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November 9, 1987

All night, we heard the rumble of engines and nearby explosions. It was the 59th brigade approaching us but the South Africans were "escorting" them with their artillery.

In the morning, we went down to meet them. We saw our Soviet advisors. They felt that everything for them was under control. After the South Africans had attacked them with poison gas on the 29 of October, they had more or less regained consciousness. Their faces were happy - after all, they were returning "home", to Cuito. They had been in the forest for almost 4 months. It is difficult to imagine such a life - one must have personally have lived through it. We, for example, have been in the forest exactly one month, today, yet I have the feeling that already half my life has slipped by, and that all the days have merged into one, that each day is one and the same. If it is suddenly quiet, then you begin to go crazy, they say, wondering why they do not shoot, and what they still have in mind to do there. When the shooting starts, you wait for when it will finally end. And so on and so forth every day.

Around 8 oclock, we got information that the 16th brigade (which is located in the area of the Shambinga River, 20 kilometers away from us) had been subject since 3 oclock in the morning to heavy fire and attacks from the regular South African battalions. The Shambinga area lies right next to Cuito-Cuanavale, and already the South Africans had arrived there, but after all, they were anyway on the river Lomba not long ago.

During the afternoon, the advisors attached to the 25th brigade, located on our old positions, informed us that at around one in the morning, the enemy had attempted to penetrate their defense line. When that failed, he began to «throw» everything he had and then another several times tried to break through and has been continuing all this commotion up till now. The position of the 25th brigade is precarious. After all, it remains practically alone there, if we do not take our battalion staying with them into account.

Written By: host  Date Posted: 11/1/2010 1:44 PM
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