The Union War Histories and the Battle for the History of the Second World War in South Africa
Military History has three primary audiences: the general public, academe, and the armed forces – each has its own beliefs regarding the purpose and utility of the military past. Recognising the value of a war history for South Africa, Jan Smuts created the Union War Histories section in 1941. Yet the men appointed to write this history realised that they would never be able to satisfy all three competing readerships. This paper examines the research production of the Union War Histories section as well as the official and public response to their work, which is placed within a wider historiographical process. The notion of a historiographical progression – of an intersecting chain of counter narratives – is posited: accounts by journalists, official historians, personal narrators and regimental historians, leading to a post-participant historiography. This is a progression that seems to hold true for South Africa’s other wars, and indeed the wars of other countries.
Agar-Hamilton J.A.I. and L.C.F. Turner, Crisis in the Desert, May-July 1942, OUP, Cape Town, London, New York, 1952.
Agar-Hamilton J.A.I. and L.C.F. Turner, The Sidi Rezeg Battles, 1941, OUP, Cape Town, London, New York, 1957.
Anon., 'n Kort geskiedenis van die Militêre Informasieburo, “Archives News” Jul 1983.
Bourhill J. and F. Pretorius, How the story of the South African experience in the Italian campaign was recorded – and distorted, “Historia” 2012, Vol. 57, No. 2.
Brown J.A., A Gathering of Eagles; The campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Africa June 1940-November 1941 with an introduction 1912-1939, Purnell, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, 1970.
Brown J.A., Eagles Strike; The campaigns of the South African Air Force in Egypt, Cyrenaica, Libya, Tunisia, Tripolitania and Madagascar 1941-1943, Purnell, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, 1974.
Brown J.A., One Man’s War: A Soldier’s Diary, Howard Timmins, Cape Town, 1980.
Brown J.A., The War of a Hundred Days; Springboks in Somalia and Abyssinia, 1940-41, Ashanti, Johannesburg, 1990.
Brown J.A., They Fought for King and Kaiser; South Africans in German East Africa, 1916, Ashanti, Johannesburg, 1991.
Brown J.A., Retreat to Victory; A Springbok’s Diary: Gazala to El Alamein, 1942, Ashanti, Johannesburg, 1991.
Butler G., Bursting World; An Autobiography 1936-45, David Philip, Cape Town and Johannesburg, 1983.
Combrinck J.A., Die ontstaan en ontwikkeling van die SAW Argief, “Argiefnuus”, Sep 1976.
Cook T., Clio’s Warriors; Canadian Historians and the Writing of the World Wars, UBC Press, Vancouver and Toronto, 2006.
Fielding W.L., With the 6th Div: An account of the activities of the 6th South African Armoured Division in World War II, Shuter & Shooter, Pietermaritzburg, 1946.
Grey J., “Standing humbly in the ante-chambers of Clio”: the rise and fall of Union War Histories, “Scientia Militaria” 2000, Vol. 30, No. 2.
Grundlingh A.M., The King’s Afrikaners? Enlistment and ethnic identity in the Union of South Africa’s Defence Force during the Second World War, 1939-45, “Journal of African History” 1999, Vol. 40, No. 3.
Harari Y.N., Military memoirs: A historical Overview of the Genre from the Middle Ages to the Late Modern Era, “War in History” 2007, Vol. 14, No. 3.
Harries P. and C. Saunders, Eric Axelson and the history of Portugal in Africa, “South African Historical Journal” 1998, Vol. 39.
Houghton F., The Veterans’ Tale: British Military Memoirs of the Second World War, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2019).
Howard M., The Use and Abuse of Military History, “Journal of the Royal United Services Institution” 1962, Vol. 107, No 625.
Hynes S., The Soldiers’ Tale; Bearing Witness to Modern War, Pimlico, London, 1998.
Martin H.J. and N. Orpen, Eagles Victorious; The Operations of the South African Forces over the Mediterranean and Europe, in Italy, the Balkans and the Aegean, and from Gibraltar and West Africa, Purnell, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, 1977.
Martin H.J. and N. Orpen, South Africa at War; Military and Industrial Organization and Operations in connection with the conduct of the war, 1939-1945, Purnell, Cape Town, Johannesburg and London, 1979.
Monama F.L., South African Propaganda Agencies and the Battle for Public Opinion during the Second World War, 1939-1945, “Scientia Militaria” 2016, Vol. 44, No. 1.
Morillo S. and M.F. Pavkovic, What is Military History? Polity, Cambridge, 2018.
Nasson B., South Africa at War, 1939-1945, Jacana, Johannesburg, 2012.
Norton C. and U. Krige, Vanguard of Victory; A Short Review of the South African Victories in East Africa, 1940-1941, Government Printer, Pretoria, 1941.
Orpen N., Gunners of the Cape; The story of the Cape Field Artillery, Cape Field Artillery Regimental History Committee, Cape Town, 1965.
Orpen N., Prince Alfred’s Guards, 1856-1966, Books of Africa, Cape Town, 1967.
Orpen N., East African and Abyssinian Campaigns, Purnell, Cape Town, Johannesburg, 1968.
Orpen N., The Cape Town Highlanders, 1885-1970, Cape & Transvaal Printers Ltd, Cape Town, 1970.
Orpen N., The History of the Transvaal Horse Artillery, 1904-1974, Alex White & Co., Johannesburg, 1975.
Orpen N., The Dukes: A history of the Cape Town Rifles, 1856-1984, Dukes Association, Cape Town, 1984.
Orpen N., The Cape Town Highlanders, 1885-1985, San Printing Press, Cape Town, 1986.
Orpen N. and H.J. Martin, Salute the Sappers, Part 1; The formation of the South African Engineer Corps and its operations in East Africa and the Middle East to the Battle of Alamein, Purnell, Johannesburg, 1981.
Orpen N. and H.J. Martin, Salute the Sappers, Part 2; The operations of the South African Engineer Corps in the North African and Italian theatres of war from the Battle of El Alamein to the end of World War II, with a brief description of subsequent developments, Purnell, Johannesburg, 1982.
Penn N., Murderers, Miscreants and Mutineers; Earl Colonial Cape Lives, Jacana, Auckland Park, 2015.
Perkins R., Regiments of the Empire; A Bibliography of their Published Histories, private, Newton Abbot, 1989.
Saunders C., The Making of the South African Past; Major historians on race and class, David Philip, Cape Town and Johannesburg, 1988.
Simpkins B.G., Rand Light Infantry, Howard Timmins, Cape Town, 1965.
Smith K., The Changing Past; Trends in South African historical writing, Southern, Johannesburg, 1988.
Turner L.C.F., H.R. Gordon-Cumming and J.E. Betzler, War in the Southern Oceans, 1939-1945, OUP, Cape Town, London, New York, 1961.
Van der Waag I., Contested histories: official history and the South African military in the 20th century, [in:] The Last Word? Essays on Official History in the United States and British Commonwealth, edited by J. Grey, Praeger, Westport, Connecticut and London, 2003.
Van der Waag I., A Military History of Modern South Africa, Jonathan Ball, Cape Town and Johannesburg, 2015.
Van der Waag I., Literary imaginings: Personal narratives and the “Springbok Tale”? [in:] Sights, Sounds, Memories: South African Soldier Experiences of the Second World War, edited by I. van der Waag, SUNPress, Stellenbosch, 2020.
Van der Waag I., Eric Axelson and the History of the Sixth SA Armoured Division in Italy, 1943-1945, [in:] Sights, Sounds, Memories; South African Soldier Experiences of the Second World War, edited by I. van der Waag, SUNPress, Stellenbosch, 2020.
Copyright (c) 2021 Ian van der Waag
Utwór dostępny jest na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa – Na tych samych warunkach 4.0 Miedzynarodowe.