Willem Steenkamp

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Willem Petrus Steenkamp

Willem Steenkamp.jpg
Born (1940-05-02) 2 May 1940 (age 80)
Cape Town
UnitCape Town Highlanders Regiment (CTH)

Willem Steenkamp is a South African author, journalist, historian,[1] military analyst and citizen soldier.[2] He has published a number of books and consults widely in military affairs.


  • Cited in 1967 and 1968 in United Press International's annual selection of its best news feature articles worldwide.
  • Awarded the Settlers' Prize for Enterprising Journalism in 1982.
  • Awarded the Maskew Miller Prize (co-winner with James Ambrose Brown) in 1983 for the Anglo-Boer War novel "The Blockhouse".
  • Awarded the Lady Usher Memorial Prize in 1985 for the historical novel "The Horse Thief".
  • Awarded the Barcom Prize for Professional Military Writing in 1988 for an essay on future amphibious assault personnel requirements.


  • Justice of the peace (appointed 1993).
  • UN international election observer (appointed 1994).
  • Member of the Ceremonial Staff Board (advisory body to the SANDF's Director of Ceremonial and Military Music) up to 2004.
  • Member of the VOC Foundation.

Military Service[edit]

List of postings and tasks[edit]

  • 1958: Called up for Active Citizen Force service: Study deferment.
  • 1961 – 1965: Routine non-continuous regimental service.
  • 1966 – 1969: On inactive reserve.
  • 1969 – 1979: Regimental service (training and operational).
  • 1980 – 1983: Seconded to 71 Motorised Brigade staff.
  • 1984 – 1990: Regimental service (training and operational).
  • 1990 – 1992: Seconded to 75 Motorised Brigade/9 SA Division staff.
  • 1993 – to date: Regimental service, in various capacities: inter alia officer in charge of designing and implementing the wreath-laying at Woltemade Cemetery by HM Queen Elizabeth II, 1995.
  • Extra-regimental/staff employment:
    • Secondments to 71 Motorised Brigade and 75 Motorised Brigade/9 SA Division, as noted.
    • Observer on three external operations, 1979 – 1985.
    • Minute-taker/diarist: Operation Sclera (1984 South African – Angolan Joint Monitoring Commission).
    • Member/scriba of official SADF delegation sent to attend national convention of United States Reserve Officers' Association at Nashville, Tennessee, July 1993; also visited ROA head office in Washington DC for confidential briefing to convey to SA Minister of Defence
  • 1997 – 1998: Member of the SA National Defence Force's Education, Training and Development Team (with Lt Col A. M. Marriner JCD) revising Reserve Force training

Military Awards[edit]

Published Books[edit]

  • Ngami! (1971). Fictionalised re-telling in Afrikaans, for mid-teenagers, of explorer Charles John Andersson's epic mid-19th-Century trek from Walvis Bay to Lake Ngami.
  • Land of the Thirst King (1975 – reprinted 1979). Historical/contemporary travel book about Namaqualand (North-West Cape Province).
  • Adeus Angola (1976). First account of the initial South African military incursion into Angola.
  • The Soldiers (1978). Short interlinked biographies of Generals Christiaan de Wet, Koos de la Rey, Sir Henry Timson Lukin, Sir Jaap van Deventer, Dan Pienaar and Evered Poole
  • Poor Man's Bioscope (1979). Historical/contemporary travel book about Cape Town
  • Moedverloor (1980). Historical novel, in Afrikaans, about Great Namaqualand (now Namibia) in the 19th Century
  • Sê vir Leonardo (1980). Contemporary action novel, in Afrikaans, set in Cape Town
  • Aircraft of the South African Air Force (1981). Illustrated survey of contemporary SAAF aircraft; later reprinted as Jane's Book of the SAAF
  • Borderstrike! (1983). First detailed account of early South African military incursions into Angola, 1978–1980. Expanded/re-edited edition 2003
  • Namakwalandse Oustories (1983). Re-telling, in Afrikaans, of traditional Namaqualand folk-tales
  • Christmas Story/Kersverhaal (1984). Re-telling of the Nativity, in separate English and Afrikaans versions, from the viewpoint of the animals in the stable
  • The Horse Thief (1985). Historical novel set in Namaqualand in the 1870s (winner of 1985 Lady Usher Memorial Prize, and later staged at Nico Malan Theatre, Cape Town)
  • Blake's Woman (1986). Historical novel set in 19th-Century Great Namaqualand (now Namibia)
  • The Blockhouse (1987). Historical novel set at the end of the Second Anglo-Boer War (co-winner of Maskew Miller Prize)
  • South Africa's Border War, 1966–1989 (1989). Illustrated history of the SWA/Namibian border war
  • Jim Zulu (2006). Historical novel set in the Kimberley diamond diggings area of the 1880s, inspired by South Africa's only known case of public lynching
  • Assegais, Drums and Dragoons (2012). The early military and social history of the Cape of Good Hope, 1510–1806
  • The Black Beret: the history of the SA Armoured Corps, Volume 1 (early beginnings up to 842 Madagascar campaign) 2016)
  • SA's Border War 1966-1989 (revised and updated edition) (2016)
  • SA se Grensoorlog 1966-1989 (revised and updated edition) (2016)
  • Mobility Conquers: The Story of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group 1978–2005, with Helmoed-Römer Heitman (September 2016)
Title Author Type Genre Topic Year
Borderstrike! South Africa into Angola[3] Willem Steenkamp Non-Fiction Military History Military 2006
Assegais, Drums & Dragoons: A Military and Social History of the Cape[4][5] Willem Steenkamp Non-Fiction Military History Military 2012
South Africa's border war, 1966–1989[6] Willem Steenkamp Non-Fiction Military History Military 1989
Soldiers Verse: An Anthology of Poetry[7] John Dovey (Editor) Non-Fiction Poetry Military 2006
Jim Zulu[8] Willem Steenkamp Fiction Historical Novel 2006
Blake's Woman[9] Willem Steenkamp Fiction Historical Novel 2007
Freedom Park: Roots and Solutions[10] Willem Steenkamp Non-Fiction Editorial Military 2007
Aphorisms and Observations for the Fighting Soldier[11] Willem Steenkamp Non-Fiction Military Military 2007



  1. ^ Sharland, Lisa (27 June 2013). "Learners transported back in time with an educational historic walking tour at the V&A Waterfront" (PDF). Press Release. Cape Town, South Africa: Peninsula Beverage Co (Pty) (Ltd). Reputation Matters. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  2. ^ Steenkamp, Willem. "On Parade List". Google Groups. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  3. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2006). Borderstrike! South Africa into Angola. 1975–1980 (3rd ed.). Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 1 March 2006). ISBN 978-1-920169-00-8. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2012). Assegais, Drums & Dragoons: A Military and Social History of the Cape. Cape Town, South Africa: Jonathon Ball. ISBN 9781868424795. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  5. ^ "First overall history of SA Infantry published". SABC. South African Broadcasting Corporation. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2014. For the first time, a little-known chapter in the history of the South African Infantry has been brought to light with the publication of the first in a series of books dealing with the history of the "Queen of Battles"
  6. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (1989). South Africa's border war, 1966–1989. Gibraltar: Ashanti Pub. ISBN 0620139676.
  7. ^ Dovey, John; Steenkamp, Willem; Brooks, Colyn; Venter, Cobus; Seargent, Steve; Lorenzen, Heinie; Daley, Larry (2006). Dovey, John (ed.). Soldiers Verse: An Anthology of Poetry. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing. ISBN 978-1-920169-27-5. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2006). Jim Zulu. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 1 June 2006). ISBN 978-1-920169-11-4. Retrieved 6 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2007). Blake's Woman. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 1 February 2007). ISBN 9781920169183. Retrieved 6 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2007). Freedom Park: Roots and Solutions. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 27 February 2007). ISBN 978-1-920169-43-5. Retrieved 6 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Steenkamp, Willem (2007). Aphorisms and Observations for the Fighting Soldier. Durban, South Africa: Just Done Productions Publishing (published 10 July 2007). ISBN 978-1-920169-62-6. Retrieved 6 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]