War on the Homefront: National Division and South Africa's Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1945

Author(s): Ian P Harrison

Year: 2018

Summary

In 1939, the Union of South Africa was caught unprepared for war. Lacking a servicable navy, the Union Defense Force was neverthelss tasked with protecting Allied supply lines through the Southern Ocean. Despite establishing a series of coastal defenses and RADAR stations to this end, Allied merchants rounding the Cape continued to suffer heavy casualties. As these losses mounted, competing ethnic, cultural, and political factions within the Union began using the U-boat war as fuel for their pro- or anti-war propaganda. By manipulating the construction of the reader’s maritime landscape, these groups attempted to affect support for the war in their favor. As such, this paper will analyze wartime propaganda in conjunction with the archaeological remains of the Union’s coastal defenses, examining the U-boat war within the broader context of South Africa’s political turmoil and internal divisions.

Cite this Record

War on the Homefront: National Division and South Africa's Battle of the Atlantic 1939-1945. Ian P Harrison. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441513)

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Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1939-1945

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 282