Book Review – Ratels On The Lomba

Ratels On The Lomba: The Story of Charlie Squadron by Leopold Scholtz (Jonathan Ball) ISBN: 978-1911512875

The mid to late 80s are complex and heady times. It is the height of the Cold War and the Apartheid regime desperately clings to power. In Southern Angola, government forces supported by Cuba are on the offensive, and determined to drive out the rebel movement, UNITA. For the Nationalist Government is it essential to halt the rising Communist threat as far North as possible – the border of South West Africa and Angola.

Ratels On The Lomba is the story of Charlie Squadron, a small pawn entangled in the web of politics on a global scale. Essentially a battalion of armoured vehicles, they are thrust into the front line against a far superior force of Russian tanks. Outnumbered and outgunned, Charlie Squadron becomes embroiled in a David and Goliath-like encounter.

Leopold Schultz’s story is an up-close and personal account of South Africa’s controversial Border War. Whilst many today feel that this is a period of South Africa’s past best left forgotten, many young conscripts carried the scars and horrors of this time with them long after the dawning of the Rainbow Nation. Through personal recollections and diary entries, Sholtz recreates a harrowing historical account.

Ratels On The Lomba is an absorbing insight into an essential chapter of South Africa’s history.

Wayne Bouwer

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Posted on: 27th September 2017