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ARMY BOOTS OF THE WORLD. REVIEWS
The cut of the SADF "Soldier 2000" uniform, which was introduced in 1998-1999, is identical to the US BDU uniform, which taken as an example. The reviews about this uniform on various South African military forum are mostly not very positive due to mediocre quality of the new uniform (for instance, poor quality of tailoring and dye (the uniform loses colours quickly after washing). No wonder, that many South African veterans prefer the "good old" and proven monochrome "Nutria" uniform.
The special reconnaissance units of the South African Army (Special Forces Regiments - the Reconnaissance Regiments) - the so-called "RECCE" ("REConnaissanCE Commando) enjoy special attention of researchers and re-enactors all over the world.
The first of these divisions were created in 1972 under the name the "1st Reconnaissance Detachment KOMMANDO", and was intended to assist the Angolan opposition - UNITA guerrillas, which were fighting against the local Communists, supported by the USSR, Cuba, East Germany and North Korea.
The "RECCE" members are also often referred to as "operators" (e.g. "South African Special Forces Operators").
These were the people who have successfully passed severe selection, each of which was a skilful paratrooper, sapper, reconnaissance and sabotage specialist. The severity of their selection can be proved by the fact that by the end of the war in Angola in 1988 less than 480 of one hundred thousand applicants managed to overcome the selection tests and become qualified operators. More than 80 of them died during the Angolan war. By early 2003, less than 900 people managed to get the qualification of "South African Special Forces operator".
It is interesting that in South Africa, during the times of "apartheid" (the separation of the races), the "RECCE" special units had never been addicted to racist policy, there were no artificially created barriers for "black" Africans entry into the unit, so finally, the racial composition of the special forces was about 50:50 (blacks : whites) in general. This was despite the fact that there were the Boers, who dominated in SADF, and even their white English-speaking colleagues got offensive nicknames "Soutie" or "Soutpiel". This rough alias means "salty dick", if to translate literally from Afrikaans. This was an allusion to the fact that a typical English-speaking guy was standing with one foot in England, and another foot was on South African land. So the dick between his legs was "hanging out in the ocean". ☻
During the "Border wars" of the years 1966-1989, the South African troops also used some other models of army boots.
One of such models is virtually identical to the boots, already described above, with the stitching along the welt, but the tread pattern of the out-soles was of another type - shallow transverse grooves. This is a very recognizable South African tread pattern. One of the mass producers of such boots is "WAYTREAD" company, a South African footwear manufacturer.
The insole was usually made of leather. Inside the boots and on the insole they used to indicated such information as the manufacturer's name, the year of manufacture, size, internal military identification and contract numbers.
One of the most popular kinds of footwear in Africa are plimsolls - simple, easy and cheap boots. During the times of USSR it was usual for African students from the "progressive" countries, who studied in Soviet universities, to buy several pairs of plimsolls in sports stores for sending to their native countries.
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