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South African Air Force

Author: Peter G Dancey

ISBN: 0-946995-66-4

Reviewed By: Paul Dubois

This book covers the SAAF from its origins through to the modern day air force, including the Police Air Wing. It has a chapter dedicated to the Bush War and also to the Helicopters. I feel that we could use a SAAF book with a bit more text than pictures, so this book appears to have potential. Unfortunately this is not the case. The best way that I can describe this book is to compare it with someone researching for a book. Normally you end up with a file full of bits and pieces. Well this book is that file!

The book has no introduction and one is thrown straight into the chapters. On reading the book appears to be very disjointed and will often spring back to something already referred to. Much of the information is dated but I suppose that this is to be expected from a book of this nature. The errors are a different story and one could write a book on this alone! Some examples being Cheetahs extensive use in combat, F1-CZ's with AIDA ranging radars, Bosbok being referred to as a Kudu etc.

The author has tried to dramatize the pictures by adding inaccurate captions which give the impression of unarmed Mirages and Buccaneers going into battle. There is also a picture of a Buccaneer, landing(according to author) with gear up........The B/W photographs are poor quality scans, most being scanned directly from vol 16 No1 January 1995 Photo Edition of Ad Astra.
This includes a picture from an advert used for the cover!? No effort has been made to hide the fact that the squadron badges have been copied from Herman Potgieters book, "Aircraft of the SAAF". Despite all this he was unable to find a picture of a SAAF Super Frelon, so he uses a Libyan picture instead. The map on page 90 is a very poor cut and paste job. (I mean literally strips glued onto a map!?) I suspect that a fair amount of information comes from the Ipmssa website.

If you haven't read many SAAF books, you will find this book an interesting read. I would only buy this book for amusement and not as serious reference material. For those poor sods with only ZAR, this book is certainly not worth £17.95, however if you look around you can find it for around £12.

A4, 110 pages, 100 b/w photos, some maps and line drawings

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