Nineteen With a Bullet: A South African Paratrooper in by Granger Korff

By Granger Korff

Nineteen with a Bullet - A Paratrooper in Angola is a fast-moving, action-packed account of Granger Korff's years' carrier in the course of 1980-81 with the elite 1 Parachute Battalion on the top of the South African 'bush conflict' in South West Africa (Namibia) and Angola. except the conventional counter-insurgency actions of Fireforce operations, ambushing and patrols, to touch and wreck SWAPO guerrillas, he used to be eager about numerous tremendous South African Defence strength (SADF) traditional cross-border operations, similar to Protea, Daisy and Carnation, into Angola to tackle FAPLA (Angolan MPLA troops) and their Cuban and Soviet allies.

Korff s army 'career' is marred with controversy. he's regularly in difficulty - going AWOL at the eve of conflict; into conflict; dealing with a courtroom martial for beating up, and lowering to tears, a sergeant-major in entrance of the troops; fist-fighting with Drug Squad brokers; arrested at gunpoint after the grueling seven-week, 700km Recce choice persistence march - are yet a few of the colourful anecdotes that lace this account of carrier within the SADF. Korff's writing is 'frontline' - punchy, brutal, self-deprecating and every now and then funny - yet consistently sincere, offering the reader with what it used to be prefer to be considered one of apartheid's 'grunt' squaddies.

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But, amazingly, my fears were put to rest when she came into the classroom for first-period English beaming from ear to ear, and sent a few provocative looks my way. Jackpot! I had lucked out! I had rolled the dangerous dice of love and landed with huge double-sixes! Since that morning, and for the last five months now, we had been screwing after school any place we could. I would skip classes and meet her at the lake close to her house, or go to her house for ‘extra lessons’ after school. The black nanny would watch the little tykes and we would disappear into the study.

The world did not see things the same way as me and millions of other South Africans, however, and the world trade boycott that had been imposed on the country for years now was strangling the economy and making life difficult for both black and white. I wasn’t a hundred percent clear on the details, nor did I give a shit. Things were pretty okay as far as I could tell and I didn’t really understand what all the fuss was about. The world was claiming that the black Africans were being oppressed because they were Africans.

By some great stroke of luck Darryl was sent to a similar establishment a block away from mine. We were having a blast, and would commute the 50 kilometres to Johannesburg by train with the busy morning work crowd. The freedom of the new college was agreeable and we were starting to figure out the downtown girls. Everything went well for the first four months. Then, on the way home from band practice one night, we stopped for a smoke and were suddenly confronted by a truckload of cops and all arrested for possession of marijuana.

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