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Operation Sceptic: The attack on Smokeshell, Part 1

Operation ScepticExtracts made from the reports on Operation Sceptic by the Commanding Officer of 61 Mechanised Battalion Group, Commandant Dippenaar:

The attack from the northeast

Captain Jakes Jacobs’ combat team did not experience any problems in finding their attacking route in the dense bush of the Oshihugwa area. When they arrived at the objective, they found the two enemy anti-aircraft positions abandoned. In an operation that lasted until 15h45, they searched the entire area but found nothing.

During this same time, Combat Team 1 futilely searched for their route that would bring them to their target. As a matter of fact, they drove through the bush in the general direction: on a course completely determined by instinct, as there was no method to know exactly where to go. Even a compass would not have been practical at this stage. Because the Voorloper was at this time busy with fire control, and could also not observe the vehicles in the thick bush, it was of no use either. It can be mentioned here that the Voorlopers were flying at a height of 1500 metres above ground level in order to be safe from anti-aircraft weapons. They could also not fly close to the objective for this reason. Miraculously they eventually did arrive at the right objective, complexes 6 and 7. But the enemy positions were over 3 kilometres long and no one could know exactly where on the objective they were.

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