n Journal for Contemporary History - Sestig jaar se mynteenmaatreëlswerk in die Suid-Afrikaanse vloot, 1947-2007 (2) : die "oorlogsjare", 1966-1989

Volume 34, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



In the history of South Africa the years 1966 to 1989 are characterised by a variety of challenges and concomitant changes, while at the international level the Cold War continued to dominate most relations. Also, from 1966 onwards, South Africa and its defence force became ever more involved in an anti-guerrilla war in the north of South West Africa (today Namibia); a conflict that in due course also spilled over into Angola. The South African Navy's involvement in the war "up north" was limited, but nevertheless important, and in the home waters, the Navy's minesweepers (and later minehunters) had to ensure that the Cape sea-route, as well as the approaches to the country's harbours, were kept free of mines. In this, the second article of a three-part study, a brief review is provided of the South African Navy's mine countermeasures (MCM) and related work in the years 1966 to 1989. How many MCM vessels did the Navy have? To what extent did the Navy keep abreast with MCM developments internationally? How did the 1977 mandatory United Nations arms embargo affect the country's MCM capability? What work did the MCM vessels do over and above MCM training? These are some of the questions that will be addressed in this study.

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