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Western Desert: This South African sapper is carrying a load of death -- German anti-tank mines Mk.IV. Sappers were a little less concerned when dealing with the big boy busters -- they wouldn't explode if a human stepped on them.

Western Desert: This South African sapper is carrying a load of death -- German anti-tank mines Mk.IV. Sappers were a little less concerned when dealing with the big boy busters -- they wouldn't explode if a human stepped on them.

South African engineers training South African troops being trained with mine detection equipment in North Africa. British and Commonwealth forces trained intensively in minefield clearance

South African engineers training South African troops being trained with mine detection equipment in North Africa. British and Commonwealth forces trained intensively in minefield clearance

Men of a South African armoured car unit cleaning their heavy Vickers machine guns at Hobok. 1941. Copyright IWM Collection.

Men of a South African armoured car unit cleaning their heavy Vickers machine guns at Hobok. 1941. Copyright IWM Collection.

South African soldiers at Sollum in January 1942 attacking a machine gun nest, equipped with grenades and Enfield rifles.

South African soldiers at Sollum in January 1942 attacking a machine gun nest, equipped with grenades and Enfield rifles.

By September 1941 there were nearly 60,000 South African troops in Egypt, 15,000 of them black: all had volunteered to serve outside South Africa, and wore an orange strip on their epaulettes to mark the fact. 1st South African Division was bloodily engaged during Operation Crusader, and the over 10,000 South Africans were captured when Tobruk fell. These South Africans take cover while their truck is bombed, June 4, 1942.

By September 1941 there were nearly 60,000 South African troops in Egypt, 15,000 of them black: all had volunteered to serve outside South Africa, and wore an orange strip on their epaulettes to mark the fact. 1st South African Division was bloodily engaged during Operation Crusader, and the over 10,000 South Africans were captured when Tobruk fell. These South Africans take cover while their truck is bombed, June 4, 1942.

SOUTH AFRICAN FORCES IN EAST AFRICA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. Brigadier Dan Pienaar, commanding South African Forces in East Africa.

SOUTH AFRICAN FORCES IN EAST AFRICA DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR. Brigadier Dan Pienaar, commanding South African Forces in East Africa.