South Africa's Grey Diplomats; Visits by South African Warships to Foreign Countries 1946 - 1996

  • André Wessels Department of History, University of the Orange Free State
Keywords: The primary role of the South African Navy, conduct assistance operations, diplomatic support, South Africa's grey diplomats, value of the South African Navy's diplomatic role

Abstract

The primary role of the South African Navy is to defend the Republic of South Africa, its citizens and interests. In times of peace the Navy has an equally important role to play, for example to conduct assistance operations, including diplomatic support. During the first 75 years of the history of the South African Navy (1922-1997), its warships took part in about 70 flag-showing cruises. In this article a review is given of the 68 flag-showing cruises by South Africa's grey diplomats in the years from 1946 (when the South African Naval Forces were reconstituted) to 1996 (i.e. on the eve of the Navy's 75th anniversary). The aim is to ascertain the nature, extent and value of the South African Navy's diplomatic role.
Published
2012-02-10
Section
Articles