32 Battalion, South Africa Defence Forces

Initially formed from former Angolan FNLA guerillas in 1976, 32 Battalion (or the Buffalo Battalion as it was also known) grew to be one of the premier light infantry / counter insurgency units in Africa.

It was engaged for the most part in raiding targets deep in Angolan territory and in area patrolling along the Angolan - South West Africa (present day Namibia) border. As with previous "bush wars" the political landscape against which these operations were mounted is extremely complex and beyond the scope of this website.

The HQ and rifle companies were based at Buffalo in SWA, which was close enough to the Angolan border for infiltration and far enough away from Pretoria to stop too many unwelcome visitors (both military and civilian).

The Recce Wing was engaged on various covert military operations and was located at Omauni.

Due to the nature and location of the majority their operations 32 Bn were issued a unique combat uniform. This consisted of a jacket, shirt, trousers, swallow tail cap and boonie hat in the battalion's own specific winter and summer camouflage patterns. Issue of these uniforms began in 1979, prior to this the unit had worn a mixture of clothing including at various times civilian clothing, standard SADF browns, captured camouflage of a large mix and origin of patterns (for example Cuban and Chinese) and South Africa Police (SAP) camouflage.

The Recce Wing aslo used a number of captured (or specially reproduced) patterns of camouflage both prior to, and alongside the 32 Bn patterns.