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Subject The attempt to tackle 47 Brigade: 16 September 1987
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host
Posts:5584
Posted:9/14/2009 11:52:19 PM
The isolated 47 Brigade was still the main target for South African attention. Where it had first been the most dangerous of the Fapla Brigades, it was now the most easily knocked out. Colonel Ferreira and Brigadier Louw completed plans to attack 47 Brigade with Combat Group Alpha, of which 61 Mech Bn Gp formed the nucleus....

If you were involved in any way in this Clash between South African ground forces and FAPLA's 47 Brigade, please feel free to post your story and comments here.



host
Posts:5584
Posted:8/27/2017 6:09:38 PM
59 Brigade also received some attention. Reconnaissance teams of 5 Recce, together with Major Pierre Franken, had pin-pointed targets in the Brigade area during the night of 15 to 16 September, and these received a hundred rounds from the G-5s from 11h30 on the 16th. One G-5 suffered a premature detonation in the barrel, which injured several of the gun crew.

Feedback from Francois Fourie: I still remember the day you guys had the accident very well, sad day but a lesson to us all, we were deployed very close that day cause our stelling was in thick bush, we were busy with an 20 shot doelvuur, after every 5 shots we had to get new peiling g and elrvasi, we received a stop fire during the bestoking . thats when things went wrong as i recall, the moment we got to carry on to complete the fire plan.

From Johan Schoeman (War In Angola): I think this is the gun that had the accident you are referring to. . There were actually two separate incidents. I have the dates somewhere...




host
Posts:5584
Posted:8/27/2017 6:14:44 PM
This is the other one...




host
Posts:5584
Posted:8/27/2017 6:16:17 PM
From Paul Boyce: War In Angola, That [first photo] looks like the gun. The 2nd incident didn't claim any lives fortunately. Our injured crew were flown out via helicopter. Our driver and myself had to return the remains of the gun to the main echelon near Mavinga. By some act of God I was totally unscratched when those around me were all seriously injured. Beukman lost his life, Jacobs lost his leg. One of the lieutenants was seriously injured in the shoulder, the rest of the crew all had shrapnel wounds, except me and the driver who was with the gun tractor at the time.

host
Posts:5584
Posted:8/27/2017 6:17:17 PM
Did you know that we, the SA Artillery, had almost lost more men due to these types of accidents than through actual enemy artillery action? I can only think of a couple of incidents of gunners killed by enemy artillery:
- On 23 Dec 1975, Gnrs M.J. Theunissen and S.M.J. Muller, both from 14 Field Regiment, were killed in action and five others wounded by a ripple of enemy rockets on their position during Operation Savannah,
- On 25 Feb 1988 Gnr C. Hendricks (Anti-aircraft) was killed in action when an enemy mortar bomb exploded next to his Ratel 20 just as he was exiting the vehicle to engage an Angolan Air Force MiG aircraft with a SAM-7.
Over the years we did lose a number of gunners killed in action due to landmines, booby traps, small arms and ant-tank (even anti-aircraft) fire, but these were not enemy artillery.
Gunner deaths due to malfunction/accident of own guns (or captured enemy guns):
- On 17 Dec 1975 Gnr B.H. Neethling was accidentally killed in central Angola during Operation Savannah while tampering with a captured Type 56 Chinese 75mm recoilless gun. While standing behind the weapon, he caused the weapon to fire. The back-blast from the weapon killed him instantly.
- On 15 Jan 1984 Gnr G. Kruger (Anti-aircraft) died of wounds accidentally sustained at Oshivello while cleaning 20mm Anti Aircraft cannon after returning from Operation Askari, a High Explosive round was found to be stuck in the breech of one of the cannons.
- On 6 Aug 1985 Gnr R.J.Rautenbach was accidentally killed when a 120mm Mortar Tube exploded while firing an over-boosted mortar bomb during training at Omuthiya.
- On 20 Sep 1987 Gnr W.G. Beukman was grievously wounded in action near the Lomba River during Operation Modular on 20 September 1987 when a 155mm G-5 High Explosive shell exploded in the breach of the gun,

And we wont even count the gunner deaths caused by military vehicle accidents...

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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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