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Weekly Timeline for "The Final Phase": Aug 1987 to Jul 1988 * [Only Registered Users can Comment on the Events of the Timeline]
March 1988
2The South Africans digest their failure
The South Africans spent the next day after the attack, 2 March, digesting their failure to make any headway. The units spent their time looking after their equipment, and the artillery changed its observers, some of whom had been deployed for a long time. As before, the recovery teams had spent the night recovering damaged vehicles that had been left behind during the day.
March 1988
3SA artillery re-deployed
It was decided to withdraw Quebec Battery to the Brigade Administrative Area on 3 March. Romeo and Sierra Batteries and the rocket launcher troop would continue to put pressure on Fapla. The rocket launcher troop was to re-deploy during the day to a position west of the Chambinga source.
March 1988
4Recovery of damaged vehicles
A recovery team of 61 Mech moved to the old 21 Brigade positions on 4 March to recover the mine roller left there several days earlier, and to recover or destroy other damaged vehicles still in the area. The Olifant taken along to help with the recovery set off a mine during the move, which caused some delay but no casualties
March 1988
5Fapla patrols while 61 Mech demobs
A deep-reconnaissance patrol was sent out by Fapla on 5 March to locate the South African forces east of the Cuito. 4 SAI had begun demobilising on 4 March, and 61 Mech began their demobilising on 5 March, the day on which the first reliefs arrived. The first to be deployed was the new 120mm mortar battery.
March 1988
64 SAI started its move to the BAA
4 SAI began its move to the Brigade Administrative Area on 6 March, and 61 Mech was ready to move but was waiting for 32 Battalion to relieve its force in the 59 Brigade positions.
March 1988
732 Battalion to deploy
32 Battalion deployed on 7 March to prevent any Fapla reconnaissance activity in or through the area. One company of 32 Battalion relieved the 61 Mech force in the former 59 Brigade positions.
March 1988
8Col McLoughlin handed over to Col Fouché
Colonel McLoughlin handed over to Colonel Fouche on 8 March, marking the effective end of Operation Hooper, although the name was changed only when the change-over of the troops had been completed.
*Extracts 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!

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