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Subject First attack on Tumpo: 25 February 1988
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host
Posts:5003
Posted:7/15/2009 11:21:51 PM
Having been forced out of both their defence lines east of the Cuito River, Fapla were in a difficult situation. If they were to retain any capability of remounting their offensive in the south-east during 1988, it was essential to retain possesion of the Tumpo area as a bridgehead. In fact, the loss of Tumpo would also render Cuito Cuanavale and its air base untenable.

The situation around Tumpo heavily favoured Fapla. Not only was the terrain favourable to the defence. but they had had several months to dig in and prepare it. They had built strong positions strengthened with minefields, with fields of fire cleared where necessary by bulldozers. Infantry supported by tanks, antitank weapons and artillery were positioned to cover all approaches to the base, and mines also been laid on all likely approaches...


The plan for the South African's attack on Tumpo wqs approved on 22 February, and an order was issued...


If you were involved in any way in this attack of the South African ground forces and FAPLA on this day, please feel free to post your story and comments here.



gerrit1965k
Posts:1
Posted:2/25/2015 8:42:23 PM
The artillery fire from Fapla was unbelievable...Being part of the Regiment Molopo Tank Squadron I remember stopping when two of our Tanks detonated mines.Our tank was moving / vibrating whilst standing still the whole time due to all the ordinance falling around us. The guys got out of their tanks to repair the tracks..Close to us a Mortar Crew of 32 kept on firing with virtually no cover..I felt for the poor Unita soldiers on the Tanks who also had scant cover...

host
Posts:5003
Posted:2/26/2015 3:12:34 AM
Gert, I was OPO for the G5s during the Third attack on 23 March, done by Regiment President Steyn, and I saw exactly what you are referring to... there were about 60 guns that opened up with indirect fire on the tanks and the accompanying UNITA soldiers initially riding on the tanks and afterwards advancing next to them... They took the brunt of casualties that day as I am sure was also the case on 25 February!

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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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