four grandchildren. He is a former Chairman of the SA Military History Society, has completed ten Comrades' Marathon of 90km and was a private pilot for many years. He has developed his family's Bushman Valley Resort near Prince Albert and is a keen nature conservationist.
- Author(s)Ian S. Uys
- PublisherHelion & Company
- Date of Publication13/02/2014
- SubjectMilitary History
- Place of PublicationSolihull
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintHelion & Company
- Content Note290 b/w & 7 colour photos, 3 maps
- Width156 mm
- Height234 mm
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