The isolated 47 Brigade was still the main target for South African attention. Where it had first been the most dangerous of the Fapla Brigades, it was now the one most easily knocked out. Colonel Ferreira and Brigadier Louw completed plans to attack 47 Brigade with Combat Group Alpha. The plan called for an air strike along an east-west axis through the objective, after which Alpha would attack. Combat Group Charlie was again in reserve. The attack was planned for the morning of 16 September, and the teams of 5 Recce would again go in during the previous night to mark the targets for the air strike with white phosphorus.
Quebec and Papa batteries meanwhile shelled and rocketed 21 Brigade through the night of 15 to 16 September, to prevent it from interfering in any way.
Alpha moved out at 04h00 on 16 September, to pass south of the objective and then swing north to attack from the west. The Mirages struck at 06h23, dropping pre-fragmented 250 kg bombs into the positions of 47 Brigade, followed by Buccaneers. Canberras, which were to have attacked after them, were recalled when it became clear that they had been acquired by Fapla's radars. The G-5s of Quebec Battery began to fire the artillery preparation at 07h05. Liaison Team 2 meanwhile carried out an hour-long deception operation to the east of 47 Brigade to distract their attention from the approach of Alpha. By 07h23, 47 Brigade was reporting to its higher headquarters that "things are looking very bad."
Things were, however, not going so well for the South Africans either....
Register to read more...