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Attempts at encirclement

Between 12 and 14 November 1975, the political and military objectives of the RSA were presented only to officers with direct interest and involvement in the operation. For Brigadier Schoeman it came down to the fact that Task Force Zulu had to advance via Novo Redondo (Ngunza), Porto Amboim and Gabela towards Quibala, and Battle Group Foxbat along the inland route, also towards Quibala. Brigadier Schoeman instructed Commandant Kruys to resume the advance north of Santa Comba as soon as possible before the enemy could recover from the initial shock.

With the newly arrived reinforcements added to his force, Commandant Kruys thought it necessary to first have some field exercises with the combined force on 17 November 1975, but there was no opportunity to repeat the exercise. While Captain Holm moved out the next day with a combat team on the route west of the main road in order to mislead the enemy, it had been planned to use another combat team to advance towards Quibala in an eastward flanking move. The damaged bridge across the Vula River had in the meantime being repaired by UNITA but a reconnaissance by Captain Hans Heinz on 15 November revealed that a second bridge just before Sanga had also been destroyed. However, a couple of UNITA commanders had mentioned another dirt road with which Sanga-Catofe road could be reached without having to cross the damaged or destroyed bridge near Sanga. Commandant Kruys decided to use this route.


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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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