At Thy Call We Did Not Falter

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Zebra, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 194 pages
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At Thy Call We Did Not Falter is a gripping frontline account of the Angolan war, as seen through the eyes of a 19-year-old conscript soldier. It tells the story of so many young white South Africans who, like him, were sent into battle against overwhelming forces straight after finishing school. Clive Holt was at the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, where the South African Defence Force supported the rebel movement Unita after a massive build-up of Cuban and Angolan troops. It was the bloodiest and most significant battle fought by South African troops since World War II. With diary extracts, previously unpublished photographs and a riveting narrative, this book transports the reader into the firing line and the dark realms of war. At Thy Call We Did Not Falter is a classic account of war, as well as a window into the world of post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a chilling account of how a government took schoolboys and turned them into killing machines. The timing of the book is extraordinarily fortunate, coming just as interest in Cuito Cuanavale is being revived, with moves afoot to arrange battlefield tours, and debates raging anew in military and veteran circles about who the victors and vanquished were.
  

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Contents

Firm and Steadfast We Did Stand
11
From Schoolyard to Battlefield
19
Hostile Intent
39
Playing by Different Rules
51
My Bloody Valentine
63
Rumble in the Jungle The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale
83
Thirty Minutes to Clear the Mindfield
111
Home Alone
127
The Wild West
135
Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War
165
Cowboys Do Cry
173
REFLECTIONS
185
ROLL OF HONOUR
189
GLOSSARY
191
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Clive Holt was born in East London, South Africa, and commenced his national service in January 1987. During his time in the army, he was involved in several operations inside Angola. After leaving the defence force, Holt suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, and changed jobs frequently. He eventually emigrated to Australia, where he started a marketing consultancy, which eventually grew to encompass the functions of an advertising agency. He lives in Kalgoorlie, Australia with his wife and children.

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