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The Attack on 59 Brigade: 14 February 1988
The Attack on 59 Brigade: 14 February 1988
The Attack on 59 Brigade: Historical Account

Extract taken with the author's permission from: “War In Angola - The Final South African Phase“, by Helmoed-Römer Heitman (See Bibliography)
For the Background and the Run-up to Intervention, get the book! *

The artillery had begun shooting the fire plan at 07h00 on 14 February, first shelling the positions at Tumpo and then switching to the 21 Brigade positions. The two combat groups and the Unita forces moved out from their forward assembly areas at 08h50, using the thick bush as cover. 61 Mech moved off first, followed by Regiment Molopo's squadron, F Squadron and the rest of 4 SAI. Low and thick cloud cover promised a day free from interference by MiGs, but it soon lifted and 4 SAI was frequently held up by the need to stop and seek cover when fighters were overhead.

Four MiGs had meanwhile appeared over the area of the SAAF anti-aircraft group at 09h10, looking for targets. They did not find the South Africans in the thick bush, but did slow 4 SAI down for a time. by forcing it to seek cover.

Unita's 18th and 275th Semi-Regular Battalions attacked the north-eastern positions of 21 Brigade at 09h25. After about half an hour's fighting, the commander of 21 Brigade was convinced that his brigade was the objective of the developing attack. Not only were some of his positions under attack, his outposts could hear armoured vehicles approaching from the east. The Forward Command Post agreed with his interpretation of the situation. His D-30s began shelling the eastern approach route from about 08h30. The BM-21s positioned near the brigade headquarters unmasked about 09h50 and began rocketing the Unita infantry in front of the 21 Brigade positions, causing several casualties.


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* Please note that this extract is copyrighted under the Berne Convention in terms of the Copyright Act (Act 98 of 1978). No part of this extract may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the publisher

Published by Ashanti Publishing Limited, Gibraltar, a division of Ashanti International Films Limited, Gibraltar.

Battle Roll of Honour (A Work In Progress - please send more information)
YearForce NumberName and RankDate of DeathUnitService
198885263262BGGroenewald A.S., Rfn1988/02/1461 Mechanised Battalion GroupSouth African Army
198884358266BGGroenewald P.H., Rfn1988/02/1461 Mechanised Battalion GroupSouth African Army
198884269315BGKleynhans J.H., Cpl1988/02/1461 Mechanised Battalion GroupSouth African Army
198884477751BGNieuwenhuizen V.V., Rfn1988/02/1461 Mechanised Battalion GroupSouth African Army

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