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The Last Battle, 27 June 1988

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! *


Colonel Migo Delport. commander of 32 Battalion, flew in to take command of the task force organised to cover the installations at Calueque. It’s most powerful element was 61 Mech. which had by now arrived in full strength, including its tank squadron. Other forces at his disposal included four infantry companies and the support company of 32 Battalion, several of its reconnaissance teams and one company each each of 202 and 701 Battalions. His artillery comprised one battery each of G-5s. 127 mm multiple rocket launchers and 120 mm mortars and a SWATF battery of 140 mm G-2s (5.5 guns).

The available intelligence at this point suggested strongly that the Cubans intended to advance southwards. Whether they would be content with pushing the South Africans away from Calueque and across the river by advancing ever nearer, or whether they intended to attack them, was far from clear- Castro was badly in need of something that could be represented as a victory and had been making some very aggressive noises.

Considering the situation and the considerable disparity between his force and that opposite him. Delport decided on an artillery strike to disrupt the Cuban force before it could move out to attack. He also decided to deploy 61 Mech across the Cunene to deal with any Cuban force that might attempt to attack the guns. While he wailed for his plan to be approved, he ordered 25 Field Squadron to build earth ramps up tu the heavy vehicle bridge at Calueque. which had never been completed. This would enable him to send 61 Mech over the river there rather than at Ruacana. where any crossing would be expectcd to take place. The ramps were built at night and camouflaged during the day.

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Battle Roll of Honour (A Work In Progress - please send more information)
YearForce NumberName and RankDate of DeathUnitService
198885445708BGMeiring M., 2 Lt1988/06/2761 Mechanised Battalion GroupSouth African Army

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

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