Hayward Young & Co

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A Blog Post

Second World War (WWII)

In 1939, and for a second time, South Africa joined the British Commonwealth in a global war against militarism. This time the volunteers fought under the new South African flag – the common identity forged by Botha and Smuts at least for whites. The South African forces swept the Italians out of Somaliland and Ethiopia, and took part in the great desert battles in Egypt and Libya.

a single soldier

trudges alone

along the dusty desert track:

man’s solitary path

through these lost lands and back.

by Uys Krige [9]

In Italy between 1943 and 1945, the Union Defense Force was at different times part of the United States’ Fifth Army, and the British Eighth Army, together with forces from the rest of the Commonwealth and the free Polish and Free French troops. It was truly the United Nations at war [10].

[9] From “The soldier”. Uys Krige was a war correspondent with the Union forces during the Second World War and was captured in North Africa. The soldier is making for Wajir Fort. Translated from the Afrikaans by Krige. From “The soldier” in The way out, 1946.

[10] Though the United Nations was officially established only in October 1945.