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The South African Army is the army of South Africa, first formed after the Union of South Africa was created in 1910.

The South African military evolved within the tradition of frontier warfare fought by Boer Commando (militia) forces, reinforced by the Afrikaners' historical distrust of large standing armies.

(During the war, the army was led by General Smuts, who had rejoined the army from his position as Minister of Defence on the outbreak of the war.) South Africans also saw action with the Cape Corps in Palestine.

More than 146,000 whites, 83,000 blacks and 2,500 people of mixed race ("Coloureds") and Asians served in South African military units during the war, including 43,000 in German South-West Africa and 30,000 on the Western Front.

The 1912 law also obligated all white males between seventeen and sixty years of age to serve in the military, but this was not strictly enforced as there were a large number of volunteers.

In addition, the war against the German and Askari forces in German East Africa also involved more than 20,000 South African troops; they fought under General Jan Smuts's command when he directed the British campaign against there in 1915.The 1st South African Brigade consisted of four infantry battalions, representing men from all four provinces of the Union of South Africa as well as Rhodesia: the 1st Regiment was from the Cape Province, the 2nd Regiment was from Natal and the Orange Free State and the 3rd Regiment was from Transvaal and Rhodesia.The 4th Regiment was called the South African Scottish and was raised from members of the Transvaal Scottish and the Cape Town Highlanders; they wore the Atholl Murray tartan.The Army is composed of roughly 40,100 regular uniformed personnel, augmented by 12,300 reserve force personnel.The rank/age structure of the army, which deteriorated desperately during the 1990s, is greatly improving through the Military Skills Development (MSDS) voluntary national service system.

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