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Battle Group Bravo on the Benguela-Nova Lisboa route

As already mentioned, Second Lieutenant Corné van Wyk had been sent eastward with Alpha Company of Battle Group Bravo and a troop of armoured cars to guard the road to Nova Lisboa (the so-called Benguela route), early in the morning of 2 November 1975.

About 10 kilometres from Catengue, on the way to Caimbambo, the first town of any significance on this route, the lieutenant prepared an ambush on the downhill-side between some granite- and quartz-like hills. He deployed an armoured car and a captured 82 mm recoilless gun next to a curve in the road and hid the other vehicles next to the road. A black infantry soldier was positioned on an outcrop to watch the road to Caimbambo.

All approaching traffic was stopped. Civilians and unmotivated MPLA-members mostly just surrendered. Those that attempted to flee lost their lives almost without exception. Among the casualties was an MPLA paymaster with bags full of money. The captured escudos were very welcome and were used to buy fresh products, especially meat. All the task force’s money had been used by now.


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