Register  Login
..::  » Events ::..

 
The War In Angola Remembered - This Month, 29 Years Ago...
 
War In Angola Scheduled Refights
<April 2017>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
 
Other Events of Interest
<April 2017>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30123456
 
PREMIUM CONTENT - FOR PREMIUM MEMBERS ONLY!
 
This month, 24 Years Ago, In South-East Angola...

 

If you would like to become a PREMIUM MEMBER, or find out more about the services and information offerred to PREMIUM MEMBERS, go to our Premium Membership Page....

 
LAST month, 28 Years Ago, In South-East Angola...

Tuesday, 1 March 1988: Second Attack on Tumpo
The purpose of this attack remained the same as for the previous attack: to destroy the Fapla force east of the Cuito or to drive it across the river. As soon as the bridgehead was taken, the bridge was to be destroyed. For a historical account of this encounter, see the Historical Accounts section....

Wednesday, 2 March 1988: The South Africans digest their failure
The South Africans spent the next day after the attack, 2 March, digesting their failure to make any headway. The units spent their time looking after their equipment, and the artillery changed its observers, some of whom had been deployed for a long time. As before, the recovery teams had spent the night recovering damaged vehicles that had been left behind during the day....

Thursday, 3 March 1988: SA artillery re-deployed
It was decided to withdraw Quebec Battery to the Brigade Administrative Area on 3 March. Romeo and Sierra Batteries and the rocket launcher troop would continue to put pressure on Fapla. The rocket launcher troop was to re-deploy during the day to a position west of the Chambinga source....

Friday, 4 March 1988: Recovery of damaged vehicles
A recovery team of 61 Mech moved to the old 21 Brigade positions on 4 March to recover the mine roller left there several days earlier, and to recover or destroy other damaged vehicles still in the area. The Olifant taken along to help with the recovery set off a mine during the move, which caused some delay but no casualties...

Saturday, 5 March 1988: Fapla patrols while 61 Mech demobs
A deep-reconnaissance patrol was sent out by Fapla on 5 March to locate the South African forces east of the Cuito. 4 SAI had begun demobilising on 4 March, and 61 Mech began their demobilising on 5 March, the day on which the first reliefs arrived. The first to be deployed was the new 120mm mortar battery....

Sunday, 6 March 1988: 4 SAI started its move to the BAA
4 SAI began its move to the Brigade Administrative Area on 6 March, and 61 Mech was ready to move but was waiting for 32 Battalion to relieve its force in the 59 Brigade positions....

Monday, 7 March 1988: 32 Battalion to deploy
32 Battalion deployed on 7 March to prevent any Fapla reconnaissance activity in or through the area. One company of 32 Battalion relieved the 61 Mech force in the former 59 Brigade positions....

Tuesday, 8 March 1988: Col McLoughlin handed over to Col Fouché
Colonel McLoughlin handed over to Colonel Fouche on 8 March, marking the effective end of Operation Hooper, although the name was changed only when the change-over of the troops had been completed....

Wednesday, 9 March 1988: MiG-23 bombed and strafed a SA convoy
In the late afternoon of 9 March, a single MiG-23 bombed and strafed a convoy near the Lomba source. While the attack caused no damage, the South Africans were concerned to find the Angolan Air Force becoming more adventurous....

Thursday, 10 March 1988: Provisional plan for another attack
Colonel Fouche's staff and Unita drew up a provisional plan on 10 March and presented it to Brigadier Smit, before it was presented to the various higher headquarters....

Friday, 11 March 1988: F Squadron pulled back
F Squadron pulled back to Mavinga on 11 March, taking Molopo's tanks with them, the Citizen force men having been flown out at the end of their tour of operational service. F Squadron refueled at Mavinga and dropped off their stock of spares for the incoming Regiment President Steyn before moving to Calais. They drove into Calais with guns forward and elevated in fine style....

Saturday, 12 March 1988: 82 SA Brigade took over command
the 82 SA Brigade staff took over from the 20 SA Brigade on the 12th....

Sunday, 13 March 1988: End of Operation Hooper - start of Packer
The 20 SA Brigade headquarters moved back to Rundu on 13 March. Operation Hooper had ended! The 82 SA brigade staff had formally relived the staff of 20 SA Brigade. The operations order for the next attack was now renamed Operation Packer....

Monday, 14 March 1988: Fapla defences
The infantry of Fapla's 25 Brigade was dug-in in well-prepared trench lines stretching from the Cuanavale to the Tumpo. Apparent gaps in the positions were covered by at least five 23 mm guns and ten 82 mm B-10 recoilles anti-tank guns sited to enfilade any force that attempted to penetrate them....

Tuesday, 15 March 1988: Fapla defences further consolidated
Five GRAD-Ps were also deployed in the main 25 Brigade positions. Ten tanks were in prepared hull-down firing positions behind the infantry positions. Nine 122 mm D-30 guns were deployed about 100 metres behind the main positions. Warning minefields were placed on all feasible approaches with five mobile tanks deployed between two outposts placed well forward of the main defensive positions. Tactical Group 2, now consisting mainly of the partly Cuban-manned 3 Tank Battalion, was in the bridge area as a mobile reserve and destruction force. It had at least fourteen tanks. Strong artillery elements were deployed all over the high ground on the west bank, from where they could very effectively place observed fire on all approaches to the Tumpo area. The weapons available included 122 mm D-30 gun-howitzers, 130 mm M-46 guns, 122 mm BM-21 and 140 mm BM-14 multiple rocket launchers....

Wednesday, 16 March 1988: Plan for the attack accepted
The plan fr the new attack, completed on 11 March, was presented for approval on 16 March and accepted as it was, except for a few details. The plan was discussed with Unita officers to finalise details of their part in it. Colonel Fouche requested a postponement to 25 March to clear up logistic difficulties, but accepted a ruling by Brigadier Smit that the attack was to go in on 23 March at the latest....

Thursday, 17 March 1988: MiGs active
The MiGs were active on 17 and 18 March, searching for the new South African positions. Several also attacked a convoy on 17 March....

Friday, 18 March 1988: G-5s hit the GSP ferries
On 18 March the G-5s hit two of the GSP ferries now also being used at the bridge site, blew a hole a metre across in one and quite badly damaged the other....

Saturday, 19 March 1988: Mirages attacked Baixa Longa
Mirage F-1AZs of 1 Squadron attacked the 36 Brigade battalion at Baixa Longa at 19h30 on 19 March. One of the Mirages, flown by Major Willie van Coppenhagen, crashed in Kavango on the way back....

Sunday, 20 March 1988: Deception actions at the Cuito river
Regiment Groot Karoo's A Company moved out with a mortar platoon and an engineer element during the night of 19 to 20 March to carry out deception actions. They opened by simulating a bridge-building operation over the Cuito north of its confluence with the Mianei, to again suggest the possibility of an attack on the Cuito defences from the south-west. Fapla reacted with 12 BM-21 rockets on 20 March and by despatching elements of 13 Brigade to carry out deep reconnaissance south of Cuito Cuanavale....

Monday, 21 March 1988: SAAF struck Tumpo defences
The SAAF struck the Tumpo defences at 07h30 on 20 March and at 11h15 on 21 March. Fapla's air-defence again began firing only after the South African aircraft had already turned around and were on their way home....

Tuesday, 22 March 1988: Fapla intended to regain control of the Chambinga high ground
An intercept on 22 March suggested that Fapla intended to regain control of the Chambinga high ground. Various elements received orders to reoccupy the former 21 Brigade positions, crossing the Cuito at Chaconda, north of the Mianei, and then moving from there to the former 21 Brigade positions. 82 SA Brigade was ready to attack on 22 March, leading elements of Regiment De La Rey having already moved off to their assembly area at 06h00....

Wednesday, 23 March 1988: Third Attack on Tumpo
The force for the third attack on the Tumpo area consisted of 82 SA Brigade and four Unita battalions. 82 SA Brigade had two squadrons of tanks from Regiment President Steyn, an armoured car squadron of Regiment Mooirivier, and two mechanised infantry battalions - Regiment De La Rey and Regiment Groot Karoo. Its artillery included two batteries of Regiment Potchefstroom University, one each with G-5s and G-2s; a 120 mm mortar battery of 44 Parachute Brigade and a multiple rocket launcher troop of 19 Rocket Regiment. Supporting elements included two troops of 7 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, six troops of 13 Field Engineer Regiment, and five reconnaissance teams of 4 Recce. For a historical account of this encounter, see the Historical Accounts section....

Thursday, 24 March 1988: Fapla developed their defensive system
Fapla now fully expected the South Africans to try an attack from the south. They began to develop a defensive system to the south of Cuito Cuanavale, and brought in additional forces from Menongue....

Friday, 25 March 1988: Colonel Fouché and General Demosthenes discussed further joint action
Colonel Fouche met General Demosthenes on 25 March to discuss further join action in the area. Angolan fighters were also in the air again that day, flying an unsuccessful attack on one of the G-5 positions. They were engaged by the 35 mm guns, but none were hit. The G-5s and the rocket launchers spent their day engaging several targets, including personnel at the bridge, a vehicle concentration just south of Cuito Cuanavale and a BM-21, which they destroyed....

Saturday, 26 March 1988: Further action planned
Colonel Fouché and his staff spent the 26th planning further action, and presented their ideas to Generals Geldenhuys and Liebenberg in Rundu the next day. Romeo Battery spent the day in the BAA (Brigade Administration Area), preparing to move back to South Africa....

Sunday, 27 March 1988: Angolan fighters in the air all day
On the 27th Angolan fighters were in the air all day. 25 Brigade was attacked by six aircraft and lost an officer and two men killed. As the SAAF did not fly any strikes that day, this must have been yet another Angolan 'own goal'. This aircraft activity did, however, keep the South African artillery from carrying out any shoots during the day....

Monday, 28 March 1988: Artillery back in action
The 28th saw the artillery back in action. The G-2 battery of Regiment Potchefstroom University shelled a Flat Face radar south of Cuito Cuanavale and destroyed it. Both G-5s and G-2s also engaged various other targets during the day, including another radar west of Cuito Cuanavale....

Tuesday, 29 March 1988: 32 Battalion started its withdrawal. Artillery continued
32 Battalion began its preparations for withdrawal on the 29th. The artillery shelled various targets, including Fapla engineers attempting to recover one of the damaged GSP ferries....

Wednesday, 30 March 1988: Liaison teams and Regiment De La Rey moved out
The liaison teams moved out on the 30th, while Regiment De La Rey began its preparations for withdrawal. The artillery destroyed a BTR-60 north of Cuito Cuanavale and shot out another radar. Unita shot down a helicopter, which crashed as it attempted a forced landing on the Longa runway....

Thursday, 31 March 1988: The artillery continued
The artillery destroyed an M-46 in its position and inflicted additional damage on the Cuito bridge....

GET YOUR SADF OUMAN STICKER HERE

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

free counters
@ 2007 War In Angola - Veridical Solutions