George M James
Technical Diving and Covert Operations
376 pages in paperback
Code Name Oath 19 is mainly about Special Forces diving and more specifically, “technical diving”. This is where you must decompress before coming to the surface again, usually, depending on physical fitness levels, when you are deeper than 130 feet.
This is not the same as Special Forces attack diving where rebreathers are used (they don’t give out bubbles and can be used for many hours at a time). The attack divers are never deep enough to need to decompress. This is the traditional method used when sabotaging something underwater, a Special Forces speciality, like a ship or barge (as was done during Code Name Green 41), planting limpet mines and then disappearing again without being noticed.
One may also use rebreathers with the typical attack diving method when inserting into hostile coasts. You swim in or sail underwater in an SDV (Special Delivery Vehicle) launched from either a surface warship (described in Code Name Ndebele 14) or a submarine or even by airdrop (described in Code Name Ghost). You cannot go deep with such apparatus as the air you would breathe at depth, will kill you.
In technical dives, you don’t breathe normal surface air but exotic gasses, Tri-Mix or whatever works for you, and you use special diving suits, special helmets and you don’t play the fool. If something goes wrong, you will be lucky to survive.
Technical dives are not for everyone and conducting such dives operationally takes a special breed and specialist training far beyond attack diving. In Special Forces, the skills of technical diving are needed as it can happen, that for operational reasons, you will have to deep dive, generally to recover something or plant listening bugs on underwater cables. Navy divers are generally either not available or not trained to assist (they do other work, they are not Special Forces rated).
It is an interesting subject. We shall see how it is done in Code Name Oath 19 and how spies do so without anyone on the surface knowing that they are there. The special techniques they use include submarines.
If water, submarines and diving is your thing, you will not be disappointed with Angelique’s latest adventures.
Angelique Dawson, South African Secret Service spymaster and her team are after the Werz Papers – a damning report on a Nazi spy ring that operated during World War Two in South Africa that mysteriously disappeared in the early 1970s.
Who else is after the documents and what will happen when the two groups clash as they surely will since peace is not Angelique’s occupation?
A lot of shenanigans are happening in the background with the narrator, Major Geoffrey Foxtrot, later husband of Angelique Dawson, as he is unable to figure out who is bluffing who.
Angelique is, as usual, playing dangerous games, she is hell bound to enter the hull of a spy ship sunk in the previous book, Code Name Moonlight. The wreck is resting 300 feet below the Indian Ocean making her exploration inherently dangerous. Angelique is looking for evidence to understand who the spy ship was working for.
But that wreck is booby-trapped... and other submarines are sniffing around. It gets complicated and more than dangerous, very quickly.
If you wish to read about Covert and Special Forces Operations in sub-Saharan Africa, the GMJ Books are the place to start. You will learn about covert operations, Special Forces techniques and military history not known outside the select few.
Code Name Oath 19 is the 30th book of the popular GMJ Series.