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The attack


Operation Reindeer04h00 - 09h00

The first to move on the morning of the attack were the paratroopers of the Composite Parachute Battalion, who got up at 04h00 and began fitting their weapons, equipment and parachutes.

At 05h19, the four Buccaneers bombers took off from AFB Waterkloof, followed at 05h43 by the faster Canberra. The heavily laden 'Bucs' could fly only at medium altitude, so their true airspeed (TAS) was considerably lower than that of the 'Cans', flying over 10,000 feet (3,000 m) higher. One of the Buccaneers went to an air force base nearer to the Angolan border in order to refuel and act as a close air support (CAS) aircraft, while the fifth aircraft of the Buccaneer strike force was delayed due to a brake problem, leaving four Buccaneers available for the initial strike.

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