King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment

The King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment (formerly the Natal Field Artillery) is an reserve artillery regiment of the South African Army.

Natal Field Artillery
King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment
SANDF Natal Field Artillery emblem
SANDF Natal Field Artillery emblem
ActiveSeptember 1862 to present
Country South Africa
Allegiance
Branch
TypeReserve artillery
RoleMedium (self propelled) Artillery (G6)
Part ofSouth African Army Artillery Formation
Army Conventional Reserve
Garrison/HQLord's Grounds, Durban 29°51′02″S 31°1′22″E / 29.85056°S 31.02278°E / -29.85056; 31.02278Coordinates: 29°51′02″S 31°1′22″E / 29.85056°S 31.02278°E / -29.85056; 31.02278
Motto(s)Armis Arte Audacia
(With Arms, Skill and Bravery)
EquipmentGV6 155 mm self-propelled howitzer
EngagementsSecond Anglo-Boer War
World War I
World War II
South African Border War
Battle honours
Battle Honours
Awarded
South West Africa 1915
Commanders
Current
commander
Major Craig Nel
Insignia
Collar BadgeBursting grenade with seven flames
Beret ColourOxford Blue
Artillery Battery EmblemsSANDF Artillery Battery emblems
Artillery Beret Bar circa 1992SANDF Artillery Beret Bar
AbbreviationKCAR

HistoryEdit

 
Memorial plaque commemorating the regiment's participation in the Battle of Elandslaagte

The Natal Field Artillery was raised in 1862 as part of the Durban Volunteer Guard, and later became a unit in its own right.[1]

The regiment took part in the Second Anglo-Boer War[2] and the South African invasion of German South-West Africa during the First World War.

Although artillery units in the South African Army do not usually receive battle honours, the NFA was awarded the honour "South-West Africa 1915."

During the Second World War, the regiment formed part of the 2nd South African Division and was captured during the fall of Tobruk, part of the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa fighting Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps. This occurred in a series of engagements called the Battle of Gazala. One of these engagements was Rommel's attack against Allied forces near Tobruk was on June 13, 1942. The 21st Panzer Division attacked South African positions on Rigel Ridge in the middle of a sandstorm. This was the 6th South African Anti-tank battery of the 2nd field regiment.[3] The South African gunners kept firing until all their guns were destroyed, allowing the withdrawal of other Allied formations.[4]:98 The guns were commanded individually and fired at the Panzers over open sights. The German tanks took up positions behind the ridge with anti-tank guns placed between them. The Germans put down a devastating fire onto the South African positions. One of the columns of Panzers attacked them from the rear, surrounding them and cutting off all escape. Nevertheless, the gunners kept firing until all eight guns had been destroyed. About half the gun detachments were killed and wounded, including the battery commander and many officers. When the battery had been silenced, the enemy tanks approached cautiously and the South African gunners were made prisoners. The entire Natal Field Artillery Regiment was captured and would not be re-formed until after the war.[5] On that day the Germans captured over 3,000 Allied prisoners.[6]:163

After the Second World War, the regiment eventually became attached to the 84 Motorised Brigade of the 8th South African Armoured Division.[citation needed]

Other namesEdit

From 1913 to 1926, the NFA was designated the 7th Citizen Battery (NFA). From 1926 to 1932, it was the 2nd Citizen Battery (NFA). During the Second World War, it was the 2nd Field Regiment (NFA).

From 1960 to 1968, the regiment was affiliated to the University of Natal and was called the Natal University Regiment.

In August 2019, 52 Reserve Force units had their names changed to reflect the diverse military history of South Africa.[7] The Natal Field Artillery became the King Cetshwayo Artillery Regiment, and have 3 years to design and implement new regimental insignia.[8]

LeadershipEdit

Leadership
From Honorary Colonel To
From Commanding Officer To
1981 Cmdt R. Lovell-Greene MMM JCD 1989
14 April 2021 Maj Craig Nel Present
From Regimental Sergeants Major To
14 April 2021 MWO James Rumble Present

Regimental insigniaEdit

 
The NFA just after firing the salute at the Gunner's Memorial Service in Durban 2014
 
SADF era Natal Field Artillery insignia

Freedom of the CityEdit

 
The NFA just after firing the salute at the Gunner's Memorial Service in Durban 2014

The regiment was awarded the Freedom of Durban on 28 September 1962,[9] the Freedom of Pietermaritzburg on 29 September 1962 and the Freedom of eMnambithi / Ladysmith on 2 July 2011.[1]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Natal Field Artillery" (PDF). Reserve Force Division. South African Department of Defence. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  2. ^ "Natal Field Artillery". Anglo Boer War. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  3. ^ Tennant, Sir Iain. "Events in North Africa - June 1942". The Second World War Experience Center. Archived from the original on 6 February 2015. Retrieved 6 February 2015. An extract from his memoirs
  4. ^ Mitcham, S. (2007). Rommel's Lieutenants: The Men who Served the Desert Fox, France, 1940. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International. OCLC 237132754.
  5. ^ "The South African Military History Society Newsletter". January 2012. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  6. ^ Greene, J; Massignani, A. (1994). Rommel's North Africa Campaign: September 1940-November 1942. Conshohocken, PA: Combined Books. OCLC 722092034.
  7. ^ "New Reserve Force unit names". defenceWeb. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
  8. ^ "Renaming process has resulted in an Army structure that truly represents SA". IOL. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 8 January 2020.
  9. ^ Gillings, Ken (6 September 2012). "Regiment has served the nation". Daily News. Independent Online. Retrieved 24 September 2014.