New book explores Jan Smuts’s wartime ambitions

Historian and biographer Dr David Brock Katz.

Historian and biographer Dr David Brock Katz launched his book, General Jan Smuts and his First World War in Africa 1914-1917, at Exclusive Books Constantia, in September.

Drawing on multiple archival sources and an official accounts, Dr Katz looks at Smuts’s ambition to incorporate the vast German colonies of South-West Africa and East Africa into a greater South Africa.

Smuts was no armchair soldier, said Dr Katz.

“This cabinet minister and statesman donned a uniform and led his men into battle. He learned his soldiery craft under General Koos de la Rey’s tutelage and another soldier-statesman, General Louis Botha, during the South African War 1899 –1902.”

Dr Katz is a lecturer at the South African National Defence Force Army and Defence Colleges and is an active member of the Andrew Mlangeni Regiment (formerly the South African Irish Regiment).

He completed his Master’s degree (cum laude) and PhD in military history at Stellenbosch University and is a keen long distance motor biker, classic car restorer and author of “South Africans versus Rommel“.

Toasting the author, Mark Butler and Mert Black from Newlands.
Enjoying the launch, Ernest James and Roy White from Barbarossa, Constantia.
Steven and Sandra Meyer of Kenilworth.
Rodney and William Warwick from Diep River.
Rudy Vey and Andre Stapelberg of Constantia attended the book launch.
Des and Linda Pollard from Constantia.
Karen Horn and Andre Olivier came from Somerset West for the book launch.