Adamastor Rising by Simon NorvalAt last a South African has had the courage to write a modern action novel about the South African Navy.

In ‘Adamastor Rising’ the author has managed to use the knowledge and experience that he has gained over the many years that he worked with modern naval equipment, and especially with the systems fitted to the Valour Class frigates, to produce an entertaining and easy to read story starring the first of class of the frigates, SAS Amatola, supported by two of our older but still very useful strike craft, the Isaac Dyobha and Galeshewe.

The first of our Type 209 submarines, SAS Manthatisi, also gets to play her part in what at times becomes a fairly complex plot.

In writing his story the author manages to raise a number of issues and scenarios that are very important to our Navy. It is therefore hoped that notwithstanding the fact that this is a purely fictitious setting and story, that the military and naval planners and political leaders will take note of what is presented here. One of the issues raised is the need to assist and help develop other African Navies and the possibility of creating some form of joint African naval force to counter the threats that face our continent. In support of this issue the Author builds much of his story around the delivery voyage, from Simon’s Town to Luanda, of an Angolan Valour Class frigate that has been built for that country under South African management and whose crew have been trained and worked up in Simon’s Town in preparation for this delivery.

Notwithstanding the fact that in an action of this nature one should really start at the lower end of the complexity curve and not at the top as the Valour Class frigates are, the concept of encouraging the various navies to standardise on ships and equipment is a most important one and one in which South Africa must take the lead. It is gratifying to see this point being made in a novel of this type.

The scenarios that the author sets within which to tell his story are also very pertinent and are exactly the type of scenario that I sincerely hope our naval planners and strategists are studying. In the modern world the probability of any two navies ending up in a head to head sea battle are indeed very slight. Well for our Navy anyway. However the sudden out of the blue asymmetrical or unconventional threats that Simon Norval’s task force has to face are very much the type of action that our Navy is going to have to face in future peace support or anti piracy operations in African waters.

I would certainly class this book as required reading not only for young naval officers under training, but also for those officers on the staff who are responsible for ensuring that our ships are fitted with the equipment necessary to face the real threats of today’s world and by those who have to ensure that the ships’ companies are trained and prepared for exactly this type of asymmetrical warfare.

‘Adamastor Rising’ is published by South Africa’s first on-line publishing house, Just Done Productions.

This means that copies of this book can only be ordered either by going to the website or by contacting the publisher at Just Done Productions, P O Box 23, Gillitts, 3603; or telephone/fax 031 767 3654 or Cell number 083 388 8290.

Borderstrike! South Africa into Angola. 1975-1980Three Frigates. The South African Navy comes of AgeThose who do go to the Just Done website will also find a number of other books for those who have an interest in South African military history including ‘Borderstrike!’ the story of Operation Savannah in the mid 1970s and ‘Three Frigates’ the story of the SA Navy’s President Class frigates (Both of which have been reviewed in earlier editions of Navy News), as well as the latest product of the Naval Heritage Trust, Naval Digest No 12, ‘Names and Ships’ Badges of the Valour Class frigates’.
Review by Rear Admiral Chris Bennett (SAN) (Rtd) for the Navy News

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