Jan Smuts .. .. a talk with Dr. David Katz and Peter Dickens

Join me for the launch of Dr. David Brock Katz’s new book, ‘General Jan Smuts and his First World War in Africa 1914 -1917′. David will be spending a little time in my hometown, Hermanus to launch this new look at Jan Smuts’ military campaign and leadership during WW1.

We will do the launch at Romantiques in Hermanus, in their cosy little theatre. David and I have agreed to do a joint talk on Jan Smuts, David will focus on Smuts in the context of his book and I will focus on Smuts – the man and his flawed genius. In all it should be a great evening for anyone who is either a student of history or has a fascination for one of Africa’s greatest sons.

We will follow up the talk with a book signing ceremony with complimentary Beer, Wine and Canapés. As a brewery owner my Company ‘The Spirit of Hermanus’ and our beer brand ‘Old Tin Hat’ will be sponsoring, along with Jonathan Ball Publishes and the venue – Romantiques. Book Mark, the appointed retailer of the book in Hermnaus will also be on hand.

For a small fee of R40 you can also stay on for a screening of Peter Jackson’s world renowned documentary on World War 1, ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’.

For those in area who wish to attend here are the details:

Date: Friday 16th September 2022

Timings:

Arrive from 17:00 for 17:30

Talk and  Q&A from 17:30 to 18:30

Book Signing,  Beer and Wine Evening  from 18:30 to 19:30

Movie Screening ‘They Shall Not Grow Old’ from 19:30 to 21:00

Venue:

Romantiques, 18A Aberdeen Street, Hermanus, South Africa

RSVP

Please call Karen Dickens, South African mobile: 067 360 9020. Alternatively e-mail: karen@thespiritofhermanus.com

Please note spaces are very limited, so be sure to book early.

Outline of the book

As to this new book and exciting look at Smuts’ Generalship during WW1 it has been described a ‘an engaging, well-written and meticulously researched military biography …’ – Tim Stapleton, Professor, Department of History, University of Calgary.

Jan Smuts grabbed the opportunity to realise his ambition of a Greater South Africa when the First World War ushered in a final scramble for Africa. He set his sights firmly northward upon the German colonies of South West Africa and East Africa. Smuts’s abilities as a general have been much denigrated by his contemporaries and later historians, but he was no armchair soldier. He first learned his soldier’s craft under General Koos de la Rey and General Louis Botha during the South African War (1899−1902). He emerged from that conflict immersed in Boer manoeuvre doctrine.

Jan Smuts grabbed the opportunity to realise his ambition of a Greater South Africa when the First World War ushered in a final scramble for Africa. He set his sights firmly northward upon the German colonies of South West Africa and East Africa. Smuts’s abilities as a general have been much denigrated by his contemporaries and later historians, but he was no armchair soldier. He first learned his soldier’s craft under General Koos de la Rey and General Louis Botha during the South African War (1899−1902). He emerged from that conflict immersed in Boer manoeuvre doctrine.

After forming the Union Defence Force in 1912, Smuts played an integral part in the German South West African campaign in 1915. Placed in command of the Allied forces in East Africa in 1916, he led a mixed bag of South Africans and imperial troops against the legendary Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and his Schutztruppen. His penchant for manoeuvre warfare and mounted infantry freed most of the vast German territory from Lettow-Vorbeck’s grip.

General Jan Smuts and his First World War in Africa provides a long-overdue reassessment of Smuts’s generalship and his role in furthering the strategic aims of South Africa and the British Empire during this era.

A little on the Author

DAVID BROCK KATZ is an author and historian, who lectures at the Army and Defence Colleges of the South African National Defence Force.

He completed his MMil in Military History (cum laude) and a PhD in Military Science in the Department of Military History at the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University. He is also research fellow at the Faculty of Military Science and an active member of the Andrew Mlangeni Regiment (formerly the South African Irish Regiment). Katz is the author of South Africans vs Rommel (2019).

On-Line Orders

If you are unable to attend the launch and want this book you can obtain it on-line from amazon, takealot, Loot to Exclusive Books and more. Shop and just click on the appropriate book seller than can provide it to you.

To order Old Tin Hat beer or Spirit of Hermanus product follow this link: www.thespiritofhermanus.com

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the event and the chat with David and the audience on Jan Smuts:

Peter Dickens

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