The South African Recces—their motto “Iron Fist From the Sea”—are one of the most accomplished units in the history of special operations, but their successes have largely been ignored by the history books until recently. Why do you think this is?
Probably due to the fact that nobody knew what we really did, because all our actions and operations were claimed by the country’s resistance movement. That actually suited us very well, and helped us maintain our safety and secrecy. One might argue our success was due in part to our anonymity. Nobody, and specifically the Russians, thought we had the capabilities we did.
Could you tell us a bit about how the Recces were selected and trained?
The history of the selection of recces will always be an interesting point of discussion, as it changed dramatically over the years. I was instrumental in establishing the selection course.