Saturday, October 10, 2015

USA versus South Africa!

Team USA & HMS Victory
Portsmouth, UK
To prepare for the 2015 World Cup the Team USA practiced near Portsmouth which is a major port for the Royal Navy.  A team photograph was taken with the Eagle players standing in front of the HMS Victory -- Nelson's famous ship (  It seems that, barring a surprise win over Japan, this is the closest that Team USA will get to Victory during this World Cup!

October 7, 2015
Olympic Stadium, London, UK
South Africa and the USA played at the Olympic stadium in east London.  This stadium was initiated at 2012 Olympics when Queen Elizabeth II "parachuted" in for the opening ceremonies.  The Americans were initially holding their own and were only down by 14 to 0 at the half.  The Springboks, however, took control in the second half destroying the Eagles 64 to nil.
Final Score RSA 64 - USA 0
Let's face it, rugby is the national religion of South Africa.  Who can forget the South Africa's historic triumph in the 1995 Rugby World Cup? Its popularity in the USA is growing but it enjoys far less support.
Nelson Mandela
#1 Springbok fan (16th man)
We may not play rugby as well but have Americans ever invaded South Africa?  This is what we had to say on the topic in America Invades...

"For a long time, South Africa was part of the British Empire, and then after it became independent, apartheid policies of successive governments ensured international military isolation, which in turn meant that South Africa developed its own extensive arms industry.

Castle Military Museum
Cape Town, SA
A few hundred Americans did fight on the side of the Boers in the Second Anglo-Boer War. One of them, John A. Hassell, who had served with the Vryheid Commando and been twice wounded, went on to form an entire American volunteer unit. Some Americans also fought on the British side in the Boer War.

South Africa fought on the same side as us in both world wars, and USN ships have, of course, called in at South African ports. During World War II, as well, Wonderboom Airport at Pretoria in South Africa was the terminus for a US air-ferry route across Africa.

P-51 Mustang, RAF Museum, Hendon
During the Korean War, we supplied the South African Air Force’s 2nd Squadron first with P-51 Mustangs and then with F-86 Sabres, and we gave their pilots conversion training in Japan.
In the years since the collapse of apartheid and the development of South Africa as a full democracy and important African power, a range of military links have been established. For instance, in 2000, three Pave Hawk helicopters operated from Hoedspruit Air Force Base in South Africa, helping with flood relief efforts in next-door Mozambique. In 2009, ships from the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group paid a visit to Cape Town to boost such links. And Shared Accord 2013, a bilateral US military and South African Defense Forces exercise in South Africa, involved more than four thousand troops and included airborne operations, as well as a humanitarian aid project.

The New York National Guard is partnered with South Africa."

On a recent visit to South Africa I learned of another military connection between Americans and South Africa.  In 1863 during the US Civil war the CSS Alabama was a commerce raiding sloop that resupplied in Cape Town and pursued Yankee merchant ships off the coast of South Africa.  There is even a popular song in South Africa that was inspired by the Alabama Daar kom die Alabama (see video above).

Congratulations and good luck to the Springboks!

RSA v. USA Scrum
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