20 SA Brigade's appreciation was that 21 Brigade might attempt a crossing of the Lomba just east of its confluence with the Gombe. On 8 September it instructed Combat Group Bravo to deploy elements there to monitor the situation and prevent a crossing. Hartslief sent Major Hannes Nortmann with his anti-tank squadron ahead, and followed with the rest of his force. Nortmann arrived there between 03h00 and 04h00 on 9 September. Examining the site at first light, he found that the flood plain was too marshy for a practicable vehicle crossing.
21 Brigade on the Lomba: 9 and 10 September
Early on 9 September, Unita reported Fapla infantry crossing the Lomba 12 kilometres east of its confluence with the Cunzumbia, and some vehicles on the northern bank. 21 Brigade had made its move. Hartslief quickly despatched one of his two 101 Battalion motorised infantry companies (14 Casspir APCs) and a Ratel-90 anti-tank troop to move west and establish contact with a Unita company in contact with the enemy. Their mission was to investigate this report and to harass whatever force was crossing.
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