|73 Motorised Brigade|
73 Motorised Brigade emblem
|Branch||South Africa Army|
|Part of||South African Composite Brigade|
|Garrison||Witwatersrand Command Complex, Vereeniging and later Kensington|
|Engagements||South African Border War|
|73 Mot Brigade Command Bar|
73 Motorised Brigade was a Formation of 7th Infantry Division (South Africa), a combined arms force consisting of infantry, armour and artillery.
History[edit | edit source]
Origin[edit | edit source]
19 Brigade[edit | edit source]
71 Brigade can trace its origins back to a structure in the late 1960s, called 19 Brigade, which was headquartered at the Witwatersrand Command Complex. On 1 August 1974, through a reorganization of the Army’s conventional force, the name was changed to 73 Motorised Brigade.
Initial Structure[edit | edit source]
Under this reorganisation, the following units were transferred from Witwatersrand Command to the new command:
- Witwatersrand Rifles,
- Regiment Oos Rand,
- Pretoria Highlanders,
- Regiment Vrystaat,
- 18 Field Squadron,
- 73 Signal Squadron,
- 10 Maintenance Unit,
- 29 Field Workshop and
- a Field Ambulance.
Higher Command[edit | edit source]
73 Motorised Brigade initially resorted under the Chief of the Army until July 1986 but was then transferred to 7 Division. Eventually the entire Brigade resorted under Far North Command.
Brigade Training and Exercises[edit | edit source]
73 Motorised Brigade would generally make use of the General de Wet Training Range, Tempe, near Bloemfontein. Notably 73 Motorised Brigade was involved in Exercise Thunder Chariot, a Divisional exercise held since 1956, at the Army Battle School. Other exercises included:
- Exercise Aggressor 1
- Exercise Turning Wheel
- Exercise Excalibur
- Exercise Ysbeer both on Lohatla
Operational Activation[edit | edit source]
As a Citizen Force structure, 73 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.
Changes over time[edit | edit source]
73 Motorised Brigade structure was not static, units were substituted as needs were adapted to Two units arrived in 73 Brigade in 1984, namely Rand Light Infantry and 7 Medium Regiment. By 1986 7 Medium Regiment was transferred under direct control of 7 Division but Regiment Uitenhage was transferred in. In 1989 Rand Light Infantry was transferred to Far North Command while the Pretoria Highlanders was added to the Brigade.
From a Conventional Brigade to a COIN Brigade[edit | edit source]
With the independence of Namibia, the conventional threat dissipated and the Army Command began a process of rationalisation. Brigade headquarters were now focussed on counter-insurgency support to regional commands.
Insignia[edit | edit source]
Leadership[edit | edit source]
- Brigadier E.L. Bekker 1974
- Colonel J.S. van Heerden 1974-1975
- Colonel T. Hanekom 1976-1977
- Colonel Y. de Bruin 1978-1980
- Colonel J.H.E. Aveling 1981-1983
- Colonel D.M. Nel 1984-1987
- Colonel B. van Heerden 1990
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Militia Magazine 1990/1991 Year 7 Special Edition
[edit | edit source]
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