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PROJECT PACKER: Recreation of the last attack on the Tumpo Triangle
Project Packer
 
PROJECT PACKER: Recreation of the last attack on the Tumpo Triangle

Recreating this last big attack of SADF forces on the FAPLA/Cuban defences in the Tumpo Triangle east of Cuito Cuanavale on 23 March 1988. This was done for display at Fort iKapa during the POPPY DAY RUN 2014 of the Hell's Angels on 8 November 2014...

See more about the POPPY DAY RUN at http://www.warinangola.com/Default.aspx?tabid=574&mid=1277&ctl=Detail&ItemID=4062&VisibleDate=11%2F1%2F2014


The following is a 3D Terrain Model of the Tumpo-3 battlefield at Cuito Cuanavale which I created to reconstruct the battle on a 2700 mm x 1800 mm flat tabletop. This represents an area on the map of 16.2 x 10.8 km! The ground scale on the actual model will be that 1 cm on the table will equal approximately 60 m of actual distance... Each 10 mm high contour will represent a height increase of 20 m... The figure scale will also have to be reduced so that every model vehicle will represent two actual vehicles in order to be able to fit the models of a unit into the correct frontage for that unit. Each 20 x 20 mm base with four 6 mm tall figures on it will represent roughly 15+ men deployed in a formation spread out over about 120 m wide and 120 m deep. These are the restrictions and allowances one will have to accept in order to make the recreation work and fit on a manageable table {you have to be able to reach each and every point on the table, which implies that the table cannot be wider that 1800 mm - so no short arms allowed!)

 
82 South African Mechanised Brigade
 
South African Units that participated in Operation Packer
 
Working on the terrain...

Progress on the terrain table: The area that are depicted is what is known as the Tumpo Triangle east of the Cuito and Cuanavale rivers' confluence. Still lots of work involved with only the absolute basic features such as the dominant high ground, river and roads depicted. The figure to ground scale takes a bit of a knock when you have to use 1/300th scale models with a ground scale of 1 cm = 60m This means that in terms of the ground scale a 6mm tall figure (denoting a typical 6foot male) would still appear to be towering some 36metres high! - that' is 18 TIMES the normal 2m height of a man! Accordingly, all buildings, vehicles, fortifications and other features would suffer the same effect which takes a bit away from the realistic look and feel one would like to achieve.


This might help with orientation on the battlefield. The Tumpo Triangle: the triangle originating from the Cuito bridge and edged by the Cuito and then Cuanavale Rivers up to the Dala river in the north, and the Tumpo River and its tributaries in the south.


Special Preview of my newly constructed "Bridge over the River Cuito",,,, with SA-9, SA-13 and SA-8 vehicles added for effect. For those that my wonder at the condition of my bridge, I attach a photo of the actual Cuito bridge taken during that time in which one can see the damage done by the H2 smart bombs as well as the SA Special Forces operators (Recce's) floating down the Cuito River and attaching mines, something for which all twelve team members received the Honoris Crux medal for their actions during Operation Coolidge, 25-26 August 1987. Repeated close hits by the feared 155 mm G-5 guns also contributed to the general condition of the bridge which led to it not being able to be used to bring across any sort of heavy equipment, like tanks

Read more about Operation Coolidge at http://www.warinangola.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1741


Who thought I could ever get tired of the Angolan bush? After having to hand-make hundreds of trees, i can assure you - I am FED UP!!


NOT ideal tank-fighting country... Experimenting with the thickness of the bush. Anyone spot the Olifants? What else?

In terms of top views, I could match the actual view from about 250m above ground IF I had about TEN TIMES more trees! The second photo is my model trees seen from above, followed by the actual Google Earth view of the same area

 
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Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET
Images from 'Grensoorlog' series, produced by Linda de Jager, reproduced with kind permission from MNET

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