Extract taken with the author's permission from: “War In Angola - The Final South African Phase“, by Helmoed-Römer Heitman (See Bibliography)
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The artillery opened fire at 06h00 on Objective B - the force south of the Chambinga - to create the impression that it would be attacked first. Air strikes on both objectives followed at 06h30. Combat Group Alpha now began moving its vehicles around to draw attention and to cover the noise of the southward move of Charlie. Charlie moved out at 04h00 to its forward assembly area, moving from there at 07h15 to pass east and then south of Alpha, before swinging around to move north.
By 08h55 the artillery preparation had shifted on to Objective A, and accurate fire set three tanks and a BTR-60 on fire. Alpha was at this point some 2 500 metres east of Objective A, Charlie some 3 000 metres south of it. Thick bush covered much of the approach route, however, and delayed Charlie, causing the H-hour to be put back. Alpha then launched its diversion at 09h15, breaking contact at 09h45 to withdraw 4 000 metres east. But Charlie had met even thicker bush - visibility down to 20 metres - and could still not attack. Charlie had also been delayed by an air attack by two MiG-23s at 09h10, in which one member of the anti-aircraft troop was wounded by fragments from a 250 kg bomb that fell nearby. H-hour was now put back to 10h00, and the artillery resumed shelling Objective A to keep Fapla occupied. By now, however, all surprise had been lost. The 81 mm mortars of Combat Group Charlie also began placing fire on Objective A.
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