Among the first and book reviews of General Jan Smuts

Be there . . . . welcoming Lieutenant-Colonel Gerhard L. Bolland and General Jan Smuts. And their unconventional warfare strategies and tactics on the shelves of your personal libraries. . . .


Reviewed and highly recommended by Don DeNevi

AMONG THE FIRST – – Lt. Col. Gerhard L. Bolland’s Unconventional Warfare – – D-Day 82n/a Airborne Paratrooper, DSS Special Forces Commander, Operation RYPE,” by Matthew T. Bolland. Casemate Editors202: 366 pages, $34.95.

GENERAL JAN SMUTS AND HIS FIRST WORLD WAR IN AFRICA, 1914-1917 Incorporating His German South West and East African Campaigns”, by David Brock Katz. Casemate Editors, 2022: 382 pages; $37.95.

“It may well be that the greatest soldiers have possessed

superior intellects, may have been thinkers; but it was

not their dominant characteristic. . . they owed them

success to indomitable wills and tremendous energy in

execution and have achieved their initial hold on the hearts

of their troops through acts of demonstrated bravery. . . the

leaders are not our responsibility, but God’s.

General George S. Patton, Jr., October 1927,

The Patton Papers, Vol. 1, 1972

Among the first

By the way, enter Lt. Col. Gerhard L. Bolland, a fully self-aware man whose essential personality traits were learned early and therefore throughout life – good things expected of those born into good families with a great love of family and country, ancestral traditions and creative thinking. . The first lessons taught about duty and principle, faith and doubt, courage and determination, empathetic understanding and compassionate help, whether for an animal, an individual, a family or an entire wandering nation do not are never forgotten.

“AMONG THE FIRST” is a simultaneous autobiography-biography of such vast family and strategic war planning that the legacy of Gerhard L. Bolland, known only to a handful of friends and military officers, is now universally available. Thanks primarily to his son, Matthew T. Bolland, the book’s 366 pages are so vigorously definitive and heavy in his father’s Norwegian heritage and his near-brilliant World War II mental pursuits, goals, intentions, and actions, that no one ever needs it again. to try applause or cheering. Lieutenant General Boland’s immortal legacies are alive for all to ponder, among them the sound judgment, character, and bravery to lead men and women into battle.

Also of paramount importance in the book, particularly to the military mind, be it enthusiast, administrator, senior strategist or joint decision maker, are the Lieutenant Colonel’s theoretical contributions to the concept of “tactics of unconventional warfare” necessary to affect the outcome of any war. His were integral to the development and employment of two methods of combat.

The first was the creation and establishment of “parachute” units. The second was the formation of a covert operations and sabotage branch called the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Bolland was involved in both “firsts”, participating as field commander of several 82nd Airborne and 507th Parachute Infantry Regiments. Simply put, Bolland’s first-hand account of unconventional warfare reveals the struggles, successes, failures and ultimate victories of these newly developed methods of combat. “AMONG THE FIRST” is undoubtedly one of the most important contributions to the ever-expanding library of World War II literature published so far this century.

General Jan Smuts and his First World War in Africa

Who was Jan Christian Smuts, and why would anyone want to know?

Book Review by General Jan Smuts

Well, allow this critic to introduce it and answer why in a quote from a speech he gave on May 30, 1902, 120 years ago, at the end of the leadership of the Free State of Orange and the Transvaal before the surrender to the British ending the Boer War. in South Africa.

In short, he was a South African Boer statesman and soldier; a senior Boer leader during the Boer War (1899-1902); largely responsible for the achievement of the Union of South Africa during the First World War. He organized South African forces and commanded British forces in East Africa; was appointed field marshal in 1941. This splendid biography of David Brock Katz, a lecturer at the army and defense colleges of the South African National Defense Force, is another meticulously researched and definitive study of a life rich in stories. It provides a long overdue reassessment of Smut’s generalship and its role in furthering the strategic goals of South Africa and the British Empire in Africa during the First World War. The reader can determine if the following passage not only captures what a remarkable warrior Jan Christian Smuts was to his people, but also the enormity of his political contribution to the fledgling nation.

“From a purely military point of view, our cause is not lost. But it is as a nation, and not as an army, that we meet here, and it is therefore for the nation mainly that we must consult. . . Nope! We not only represent our bourgeois placed in commando; the troops we command; we also represent the thousands of people who died after making the last sacrifice for their country; the prisoners scattered all over the world; the women and children who die by the thousands in enemy prison camps; we represent the blood and tears of the entire African nation. From the prisons, camps, tombs, veldt and from the womb of the future, this nation cries out to us to make a wise decision now, not to take any action that could lead to the downfall or even the extermination of our race, and thus render all their sacrifices vain.

“Brethren, we have sworn to hold out to the bitter end; but let us be men, and recognize that the end has now come and is more bitter than we ever thought. For death itself would be sweet compared to the step we must now take. But let us bow to the will of God.

Among the First and Jan Smuts Book Review

Alycia R. Lindley