8 South African Armoured Division was a formation of the South African Army, active from the 1970s to 1999.
8 South African Division was established as an Armoured Formation on August 1, 1974, consisting of 81 Armoured Brigade, 82 Mechanised Brigade and 84 Motorised Brigade. It was, in many respects, a mirror of 7th South African Infantry Division.
A provisional 1977 order of battle had 8 Armoured Division organised as follows:
Headquartered in Pretoria, 81 Armoured Brigade consisted of the following units:
Headquartered in Potchefstroom, 82 Mechanised Brigade consisted of the following units:
South West Africa Angolan theater
During Operation Packer which succeeded Operation Hooper in March 1988, 82 Mechanised Brigade protected the eastern bank of the Cuito River. During this operation, FAPLA forces suffered losses and the situation on the eastern bank stabilised to such an extent that Operation Displace could be started. During this phase the South African forces withdrew from Angola.
83 Mechanised Brigade was never activated.
Headquartered in Durban, 84 Brigade was formed in Durban as part of 8th Armoured Division on August 1 1974 and its official establishment was authorized on September 10 of that year. Brigadier G. Wolmarans was authorized as its first commanding officer with Commandant W.P. Sass, Maj H.L. Bosman, and Capt J.E. Samuales as staff officers posted to headquarters. The new Brigade was located at Lords Grounds.
84 Motorised Brigade consisted of the following units:
Brig G. Wolmarans
Col H.F.P. Riekert
Col F.J. van Deventer
Col Peter Hall, former OC of 31 Battalion (SWATF) at Omega, Caprivi.
By 1985, 8 Division consisted of 81 Armoured Brigade, 84 Motorised Brigade and 72 Motorised Brigade. 82 Mechanised Brigade had been transferred to the command of 7th South African Infantry Division.
8 Division’s Brigades were disbanded in 1992 and the battalions and regiments came to answer directly to the divisional headquarters - the thinking was that these would be grouped into task forces as required. The concept was never put to a serious test. The Formation was also renamed 8 South African Division.
The Division was effectively disbanded on April 1, 1997, when its former units became part of 7th South African Infantry Division as 74 Brigade.