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THE AXIS AND ALLIED MARITIME OPERATIONS AROUND SOUTHERN AFRICA 1939 1945 - WAR ON SOUTHERN AFRICA SEA

19)SAAF COASTAL DEFENCE SYS


.3 The development of a comprehensive South African coastal defence system

During the month of January 1940, the SDF formally took over the operational responsibilities of the RN. These responsibilities entailed the operation of M/S and A/S duties, the Port War Signal Stations, and the Examination Services at South African ports. An administrative ‘shakedown’ characterised this period when matters of uniform, discipline, command and control were arranged. Before January 1940, the RNVR (SA) had played a crucial role in manning the various South African naval and coastal defence services at the ports of the Union. Also, 82 South African naval ratings from the RNVR had been drafted to the four RN armed merchant cruisers fitted out in South Africa after the declaration of war. They were HMS Carnarvon Castle, HMS Bulolo, HMS Comorin and HMS Esperance Bay. Concurrently, the Department of Railways and Harbours (SAR&H) workshops started with the conversion of trawlers and whalers for M/S and A/S duties, with private firms taking over the task by February 1940.[1]


From March 1940, the ranks of the SDF rapidly expanded and continued to enlarge well into 1945. By October 1940 the strength of the SDF stood at 183 officers and 1,049 ratings, though the training of recruits took a considerable time due to a lack of suitable instructors and equipment. This naturally affected the ability of the SDF to contribute to the Union’s war effort early on. There was, however, somewhat of an operational respite as the exigencies of the naval war were yet to take full effect in South African waters. The RNVR training establishment, moreover, continued to provide the agreed-upon quota of South African recruits for service in the RN.[2]


Fig 2.3 Seaward Defence Force officers in training at Cape Town Castle, circa 1940[3]


On 28 March 1941, Halifax succumbed in an aircraft accident north of Saldanha. He was returning from a routine inspection of the SDF detachment in Walvis Bay. Halifax was instrumental in the formative years of the SDF, especially in dealing with some administrative difficulties during the inaugural period of the force. The next Director of the SDF was the newly promoted Capt Dalgleish, who took command of a force numbering 216 officers and 1,472 men. The ranks of the SDF also opened for non Europeans in April of that year. Men from the coloured fishing communities along the Cape coast were earmarked for service in the SDF in various non-specialist capacities. By October, this number had increased to 830 men. The SDF also continued to provide personnel for the RNVR (SA) – which by July 1941 numbered 66 officers and 1,702 ratings. Among these, about 1,200 were serving aboard RN warships and defensively equipped merchant ships.[4]


In 1941, however, several naysayers within the ranks of the RNVR (SA) speculated that the Union Government intended to close down the organisation completely. Underpinning their fears, were the definite successes of the SDF since its inception, particularly the fact the some of its vessels were serving with RN forces in the Mediterranean.[5] They felt that the SDF was only formed for the local naval defence of South Africa, and that naval service abroad remained the responsibility of the RNVR (SA). The large increase in the strength of the SDF also did little to stem their fears, as this had an inherent effect on the recruitment of the RNVR (SA). The drastic wartime requirements placed on the South African workforce for service with the UDF, was indeed the deciding factor in this matter. It was Smuts who correctly pointed this out. 


The RN authorities, however, remained suspicious of South Africa’s actual intentions. They were particularly concerned that the SDF would soon take over RNVR bases, due to the rapid increase in their numbers. The crisis came to a head at the port of Alexandria in Egypt, where SDF and RNVR (SA) personnel, due to no fault of their own, served on the same South African vessels. The men of the RNVR (SA) had become increasingly dissatisfied over issues of pay, leave and general service conditions. They were particularly angered by the fact that their fellow countrymen serving in the SDF were better off with respect to these matters. For this reason, RNVR recruiting in South Africa had waned considerably by June 1942, with several of the serving men reconsidering their service within the RNVR (SA).[6]


In February 1942, Smuts laid the cornerstone of the South African Naval Training Base, designated HMSAS Unitie for administrative purposes. He hinted that the event signalled the start of the amalgamation of the SDF and RNVR (SA) into a single naval service. By the middle of the year it became clear that the RNVR (SA) and SDF would merge. At a conference held at DHQ on 20 July, representatives of the Adjutant General, the SDF, RNVR (SA), Admiralty and the Secretary of Defence had a meeting. They discussed and fixed a host of administrative arrangements supporting the creation of a new unified South African naval service. The meeting came to a favourable understanding, and the South African Naval Forces (SANF) was officially established on 1 August 1942. Except for the change in name, as well as in the conditions of service of ex-RNVR (SA) men, there were no drastic amendments of practical importance. During the remainder of the war, SANF personnel, along with the Women’s Auxiliary Naval Service, continued to render valuable service in the naval and coastal defence of South Africa.[7]


In order to fully comprehend the development, functioning and effectiveness of the South African coastal defence system during the Second World War, it is necessary to discuss a number of further matters in detail. These include command, control and combined operations; coastal radar stations; coastal batteries; the examination services; A/S duties; other fixed naval and harbour defences; M/S duties, and coastal air patrols.


Fig 2.4: Semaphore signals pass between South African minesweepers, circa 1940[8]


On 26 March 1942, the headquarters of the South Atlantic Station moved to Cape Town. Soon thereafter, Smuts decided to establish a Coastal Area Command to centralise control over South Africa’s coastal defences. An additional Inland Area Command would be responsible for the defence of the rest of the Union. By July, Maj Gen George Brink and Maj Gen Isaac de Villiers took charge of the Inland Area Command and Coastal Area Command respectively. These officers controlled all military operations and security-related matters within their respective areas and were also responsible for the training and discipline of their respective troops. DHQ, however, continued to determine the direction of training, and took control over all matters affecting the provision of equipment, depots and stores.[9] The Coastal Area Command was responsible for the defence of an area roughly 100 miles wide along the entire South African coast.


This portion of land was divided into several smaller commands, each with its own commanders, commonly referred to as ‘Fortresses’. These ‘Fortresses’ were established to correspond with the principal South African ports. As such, there were six such commands at the Cape, Walvis Bay, Outeniqua, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. Each so-called Fortress had a Combined Operations Room, which collated all local information on the movement of shipping, reports from coastal air patrols, radar plots, troop locations, and the position of patrol vessels. All the A/S measures and fixed defences were also linked to them. The combination of this information allowed for accurate military decision making, which resulted in minimum delays when dealing with emergencies or false alarms. As a rule, the various operation rooms passed all of their information to Coastal Area Command, which could then allocate the necessary military forces to the various ‘Fortresses’ when necessary.[10]


The formation of the Coastal Area Command coincided with the formal establishment of the Combined Operations Room in Cape Town on 1 July 1942. The Combined Operations Room collated all the relevant information regarding the movement of shipping, intelligence and reconnaissance, troop dispositions and A/S matters. It also provided joint control over all South African and British military forces operational along the South African coast. The Coastal Area Command, along with the Combined Operations Room in Cape Town, not only proved paramount in the coastal defence of South Africa, but allowed for closer Anglo-South African naval relations at the operational level during the war.[11]


The Special Signal Services, under the command of Dr Basil Schonland, a professor of geophysics, provided radar cover along the South African coastline. At the outbreak of war, the Allies realised that radar could be used to provide early warning against seaborne attack through the use of coast defensive radars as well as airborne equipment.[12] The UDF initially sent several individuals to undergo the required radar training at Bawdsey Manor near Ipswich in the UK. These included its Director of Technical Services, Brig F.R.G. Hoare, Maj H.G. Wilmott and other Dominion representatives. These men were, however, out of their technical depth. The British Air Ministry subsequently dispatched a New Zealand Scientist, Dr Ernest Marsden, to South Africa to train the necessary technical personnel on the workings of radar. In due course, Schonland also met with Marsden. After this, Schonland turned the Bernard Price Laboratory at the University of the Witwatersrand into a rudimentary factory for producing local radar sets. These radar sets followed the so-called searchlight principle. This is where a radar beam from a transmitting antenna would be regularly swept across a section of space and then receive a signal from the same antenna when switched to ‘receive’. This process facilitated the procedure of direction finding, which held immense promise for use during A/S operations.


Map 2.1: Predicted radar coverage along the South African coast, 1939-1945


The first of this locally produced radar equipment, the JB1 radar, was installed on Signal Hill in Cape Town on 22 May 1941. Schonland and his team of engineers and scientists formed the core of the Special Signal Services, who fell under the command of the South African Corps of Signals. Schonland travelled to the UK in March 1941 in an attempt to speed up the delivery of suitable British radar equipment. His visit paid dividends, and several new radar sets arrived in the Union. These radar sets supplemented the locally produced units, and by the end of the war, there were at least 30 radar stations operational along the entire South African coast (see Map 2.1). These radar stations were instrumental in providing accurate information of enemy contacts to the South African coastal defence organisation, as well as the SAAF, and could quite reliably provide accurate enemy positions through direction finding.[13]


Fig 2.5: A coastal gun defending Cape Town Harbour, circa 1940[14]


Several coastal batteries defended the South African ports, and volunteers from the South African Garrison Artillery operated the batteries. The local defence of South African ports was initially the responsibility of the part-time Naval Volunteer Brigade. By February 1941 the Naval Volunteer Brigade was reorganised, and hence became known as the Coast Defence Corps with garrisons at Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. The Coast Defence Corps came under the charge of the individual Fortress Commanders. Following the meeting of the British War Cabinet SubCommittee on Defence Arrangements for the Indian Ocean in February 1942, the South African threat perception was reassessed.[15]


The South African coastal defence policy was accordingly amended. The new establishment called for the installation of an additional number of naval and AA guns at South African ports. The Commander Coastal Air Defences assumed complete control over the coastal anti-aircraft defences in South Africa, which included six anti-aircraft regiments comprising both heavy and light batteries, as well as searchlights at Saldanha, Cape Town, Simon’s Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. While the fixed coastal defence and anti-aircraft batteries at South African harbours never fired in anger during the entire course of the war, they nevertheless rendered excellent service. Their deterrent value was also immense since no direct attacks by enemy surface raiders or warships on South African harbours occurred.[16]


Fig 2.6: A South African examination officer boarding a merchant ship, circa 1940[17]


Since the outbreak of the war, provision was made for Examination Services at Walvis Bay, Saldanha, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. The Examination Services at each of these ports helped to identify merchant shipping and, along with the fixed coastal defence, controlled their movements. Saldanha Bay was furthermore identified as a Contraband Control Base where suspicious merchant shipping could be searched.[18] The Services were initially centralised under the Senior Naval Officer in Simon’s Town. The SDF took over these services in January 1940, with Cdr Dalgleish, Lt Cdr G.V. Thomas, Lt C.S. Peers and Lt Cdr H.B. Stocken appointed as the Commanding Officers of the naval forces at each of the principal ports. The SDF personnel at each port averaged about 30 and included five officers for the Examination Services and a further two Extended Defence Officers. There were four months of operational inactivity following the formation of the SDF.


This allowed for several misunderstandings, operational friction, and a general lack of efficiency to be resolved between the Examination Services, the Extended Defence Officers and the coastal defence batteries. The result was a high standard of cooperation. There was a palpable increase in the work of the Examination Services at Cape Town and Durban in 1942, and by August the SANF assumed complete responsibility for this work. By 1944 the addition of several Harbour Defence Motor Launches at the principal ports further facilitated the work of the Examination Services and the Extended Defence Officers. The Examination Services at all South African ports ceased in September 1945, shortly after the defeat of Japan.[19]


The development of suitable A/S protection at South African harbours proved rather slow. The majority of the merchant traffic passed through Cape Town and Durban, and shipping rarely had to anchor outside the other harbours while awaiting berths. Regular A/S patrols were therefore only necessary at these two ports. At Cape Town, these vessels patrolled the northern approaches between Robben Island and Bloubergstrand, as well as the main approaches between Robben Island and Green Point. At Durban, the A/S patrol line was approximately six miles from the shore and continued for a length of nearly six miles. 


By June 1940 the SDF establishment made provision for fifteen A/S vessels through the conversion of whalers and trawlers.[20] Initially, the only fully operational A/S vessels were the HMSAS Rondevlei and HMSAS Smalvlei. After additional asdic sets arrived, however, the conversion of the following vessels neared completion: HMSAS Mooivlei, HMSAS Blomvlei, HMSAS Odberg, HMSAS Blaauwberg, HMSAS Cedarberg and HMSAS Sydostlandet. The conversion of HMSAS Tordonn, HMSAS Sonneblom and HMSAS Immortelle was completed by the end of 1941. These vessels, along with those deployed in the Mediterranean, brought the numbers of the A/S Flotilla up to fifteen. Between May and October 1942 a further four A/S vessels, HMSAS Pretoria, HMSAS Vereeniging, HMSAS Turffontein and HMSAS Standerton were commissioned, which allowed for the provision of further A/S protection at Saldanha. 


In 1941, HMSAS Rondevlei, HMSAS Smalvlei and HMSAS Odberg were deployed to Durban where they carried out regular A/S patrols, with either one or two vessels continuously on patrol. By February 1942 the addition of HMSAS Cedarberg, HMSAS Blaauwberg and HMSAS Sydostlandet brought the Durban A/S Flotilla up to full strength, allowing for three ships to conduct patrols at any one time. The Cape Town A/S Flotilla at this stage consisted of HMSAS Mooivlei, HMSAS Blomvlei, HMSAS Sonneblom, HMSAS Immortelle and HMSAS Tordonn. The Durban A/S Flotilla suffered its first operational loss in April 1942 when HMSAS Sydostlandet ran ashore near the Umgeni River mouth during rough weather. By May 1942 the arrival of HMSAS Tordonn brought the Durban A/S Flotilla back up to strength, while the Cape Town A/S Flotilla was increased to nine vessels after the addition of HMSAS Pretoria, HMSAS Vereeniging, HMSAS Turffontein and HMSAS Standerton. For the remainder of the war, the strength of the South African A/S Flotilla was plateaued at fourteen vessels (see Table 2.1). These vessels, apart from their A/S patrols, assisted the M/S Flotillas in carrying out patrols within the anchorages, ready to drop depth-charges at a moment’s notice or engage small enemy surface craft with its naval guns.[21]


When the German and Japanese submarine attacks along the South African coastline started from the latter half of 1941 through 1942, the A/S Flotillas were increasingly called on to provide intensive patrols and help search for survivors. These operations were, however, difficult to say the least, as the South Atlantic Command had no A/S vessels, while the Eastern Fleet only comprised three corvettes and five destroyers at Mombasa. Moreover, the lack of suitable vessels also negatively affected the escort of merchants travelling along the South African coast.[22] By December 1942, group sailings were introduced for the slower merchant traffic travelling between South African ports and along its coastline. 


Name

Type

Fuel

Gross Tonnage

First Came into Service

HMSAS Blomvlei

Trawler

Coal

252 tons

11 October 1939

HMSAS Mooivlei

Trawler

Coal

252 tons

13 November 1939

HMSAS Rondevlei

Whaler

Oil

247 tons

8 June 1940

HMSAS Smalvlei

Whaler

Oil

233 tons

8 June 1940

HMSAS Blaauwberg

Whaler

Oil

307 tons

27 December 1940

HMSAS Sydostlandet

Whaler

Oil

258 tons

4 January 1941

HMSAS Cedarberg

Whaler

Oil

307 tons

14 March 1941

HMSAS Odberg

Whaler

Oil

351 tons

1 May 1941

HMSAS Sonneblom

Whaler

Oil

335 tons

14 August 1941

HMSAS Immortelle

Whaler

Oil

335 tons

5 November 1941

HMSAS Tordonn

Whaler

Oil

314 tons

25 November 1941

HMSAS Pretoria

Whaler

Oil

374 tons

8 May 1942

HMSAS Vereeniging

Whaler

Oil

355 tons

27 June 1942

HMSAS Turffontein

Whaler

Oil

355 tons

17 August 1942

HMSAS Standerton

Whaler

Oil

357 tons

26 October 1942


Table 2.1: South African A/S vessels operational in South African waters, 1939-194522


Area Command approached the C-in-C South Atlantic in December 1942, and proposed that the larger A/S vessels assist in escort work, as they were faster than the RN assets currently employed. The Coastal Area Command also argued that the introduction of larger vessels would be a welcome change to the monotony of A/S duties, and that escort work would be beneficial for both training purposes and the morale of the men. The C-in-C South Atlantic and DHQ agreed to the proposal. When the group sailing scheme commenced on 20 January 1943, one of the five escort groups was entirely allocated to SANF vessels. The SANF A/S vessels rendered valuable service in this regard while employed on escort work between Cape Town and Durban where they mainly functioned under RN operational control. HMSAS Vereeniging was also the only SANF vessel to be present during two separate attacks on convoys in South African waters, during which it handled itself well. 


Fig 2.7: Two South African anti-submarine vessels out on patrol, circa 1942[23]


Group sailings between Durban and Mombasa came into effect when independent sailings between Union ports were reintroduced in September 1943. Owing to a shortage of coal for the RN coal-burning A/S trawlers of the Eastern Fleet, the C-in-C South Atlantic approached the SANF with a request for the secondment of the best South African A/S vessels for escort work along the East African coastline. For the next eighteen months, the South African A/S vessels formed part of the 3rd and 4th Escort Groups. They rendered sterling work throughout, and did not encounter any enemy contacts.[24] These vessels temporarily returned to South African waters between March and August 1944 after renewed U-boat attacks. Throughout 1943 and 1944 the SANF A/S vessels took part in several operations against German and Japanese submarine blockade-runners, particularly as part of Operations Barrage, Throttle, Steadfast, Tricolour and Wicketkeeper.[25] The A/S vessels continued operations well into 1945, regularly conducting A/S patrols and undertaking escort duties.


The provision of boom defences as a means of harbour protection was the only fixed naval defence considered, and partly prepared for, by South Africa before the outbreak of war. During the interwar period, the South African government already accepted complete responsibility for this form of protection at its harbours, including Simon’s Town. By March 1938 Dalgleish, while still the SO SANS, warned DHQ that no one in particular was responsible for the installation of anti-torpedo (A/T) and anti-ship booms (A/B) at South African ports, after which the SAR&H would assume responsibility for their assembly and maintenance. Incidentally, however, only the Assistant Port Captain of Cape Town received the necessary training at the Boom Defence School at Rosyth in the UK in 1938. Upon his return, he visited each South African port to plan its respective boom defence system. While his suggestions were accepted outright by DHQ, the Director General of Operations only authorised A/T and A/B booms at the two entrances to Cape Town harbour.


The boom defence at the harbours of Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban would only comprise the A/B type. Once war broke out, the proposed scales of attack on the ports –  and the availability of material – largely influenced the provision and installation of boom defences at the various South African ports. It is rather disturbing to note that South Africa had no facilities for the production of boom gear or A/T nets at its disposal. Moreover, the available gear was insufficient, with the majority on order from Britain. Only at harbours where shipping lying inside the booms was exposed to attack by torpedoes, were A/T nets considered. The A/T nets, however, only guaranteed 60% protection. The cost of double boom systems proved far too expensive and was thus at first not even considered.[26]


The installation of the boom defence system at Cape Town proceeded immediately after the outbreak of war. By 1939, the two A/B booms were operational with a further two A/T nets covering the New Basin and Victoria Basin. Initially, the Cape Town booms were not functioning, but once the SDF took over local naval defence, the operation improved. The construction of boom defences across the entrance to the Durban channel was only authorised in June 1940 and became operational by mid-July. A series of fixed A/B extensions also covered the shallow waters between the north and south shores. These boom defences, like those in Cape Town, were initially only regularly employed. By 1942 the South African government authorised extensive additions to the Durban boom defences. These included the provision of A/T nets, an A/T boom in the Graving Dock Basin, as well as a combined A/B and A/T boom across the harbour entrance which became operational by November 1943. As a matter of routine, the booms closed at night, but this practice came to an end when the threat of surprise attack subsided in the latter half of 1943. By June 1943, it was decided to also install a catenary net at Durban, which was completed by mid-November 1944. The net only became operational in February 1945.[27]


The installation of an A/B boom at the East London harbour was authorised in mid-1940, with an additional A/T net also installed. This boom, as at other ports, was not closed at night until May 1942. By the end of that year, a renovated boom had been installed. At Port Elizabeth, an A/B was also considered in mid-1940, but the plan was shelved because of the large size of the harbour entrance. By 1942 the scheme was revived to include A/T nets as well. After the Admiralty agreed to help provide the necessary materials, the A/B and A/T boom became operational in April 1943. In April 1942, the Union authorities decided to provide an A/T boom for the defence of Saldanha, but once again due to the considerable size of the entrance to the bay, the Admiralty had to provide the materials and help install the boom. The A/T boom was completed on 29 May 1943, nearly eight months later.[28]


Following the significant expansion of boom defences during the course of 1942, the SDF established a special Boom Defence Branch of its own with trained personnel, storage depots and repair facilities. By September, Lt Cdr A.G. Jones was appointed as the first Boom Defence Officer in the SANF. The main storage depot of the Boom Defence Branch was established at Saldanha, with headquarters and workshops in Cape Town. Work parties were then dispatched from Cape Town to the ports when needed, though a shortage of trained personnel severely affected its performance. This state of affairs was only remedied by mid-1943, once a sufficient number of trained personnel became available. After the Admiralty requested South Africa to start producing its own A/T nets in 1943, Jones and his men set about expanding their organisation and produced approximately 20 A/T nets per month. The majority of the A/B and A/T booms at South African ports remained operational until June 1945, whereafter they were lifted.[29]


The Axis use of magnetic mines in European waters prompted the Admiralty to request the establishment and operation of degaussing ranges at some Dominion ports. Cape Town and Durban were included among these. Degaussing was a method used to neutralise the magnetic field of a ship, where special circuits were installed through which electric currents of alternating strength could travel. Due to the alteration of these magnetic fields over time, the magnetic field of vessels was then measured occasionally and the neutralising currents adjusted when ships steered over a line of submerged units connected to a shore station. The Union government accepted the cost of this commitment on 31 July 1940. According to Gordon-Cumming, this decision was South Africa’s first external contribution to the Allied war effort. It was agreed that the SDF would lay and operate these ranges, while the Admiralty provided the technical equipment and some initial assistance. 


Professor B.L. Goodlet of the University of Cape Town was nominated to attend specialised training on the supervision of the laying of these ranges. The instruction would take place at Portsmouth in the UK that August. On his return in November, Goodlet became the head of the SDF Electrical Branch and oversaw a number of key tasks. This branch expanded considerably, especially during the installation of A/S fixed defences between 1942 and 1943. 


In December 1941, Goodlet received his commission as an Electrical Cdr in the SDF. The degaussing range at Cape Town, established on the eastern shore of Robben Island, became operational on 6 June 1941. By the end of that year, it was dealing with an average of 100 ships per month. The increased volume of shipping around the South African coast prompted the Admiralty to request the installation of both deep and shallow degaussing ranges at Durban during February 1942. Only a deep degaussing range could be laid immediately South of the Umgeni River mouth, which only became operational on 20 February 1943. By the end of the year, the Durban degaussing range dealt with 80 ships per month on average. A unit for the deperming of small ships was also installed at Durban in 1942, to help magnetise vessels and reset their fore-and-aft magnetic polarity. By 1945 at least 3034 ships had been ranged at Cape Town, with a further 1292 ranged at Durban. This was the third largest output during the war according to Gordon-Cumming, next only to that of the degaussing ranges at the Thames and Clyde Rivers.[30]


A host of other fixed naval defences were also installed at South African ports throughout the war. While the Union Government committed to the establishment of such defences, the Admiralty agreed to provide the necessary materiel and personnel free of charge. As a result, all technical equipment came from the UK, and had to be installed by RN specialists seconded to the SANF. South African personnel were then trained to operate the equipment and took over the installations as soon as they became functional. 


During June of 1942 the British War Cabinet Sub-Committee on Defence Arrangements for the Indian Ocean Area made a series of recommendations for further underwater fixed defences at South African ports.[31] The constant fear of attack by midget-submarines, especially after the Japanese attack on the harbour of Diego Suarez in Madagascar, prompted South African authorities to provide for the detection thereof. As no suitable Admiralty apparatus was available, Goodlet devised a makeshift device that consisted of two loops of electric cable that were connected to a small control station. Each of these circuits passed through a flux meter, which upon crossing by a vessel would ring an electric bell. The ‘Goodlet Loops’ acted in unison, with the outer loop providing the first warning, and the second loop confirming the presence of any midget-submarine. In such an event, the appropriate A/S defensive measures could be activated. By 1943 the ‘Goodlet Loops’ at Durban were supplemented by the installation Type 135 Harbour Defence Asdic (HDA) units, while the installation of similar units at Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and East London occurred up until 1944.[32]


The South African government decided in 1942 to provide A/S fixed defences at Cape Town, Durban and Saldanha. After observing the prevailing local conditions and carefully investigating each intended installation site, Goodlet drew up a proposed layout for each location. In July, Goodlet received Admiralty approval to continue. At Cape Town four indicator loops, with an average length of four miles each, were fitted in an arc from Clifton Beach to Melkbosstrand passing outside of Robben Island. These indicator loops were supported by a further four Type 131 HDA units situated to the north-east and south-east of Robben Island. The electronic circuit was broken when any vessel crossed that particular loop. The system became operational on 20 November 1942, shortly after the first sustained U-boat offensive in South African waters. 


The installation of the rest of the South African loop systems proceeded slowly due to cable-laying difficulties and for want of suitable craft. By June 1943 the Durban indicator loops became active and were positioned in an area between the Bluff and the control station at Umhlanga Rocks. By the end of October, a further five Type 131 HDA units had been fitted. The establishment of indicator loops at Saldanha, Walvis Bay and Simon’s Town were soon shelved due to the changing war situation. Instead, Port Elizabeth became the final South African harbour to receive a comprehensive scheme of A/S fixed defences. 


This system only came into operation on 27 March 1944.[33] The loop systems, once completed, were linked up to the other harbour defences through the local Fortress Command Operation Room. In the event of a loop crossing, the appropriate vessels were dispatched to investigate. Such a crossing also provided a further early warning to shore batteries and searchlights at night. The British submarines HMS P614 and HMS Otus also carried out a practical test on the Cape Town and Durban A/S fixed defences during 1943. The results were positive. While the South African A/S fixed defences proved extremely elaborate, they naturally served as an excellent deterrent throughout the war despite their costly installation. For the duration of the war, there was no definite instance of an enemy submarine crossing the indicator loops at any South African harbour, despite two unconfirmed instances in February and May 1943, where an enemy U-boat may have entered the Cape Town Harbour.[34]


The so called ‘Goodlet Loops’, HDAs and Indicator Loops assisted the coastal depth-charge throwers in obtaining a fix.[35] After this, depth-charges were dropped as near as possible to the position of the A/S contact or loop crossing. The depth-charge throwers were installed at Simon’s Town and Durban in July 1942, and at other Union ports towards the end of the year. They only became operational in November, however. These throwers were manned by artillerymen when in close vicinity to coastal batteries, and by SANF personnel in all other instances. A number of controlled minefields were contemplated for several of the South Africa ports. Be that as it may, only one was laid at Saldanha due to its use as a convoy assembly port. 


Saldanha Bay was also the largest natural harbour in Southern Africa, where a relatively small and sheltered minefield could accomplish the protection of a large number of naval vessels.[36] The decision to lay the minefield was taken in August 1942. By September, several RN Coastal Mining specialists had arrived to oversee the positioning and installation of the Saldanha minefield. Two separate minefields were proposed, one minefield with three loops covering the northern entrance between Hoedjies Point and Marcus Island, and another with five loops guarding the southern entrance between Marcus Island and Eland Point. Each mine loop contained 12 mines, and each loop was on average 600 yards long. These loops naturally overlapped one another to form a formidable series of defences.


The minefield was completed between January and August 1943 through the assistance of the SANF who gradually took over the responsibility from the RN. By the end of 1943, however, Saldanha ceased to be used by merchant shipping, though the minefield remained in operation until March 1945. On the night of 1 June 1944, parts of the minefield were blown when it was thought that a submarine had been detected in the bay. The Examination Service, however, found no evidence upon closer investigation. The Saldanha minefield was blown up in its entirety on 6 April 1945, as its recovery would prove too time-consuming and costly to justify.[37]


Fig 2.8: A South African minesweeping vessel conducting a regular sweep, circa 1942[38]


The SDF assumed operational control for M/S duties at the principal South African ports from January 1940. By December 1939, fifteen M/S vessels were available to the SDF, after the conversion of some former commercial whalers and trawlers. The process of conversion was, however, extremely time consuming, especially since the UK and South Africa agreed not to initially commission the Antarctic whalers for this purpose.[39] These vessels were originally manned by RNVR personnel, but SDF personnel formally assumed this responsibility in 1940. The initial disposition of M/S vessels was as follows: seven at Cape Town, and two each at Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Simon’s Town. The M/S vessels were tasked with sweeping a number of predetermined channels, two miles in width, covering the approaches to the various ports from a point on the 100-fathom line. After the channels had been swept, they were declared clear of mines. The M/S vessels were furthermore armed with a 12-pounder gun, one or two Lewis guns and some depth-charges, though the vessels carried no asdic equipment. By April 1941 the M/S complement of the SDF rose to 37 vessels, with the planned requisition and conversion of additional whalers. The maximum number of South African M/S vessels, however, peaked at 37 vessels during the war (see Table 2.2).[40]


Fig 2.9: Naval men inspecting a German magnetic mine beached off Agulhas, 1940[41]


Name

Type

Fuel

Gross Tonnage

First Came into Service

HMSAS Africana

Special

Coal

313 tons

September 1939

HMSAS Disa

Trawler

Coal

197 tons

15 September 1939

HMSAS Richard Bennett

Trawler

Coal

227 tons

15 September 1939

HMSAS Bluff

Trawler

Coal

262 tons

15 September 1939

HMSAS David Haigh

Trawler

Coal

276 tons

19 September 1939

HMSAS Babiana

Trawler

Coal

262 tons

23 September 1939

HMSAS Oostewal

Trawler

Oil

179 tons

4 October 1939

HMSAS Swartberg

Trawler

Oil

219 tons

4 October 1939

HMSAS Crassula

Trawler

Coal

261 tons

25 October 1939

HMSAS Algoa Bay

Trawler

Coal

270 tons

16 November 1939

HMSAS Arum

Trawler

Coal

194 tons

12 December 1939

HMSAS Nerine

Trawler

Coal

197 tons

16 December 1939

HMSAS Aristea

Trawler

Coal

261 tons

23 December 1939

HMSAS Natalia

Whaler

Coal

238 tons

4 April 1940

HMSAS Grimwood

Whaler

Coal

219 tons

25 May 1940

HMSAS Robinson

Whaler

Coal

196 tons

7 June 1940

HMSAS Goulding

Whaler

Coal

224 tons

11 June 1940

HMSAS Larsen

Whaler

Coal

162 tons

17 June 1940

HMSAS Whytock

Whaler

Coal

166 tons

27 June 1940

HMSAS Hektor

Whaler

Oil

247 tons

19 July 1940

HMSAS Soetvlei

Whaler

Oil

234 tons

26 July 1940

HMSAS Brakvlei

Whaler

Oil

233 tons

August 1940

HMSAS Southern Barrier

Whaler

Oil

344 tons

5 October 1940

HMSAS Steenberg

Whaler

Oil

250 tons

6 November 1940

HMSAS Stellenberg

Whaler

Oil

250 tons

8 November 1940

HMSAS Kommetje

Whaler

Oil

252 tons

1 December 1940

HMSAS Florida

Whaler

Oil

256 tons

12 December 1940

HMSAS Nigel

Whaler

Oil

250 tons

10 March 1941

HMSAS Springs

Whaler

Oil

249 tons

20 March 1941

HMSAS Brakpan

Whaler

Oil

335 tons

10 April 1941

HMSAS Krugersdorp

Whaler

Oil

198 tons

21 June 1941

HMSAS Germiston

Whaler

Oil

197 tons

22 August 1941

HMSAS Randfontein

Whaler

Oil

205 tons

7 October 1941

HMSAS Parktown

Whaler

Oil

220 tons

November 1941

HMSAS Roodepoort

Whaler

Oil

315 tons

24 January 1942

HMSAS Benoni

Whaler

Oil

221 tons

9 March 1942

HMSAS Johannesburg

Whaler

Oil

228 tons

20 August 1942

 

Table 2.2: South African M/S vessels operational in South African waters, 1939-

1945


By December 1940, the M/S strength of the SDF stood at 24 vessels. The best six formed the core of a new Mine Clearance Flotilla, a tactical unit created for deployment at a moment’s notice to search areas outside the ports and to clear known minefields. The Mine Clearance Flotilla was formed because of the discovery of a magnetic minefield near Agulhas in May 1940. During May, six M/S vessels were ordered to sweep the area off Agulhas after the discovery of the minefield. By that December, the Mine Clearance Flotilla was still busy clearing the minefield due to inclement weather and the continued reappearance of mines. In spite of this, most of the mines were destroyed by natural causes and rough seas. The sweeping of this minefield continued until March 1941. 


On the discovery of new minefields off Cape Town and Cape Agulhas in March 1942, the Mine Clearance Flotilla was once more dispatched. As the approaches to Cape Town harbour were threatened by the presence of these mines, the Mine Clearance Flotilla was ordered to sweep and search the approaches and their various channels. The Mine Clearance Flotilla once more encountered great difficulty while conducting its sweep, and only accounted for the destruction of a few mines. Inclement weather also affected the work of the M/S vessels, and by April, only parts of the minefield had been effectively cleared. For the remainder of the war, no further minefields were discovered around South Africa’s coastline. The M/S vessels settled into the monotonous task of conducting regular sweeps of the approaches to South African harbours. This task was  successfully executed as no Allied or neutral vessels were lost to mines in Union ports during the war.[43] On a number of occasions during the war, the M/S vessels also took part in combined operations aimed at the interception of Vichy convoys – most notably Operations Kedgeree and Bellringer in 1941. The last sweep by SANF M/S vessels in South African waters occurred at Durban and Cape Town on 31 August 1945, after which all M/S duties were suspended.[44]


At the outbreak of the war, the SAAF only possessed six modern aircraft and a fleet of sixty-three general purpose aeroplanes. Initially, there were five so-called fighter-bomber squadrons established at South African ports. The use of obsolete Furies and Hartebeest aircraft for this purpose, however, rendered them meaningless due to their unserviceability. Soon after the outbreak of the war, the SAAF took over eighteen Junker 86 aircraft from the South African Airways, which were all modified for use on coastal patrols.284 Each aircraft was armed with a complement of machine-guns, four 250lb and eight 20lb bombs, and had an average operational range of 980 miles. By September, a further four Torpedo Bomber Reconnaissance (TBR) squadrons – consisting of Marylands, Blenheims and Beauforts – that were established at Durban (No. 13 Sqn SAAF), Port Elizabeth (No. 14 Sqn SAAF), Cape Town (No. 15 Sqn SAAF) and Walvis Bay (No. 16 Sqn SAAF). The SAAF instituted a series of regular coastal patrols from October 1940, with naval officers acting as observers on these flights. The reconnaissance flights furthermore helped to investigate unidentified ships and submarine sightings, while escorting warships and troop transports into port.


A general reorganisation in December resulted in the amalgamation of several flights. No. 13 Squadron and No. 14 Squadron became A and B Flights of No. 31 (Coastal) Squadron SAAF, while No. 15 Squadron and No. 16 Squadron were merged as A and B Flights of No. 32 (Coastal) Squadron SAAF. For operational purposes, these new squadrons were under the command of the Natal, Eastern Province and Cape Military Commands. In September 1940, a further reorganisation followed, and No. 33 (Coastal) Squadron SAAF was established at Port Elizabeth. By December, the operational control of all coastal flights had been centralised after the establishment of an SAAF Operational Command under the direction of Col H.G. Wilmott. During the first two years, the SAAF Coastal patrols undertook regular flights, and in June 1940, a system of twice-daily patrols was instituted along the South African coastline at a depth of 60-100 miles. This also included four regular patrols over the approaches to the ports.[45]



 

Map 2.2: Approximate air cover over the South African coast, 1943


Centralised control over SAAF coastal patrols was achieved after the establishment of Coastal Area Command. Each Fortress Command also had a measure of control over localised air patrols. The SAAF coastal patrols were only intensified once the Japanese and German submarine offensives started in 1942. During the months of June and July, several aircraft helped to patrol the southern extremities of the Mozambique Channel in order to assist with the location and attack of the Japanese submarines. Several Ansons and Venturas from the SAAF also provided increased coastal safeguarding following the start of the German submarine offensive off Cape Town in October.[46] Both the UDF and South Atlantic Command were, however, acutely aware of the insufficient air cover available over the South African coastline. This was particularly problematic since most of the SAAF pilots were not trained in A/S work and coastal reconnaissance, and because of a general lack of aircraft.


Squadrons

Ansons

Catalina’s

Venturas

Total

22 Sqn SAAF

4

0

23

27

23 Sqn SAAF

4

0

25

29

25 Sqn SAAF

6

0

25

31

27 Sqn SAAF

0

0

19

19

29 Sqn SAAF

1

0

18

19

259 Sqn RAF

0

7

0

7

262 Sqn RAF

0

5

0

5

265 Sqn RAF

0

7

0

7

321 Sqn RAF

0

1

0

1

Total

15

20

110

145

Table 2.3: Strength returns of SAAF and RAF coastal squadrons, 1943[47]


By mid-1942, Smuts had made an appeal to the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill for greater assistance. Britain thereafter provided several suitable aircraft – including Ansons, Beauforts and Venturas. A number of SAAF TBR squadrons were hence established across South Africa, which further strengthened the Union’s coastal patrols for the remainder of the war (see Table 2.3).


After the introduction of group sailings from Cape Town to Durban in October 1942, SAAF aircraft were increasingly employed to protect vessels travelling in a convoy. The addition, at various times during the war, of aircraft from the Royal Air Force (RAF) greatly increased the capacity and effectiveness of the SAAF coastal air patrol service, as well as its A/S capacity during combined operations. Up until 1945, several detachments from No. 209 Squadron RAF, No. 262 Squadron RAF, No. 265 Squadron RAF and No. 321 Squadron RAF served in South Africa. Several dedicated flying-boat bases were established along the South African coastline – most notably at Langebaan and St Lucia. By the end of the war, SAAF aircraft increasingly formed a key component of combined A/S operations, and provided effective air cover along the entire South African coastline.[48]



Fig 2.10: A SAAF Anson returning from a dawn coastal patrol, circa 1940
[49]


Conclusion

The aspiration of South Africa to gain complete control over its naval and coastal defences coincided with the outbreak of the Second World War. South Africa was determined to manifest this desire on both political and military levels. The practical realities of this naval determinism, nonetheless, only came into effect after the establishment of the SDF in January 1940. The war, however, created an opportunity for the Union to once and for all successfully address the question of control over its naval and coastal defences. The war in effect served as the catalyst for this change. 


Despite the fact that the SDF and SANF served with exception with regard to South Africa’s naval and coastal defence during the war, the Union never truly exercised complete maritime control over its territorial waters. Throughout the war, South Africa was forced to rely on the Admiralty for operational, technical, administrative and logistic support and expertise in order to materialise and maintain the continued defence of South African waters. Moreover, it was principally the RN, with support from the nascent SDF and SANF, which conducted the majority of offensive and defensive naval operations in South African waters.


The South African willingness and ability to adapt to each particular circumstance, and learn the appropriate lessons, outweighed any deficiencies in terms of expertise, personnel or equipment. By the end of the war, South Africa had in effect created a comprehensive system of naval and coastal defences, which helped the Allied forces to realise command at sea in the Southern Oceans. Chapter three looks at the ways in which the South African coastal defence systems were tested during the Axis maritime operations along its coastline, and especially during the sustained attacks between October 1942 and August 1943. As will be seen, the South African naval and coastal defences were able to deal with these attacks to a large degree, and the necessary countermeasures were activated to deal with each individual naval threat.


[1] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 17-19; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Memorandum on the possible conversion of South Atlantic whalers for A/S duties, Mar 1939.

[2] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, p. 39.

[3] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo Collection, S.A. 1651.

[4] DOD Archives, UWH Civil, Box 240, File 215: Union Coast Defences. South African Naval Forces, 15 Aug 1940; Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 87-89; Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, p. 55.

[5] Potgieter, ‘Maritime Defence and the South African Navy’, pp. 170-172.

[6] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 55-60.

[7] Potgieter, ‘Maritime Defence and the South African Navy’, p. 169; Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 60-64, 199-202.

[8] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo

Collection, S.A. 410.

[9] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 152-153; Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, p. 199.

[10] DOD Archives, Diverse, Group 1, Box 127, File: Coastal area organisation. Correspondence between headquarters coastal area and Trigonometrical Survey Office Mowbray re maps, 13 August 1942.

Note that Saldanha was a sub-fortress of the Cape Fortress throughout the war.

[11] Van der Waag, A Military History of Modern South Africa, p. 188.

[12] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 110, 215; TNA, ADM 1/13288. South Atlantic R.D.F. Instructions, 1 May 1943.

[13] Austin, ‘On the Development of Radar in South Africa’, pp. 69-80. Also see Gomm, ‘South Africa's Electronic Shield’ (http://www.samilitaryhistory.org/vol023go.html); Austin, ‘The South African Corps of Scientists’ (http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol141ba.html); Hewitt, ‘South Africa's role in the development and use of Radar’ (http://www.samilitaryhistory.org/vol033fh.html); Hewitt, ‘Basil Schonland: Memories of the man at work’, pp. 11-13; Mangin, and Lloyd, ‘The Special Signal Services’ (http://www.samilitaryhistory.org/vol112ml.html). All internet articles accessed on 23 February 2018. Also see Austin, Schonland: Scientist and Soldier and Brown, A History of Scientific Endeavour in South Africa; Jacobs et al, South African Corps of Signals.

[14] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo

Collection, S.A. 987.

[15] TNA, WO 106/4934. South African Coast Defence, 24 Nov 1940; TNA, ADM 116/4499. Defence Plan for Ports in the Union of South Africa, 23 Feb 1942.

[16] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 4, 109-111. Also see Bisset, ‘Coast Artillery in South Africa’, pp. 333-357.

[17] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo

Collection, S.A. 470.

[18] Roskill, The War at Sea: Volume I – The Defensive, pp. 43-44.

[19] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 25, 33, 185, 245.

[20] TNA, ADM 1/10262. Memorandum on the possible conversion of South Atlantic whalers for A/S duties, Mar 1939; Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 73-74.

[21] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 75-76.

[22] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 85-91. 261    Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 263-264.

[23] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo Collection, S.A. 5044.

[24] DOD Archives, Commander Seaward Defences (CSD), Box 15, File: Group sailing operations Union waters. Note on commencement and ceasing of group sailings, 1944; DOD Archives, CSD, Box 15, File: Policy (escort groups). Note on commencement and ceasing of group sailings, 1944. DOD Archives, CSD, Box 15, File: Policy (escort groups). CSD Approval of exchange with RN of A/S vessels, 15 Nov 1943; DOD Archives, CSD, Box 15, File: Policy (escort groups). Personal correspondence between CSD and GOC coastal area re SANF vessels and A/S warfare, 30 Oct 1942; DOD Archives, CSD, Box 15, File: Policy (escort groups). Correspondence between CSD and SANOi/c Durban re SANF A/S vessels on escort duties, 28 Apr 1943; DOD Archives, CSD, Box 15, File: Policy (escort groups). Correspondence between CSD and SANOi/c Durban re participation of SANF vessels in convoy escorts from SA ports, 23 Jan 1943.

[25] DOD Archives, Diverse, Group 1, Box 126, File: Operation “Throttle”. Operation Throttle ops order, 30 May 1944; DOD Archives, Diverse, Group 1, Box 126, File: Operation “Steadfast”. Operation Steadfast ops order, 12 Jun 1944; DOD Archives, Diverse, Group 1, Box 125, File: Woodcutter. Operation Woodcutter ops order, 1 Jan 1944; DOD Archives, Diverse, Group 1, Box 125, File: Operation Wicketkeeper. Operation Wicketkeeper, 8 March 1944.

[26] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 225-226; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Remarks on the Underwater Defence of Cape Town, Simonstown, East London, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Saldanha Bay, 14 Feb 1942.

[27] TNA, ADM 1/10262. Circular by Director of Local Defences re South African Boom Defences, 23 Mar 1942; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Remarks on the Underwater Defence of Cape Town, Simonstown, East London, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Saldanha Bay, 14 Feb 1942; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Naval Cypher from F.O.i.c. Simonstown to C-in-C South Atlantic re Shipment of Boom Defences to Union, Mar 1942.

[28] TNA, ADM 1/10262. Remarks on the Underwater Defence of Cape Town, Simonstown, East London, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Saldanha Bay, 14 Feb 1942; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Naval Cypher from F.O.i.c. Simonstown to Admiralty re Union Government commitment to Boom Defences, 13 May 1942; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Naval Cypher from Admiralty to F.O.i.c. Simonstown re Importance of the Development of Saldanha Bay, 16 Mar 1942.

[29] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 231-233.

[30] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 215-216, 271.

[31] TNA, ADM 116/4499. Defence Plan for Ports in the Union of South Africa, 23 Feb 1942.

[32] TNA, ADM 1/15276. Secret Correspondence between C-in-C South Atlantic and SANF re the manning of A/S Fixed Defences in South Africa, 22 Jun 1943; TNA, ADM 1/15276. Naval Cypher from Admiralty to C-in-C South Atlantic re A/S Fixed Defences in South Africa, 8 Oct 1943; TNA, ADM 1/15276. Memorandum on the Axis use of Midget Submarines, 19 Jan 1943; GordonCumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 217-219.

[33] TNA, ADM 1/15276. Secret Correspondence between C-in-C South Atlantic and SANF re the manning of A/S Fixed Defences in South Africa, 22 Jun 1943; TNA, ADM 1/15276. Naval Cypher from Admiralty to C-in-C South Atlantic re A/S Fixed Defences in South Africa, 8 Oct 1943; TNA, ADM 1/15276. Circular from Director of Anti-Submarine Warfare re HDAs in South Africa, 5 May 1943.

[34] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 218-219, 271.

[35] An A/S fix refer to the act of determining the position of objects by lines of bearing from different locations at about the same time. Once such a fix is established, the appropriate A/S countermeasures are activated.

[36] TNA, ADM 1/10262. Naval Cypher from Admiralty to F.O.i.c. Simonstown re Importance of the Development of Saldanha Bay, 16 Mar 1942.

[37] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 221-223.

[38] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo Collection, S.A. 1628.

[39] TNA, ADM 1/10262. Memorandum on the possible conversion of South Atlantic whalers for A/S duties, Mar 1939; TNA, ADM 1/10262. Treasury Inter-Service Committee – Proposal to requisition

Whalers, 18 Mar 1940.

[40] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 5, 17-19, 265-268.

[41] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo

Collection, S.A. 659.

[42] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 265-268.

[43] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp.27-28, 35-36, 48, 87-88, 126-127, 91-95; GordonCumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, p. 245.

[44] TNA, ADM 223/530. Naval Cypher from S.O.I. Simonstown to C-in-C South Atlantic re Bellringer, 13 Nov 1941; Van der Waag, A Military History of Modern South Africa, p. 190. 284  Van der Waag, A Military History of Modern South Africa, p. 189.

[45] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 4, 5-16, 35-36, 47, 86-87; Van der Waag, A Military History of Modern South Africa, p. 189.

[46] Gordon-Cumming, Official History of the South African Naval Forces, pp. 25, 77, 79, 196.

[47] TNA, ADM 1/12643, Report by Captain C D Howard-Johnston on anti-submarine operations in the South Atlantic, 1943.

[48] Turner et al, War in the Southern Oceans, pp. 185, 109-110, 153-154, 203, 221, 283.

[49] South African National Museum of Military History, Masondo Reference Library. SA Navy Photo

Collection, S.A. 429.


 

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