How good was the South African Defence Force?

Nov 2014
412
ph
How good was the South African Defence force in terms of the quality of its training and personel? Especially compared to the Cold War British and French army, or to other Cold War European armies like the Belgian, Dutch or the Bundeswehr.
 
Aug 2011
161
The Castle Anthrax
The SADF was very good. They were very active on the Continent prior to circa 1990. Not only did they have a lot of battle experience, but due to the international sanctions placed upon South Africa during the Aparthied, they had to develop much of their own equipment. South Africa developed a reputation for unique and highly functional hardware. The Casspir in particular was a global leader in innovation for mine resistant troop transport and remains in high demand internationally. South Africa's spec. ops recces were extremely good. One of the best and well respected in the world. They also were very active prior to 1990. I am not so familiar with the other forces you mention. And will refrain for any comments about them. However; one thing to bear in mind is that Cold War era Britain and France still had a vast global area to defend and so was designed to operate anywhere. The SADF's focus was the African continent and were experts at operating there. Operations on the African continent, especially sub-Saharan Africa were very light on navy and air forces, but very much dependent on unconventional infantry forces which is where the Recces were so effective. Therefore a comparison to continental European forces may not be a comparison of equivalents.