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Probing

Extract taken with the author's permission from: “War In Angola - The Final South African Phase“, by Helmoed-Römer Heitman (See Bibliography) For the Background and the Run-up to Intervention, get the book! *


The South Africans decided that they would now have to react to the escalating Cuban activity. They also wanted to do something about the 200 to 300 Swapo terrorists concentrated at Techipa. Terrorism in Owambo had been increasing over the past months as the advancing Cuban forces made it possible for Swapo to operate across that stretch of the border again.

Commandant Jan Hougaard of 32 Battalion and the intelligence officer, Captain Herman Muller, were called to Sector 10 headquarters on 12 May to discuss the situation. The idea was for 32 Battalion to attack the Swapo force at Techipa.

Hougaard set up a tactical headquarters at Ruacana on 16 May and inserted two 32 Battalion reconnaissance teams the next day. Signals intercepts confirmed that the Cubans were aware of South African reconnaissance teams in the area.

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