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Northern Transvaal Command
Northern Transvaal Command.svg
Command insignia
Active 1959–2000
Country Republic of South Africa
Branch South African Army
Type Command (military formation)
Headquarters Pretoria, South Africa
Pieter Grobbelaar

Northern Transvaal Command was a command of the South African Army. It was active from 1959 to mid 2000 when it was disestablished.

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Formerly it was named Northern Command from 1946 to 1959.

The command's origins may date to the formations of Military districts, No 5 and 6 in 1926, which then became Transvaal Command in 1934.[citation needed] Thereafter there were several quick name changes: Roberts Heights & Transvaal Command c. 1936; Voortrekkerhoogte & Transvaal Command 1939, and then Transvaal Command c. 1940. Later the command became Northern Command in 1946; Northern Transvaal Command in 1959. In 1939 Roberts' Heights and Transvaal Command, with its headquarters at Roberts' Heights (now Thaba Tshwane), contained 6th Infantry Brigade, 1 Field Survey Squadron SAEC, the artillery depot, parts of the Special Service Battalion, elements of the Permanent Garrison Artillery, and the Artillery School.[1]

Its headquarters was in Pretoria, and within its command boundaries, it contained a number of important Active Citizen Force field formations, notably 81 Armoured Brigade (part of 8 SA Armoured Division). Depending upon the command boundaries, it may also have included 72 Motorised Brigade with its headquarters at Johannesburg and 73 Motorised Brigade with its headquarters in the Johannesburg suburb of Kensington.

In the early 1980s it became clear that the sheer size of Northern Transvaal Command's territory made command and control as well as logistical functions extremely difficult.[2] These as well as other security considerations led to the decision to subdivide Northern Transvaal Command into three Commands in 1984: Northern Transvaal Command (Pretoria); Eastern Transvaal Command, probably covering what later became the Eastern Transvaal (Nelspruit); and Far North Command (Pietersburg) (commanded in succession by Charles Lloyd and, from February 1987, Georg Meiring).[3] The two new Commands were regarded as theatres and as such also had responsibility for conventional operations (and units) within their areas. For example, Far North Command had 73 Motorised Brigade within its area.

Commanders[edit | edit source]

  • Maj. Gen. W G Lombard, later Chief of Army Staff Intelligence, previously also commanded 81 Armoured Brigade. Lombard was Chief of Army Staff Intelligence in March 1996. He had previously commanded Northern Transvaal Command and the Army Battle School Lohatla. He held numerous staff and training posts, and also held numerous operational posts during the former South West Africa/Namibia campaign.[4]
  • c. 1988–n.d. – Brig. J.P.M. Moller late SACMP (20 October 1988)[5]
  • n.d.–n.d. – Gen. Pieter Grobbelaar SSA DSO
  • 1964 Col. S. Hugo SM, Officer in Command of Northern Transvaal Command on Friday 2 October 1964, during Annual Cadet Inspection and Review of Pretoria Boys High School.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Niehorster
  2. "A Short History of the South African Army". From: South African Defence Force Review 1991. 1991. http://www.rhodesia.nl/sadfhist.htm. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  3. Hamann, 'Days of the Generals,' p.62, for Meiring assumption-of-command date. For a contemporary view on Far North Command, see discussion in James Roherty, 'State Security in South Africa: Civil-Military Relations Under P.W. Botha,' 1992, 98-100.
  4. "Notes on the Authors". Institute for Defence Policy. March 1996. http://www.issafrica.org/Pubs/Monographs/No2/Authors.html. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. http://home.mweb.co.za/re/redcap/h194688.htm

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