List of wars involving South Africa

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This is a list of wars involving South Africa, since the foundation of the Union of South Africa on 31 May 1910.

Conflict South Africa
and allies
Opponents Results Prime Minister (1912-94)
President (1994–)
Losses
World War I
(1914–1918)
 France
 United Kingdom
 Australia
 Canada
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 Russia
 Italy
 United States
 Serbia
 Japan
 Belgium
 Greece
 Romania
 Portugal
 Brazil
 Siam
Flag of Hejaz 1917.svg Hejaz
 Germany
 Austria-Hungary
 Ottoman Empire
 Bulgaria
South African Republic South African Republic
Victory
Louis Botha
9,726 dead[1]
Russian Civil War[2]
(1918–1920)
Russia White Movement
 Japan
 United States
United Kingdom United Kingdom
 Canada
 Czechoslovakia
 Poland
 Greece
France France
 Romania
 Serbia
 Italy
 Australia
 South Africa
 Russian SFSR Defeat (limited involvement)[2]
  • Allied withdrawal from Russia
  • Defeat of the White Movement
Unknown
Rand Rebellion
(1921–1922)
 South Africa Flag of the South African Communist Party.svg CPSA Government victory
  • Rebellion suppressed
Jan Smuts
153 dead[3]
(both sides)
World War II
(1939–1945)
 Soviet Union
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Australia
 Canada
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 China
 France
 Poland
 Yugoslavia
 Greece
 Denmark
 Norway
 Netherlands
 Belgium
 Luxembourg
 Czechoslovakia
Ethiopian Empire Ethiopia
 Brazil
 Mexico
 Colombia
Cuba
Philippines
Mongolia
 Germany
 Japan
 Italy
 Romania
 Hungary
 Bulgaria
Slovakia
 Croatia
Thailand
 Iraq
Victory
6,840 dead
1,841 missing
14,589 prisoners
Korean War
(1950–1953)
 South Korea
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Canada
 Turkey
 Australia
Ethiopian Empire Ethiopia
 Philippines
 New Zealand
 Thailand
Hellenic Kingdom Flag 1935.svg Greece
 France
 Colombia
 Belgium
 South Africa
 Netherlands
 Luxembourg
 North Korea
 China
Stalemate
D.F. Malan
34 dead[4]
9 prisoners
Rhodesian Bush War
(1965–1979)
 Rhodesia
 South Africa
Flag of ZANU-PF.svg ZANU
Mozambique FRELIMO
Zimbabwe African People's Union flag.png ZAPU
ANC
Stalemate
B. J. Vorster
Unknown
Operation Angela
(1981)
 South Africa
Seychelles Mercenaries
 Seychelles Defeat (clandestine involvement)
  • Coup failure, involvement exposed
P. W. Botha
1 dead
7 prisoners
Mozambican Civil War
(1979–1985)[5]
Flag of RENAMO (1st version).png RENAMO
 Zimbabwe Rhodesia
 South Africa
Mozambique FRELIMO
ANC
Stalemate (limited involvement)
Unknown
South African Border War
(1966–1989)[6]
 South Africa
 Portugal
Flag of UNITA.svg UNITA
Bandeira da FNLA.svg FNLA
SWAPO
Flag of South West African National Union.svg SWANU
Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (bandeira).svg MPLA
 Cuba
ANC
 Zambia
Stalemate
  • Withdrawal of foreign forces from Angola
  • Namibian independence from South African rule
2,038 dead[7]
Operation Boleas
(1998)
 South Africa
 Botswana
Lesotho LDF rebels Victory
  • Suspected coup d'état in Lesotho quelled
Nelson Mandela
11 dead[8]
Battle of Bangui
(2013)
 South Africa
 Central African Republic
Central African Republic Séléka Defeat[9] (but see footnote)[10]
Jacob Zuma
15 dead[11]
M23 Rebellion
(2013)
 DR Congo
 South Africa
 Tanzania
 Malawi
Flag of CNDP.svg M23 Victory
  • M23 rebels surrender, disarm and demobilize
None
ADF Insurgency
(2014–)
 DR Congo
 South Africa
 Tanzania
 Malawi
Flag of ADF.png ADF Ongoing
1 dead

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission Annual Report 2013–2014 Archived 2015-11-04 at the Wayback Machine., page 48. Figures include identified burials and those commemorated by name on memorials.
  2. ^ a b Scientia Militaria, South African Journal of Military Studies, Vol 15, Nr 4, 1985, pp. 46-48. Accessed January 24, 2016.
  3. ^ Bendix, S. (2001) Industrial Relations in South Africa. Claremont: Juta. p. 59
  4. ^ "Casualties of Korean War" (in Korean). Ministry of National Defense of Republic of Korea. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  5. ^ War and Society: The Militarisation of South Africa, edited by Jacklyn Cock and Laurie Nathan, pp.104-115
  6. ^ Note: South Africa was already involved in combating SWAPO insurgents in 1966, but intervention in Angola started in 1975 with Operation Savannah.
  7. ^ "SA Roll of Honour: List of Wars". Justdone.co.za. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "‘A fractious lot’: Anatomy of (another) coup in Lesotho". Daily Maverick. 3 July 2015. 
  9. ^ References:
    • McGregor, Andrew. "South African military disaster in the Central African Republic." Terrorism Monitor, April 4, 2013. "Zuma’s decision to send a force of 400 men to ostensibly guard a group of 25 military trainers who could have easily been otherwise withdrawn can only be interpreted as an effort to bolster the CAR regime".
    • Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice, Christopher K. Chase-Dunn, and Christian Suter. Overcoming Global Inequalities Paradigm Publishers, 1. jun. 2014, Chapter 6
    • KAH, Henry Kam. "Central African Republic. Understanding the Séléka Insurrection of March 24 2013." Conflict Studies Quarterly Issue 5, University of Buea, Cameroon, October 2013: pp 47-66. "The presence of South African troops and those of member countries of the Central African union did not deter the Séléka from advancing towards Bangui. In fact, in an attempt to stop the group from advancing on to the capital, South African forces were killed in the process."
  10. ^ Stretching back to 2007, South African military assistance to the Central African Republic was in direct support of President François Bozizé, to a point where the SANDF provided the president with personal protection (Operation Morero). The SANDF also has a training mission in the Central African Republic (Operation Vimbezela). In January 2013, the SANDF deployed additional 200 troops. The purpose of this deployment is a matter of dispute; while some claim it was to oppose the Séléka that threatened Bozizé's rule, others claim it was solely to protect the training mission. This determines the outcome of the Battle of Bangui; if the aim of the deployment was restricted to the latter, the SANDF achieved its objective, whereas it failed if the objective was to keep Bozizé in power. Regardless of the outcome of the Battle of Bangui, the mission to the CAR as a whole resulted in failure. For further reading:
  11. ^ "CAR battle claims another SANDF soldier". Enca. South Africa.