72 Motorised Brigade (South Africa)

72 Motorised Brigade was a Formation of 7th Infantry Division (South Africa), a combined arms force consisting of infantry, armour and artillery.

72 Motorised Brigade
SADF 72 Brigade emblem.png
72 Motorised Brigade emblem
Country South Africa
Allegiance South Africa
Branch South African Army
TypeMotorised Brigade
Part ofSouth African Composite Brigade
Nickname(s)72 Mot
EngagementsSouth African Border War
72 Mot Brigade Command BarSADF era 72 Brigade Command Bar.png



18 BrigadeEdit

72 Brigade can trace its origins back to a structure in the late 1960s, called 18 Brigade, which was headquartered in Kensington. On 1 August 1974, through a reorganization of the Army’s conventional force, the name was changed to 72 Motorised Brigade.[1]

Initial StructureEdit

Under this reorganisation, the following units were transferred from Witwatersrand Command to the new command:

SADF 7 Division 72 Brigade associated units

Higher CommandEdit

During its period 72 Motorised Brigade resorted at different stages under the 7 and 8 Divisions.

SADF era Brigade level Sergeant Major insignia

Brigade Training and ExercisesEdit

72 Motorised Brigade would generally make use of the General de Wet Training Range, Tempe, near Bloemfontein. Notably 72 Motorised Brigade was involved in Exercise Thunder Chariot, a Divisional exercise held since 1956, at the Army Battle School. Other exercises included:

  • Exercise de Wet 2 in April and May 1975
  • Exercise Quicksilver in May 1978 in the Kimberly-Schmidtsdrift-Douglas area
  • Exercise Eagle Hill 1 in April 1979 at Lohatla

Operational ActivationEdit

As a Citizen Force structure, 72 Motorised Brigade would make use of call-up orders for its personnel to generally report for 3 months service. Headquarters staff would then leave for Tempe near Bloemfontein, where a transfer camp would be established to process troops en route to the operational area in northern South West Africa. Processing of units would include personal documentation, a medical examination, inoculation and the issuing of equipment and weapons. Each unit on completion of the necessary processing, would entrain to the Olienhoutplaat Station for a six-day journey to Grootfontein, the railhead near the Operational Area.

South West Africa and AngolaEdit

In January 1976 72 Motorised Brigade was mobilised mainly to protect the Ruacana/Caluque Water scheme in the Cunene River. Colonel S.W.J. Kotze took control of the Brigade at that stage. On 27 March 1976, the formation returned from Angola.

The rear headquartersEdit

By 1978, the Brigade took over 1 Mobilisation Centre in Pretoria as its Rear Headquarters.

73375198 PEEdit

72 Motorised Brigade received the Freedom of Johannesburg on 16 February 1980.


SADF era 72 Brigade insignia


  • Brigadier S.J. Terblanche 1974
  • Colonel S.W.J. Kotze 1976- 1980
  • Colonel E. Webb 1980

See alsoEdit



  1. ^ "Fact file: 7 SA Division". 17 February 2010.

External linksEdit