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Sub-Saharan Covert Operations | The Role of South African Submarines


It was Winston S Churchill that stood out as the statesman that understood naval power more than anyone else. In all his books, he has the same message. The navy is what keeps enemy soldiers away from the mainland. Nothing has changed, without the US Navy, mainland USA is under severe threat of not only blockade but of invasion by a foreign army, i.e. the Chinese one. The rise of the Chinese Navy and the brutally frank political analyses in this book should be worrying, they are moving in relentlessly, cutting your sea routes as explained in many GMJ Books.

In Code Name Ghost we take a hard look at the shocking vulnerabilities of the West regarding naval warfare. If you think that an aircraft carrier cannot be sunk, think again. There are many instances in training exercises where an aircraft carrier was “sunk” by submarines. In South African waters, the SAS Manthatisi, a Type 209 diesel-electric, “sunk” an entire NATO squadron and the target they were protecting. That was during Exercise Amazolo in 2008. The unexpected result sent shockwaves across the naval world.

The fact is, the German-built Type 209 diesel-electric submarines are so quiet that they cannot be tracked by nuclear boats. Conversely, they can track nuclear attack and missile boats and they do. According to reports, the Royal Navy tried twice to find the South African Type 209s and the Type 209s gained firing solutions on them first and kept it.

Here we look at maritime intelligence gathering using ultra-quiet diesel-electric submarines to penetrate harbour & coastal defences. Many Westerners do not know that the South African Navy, small but highly efficient with modern warships and ultra-quiet diesel-electric Type 209 submarines, is closely modelled on the Royal Navy. They use the same ranks, the same traditions and have the same outlook on warfare.

This book explains how the South African submarines are used offensively and defensively. They are not in any way, shape or form only ceremonial. They are deadly weapons of war, heavily armed, and manned by outstanding officers and crews.

Since 1969, only 1,050 submariners qualified for service. They are an exceptionally elite group in already an elite Service. The South African submarines are around, God knows where since they are seldom to never tracked and they are very capable of working with Special Forces and secret agents. That is what is highlighted in this book, their capabilities that are world-class.


Angelique Dawson, South African Secret Service spymaster extraordinaire and her team are about to enter Walvis Bay, a small harbour town in Namibia being rebuilt by the Chinese into a major naval base. They are using an ultra-quiet South African Navy Type 209 diesel-electric and they want to see if it is possible to do so without being discovered.

It is a dangerous mission. They know that two other NATO submarines and nuclear attack boats, failed before them. Penetrating the bay will not be easy. There is a suspected underwater minefield and an SOSUS line waiting, as well as two enemy attack submarines, one Russian and one Chinese, in the area. Besides all this, she suspects that an enemy agent inside Naval HQ in Pretoria has already betrayed the mission.

She also wishes to recover evidence of a Nazi spy ring operating during World War Two in South Africa, the so-called Werz Papers, buried in the Namib Desert. To get to the papers she must land covertly with her later husband and soul, Geoffrey Foxtrot, and make her way overland.

In addition, she is planning something so bizarre, that she is not telling the narrator, Foxtrot until it is too late to stop her.

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 Ghost is the 31st book of the GMJ Series.

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