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71 Motorised Brigade
SADF era 71 Brigade emblem.png
71 Motorised Brigade emblem
Active 1974–1992
Country  South Africa
Allegiance  South Africa
Branch  South Africa Army
Type Motorised Brigade
Part of South African Composite Brigade
Garrison Cape Town
Nickname(s) 71 Mot
Engagements South African Border War
71 Mot Brigade Command Bar SADF era 71 Brigade Command Bar.png

71 Motorised Brigade was a formation of 7th South African Infantry Division, a combined arms force consisting of infantry, armour and artillery.

History[edit | edit source]

Origin[edit | edit source]

17 Brigade[edit | edit source]

71 Brigade can trace its origins back to a structure in the late 1960s, called 17 Brigade, which was headquartered in Cape Town. 17 Brigade was housed in the Castle with Western Province Command.[1] On 1 August 1974, through a reorganization of the Army’s conventional force, the name was changed to 71 Motorised Brigade.[2]

Initial Structure[edit | edit source]

Under this reorganisation, the following units were transferred from Western Province Command to the new command:

SADF 7 Division 71 Brigade associated units

Higher Command[edit | edit source]

71 Motorised Brigade then resorted under the new 7 Division.

Changes over time[edit | edit source]

71 Motorised Brigade structure was not static, units were substituted as needs were adapted to. The increased use of armour in the Border War necessitated a decision for each brigade to have a tank capability. Prince Alfred's Guard was nominated to be 71 Motorised Brigade's tank regiment and was transferred from Eastern Province Command to 71 Motorised Brigade on 1 April 1989.

Brigade Training and Exercises[edit | edit source]

71 Motorised Brigade would generally make use of the General de Wet Training Range, Tempe, near Bloemfontein. Notably 71 Motorised Brigade was involved in Exercise Thunder Chariot, a Divisional exercise held since 1956, at the Army Battle School. Other exercises included:

  • Exercise Sweepslag III
  • Exercise Lightning

71 Motorised Brigade also made use of the Apostle Battery on the mountain slopes above Llandudno, near Hout Bay.

Operational Activation[edit | edit source]

As a Citizen Force structure, 71 Motorised Brigade would make use of call-up orders for its personnel to generally report for 3 months service. Headquarters staff would then leave for Tempe near Bloemfontein, where a transfer camp would be established to process troops en route to the operational area in northern South West Africa. Processing of units would include personal documentation, a medical examination, inoculation and the issuing of equipment and weapons. Each unit on completion of the necessary processing, would entrain to the Olienhoutplaat Station for a six-day journey to Grootfontein, the railhead near the Operational Area. By 1980 however, 71 Motorised Brigade’s headquarters had moved from Tempe to the Army Battle School.

South West Africa and Angola[edit | edit source]

71 Motorised Brigade provided reinforcements to Sector 10 during September and October 1988, with "Operation Prone" these included a HQ, a mechanised combat group, a workshop unit and elements of the Brigade’s signals and maintenance units.[3]

Restructured as 9 Division[edit | edit source]

71 Motorised Brigade ceased to exist on 31 December 1991, and was incorporated in its entirety into the new 9 South African Division on 1 January 1992. Essentially 71 Motorised Brigade would be enlarged and transformed into the new Division, retaining its Headquarters in Cape Town.

Newcomers[edit | edit source]

The new Division officially acquired Regiment Simonsberg, Cape Garrison Artillery and 7 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment under its command on 10, 11 and 12 June. These units were followed on 22 and 23 October by Regiment President Steyn, a tank Regiment and Regiment Groot Karoo. 12 Provost Company was due to fall under command on 1 January 1992, on which date they would be redesignated 9 Provost Company. The Division now had 19 units under its command and was now affiliated to 3 Medical Battalion Group as well.

Insignia[edit | edit source]

The first shoulder badge to be worn by 71 Motorised Brigade headquarters personnel was approved on 15 March 1978. 71 Motorised Brigade’s flag was a springbok in green and old gold and had been approved on 28 July 1988 In October 1988, the Brigade’s beret badge was also approved.

SADF era 71 Brigade insignia

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Leadership[edit | edit source]

  • Brigadier G.E. McLouglin 1974- 1975
  • Colonel W.J. Kempen 1975-1980
  • Colonel A.K. De Jager 1980-1981
  • Colonel P.R. Lloyd 1982-1987
  • Colonel G.P.M McLoughlin 1987-1992

Notes[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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