Fighting the U-boats

Allied Navies

South African Naval forces

The South African Navy almost did not exist before 1945, only some small vessels. Besides that, the country was a long way from the U-boat operations, at least until the Monsun boats began traversing its waters on their way to and from the Indian Ocean during 1942-1945. U-boats also operated near Cape Town in late 1942.

The small South African vessels did not participate in anti-submarine operations as they did not carry the right anti-sub equipment. By the end of 1944 Britain had provided vessels to some other Allied countries and it was the turn of South Africa to receive 3 warships from the British.

These were 3 Loch class frigates type of 1435 tons built in 1944. The vessels were named from the S. Africans HMSAS Good Hope (ex br Loch Boisdale) HMSAS Natal (ex br Loch Cree) and HMSAS Transvaal (ex br. Lord Ard). These three vessels participated by helping screen a few convoys from African coast to Great Britain and in some operations near British coast, but did not manage much as war ended few months later.

The only South African success against a German U-boat was when the frigate Natal sank the U-714 with depth charges on 14 March 1945. This occurred in position 55'57N, O1'57W near the Scottish coast at Firth of Forth.

The small navy suffered no losses during the short time it operated in the war. In general, the Loch class vessels proved to be successful escorts.

Allied Navies