Ok, in this time i'm bit busy with school, so i've to stop my works about sea and navies.
But i decided to finisht this old research about the main actions during the War Campaigns against the South African racist government.
There are a number of Racist detailed accounts on the net, that's because after the falling of their Apartheid regime a lot of ex-members of the white elite had no other things to do then remember the so-called past glory.
The true is something of different and i've to thanks a number of Cuban, South American and African sites and forums, and also an unexpected help by some Rhodesian sources, their criminal regime was probably worst of the SA, but they had some detailed accounts...
Well.. this is the first part of the operations. You could note that this war was mainly a guerrilla and counter-guerrilla war, but there also some very important battles and i've listed them. I've not described the Air actions, except the one during the single battles, and neither the Naval actions, that were very very few.
Interesting to know, the South African government, was a Master of Propaganda, likewise two other very similar oppressive states similar to the Apartheid regime, as Israel and Nazi German, the media were all strictly controlled. The informations misleaded and distorted, with entire faked stories, as well a criminal hiding of their own causalities. Only after the fall of the tiranny, the new SA governmente researched about a great number of families that had their sons disappeared or missing, with no other informations.
Battle of Quifangondo
10 November 1975
Decisive Allied strategic, tactic and moral Victory. Luanda was saved, the FNLA was destroyed, the South African invaders were forced to retreat.
When the fate of the Republic was in danger, it was this battle that changed the outcome.
A coalition of 2000 counter-revolutionaries of the FNLA under Holden Roberto, 1200 Zairian soldiers of Mamina Lama, 120 Portuguese mercenaries of Santos e Castro, and 52 South African of Ben Roos were faced by 800 Angolans and 188 Cubans under the command of the Angolan General Ndozi and the Cuban Raul Diaz Arguelles.
Our forces ambushed the enemy using 6 rocket launchers BM-21. It was an unexpected weapon and the enemy did not even reached our forces.
It was a massacre, almost all the FNLA soldiers were killed by the rockets, mortar’s and light fire, the white racist soldiers used them as cannon’s fodder and only 5 Portuguese mercenaries were killed. 6 jeeps and 20 Phanard armoured were destroyed or abandoned.
The 3 South African guns of 140mm didn’t fired, while one of the two ex-North Korean guns of 130mm of the Zairian detonated at the first salvo killing the soldiers around it because it was not cleaned and repaired. The enemy could not even use the other one because the manual was written only in Korean.
Only two Cubans were wounded and the Angolans suffered 3 wounded and 1 dead, killed while he was moving out from the trench.
This important victory, nick-named by the enemy as the Road of Death, was the end of the enemy chance to destroy the growing socialist African movements and the hope of all the coloured people under the racism and was probably the battle with the main big difference between causalities, with one dead to two thousands dead. It was almost the end for the counter-revolutionary FNLA group, known to have ferocious cannibals among their forces.
Battle of Ebo
23 November 1975
Cuban tactical and moral victory.
A team of 70 Cuban soldiers ambushed an enemy armoured group.
They used a single rocket-launcher BM-21, that proved successful in the Battle of Quifangondo, together mortar’s, light, RPG-7’s fire and a single 76mm gun.
There was also a second group of 140 Angolans but they didn’t reached the battle in time.
The South-African and counter revolutionary UNITA rebels suffered massive losses thanks the difficult ground for their armoured vehicles.
6 South African Eland armoured vehicles were destroyed and 1 was captured intact. The enemy suffered a combined loss of 76 dead, even if the S.A. Propaganda admitted only 4 dead and 50 UNITA dead, another source admitted a number of 30 dead and 40 wounded probably only between the S.A.
Also a little Recce aircraft was shot down, with two SA pilots dead.
During the battle only one Cuban was killed and other 5 were wounded.
The enemy didn’t even knew that the attack was carried by only Cuban soldiers.
The Battle was nick-named by the enemy as the Black’s domain. They thought that there were also Angolans, but the truth was that a great number of the Cuban volunteers were coloured people.
Battle of Niha River
11-12 December 1975
South African tactical and moral victory , strategically useless .
When the victory was now already secured, the enemy tried to take a sort of moral revenge. A group of 300 South African with 12 Eland armoured vehicles together some Unita’s soldiers attacked the Angolan-Cuban’s stations near the river and the bridge.
There were more or less 1000 Cuban and Angolan there, but they didn’t waited an attack.
28 Cubans were killed and Angolans suffered a bit heavier losses, while S.A. suffered 4 dead and 12 wounded. There were also some UNITA casualties and the last day of operations an enemy helicopter was shot down, killing other 7 South African and increasing the number of causalities to 11 killed.
The saddest loss of the day was the death of Raul Diaz Arguelle, the commander of the Battle of Quifangondo.
Despite the loss of some positions, the outcome didn’t changed the failure of the enemy offensive, that was already failed. The SA Propaganda used this battle increasing the true results.
They did a Rambo’s style war movie claiming hundreds of Cubans killed, probably a biggest number then the actual number of Cubans involved in the battle.
Interesting to know when the SA forces retread thanks different bridges, there were reports of the white privileged soldiers that crossed into their vehicles, while the UNITA or survived FNLA african bandits, were forced to cross the rivers UNDER the bridges, often drawning or dragged away by the current of the river.
Massacre of Cassinga.
4 May 1978
South African strategic failure, political disaster.
The SA army, trying to suppress the operation of the Namibian freedom fighters of the SWAPO did before and after that date a number of bombing and illegal operation into the Angola to destroy the SWAPO’s camp.
Despite their effort, they failed, the guerrilla evaded them and every time the SA Propaganda invented spectacular victories claiming to have done mortal strike to the SWAPO.
Obviously every time the SWAPO returned stronger than before because such attack caused mainly civilian victims and moved many civilians to join the SWAPO.
The most terrible attack was probably the massacre of Cassinga.
This time the project of the SA was to kill the leadership of the SWAPO, they knew that at Cassinga there was a refugee camp, with at least 3068 civilians, protected by 300 guerrilla and volunteers.
But Dimo Amaambo, the leader of SWAPO, was there too and so SA attacked with 370 men.
It was a massacre, the bombers and the parachutists opened fire against women and children trying to reach Amaambo.
167 women, 298 children and 159 elders and men were killed. Only a little part of them was guerrilla. 611 people were wounded.
The SA suffered 4 dead and 11 wounded during the action.
A Cuban column formed by 400 soldiers with 4 tanks, 17 armoured vehicles, 7 truks and 9 guns tried to reach Cassinga but they suffered an enemy heavy bombing and 17 Cubans were killed and 68 wounded.
But despite these losses they reached the camp and the enemy escaped in front of them, thanks the Cuban action thousands of civilian were saved because the SA were still firing at everyone was moving in the area.
The first Cuban tank arrived when the last helicopter was escaping, the crew tried to fire against it but the shell missed the target only for little.
If that single shell was successful, the tank could be probably the only one at the world to claim an helicopter shot down with a direct hit of the main gun.
When the Cuban soldiers and SWAPO guerrilla reached the trenches of Cassinga, they found some of them full of bodies of civilians, part of them had to be moved in the trenches by the SA but many were murdered there at a very close distance because the trenches were sufficiently deep to repair from distant light fire. Such terrible act moved a revenge feeling into the SWAPO fighter and also into the other African and Cuban soldiers, while the SA government was politically attacked by half political world.
Second Part coming
As ever, excuse me for some errors, i'm italian and have to translate everything.
Last edited by 1redItalian on 21 Sep 2010, 21:20, edited 1 time in total.
Thanks for posting this excellent account of Cuban intervention in Angola and I think such publications are needed to counter the right-wing bias present within most accounts.
There are no libertarians in dumpsters.
It was a very interesting read,especially since there's not that much info about this conflict.
Battle of Cangamba
End July – 14 August 1983
Decisive tactical and moral Allied victory
The UNITA did a massive attack against Cangamba, that was defended by a little group of Cubans and Angolans. Counting also some soldiers landed by helicopter there were 92 Cubans, together 818 Angolans, both soldiers and civilians.
The UNITA bandits were 6000, with different numbers during the phases of the battle.
It was a long and exhausting siege. At the end the defenders had no more food and water and they had to drink water from the vehicles’s radiators.
The enemy had also 60 different guns, mortars and rocket- launchers with some South African advisors.
During the battle a landed An-26 transport was destroyed on the little airstrip landing.
Many raids of MiG-21 and also some An-26 used as heavy bombers proved very successful causing massive causalities between the enemy.
Finally thanks a pair of raids of Cuban special forces behind the enemy lines, together the moving of a column of reinforcements, the enemy escaped.
They had at least 2000 dead while the Cubans suffered only 18 dead and the Angolans a slightly major number of causalities, including some civilians.
A recent Cuban war movie describes the battle without hide the war’s horror, differently from the Rambo’s style south African movies.
Battle of Sumbe
25 March 1984
Tactical and Moral Allied Victory.
The UNITA tried a second attack similar to the Cangamba. But this time they chose to hit a mainly civilian target. At Sumbe there was a very low military presence and a great number of civilians, Cubans, Soviets, Bulgarians, Portuguese and Italians, all of them involved into building, medic or teaching.
There were 250 Cubans among them 150 civilians and between them 43 women, there were also 350 Angolans, mainly civilians. The number of the other civilians are not reported.
The attacking UNITA bandits were at least 3000.
The enemy thought to find a more easy prey, but the civilians armed themselves and into the trenches they repeated the Cangamba’s results.
Also thanks some MiG-21 and Mi-8 raids, the enemy was rejected with at least 150 dead.
2 Cuban soldiers were killed and 7 civilians too, while other 21 civilians were wounded.
The Angolans lost only 2 dead and 2 wounded.
There was also a missing little group of Portuguese, that tried to escape from the encirclement during the siege and was probably captured and murdered by the UNITA.
This battle was considered a great success of the Communist ideology, because that time there was a group of not-soldiers teachers and medic, that had to spread the socialist humanitarianism but that defended the people with the weapons against the counter-revolutionary barbarism.
A new Cuban war movie about this battle is currently under production at Cuba, following the success of the recent movie about Cangamba.
Battle of Lomba River
3 September-7 October 1987
Decisive South African strategic, tactical and moral victory.
The Angolan Army, with 10000 men and 150 tanks, tried a massive attack against the UNITA land, without the support of the Cuban army that considered such offensive as rash and dangerous
The enemy had 8000 UNITA and 4000 South African, for the first time the SA was involved again in a full-war direct action.
The 3 September an Angolan missile Sa-8 shot down a Recce South African aircraft, killing two pilots.
The 10 September there was a first attack with 2000 Angolans and 6 tanks T-55, that fought against 4 Ratel, 16 Casspir and 240 South African together UNITA rebels. The attack was rejected, the 6 tanks destroyed by artillery and Angolans suffered 100 losses.
Three days later the Angolans attacked again, 40 UNITA were killed together 200 Angolans, but there was also the first real armoured vehicles’s battle of the war.
The tanks T-55 faced the Ratel, fast but with less armour and main gun.
5 T-55 were destroyed together 3 Ratel, the South African suffered 8 dead and 4 wounded.
In that battle the Ratel proved to be able of encircle the T-55, but they had to hit many time a tank with their 90mm and was enough a single T-55’s shell of 100mm to destroy a Ratel.
Between the 14 and 23 September there were other clashes, one time between 1000 Angolans and 250 South African, in one clash the Ratels refused to fight against the T-55. The count of the Angolans dead reached the number of 382, while another South African was killed and other three were wounded. Unknow the UNITA losses.
The 3 October the enemy destroyed a Sa-9 missiles launcher on a bridge, blocking it and during an another T-55 vs Ratel battle other 5 tanks were destroyed with no enemy losses.
But in a third engagement the UNITA had fear and escaped and left alone the Ratel vehicles, and a direct hit of a T-55’s shell of 100mm destroyed a Ratel, killing the commander Lt. Hind into the turret, an good officer. The SA retreated with other 3 wounded. Soon after two other T-55 were destroyed.
During that battles the Angolans suffered other 250 losses, while 2 new Oliphant SA tanks were destroyed by mines, with no human losses thanks the heavy defensive armour for the crew.
At the end the Angolans were forced to retread, leaving behind 127 tanks, armoured vehicles and trucks. Many of these vehicles were blocked into the ground and too much visible targets.
The Angolan soldiers, with the leaders that were veterans of the hit-and-run style guerrilla, preferred to retreat without them to not be slow down. As expected, the South African propaganda organized a great operation to claim this number of vehicles as a proof of victory, arguing to have destroyed or damaged them in battle.
Part of the war’s materials was destroyed by a raid of the Cuban air force to not let the enemy such material, while a part was destroyed by the SA because it was too much damaged and a part was captured intact, including a single Sa-8 missiles launcher.
The enemy propaganda claimed 4000 Angolans killed, at real they were 525 kiled, with a considerable number of wounded. They lost in action 18 tank, an armoured vehicle and a missiles launcher, with 127 other vehicles abandoned. The South African lost 16 dead and 12 wounded, 2 Oliphant tank and 4 armoured vehicle Ratel. Also a Recce aircraft was shot down with 2 other dead.
The UNITA lost 270 dead and a number of wounded.
In the end the enemy victory was important, because it prevented the destruction of the UNITA and extended the conflict.
Many photos of the 127 abandoned vehicles were used by the enemy propaganda not only to remark this victory, but also to claim the next Cuito Cuanavale battle as a victory, often claiming an abandoned vehicle at Lomba, as if it was destroyed at Cuito.
Third part on coming
Third and last part
Battle of Cuito Cuanavale
Aerial clashes in autumn of 1987, battle between December and March 1988
It was the decisive and definitive Allied victory, both tactical, Strategic and moral.
It was the biggest African battle after the WWII, nicknamed the African Stalingrad.
While there was a near peace’s agreement, both the two sides tried to arrive with the best results.
Curiously while the South African propaganda claimed that was not their intention to take Cuito, the massive use of their best equipment and men seem a bit contradictory, as their incredible, repetitive and failed effort to take the Cuban-Angolan positions. During the battle the defenders where 1,500 Cubans and 10000 Angolans while the South African were 4000 and the 8000 UNITA. Others number increase at 7000-9000 South African, 10000 of UNITA, 2000-5000 Cubans and 20000-18000 Angolans, other speak also of 40000 Cubans, Angolans and other African allied together.
There is still a lot of confusion about these numbers because the armies received reinforcements and there were many movements of troops.
Between the Angolans there were also many groups of Namibian SWAPO freedom fighters, that searched revenge for Cassinga, and also the South African freedom fighters of the Umkhonto we Sizwe. Recently there are news speaking about at least 2000 SWAPO soldiers involved into the battle, but probably part of them were reserves, and they were barricaded not only at Cuito but also in other place of the region.
Leader and Hero of the defence was the Cuban Leopoldo Cinta Frias, currently involved into politc, helped by the brave Angolans commanders Mateus Miguel Angelo nicknamed Vietnam and Josè Domingues Ngueto. Also the same Fidel Castro give important orders from Cuba. Leaders of the South African forces were Deon Ferreira and Jan Geldenhuys, while the UNITA bandits were lead by Demosthenes Amos Chilingutila and Arlindo Pena
A first stage of the battle was the aerial war.
In the Autumn of the 1987 the Cuban Air Force defeated the South African Air Force in a serial of air-to-air battle.
A MiG-23 fighter shot dawn at first one Impala bomber, then there was the first kill of a Mirage fighter, by the pilot Eduardo Gonzales Sarria.
The South African searched revenge, but in the first and in the second clash that happened the 10 September, the MiG-23s avoided the enemy missiles.
The decisive day was the 27 September when J.C.C. Goden on MiG-23 shot down a Mirage, after avoiding a missile, and Alberto Ley Rivas shot down another one, that badly damaged tried to reach a South African airport, but crashed before reaching it.
The same day in a different clash, also an helicopter Puma was shot down by a MiG-23.
Thanks these victories, the Cuban Army gained the Air Superiority, admitted also by a CIA report, and indeed during the battle the South African fighter did very few attacks, while there were Cuban air raids at every enemy offensive.
Between January and March there were 6 massive attacks against the defences of Cuito.
The Allied had build a strong complex of trenches and garrisons, burying some tanks and using them as fixed artillery and using also the ZSU anti-aircraft guns that proved to be tremendously effective. Every time the South African used the UNITA bandits as cannon fodder, but with poor results. Only using their tanks and armoured vehicles they could sunk into the lines, but they were ever stopped by the Allied forces.
13 January 1988 First Attack
After an human wave of UNITA soldiers, the South African armoured attack proved to be successful at first, the enemy claimed to have killed 250 Angolans, destroying 4 tanks and an armoured vehicle in armoured vehicles battle. It is curious because the Angolans had no moving tanks during the battle, and none in such position.
However the enemy lost 2 vehicles Ratel against the Angolans, when suddenly arrived the MiG-21 and MiG-23 that destroyed the enemy column. 7 Oliphant tanks were destroyed together some Eland vehicles and towed guns.
An Angolan counter-attack regained some trenches took previously by the UNITA.
UNITA did a very funny claiming on 23 January to have already conquered Cuito
The 14 January the MiG-23 of Franciso A. Doval was shot down by friendly fire of a Sa-7
A second air raid of MiG-23 hit a South African group on 16 January.
The 21 January the MiG-23 of Charlos R. Perez was shot down by the UNITA.
14 February 1988 Second Attack
Again even if the UNITA attacks were unsuccessful, the South African broke the Angolan lines.
And again their propaganda claimed that our losses were of 230 dead with 4 tanks and 4 armoured vehicles. But this time, while the material losses claimed are probably inaccurate, the numbers of dead were really heavy.
The attack was carried by 40 Oliphants and 100, or 98 according other sources, different armoured vehicles among Casspir and Ratel.
In that day there was the main, and probably only one, direct tank-to-tank battle of the War.
The Cuban gathered all their tanks available to stop the enemy advance.
There were 14 T-54 and a single leader T-55 tank, nick-named Bartolomè, that was the personal tank of Betancourt, the tank group's commander .
During the moving, some tanks were blocked by the ground and one had a problem at the engine.
At the end only 7 T-54 and the Bartolomè faced the enemy.
It was a terrible battle, 6 T-54 were destroyed, 3 of them were hit by UNITA’s RPG-7 and other 3 hit by the Oliphant tanks. Only one T-54 and a damaged Bartolomè were saved, the Cubans lost 14 men killed that day, the biggest loss of Cuban lives of the Battle.
But the enemy was incredibly stopped and forced to retreat, 10 Oliphant tank and 4 Ratel were disabled. One of the Ratel exploded after a direct hit, killing the 4 crewmembers.
The enemy admitted only other 9 wounded on the numerous disabled vehicles, they hide the true number of casualties, even if they had be lower the Cuban because the Olphant had more protections for the crew.
That battle show a great superiority of the T-54-55 over the Oliphant, the SA tanks were more modern, but heavy and slow in the difficult ground of the battle.
The Cuban tanks succeeded to hit them many times, while in the end they paid this because first or later all the Cuban tanks were hit.
The enemy obviously admitted only the Ratel destroyed and remained on the ground and an Oliphant almost destroyed, because, as the other times, they towed away the vehicles even if they were too bad damaged to be repaired and used again in the battle.
However the successful Cuban tanks action stopped the enemy advance and forced the UNITA infantry to loose the conquered trenches.
The 15 February the MiG-23 of John Rodriguez was shot down by the UNITA and Rodriguez was killed.
19 February 1988 Third Attack
For the first time the Angolans and not the Cubans rejected the SA attack.
The SA also admitted that 1 Ratel was destroyed and 1 Oliphant was almost destroyed.
A Cuban bombing hit the attacking troops and 3 SAsoldiers were admitted as killed.
A lone Mirage fighter tried to fly over the battlefield but it was first hit by a Strela-3 portable anti-aircraft missile and then shot down by a Cuban Shilka vehicle with 23mm. The pilot, Ed Every, was killed, at first the enemy thought that it was shot down with a Sa-13 missile
25 February 1988 Fourth Attack
At first it caused damages at the Angolans, and according the SA propaganda they suffered 172 and 7 tanks destroyed, but the SA were later stop by some heavy bombing of 130mm artillery, together the fire of some buried tanks.
The enemy admitted that 2 armoured vehicles were destroyed and 2 Oliphants were almost destroyed while other 4 Oliphants and 1 Ratel all badly damaged were recovered and repaired according their propaganda. As usual they admitted only very low causalities, 3 dead and some dozens of wounded.
The South African Air Force tried for the last time to regain the Air Superiority with a great ambush of Mirages against solitary MiG-23.
3 MiG-23 were attacked in different ambushes, but all of them avoided the missiles and when arrived other MiGs, the Mirages escaped.
It was the last important, and unsuccessful, air action of the South African that confirmed the Cuban Air Superiority.
29 February 1988 Fifth Attack
Again when the SA attacked the Angolans suffered some losses, as every time exaggerated to 800 dead and 7 tanks destroyed.
And as ever the enemy attack was rejected, but this time for the first time, the radio stations intercepted an official military SA report that admitted 20 dead and 59 wounded ONLY in the battle of the day.
It was now evident and infamous how the Apartheid regime informed only the more rich and prestigious families about the dead of their sons. Many South African parents, that had not many links with the dictatorship, received no information and in some case also threats, imposing silence.
The 17 March, Ernesto Chavez on his MiG-23 is shot down and killed by a South African anti-aircraft weapon, a Ystervark of 20mm. It was the only victory of the South African anti-aircraft defence.
The 19 March during a lone Recce mission the South African Mirage of Willie Van Coppenhagen crashed and the pilot was killed. The enemy didn’t know the cause and supposed an accident, but at real it was shot down by Angolans.
23 March 1988 Sixth Attack
The last enemy attack, a disaster known between the South Africanz as the Disaster of Tumpo
Again the UNITA assaults were only a carnage, while also the SA attack was very inefficient. Their propaganda claimed only one tank destroyed, while admitted that 2 tanks were almost destroyed and other 3 officially lost, because captured intact by our forces.
The capturing of intact Oliphant tanks was an interesting thing, but the Cuban officers noted that despite some high technology, they were to slow and clumsy to be successful in the Cuito’s ground.
However at least 1 tank was moved to the Soviet Union to be studied.
The outcome of the battle was considered one of the main point of the War.
Despite their efforts the enemy didn’t occupied the city, and even if later they claimed that it wasn’t their intentions, the failure of the repeated attacks was an incredible results.
The so-called superior western technology proved to be ineffective against the fighting spirit of the fighters.
Thermal Viewers and advanced systems of an heavy and almost immersed in the mud vehicle against brave African warriors that attacked them with everything they had.
The use of the Air Force stopped every successful action of the enemy, while the use of anti-aircraft weapons, that could fire an incredible amount of bullets in some seconds killed dozens of enemies at the time.
With this failure, and without the support of the United States, the South African regime had to grant everything during the peace agreements. They retreated from Angola and also from Namibia, and the end of their help to the terrorist counter-revolutionaries of the UNITA.
Their defeat was accompanied by rallies of ANC and other groups, as the South African Communist Party. Coloured and white people together to defeat the Racist regime.
A cruel regime, obviously very linked with the racist Israel, that murdered thousands of people during the years of power.
At Cuito 900 Africans were killed, among Angolans, Namibian and South African freedom fighters, and the Cubans lost 39 men. There was the material lost of 6 tanks and 4 MiG.
Probably also some half-buried tanks manned by the Angolans and used as artillery were destroyed, but surely not 24 as the South African claim, that was probably a biggest number then the real total number of tanks used during the battle.
Obviously they claim 4785 Cuban and African human losses, but that’s quiet interesting, how they claim a so defined number.. 4785, not 4800 or 4600. Expressing a precise number without an ending 0 number is a typical use to make seem a fantasy claim as something of serious and scientific. A propaganda tactic used also by other countries in the past.
The UNITA losses were terrible. More then 6000 bandits were killed during the crazy human wave assaults, filling the entire battlefield with their bodies. The SA racists used them as cannon fodder, without mercy and without caring of their allied.
At first the South Africans admitted only 31 dead, together 3000 admitted UNITA losses, and interesting to know it was the biggest number of admitted casualties during a battle.
But then they increased the count, adding other 12 soldiers of the SWATF, South Africans soldiers of the Colonialist Occupation force in Namibia, reaching so the number of 43 killed.
A recent South African Government research, searched and counted all the families that had sons in the army, and never saw again their boys. Disappeared, missed..
Victim of their own regime, that hidden the truth at people.
According to this research 715 South African were killed or disappeared around Cuito during the period of the battle.
About the material losses the enemy admitted 3 tanks, the ones captured during the last attack, and 11 armoured vehicles, as lost.
That count don’t considered the hit, damaged or destroyed vehicles that the South African army succeeded to tow away from the front line.
They claimed to have repaired part of them, but at real many of them weren’t repairable and were used as spare parts or simply destroyed. As many others vehicles left in Angola and Namibia because their defeat.
Their losses were of 24 tanks and 21 armoured vehicles, including the admitted ones.
They lost 7 aircrafts plus 7 other little Recce drones without pilots, usually shot down by the Cuban-Angolans air defence.
Also the artillery suffered great losses, some of it during the retreat were hit by the MiG-23 raids, other was abandoned on the battle field. Overall they lost 24 G-5 guns and 6 G-6 guns.
Battle of Tchipa
4 May-27 June 1988
The successful offensive of Cuban, Angola and SWAPO forces on the border line with Namibia
Decisive Moral and Tactical Victory.
After the Victory at Cuito and thanks the total Air Superiority our mixed forces attacked the enemy inside their occupied land.
4 May First Ambush
The first operation started when a group formed by 60 Cubans and 21 Angolans attacked the Second Company of the 101 Battalion of the SWATF, the enemy suffered a total surprise and escaped under the fire with poor resistance, after losing 30 dead and one soldier captured, 5 Casspir vehicles were destroyed and 1 captured intact. The remains of the column were again hit and destroyed by a MiG-23 that exterminated them on the way for Lubango.
Obviously the enemy propaganda admitted only 7 dead, claiming to have killed half hundred Cubans.
It was also a Political move, to claim the ONLY Cuban presence during this offensive.
22 May Second ambush
A mixed group of Cubans and Namibians of the SWAPO was ambushed by the 32 Buffal battalion of the enemy.
During the clash 2 Cubans were killed, but a MiG-23 attack forced the enemy to retreat. The next day the SA were re-ambushed and 3 Unimog vehicles were captured intact, during the fight other 4 Cubans were killed, unknown but heavy the enemy losses.
27 June Third ambush
It was the last main action of the war, and the last armoured vehicles battle of the War.
A mixed group of Angolans and Cubans formed by 30 men with 3 armoured vehicles BMP-1 attacked the 61 Mechanized Battalion of the enemy, formed by 70 men and 8 Ratel vehicles.
The South African neither understood what attacked them.
The BMP-1 fired together the RPG-7 rockets all together, and 4 Ratel were destroyed. The enemy escaped, suffering 20 killed and leaving behind an intact Ratel that was captured, they reported to be attacked by 600 fighters, with 35 tanks, and claimed to have killed half of the attacking force, admitting 12 dead.
That was the most ridicule attempt of the enemy propaganda to hide a failure.
The Angolans and Cubans claimed to be killed were 10 times the actual number of fighters involved in the battle and NO tanks took part in the action. A second enemy columns of reinforcement was then bombed and destroyed by MiG-23 with other losses
Bombing of Caluenque.
The same day of the last attack a group of 11 MiG-23 did a massive bombing attack against the South African stronghold of Caluenque, place illegally occupied by the SA. Obviously the enemy admitted only 13 dead, almost all killed into a single Casspir destroyed, and to make the attack more nice for them they claimed a MiG-23 shot down by an Ystervark anti-aircraft of 20mm.
At real the enemy never tried to fire against the MiG, and when a Cuban column reached the stronghold they found different buildings destroyed by the bombing, a number of different remains of vehicles and a great amount of pieces of human flesh and blood all over the streets.
The human causalities had thought to be at least 50 dead and one hundred of wounded.
The campaign was almost over, during this last battle the Allied suffered very little losses, probably only 6 Cubans and a few of Namibians of the SWAPO. For the first time the South African fought without their slaves of the UNITA and suffered massive losses, hundreds between dead and wounded.
They also lost 9 different vehicles and other 5 were captured intact.
Battle of Huambo
9 January – 7 March 1993
Moral and Tactical Victory. Strategic failure
Now the South African Army was defeated as their oppressive government, and the Cuban army after having accomplished the mission of proletarian internationalism returned to Cuba except for few advisors.
The UNITA force had suffered massive losses, but they had still 20,000 soldiers together other 10,000 reserves under the command of Demosthenes Amos Chilingutila and the same Jonas Savimbi, the cruel leader of the rebel group. All of this force was massed near Huambo, the main stronghold of the UNITA.
The Angolan forces carried a massive attack of ten thousands of soldiers under the command of Joao de Matos and Francisco Iginio Cameiro.
After months of hard battle, the Angolans suffered hundreds of dead, wounded and POW, but the enemy suffered 15000 killed and many other wounded.
Sadly not the entire enemy force was destroyed. Savimbi escaped and he could keep on a terrorist campaign until his death on 22 February 2002.
After such date the war was definitely ended
Now, fellow comrades and friends allow me to give my version of the Decisive Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. I am not a white, but a Namibian political activist that fought against the Apartheid Regime for the independence of Namibia. My post is not for propoganda purposes, but to make the truth known.
I will respond to the post of reditalian1 in detail in another post, because I seriously doubt the reliability of his sources.
I just want to start by giving my version of the fighting around Cuito.
I have the privilege to personally know people from both sides that was directly involved in this conflict. I have also visited some of the battle sites around Calueque and Southern Angola. I have also visited Freedom Park in Pretoria. The Wall of Rememberance shows all the names of the Cuban, SADF and MK soldiers that died in the Angolan conflict. This was unveiled by former South African president, Nelson Mandela in 2006.
This is the only place to get reliable figures on the actual Cuban casualties. Polack will also confirm this. He had to do the same when he did research for his book, "Black Stalingrad".
A personal friend, who has the necessary military experience as a retired FAPLA soldier, has told me that in the late 1980s, he personally asked his senior commander as to why their Cuban comrades always remained behind in towns whenever FAPLA and PLAN combatants were deployed to fight the so-called UNITA bandits. “UNITA bandits” is a derogatory term used by MPLA/SWAPO to discredit their UNITA political opponents.
According to my retired FAPLA soldier friend, the reply he received from his FAPLA commander was loud and clear: “The Cuban Internationalist fighters were in Angola, not to interfere in its internal affairs, but to protect the country from foreign aggression.” This was even clearer to him and he asked no further questions, he told me.
On October 14 1975 SADF forces codenamed “Operation Savannah and led by Colonel Jan Breytenbach (who also led the Ongulumbashe, Oshaatotwa and Cassinga attacks) entered Angola for the first time. On November 10 1975 a company of about 50 SADF Special Forces led by Commandant Ben de Wet Roos joined 2 000 FNLA and 1 200 Zairean troops and some 120 Portuguese mercenaries as well as a small contingent of CIA agents stopped short of capturing Luanda.
They were however stopped by a combination of FAPLA and Cuban forces near Cacuaco, just north of Luanda using BM-21 Katyusha multiple missile launchers, in what is now called the Battle of Quifangondo. The FNLA forces and their SADF-CIA-Zairean backers retreated towards Caixito, further north. The SADF forces were defeated by FAPLA/Cuban forces. By February 1 1976 SADF-Zairean-CIA-Portuguese backed FNLA troops were completely defeated by FAPLA/Cuban forces. The remnants of the defeated FNLA troops were what the SADF took and re-trained into the Buffalo 32 Battalion. Following international pressure, SADF eventually withdrew from Angola into Namibia on Mach 27 1976.
However, on August 23 1981 11 000 SADF troops under “Operation Protea” once again invaded Angola to attack SWAPO guerrillas and destroyed several PLAN bases in southern Angola without any intervention from Cuban forces there. They also attacked FAPLA forces and occupied Xangongo (formerly Forte Roçadas), Mongua and Ondjiva (previously Vila Pereira d’Eça) and so on and yet the Cubans didn’t do anything.
Being in danger of being destroyed by SADF forces in southern Angola FAPLA forces were forced to sign a ceasefire agreement with SADF on January 31 1984, followed by signature of the Lusaka Accords on February 16 1984 on the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which was jointly patrolled by FAPLA/SADF forces in order to prevent PLAN infiltration into northern Namibia. Remember? Hence, the SADF withdrew from Angola in 1984. Between December 1983 to January 1984 and before the signature of the DMZ, the SADF launched another major operation codenamed “Operation Askari” and, in the process, attacked Cahama and occupied Cuvelai – and the Cubans did not intervene either. It was also about this time that the Soviet Union started saying “the Angolan war is lost”.
The Cuban presence in Angola was not really meant to defend the country against SADF aggression. Rather, the Cuban Internationalist Forces were in Angola, to earn the Cuban Government US$20 million, which the Angolan Government has been giving to Castro every year as “a token of appreciation”.
Before discussing the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, as Namibian I have to ask this question: Why the town of Cuito Cuanavale, which is about 400 kilometers north of the Namibian border, and not, for example Oshikango, Eenhana, Ruacana and so forth, if the battle was intended to help PLAN/SWAPO to liberate Namibia militarily? Also, we need to agree on objective criteria of determining what constitutes military victory and what constitutes military defeat. Declaring victory or defeat based on the subjective speeches of politicians and newspaper headlines does not hold any water.
Moreover, before any battle takes place, the warring sides decide what tactical goal they, each, intended to score and what strategic objectives they, each, want to achieve. More often than not, one of the warring parties assumes the defensive posture, while the other one, often the attacker, assumes to offensive role. In this particular case, the attacker was FAPLA and its Cuban allies, while the “defender” was the combination of UNITA/SADF forces. The military objective of the attacker was to capture Mavinga and thereafter Jamba, both controlled by UNITA, in southeastern Angola, while the military objective of the “defender” was to defend Mavinga and prevent it from falling into FAPLA/Cuban forces’ hands. The attacker was based in Cuito Cuanavale, while the “defender” was based at Mavinga at the time. Mavinga was something like 120 kilometers southeast of Cuito Cuananale and Jamba was even further to the southeast.
Why would the SADF attack FAPLA soldiers at Cuito Cuanavale, a ghost town 400 kilometers from the Namibian border, while they leave FAPLA soldiers at Santa Clara/Oshikango and Namacunde in peace? It simply does not make any sense and any answer to that question would bring up some very interesting facts.
Firstly, SWAPO guerrillas/freedom fighters could only infiltrate Namibia from Angola through government-controlled areas. Secondly, the areas opposite Kavango and Caprivi were controlled by UNITA. This had made PLAN guerrilla infiltration into Namibia impossible. The MPLA-government made several attempts to extend its rule all over Angola, including UNITA controlled areas in the southeast. The SADF, on the other hand, wanted to make sure that southeast Angola does not fall under FAPLA in case UNITA was to be defeated. FAPLA control of Cuando-Cubango would have meant that PLAN and even ANC’s MK guerrillas would easily cross into Namibia and Botswana via Kavango and Caprivi and thereafter into SA itself.
In short: while the MPLA wanted to extend its rule to UNITA-controlled areas in the Cuando-Cubango province and SWAPO needed these areas to be able to infiltrate Namibia via Kavango and Caprivi, on the other hand, the UNITA forces were determined to defend their strongholds against FAPLA/Cuban forces, while SADF wanted to prevent SWAPO guerrilla incursions into Namibia through Kavango and Caprivi. Hence, the prospect of FAPLA controlling Cuando-Cubango attracted SADF interest in helping UNITA militarily to frustrate FAPLA-efforts because UNITA’s presence opposite Kavango and Caprivi served as a buffer zone, so much so that the SADF could deploy its troops elsewhere. Any person would understand this simple logic.
In 1985, and again in 1986, the Angolan armed forces attempted to occupy Mavinga—hence the Battle of Mavinga, a town half way to UNITA’s main base at Jamba. Both offensives were beaten back by UNITA with the assistance of the SADF. In August 1987 the Angolan Government made yet another attempt. The FAPLA forces deployed the following forces in their 1987/88 offensive: brigades 8, 13, 16, 21, 25, 47, 59, and 66, plus the 50th Cuban brigade, artillery and MIG jets as well as Hind (Mi-24) helicopters, as well as Soviet advisers on the ground. They had close to 20 000 heavily armed men in total. The FAPLA regional commander was General Mateus Angelo “Vietnam” assisted by operational FAPLA commander Lieutenant-Colonel Ngueto.
As a reaction to FAPLA deployment, UNITA deployed seven conventional battalions and a number of non-regular troops. They were also heavily armed with artillery guns and anti-aircraft weapons, including US-made Stinger missiles. UNITA’s operational command was led by Generals Renato Campos Mateus, Joao Batista Tchindandi “Black Power” and Altino Sapalalo. The overall UNITA military commanders for this operation were Generals Demosthenes Amos Chilingutila and Arlindo Pena.
The SADF force consisted of the 61 Mechanized Battalion, the Buffalo 32 Battalion, two APC-mounted companies from the Ondangwa-based 101 Battalion (Ovambo volunteers), Special Forces (mostly black troops) armed with long range artillery and this includes G5 and G6 guns as well as SAAF jets and helicopters. The SADF had 3 000 heavily armed men in total. The overall SADF commander was Colonel Deon Ferreira, assisted by Colonel Jack Harris and Commandants Robbie Hartslief, Kobus Smit, Mike Muller and others. The fighting was described by Fidel Castro as one of those “absurd offensives towards Jamba in remote southeastern Angola. The Cubans did not support the FAPLA attack of Jamba and thought it foolish.
Based at Cuito Cuanavale at the time, FAPLA forces started their advance towards Mavinga on August 17 1987 and by August 30 1987 they were within few kilometers from the Lomba River, just north of Mavinga. However, the advance towards Mavinga was stopped after fights with UNITA/SADF troops during the months of September and October 1987. This resulted in FAPLA troops staging a retreat of 120 kilometers to their point of departure: Cuito Cuanavale. According to FAPLA’s own record of events, they were “obliged” to pass from offensive tactics to a defensive strategy “to avoid the worst”.
Cuba then decided to intervene and sent troops to reinforce the town.
The stated FAPLA objectives for the Mavinga/Jamba campaign were: (1) to occupy the UNITA-held town of Mavinga and then proceed to Jamba; (2) to weaken UNITA by destroying its main base at Jamba, and (3) to open up the Namibia/Angola border in the northeast for SWAPO guerrilla infiltration into Kavango and Caprivi. The stated SADF/UNITA objectives were: (1) to halt and reverse the FAPLA advance on Mavinga/Jamba; (2) to inflict maximum casualties on the retreating FAPLA forces, and (3) to force the FAPLA troops to retreat to the west of the Cuito River and keep them to the west of the river.
By around April 1988 the fighting was over. At least one FAPLA brigade (47th Brigade) was effectively destroyed. Over 4000 FAPLA soldiers were killed; more than 90 of their tanks were destroyed (or captured and handed over to UNITA). On the SADF/UNITA side: over 3000 UNITA soldiers died; 59 SADF soldiers killed; 5 tanks destroyed; 11 armored cars and troop carriers lost; 2 Mirage jet shot down by FAPLA/Cuban forces.
If the FAPLA/Cuban forces destroyed the SADF forces, why is it that they captured only one SADF soldier (Papenfuss at Tchipa) during the entire campaign? Why did the FAPLA/Cubans not capture Mavinga and immediately thereafter advance to destroy UNITA’s Jamba HQ ? How was it possible that, after MPLA/UNITA negotiations in the early 1990s, Cuito Cuanavale was on the list of UNITA-controlled towns where central administration needed to be re-established?
Why did the civil war in Angola last until 2002 when Savimbi was killed by FAPLA, with the help of ex-SADF mercenaries ?
Arnaldo Tomas Ochoa Sanchez "El Moro" commander of the Cuban Forces in Angola since November 1987, complained that he was sent to “a lost war” so that he would be blamed for “the defeat”.  And indeed he was. General Ochoa was framed and executed on July 12 1989 following accusations against him by President Fidel Castro of “serious acts of corruption, dishonest use of economic resources, and drug trafficking”. He was blamed for the Cuban losses in Angola. On the Wall of Rememberance there are the names of over 2500 Cuban soldiers that died in Angola, most of them in the 80's fightings.
Cuito was a stalemate. None of the forces could achieve their objectives.
In the end, Namibia's people gained their freedom, not through military might but by the will of the people ! It is important to me to get the facts right, because it shows the resolve of the Namibian people. We continued the struggle against South African occupation, against the odds.
I will respond to reditalian1's post in more detail later.
My response to your posts reditalian1
This is not true. All the names of the SADF soldiers that died are made available. The South African media did not report on the
units the casulaties were attached. These names can be found on the SADF Wall of Rememberance. This one is not part of Freedom Park, but at Voortekkerhoogte, also in Pretoria.
Battle of Ebo
What is your source for this? I could find nothing that confirms this. THe only Recce plain that was shot down, was at the Lomba river. This was a spotter plane, shot down by a SA-8. One of the people killed was an artillery officer.
This is also not true. The surviving FNLA soldiers were taken to Namibia and formed 32 Battalion. They were not cannibals.
They became South African citizens and now live in Pomfret, in the North West province of South Africa.
They were mostly used in an counter-insurgency role against our SWAPO (PLAN) freedom fighters.
Battle of Niha River:
Quote:I want to see your sources on this. I have lived in Namibia and South Africa all my life and I have not heard of such a movie.
Please give me the name of the film.
Massacre of Cassinga:
I will respond to this in detail in another post. A lot of my countrymen died in this attack. What bothers me about this
is that nowadays in Namibia, everybody claims to be a survivor of Cassinga. A lot of the stories being told are untrue.
When the Apartheid Regime lost power in South Africa, they held a Truth and Reconcilliation Commission that, led by Nobel Prize Winner Desmond Tutu. It was decided that Cassinga was a legitimate target as it Was a PLAN training camp. The fact that women and
children died is as much the fault of the SWAPO leadership as it was the fault of the SADF.
Battle of Cangamba:
You do not mention that there were a number of PLAN guerilla fighters that fought against UNITA at Cangamba. 1st Lt. Silas Abisay
and his SWAPO comrades fought with the Cubans against UNITA. The SADF propvided UNITA with air support, but their goal was to
attack the PLAN bases in the area, not to attack FAPLA.
Battle of Lomba River:
Quote:The Ratel is not a tank but an armoured personnel carrier, like the BTR-60. It is logical that the Ratel will not engage tanks in open battle, unless it was forced to.
You say that the Olifant tank was "new". It is in fact a very old tank thas has been modernised. The Olifant tank is in
fact a Centurion tank, dating from WWII that has been upgraded. The T54/55 was a much more modern design.
Quote:I defintely question your source here. The FAPLA brigades that were deployed against UNITA was armed with modern Soviet weapons.
This was a conventional army. I can quote a source that was directly involved in the battle. Major Igor Zhdarkin was a Soviet adviser
with FAPLA. He said the following:
"First of all, we received news of the wounding of Soviet advisors of the 21st brigade and then about the death of the interpreter, Oleg Snitko. Afterwards, when we encountered our comrades from the 47th brigade, we heard from them details about their brigade’s route.
The brigade suffered three attacks from the South African forces. The flight which began after the second attack, turned into panic with the launching of the third.
There were many reasons for this: the running out of ammunition, as well as the cowardliness of the officers, the absence of precise instructions to the troops engaged, their terror of facing the South Africans, and, finally, the fact that on the bank where the brigade stood, across the river Lomba, there was a passage (bridge for crossing). Everybody quickly found out about it, and, if it had not existed, perhaps no one would have tried to flee.
Many Soviet specialists serving here in the district combat brigades earlier had been in Afghanistan. According to their opinion, “in Afghanistan, we never experienced such horrors as here. One said that “when the South African artillery began to fire, I felt particularly terrified. However, then came the South African air force and we had very little room on the ground. But the most horrible was when the Angolans turned to flight and began to throw away their equipment…”
This was just what happened with the 47th brigade. As long as the brigade commander maintained radio contact with the commander of the tank battalion, everything to be sure remained relatively normal. But then the tank battalion com- mander was hit and being wounded, he moved to another tank which too was hit and from which he then could not crawl out. Meanwhile the tank platoon commander who was next to him fled. The tank battalion commander (his name is Silva) there- upon was taken prisoner by the South Africans.
At the time of its flight during the crossing of the river Lomba, the 47th brigade lost 18 tanks, 20 armored troop carri- ers, 4 D-30 (122 mm) guns, 3 BM-21s valley fire, 4 Osa-AK anti-aircraft [mobile] rocket launchers, 2 Osa-AKs transport cars, one P-19 radar station, heavy automobiles, broadcasting stations, mortars, grenade throwers, approximately 200 pieces of small arms, etc.
The loudly proclaimed words about the safety of Soviet advisors and specialists were forgotten. The armored troop carrier of the Soviet advisors exited, last but one, over the bridge, and without cover, by order of the brigade commander, and protected only by 11 people. Within 15 minutes, the position where it had stayed before was burst upon by a South African AML-90 (armoured troop carrier).
There was terrible panic and confusion all around. The South Africans were shooting all over the place, not sparing ammunition. No one clearly knew whither to run and what to do. The one thing which everyone wanted was to get across to the other bank as quickly as possible. The so-called “commission” for organizing the crossing was one of the first to escape.
However, only three Strela-10 anti aircraft system, two armored troop carriers, two EE-25 vehicles and one Land Rover got across to the other side of the Lomba. Nothing more they were able to save. And if the South Africans had sent over only one company to the other bank and opened fire against the Angolans on the river bank, the entire 47th brigade would have landed at the bottom of the Lomba."
Battle at Cuito:
Quote:I have already discussed in my previous post why I don't think that the SADF wanted to take the town. 1) They did not have enough soldiers and were not willing to take a lot of casualties.
2) THeir main aim was to keep FAPLA west of the river and prevent them from reorganising another attack on Mavinga.
I think I can explain why it is difficult to get the exact number of SADF troops involved in the fight. This is not because of propoganda, but because of two factors. 1) The SADF mainly consisted of conscripts (white males over the age of 18 was forced
to serve in their Army for two years.). At the end of their service the conscripts had to be demobilised and replaced by new troops.
2) The Battle Groups employed against the FAPLA/Cuban forces were not permanent units. They were ad hoc units that were created from
various battalions (61 Mech, 101 Battalion, 32 Battalion etc.). The names of the Battle Groups changed as the name of the
operation changed. The Battle Group was named 82 Brigade, but for Cuito it was called 4SAI, although the same units were involved.
On the Cuban side, the Cuban government has not released exact details of the Angolan conflict yet. The major dispute is always with
the number of Cuban, SADF forces involved in the battle.
Quote:This is not correct. Jannie Geldenhuys was not involved in the fighting at Cuito. At the time he was Commander in chief of the
Quote:This is also not correct. There were only 23 tanks employed at Cuito. THey were all from the Regiment President Steyn. This has been
confirmed by members of the new SANDF not the old Apartheid Regime. The SADF tank group were two squadron Olifant tanks from Regiment President Steyn (only 23 tanks). They replaced two squadrons of tanks, one form the Armour School and the other one from the
Quote:I already discussed that the Olifant tank was not more modern than the T54/55, but a heavily upgraded Centurion tank. Also
the number of Olifant tanks you mention that were destroyed in battle does not add up. I already explained that there were no more than 23 Olifant tanks deployed at any given time.
Any army will do this. This is a good tactic in battle to deny the enemy of useful intelligence. I don't know why you mention this.
The Apartheid Regime suffered from an Arms Embargo imposed by Western countries. THey were therefore denied access to modern weapons and had to use outdated equipment, or develop their own. They could therefore not afford to lose too many of their conventional weapons.
Quote:I would really like to see your sources on this. The old South Africa was not a dictatorship like Cuba is, but was country that was
ruled by a white minority. A lot of white peple were opposed to the war and would not tolerate heavy casualties. The names of
all the white soldiers that died in the conflict were broadcast over the news. They did not broadcast the names of Black soldiers
(101 Battalion and 201 Battalion) that died. They did let the these families know, but not over the television. The opressed Black population would have outcast the families of these soldiers that fought for the Apartheid Regime.
I have a very objective view on this as I know people that fought on both sides. If you are not a Namibian or South African you will
not understand. There are various ethnic groups and cultures in my country.
I visiited Buffalo base in the Caprivi (Namibia) just before they were moved to Pomfret in South Africa. They have a Tree of Honour
that shows all their soldiers that died in battle between (1978 and 1988). There are exactly 146 names on there, I counted them myself. Most of them died at the hand of SWAPO, not Cuba. They lost 11 dead officers in total.
Quote:I already spoke about the Arms Embargo. The Soviet weapons used by FAPLA was much more advanced than the South African Weapons.
The only Western weapons used was the Stinger missiles used by UNITA. They were very effective against the Migs. UNITA
mainly used Soviet weapons captured from FAPLA and Chinese weapons supplied by the Peoles Republic.
Quote:I did not support the Apartheid Regime, but I don't think your source can be trusted. I do not know of this South African research.
The new South African government would most certainly have made this public.
I want to see your sources on this. It is untrue that the SADF lost 6 G-6 self-propelled guns. At the time of the battle around Cuito
there were only 6 pre-production models available. All of them was rushed to Angola, and all of them came back.
This was confirmed by Minister Ronnie Kasrils. He is a member of the South African Communist Party, founder member
of Umkhonto We Sizwe (Armed wing of the ANC) and former South African Minister of Intelligence.
You keep on mentioning the racism and propoganda of the Apartheid Regime and I agree with you about the racism. You fail
to mention that the Cubans were also guilty of racism on occasion. They mostly sent soldiers of colour to fight, but their
officers were mostly white.
I give you another quote from the memoirs of major Igor Zhdarkin:
"I don’t want to say anything bad about the South Africans because they fought well and competently, because they were whites, because I myself am white and because South Africans related to us as whites to whites. Strangest of all, the white Cubans would say 'We, as they say, are ready to shake hands with the white South Africans'. This could have been ascribed also to racism."
The losses of the SADF and Cuban forces were very low at Cuito. It was mostly Angolan soldiers (UNITA and FAPLA) that did the dying.
Nobody can claim victory. It was a stalemate.
I am very passionate about this conflict, because I know people that was directly involved and it had an influence on the independence of my country. I firmly believe that Cuban involvement extended the conflict and prolonged the South African
occupation of my country.
I will respond to the figting at Tchipa and Calueque in another post.
I leave with a quote from Polack. He is a journalist from the Cayman Islands that wrote a book called "Black Stalingrad"
"The Cuban army proved themselves tactically superior to their Russian sponsors in the African bush war environment, and were able to arrange an air and sea movement of massive forces over 10000km, unlike anything in recent times except the Falkland’s War. This occurred despite the geographical obstacles of limited or non-existent forward international bases, causing long journeys in old aircraft with overworked pilots. The US-backed cancellation of landing permission in the Cape Verde Islands, Barbados and other places, but failed to stop the logistical juggernaut coming from behind the “mojito” curtain.
Once established in their positions in the soon to be destroyed Angolan town, the Cuban reinforcements resisted even the stiffest attacks by less-determined foes.
The South African Defence Force were equal to the task, using weapons developed over a long period of bush war experience and arms embargo that frequently out-performed Soviet equipment. They also operated some distance from home base, being 400km from the Namibian border, and a further 1000km to the South African border.
The SADF commanders had the edge in experience with familiar territory and independence in operation, which worked well until the set battle of Cuito Cuanavale ensued, when the outcome depended on will; political will, will to take huge casualties, will to stay in the face of flanking advances by emboldened Cuban troops.
The Cuban and South African forces were more similar than dissimilar, and their respective political ideologies and aims were all for nought when the first shot was fired and it became a soldier’s arena to the death."
I hardly understand your anti-Cuban, anti-Soviet and even anti-MPLA attitudes comrade, especially given that your name is SWAPO and you say that you are Namibian.
As to your points:
*Calling UNITA 'bandits' would be a pretty accurate way of categorizing them, given their dirty tactics in the Angolan civil war and their cooperation with the Apartheid regime.
*I seriously doubt the Cuban motivation to be in Angola was a paltry US$20 million. Cuba at that time was virtually a second world country, and $20 million would hardly cover the expeditionary force's costs even for a few weeks.
*I've read quite extensively on the Angolan Civil War, especially focusing on the Soviet role and efforts there, and I have never come across the opinion from any Soviet figure stating that "the Angolan war is lost."
*I don't know if you took this from one pro-SADF book or a few, but the overall tone of your posts comes off as a defense of the SADF and their military competence. The phrase "The old South Africa was not a dictatorship like Cuba is..." also makes me
There is no way short of a changing international climate (via Gorbachev) or a decisive military campaign that South Africa would have allowed Namibia to become independent. Without MPLA and Cuban pressure, it just would not happen, and certainly not earlier than 1990.
"The thing about capitalism is that it sounds awful on paper and is horrendous in practice. Communism sounds wonderful on paper and when it was put into practice it was done pretty well for what they had to work with." -MiG
Easy to explain. The common mistake that people make is to thnk that white South Africans shared a collective political view, when in fact the ruling regime had a lot of opposition, even amongst whites. The big difference was that the oppression was along ethnic lines, not necessarily along political and cultural lines. In that sense I can not agree with reditalian calling the Apartheid Regime a dictatorship.
I must admit that i do not know much about Cuban politically. I was always under the impression that it was not a true socialist state, but rather a socialist dictatorship. Feel free to disagree.
I have the advantage of coming unto contact with people that fought on both sides. I would like o think that this made me more willing to understand the motivation of the opressor, as much as I understand the motivation of those that struggled for freedom.
I was born in Tsumeb in the north of Namibia. Do you doubt that I am Namibian because you don't like my opinions ?
I feel sorry that you see my post as being anti-Soviet and anti-MPLA. As mentioned earlier I have friends that fought on the side of FAPLA. The aim of my post is to point out some of the real facts. Changing facts and twisting the truth only take away from the sacrifices made by the people of Namibia for their independence.
I even want to add that even though I am a supporter of SWAPO, I am very critical of some of the actions that they have taken in our fight for liberation.
You fail to mention that they were also supported by China. Categorizing them as bandits in my opinion take away the glory of figthing against them. Would you rather be victirious against bandist, or agains counter-revolutionaries. It is a matter of semantics.
Quote:I am sad to say but there are a lot of these rumours
in Namibia that question the motives of Cuba. I felt that it was necessary to mention this to maintain balance.
Quote:This is probably a translation issue, but there are enough independent sources that show that there was a feeling amongst SOviet adviser that the war was not winnable through military means. The fact that the civil war lasted till 2002 should suffice as proof.
This is not pro-SADF propoganda but fact. Why do you question these facts just because it differs from what reditalian1 says ?
Some of these facts are confirmed by anti-SADF sources. Ronnie Kasrils is member of the SACP and a scholar of the Angolan conflict. I have visited some of the former SADF bases. I have been at Freedom Park. I have seen these things with my own eyes.
My external sources are the works of Piero Gleijesens, Isaac Saney. They are both pro-Cuban in their oultlook and like to present the Cuban point of view. I feel that the African view is lacking.
I also used the works of Polack, Cayman Island journalist that wrote Black Stalingrad. I also used the memoirs of Igor Zhdarkin (Soviet adviser).
For the rest I did my own research. I have in my posession a used mortar shell used at Calueque. I have quansas, given to me by a FAPLA soldier. I have counted the casualties on the Walls of Rememberance and 32 Battalion's tree of honour.
I ask again, why do you question my motives and sources. My aim is to do proper research on the role of SWAPO in the Angolan conflict and the freedom of Namibia. All I see in the media and even on Swapo's own pages are Cuban an FAPLA war stories.
If my opinions are to progressive and patriotic for this forum, I will refrain from posting again.
I want to reiterate that just because my opinions and facts differ, I take offense as being labeled as pro-SADF.
I can only begin to mention the crimes the SADF and SWATF committed against the people of Namibia, especially in Ovamboland. Did you know that one of their Special Police Units (called Koevoet), used to display the bodies of PLAN guerillas as trophies.
This still did not deter the PLAN fighters to try and free their country, despite ceratin death.
Did you know that agents of the Apartheid regime, assasinated a SWAPO member, after the seize fire ? His name was Anton Lubowski and he was a human rights lawyer.
Do you know about the torture of civilains and that ex-SWAPO fighters was press-ganged into serving for the SWATF, against their former Comrades.
Let us rather speak of these things. The SADF feared the infiltration of PLAN fighters, more than it feared the Cuban and FAPLA forces. Dos these fact make me pro-SAFDF and anti-Soviet ?
I sincerely think that you do not understand the full extent of this conflict. In the end SWAPO won, through political will, not military might.
Hi there Comrades and friends.
I have created a new thread, where I am trying to defend my point of view...
The role of the Angolan conflict in Namibia's Freedom
First of all dear "Swapo" just let me say how hardly i belive your description of your actual political condition considering that in your replies you've just do an copy of the common racist SA military claims.
You can be only two things 1) A moderate namibian guy that living in a political situation shared by Angola-Namibia-SouthAfrica-Mozambique see the old political left-wing force being more and more corrupts to their roots : abandoning the revolutionary cause to business with the capitalists in Shanghai while the people is starving and accepting the "mixed truth" of a middle-class that can't allow the rebirth of a revolutionary movement
Or 2)One of the many young white SA "Nazi-racist" boy that spent his time insulting the memory of the Internationalist actions in Angola and the fight of the black people to gain their freedom.
Now ... your first "reply" it's a simple copy of a pro-SA accounts of the entire conflict.
SA weren't a country acting with propaganda? You can trust their lies..
During the Battle of Ebo was shot down a Cessna, there is a cuban photo on the main cuban site of the aviation
The FNLA HAD groups that acted with cannybaism to terrorize the people, (with also the common practice of leaving decapitated heads in the villages that refused to join their counter-revolutionary activity)
The movie about the Battle of Niha River it's named as the SA call the battle... "Bridge-14"... even if i suggest you to watch the first movie of a cuban trilogy, about Cangamba, Sumbe and Cuito Cuanavale.
The so-called "Truth and Reconcilliation Commission" acted mainly to find a mediation and cover a lot of SA crims to end the conflicts in SA and start a new capitalistic society. Cassinga was one of the most horrible act of anti-black extermination and every denial or distortion is a pure act of insult against the victim.
During the Cangamba Battla, the UNITA attacked the inhabited, held by Cubans and Angolans, not to destroy SWAPO camp, even if maybe there were Namibian fighters in the city and i'm interested about that. (even if the recent Cuban movie Cangamba don't show them)
Ratel (differently from BTR-60) has a 90mm gun, and SADF used it to face Cuban/Angolans armours, just in that single engagement (among the others) they retired because without infantery support.
I Know very well that Oliphant it's based on the Centaurion, but as you said it's an upgreaded version, that created a much more advanced tank
Major Igor Zhdarkin is a traitor and a racist (he wrote directly to have more feeling to his "white SA brothers" rather then the africans) and as many post-Soviet guy what he wrote is just what hid editors want.. he could wrote well of the communist cubans during the Eltsin regime? With the hundreds of death in Moscow in 1993? It's better write something as "We heroic RUSSIAN were there to help the poor niggers and the commie cubans against the brave SA"
PLEASE ... spare us the common SA propaganda of Cuito XD Obviously the SA wasn't ready to die taking Cuito... better wasting hundreds of UNITA for it ^^
And if they just wanted keep firm the FAPLA; WHY attacking? 5 repetitive assaults with 3 consecutive failures are NOT a diversion or a support for UNITA
Such large battle/campaign involved a lot of people.. so YES; Jannie Geldenhuys was involved, as many others... Fidel Castro too could be listed despite being in Cuba,
About the number of tanks... it's South African (racist and dictatorial regime) claim against Cuban ( socialist and only-free-country of America in '80 except Nicaragua) ... you wich chose? a country and a military involved in medic, teaching for-free operations, or the ones with young white teens organizing night "hunt-parties" on black people?
Repairing the vehicle, the SA "hid" the actual first-kill on the same vehicle. Many analists use to keep count of "destroyed" and "hit and then repaired" becuase from a military point of view it's still a success for a particual weapon having forced KO a vehicle for some time(maybe for the entire battle)
SA WAS a dictatorship, and they hid lots of facts at their people, as their nuke-program or toxic and biologic weapons to exterminate the black population, remember that many white activist and members of CP were tortured and killed by the racist regime.
USA could not directly help SA, but they did it with UNITA (not only Stinger missles) and you forget the best-allie of SA.(and kept supply SA army)
Who it will be??
You win a million if you find the name !! I****l..
As i said, my source are Cubans, Cuban site of the aviatian (it's the main blog you find on internet) and the main military forum in spanisy (that too it's the first result if you search on google)
For your next replies..
WE (as communist, don't matter wich nationality) don't fight for the GLORY.
Cubans, Angolans, Namibians, fough all for freedom, for their people, for the love and peace of the world.
The Racist and Imperialist aggressors and their SLAVES deserve all the glory that there is in a 7.62 bullet ... cold metal and the blood of our enemies to wahs the land..
Cuban motivies? <iframe width="420" height="345" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cTkr2EKXFVg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
It's OBVIOUSLY thinking if Cuba had some motivies.. because you are a capitalist, that's a capitalist question that has nothing to concern the Cuban motivies..
The Cuban Action was a simple Internationalist Duty. It wasn't the only one, it wasn't the first and it will neither be the last one.
I just want to say how much I've enjoyed reading this thread. I'd like to see more of your sources 1redItalian but you've obviously put a lot of work into this. Keep posting!
As i said part of them came from that pro-Cuban site about the Air Force
I didn't want act spamming.. however i've done a work of "collecting many pieces and putting them together..
In the end the war's facts has ever two sides... one for each coaliction.
Or at least it should be so, if some countries don't betray their original true socialist paths and try to find a way to have comprimises.. even accepting the false truth of the Boer butchers..
Your last paragraph sums things up very nicely. I am in the unique situation that I have been a victim of their oppresive laws, yet it didn't make me hateful against white people. I even want to say that I even understand them, I share the same language as them.
Here in South Africa, where I know live, I see too many people that were part of the struggle adopt capatalist ideals. This is even more sickening to somebody like me. After all socialism has deep roots in African tradition.
In South Africa they call it "Ubuntu". The spirit of togetherness !
Please explain to me how you have come to this conclusion just because I didn't agree with your facts. Have you ever been to Africa ? It is ironic that you accuse us in Africa of becoming more and more moderate and corrupt to the roots, seeing that you are from Italy, a capatilist country that is part
of Nato. You can argue as much as you like, but it still makes you a product of a capatilist system.
Is this the way you handle most of your disagreements, by personal attacks ?
I do support SWAPO, but even they have adpoted a capatalist democracy. Does this mean that I should stop supporting them, after all their
struggles for our independence ? Please explain that. Secondly, I have said on numerous occasions that I live in South Africa. I therefore do not have to rely on racist propoganda. I can do my own research. I have also mentioned that I have read the works of Pierro Gleijesens and Isaac Saney. I do not know what ideology they support, but I do know they are friends of Cuba. I do however think that they write purely from a Cuban perspective. I am convinced that none of them have visited Namibia and Angola.
As for your attack on Africa's capatalist governments. Who are you to judge us harshly? The reality is that most of these countries still have a large
rural populations with a lot of tribal influence. In Namibia alone you have the Ovambo, Herero, Nama, Damara and Himba tribes. Not to mention the San, Coloured and White people. A lot of peoples political views are therefore along ethnical lines and not necessariliy ideological. The Ovambo tribes make up the largest part of Namibia's population, most of them in the north. They also make up the bulk of SWAPO's support base.
I have personally visited the ex-SADF bases in Ovamboland in the 1992. We then crossed to Angola, almost near the area of the Calueque dam. At that time the dam was still damaged from the Mig attack. I picked up a used mortar shell there, so there were still signs of the fighting.
I do still question your sources. Thanks for providing me with the name of the movie. I will defintely see if I can get a hold of it. We almost had the
same television programs in Namibia as in South Africa in the 80's. Most of these programs was provided by the white controlled SABC. I have never seen or heard of this movie.
Socialism is not that unfamaliar to African tradition. Even today in Namibia and parts of rural South Africa you will find communal grazing. But you sling around accusations without even experiencing firtst hand these things. I have met people from both sides of the political fence. I have studied with former SADF conscripts, I have worked with a MK cadre, I am friends with an ex-FAPLA soldier. The irony is that all of us, despite our differences have more in common than you, a privileged White European that sits in a First World Country. Your accusations are therefore offensive.
It is obvious that you know nothing of South African and Namibian politics. I you read my comments on Cassinga carefully you will notice that I agree
that the murder of women and children should be seen as war crimes. I do want to add that I also think that our SWAPO leaders should take
responsibility for the massacre. If they were concerned for the safety of those refugees, they shouldn't have had a training camp there. I therefore also want to blame PLAN Commander Hamaambo and PLAN Political Commissar Greenwell Matongo. That was my point.
Quote:My point was that it is a Armoured Personell Carrier that also act in a Fire Suport Capacity. You get more than one variant, the Ratel-20 is the more common one. Not all the Ratels have the 90mm gun. I visit the Oudtshoorn Infantry School every year for sport, so I get to see a lot of those.
Quote:I hope you realise that I am not white, so please be carefull with the racial slurrs.
Quote:You win a million if you find the name !! I****l.. [/quote] I disgaree with the term you used. You should not comment on what you do not know about.
A dictatoship is a form of government run by one man. The strugle movements such as the ANC, PAC, AZAPO and to a lesser extend the UDF were banned form any political activity, but the white people had more than one party. You had the ruling NP and then you had the PFP and CP and HNP.
The whites saw themselves as being democratic, but the NP leadership and their cabinet consisted of a group of men known as the Broederbond, pretty muc like a Politburo.
Not only members of the SACP were tortured, all members of the banned liberation movements were tortured, regardless of skin colour. t is also important to note that the SACP forms part of the ANC to a lesser extend. The ANC, SACP and COSATU forms the Tripartheid Alliance. Most of the SACP
leadership would therefore also be part of the ANC leadership.
As for the US supplying South Africa with weapons. This is not true. Not even the New SAND has any military ties to the US. Recent weapon aquisitions in the form of Corvettes, Gripen fighters etc. are all from European countries.
As for the nuclear weapons. Do you honestly think that us living in Namibia were too stupid to know of these ? There has always been rumours of this. You don't call yourselves racist, yet you understimate the intellegence of us Africans.
If you want to have a fairly objective opinion on Cuito, I suggest you read the works of Ronnie Kasrils. He is a former MK commander and former Minister of Intellegence. Unfortunately he also claims Cuito to be a Cuban victory. That I disagree with. You will notice though that he is very careful when mentioning casualties. My personal viewpoint is that it should be called a stalemate.
My reasons are: 1) It gives more prominence to the political victory achieved.
2) It gives more prominence to the sacrfices made by SWAPO and FAPLA. I created a new thread on my vies on Cuito,
but nobody has read it yet. My opinion is that Cuba's intervention i the 70's saved SWAPO and FAPLA.
At the same time I think that their intervention in the 80's had the opposite effect.
First of all let me say that differently from your (poor) knoledge about the Europe situation, my country as many other european nations see ages of politcal anti-capitalistic struggle. There is much people opposing it, and don't forget that the marxism (as the political struggle) was born in Europe.
Of course you should not support more SWAPO... that's happened a lot of time in Europe that a former revolutionary movement became no more a true socialist force, but keeping to support it it's a simple hypocrisy or "loving being with the winner".
If a revolutionary party it's lead by a leadership of traitors, there are 2 options: form a split from the previous part or forme an inner wing of the party pushing for a return to the original socialist cause.
Having a rural population with tribal differences is something that a party has to change, a socialist party should unify the different ethnic despite the difference, keeping strictly at an ethnic base it's a big political and strategical mistake... while also the rural situation needs a change thanks an agrarian socialist reform.
You have to "question" nothing.. that's the War in Angola how it happened, and being a marxist from himself (and being into a site named "Soviet Empire" and not "Moderate anti-Cuban Socialist Empire") that's the point of view that concern that site, aligned with the marxist idea.
If you want to see old-shit-SA propaganda movie i may suggest a very funny movie "Red Scorpion", with bloodthirsty Soviets massacrating black people in Africa (that's how the SA wanted to show the war to their people).
For what i can say (and i've studied) the "African Socialism" is nothing more then a farce, as it was stressed by the Comandante Guevara after the Congo Campaign, the African people needs much more politica preparation and the elimination of the inner-ethnic conflict before starting talking for real of "Socialism".
My "Privilege" as European in the First World is the only of the Rallies and clashes against the police, occupay buldings and parecipate at meeting of International group and organize founding for them.
Tell me if there are actual communist political struggle in your city now.
What you can say about Cassinga has simply little sense... the SA knew that there were refugee, they had now right to attack them, despite military presence there, a so-called democratic state's army should not risk massacrating civilians to do so. It's probable that the miltiar guerrilla staff never imagine that the SA could be so ruthless..
Well... in THAT battle there were Ratel with 90mm, because some Angolan tanks were hit by them.
I've accused Major Igor Zhdarkin of being a racist, not you in that reply
Well actually the definion of "Dictatorship" should not be considered so strictly... Nazi Empire wasn't commanded by "one man" (Hitler wasn't the only ruler) neither all the communist countries are single-man dictatorship, because they are dictatorship of the people, that elect directly their leaders into a single party being PART of the party.
As i said, US didn't support SA; they did support UNITA;
About nukes.. i've not said you are "stupid because i suppose you don't know about them".. you've not mentioned them, so i wrote about them, don't force my words.
And i've seen also in the other topic how you put a difference between Cuban actions in '70 and '80 ... and from a militar point of view it's a simple nonsense. First of all remember that there was EVER a Cuban military presence in these years ... if they weren't, the Angolan Army simply could not defend themselves against the UNITA offensive, maybe they could at least take Luanda, but without Cuban forces the SA could do a second UNITA's support operation and take Luanda.
And obviously all the SWAPO camps in Angola could be destroyed, making harder the Namibian struggle.
Remember that the Cuban presence in Angola was mainly Defensive, they acted a counter-guerrilla against UNITA and at Cabinda , without a direct support to SWAPO
I stand by my opinion of the Angolan conflict.
As for calling my viewpoint nonsense. Could you please explain your view then ? You base your comments and opinions purely on what you read, not what you have actually seen. Your assesment of Apartheid propoganda is not all without base, but you underestimate the capabilities of Cuban propoganda too.
As for Major Igor Zhdarkin. I agree with you that he is a racist, that is why I quoted him in the first place. This doesn't mean that all his memoirs are
tainted though, after all he was in Angola. The fact that he calls some of the white Cuban officers racist, should not be discarded just because he himself is one. For you to call his memoirs pro-SADF is baseless in my opinion. You are basically saying that you have decided that only the Cuban point of view is the truth. Zhdarkin is pro-SADF, the Namibian, Angolan, MOzambiquen point of view is also useless to you because our ideologies is a farce ? You are very self-righteous aren't you. THe joke is that you base all of this on browsing selected websites on the web ?
Your viewpoint on African affairs as a whole serves to prove my point on the Cuban involvement in the conflict. They are the ones that are seen as the
saviour of us people. Our role in our own struggle is underplayed.
As for questioning my support of SWAPO ? I can take a smiliar arguement and ask you why you still live in Italy if you are so opposed to capatilism. Yet you still stay there and reap the benefits of a capatalist society. If you really feel so strong about pure ideology you should move to Cuba my friend.
Maybe you should also start a thread on the attrocities of the Italians in the North of Africa. After all they were also colonialists that invaded my continent.
I honestly don't see how you could critisize me if you haven't been through what my people have been through. Have I mentioned that my people were forcibly removed from the Northern Cape and relocated to the northwest of Namibia ? This was to make way for a SADF training ground, and formed part of their "homeland" policy. After 1994 our "bombed out" land has been given back to us. I decided not to go back and I have never set foot there....the people that decided to go back had to live in army tents for a few years. The area has now been turned into a nature reserve for tourists, managed by the people of Riemvasmaak.
Long story short. This taught me that one should never forget the past, but to dwell in the past and bearing grudges is empowering the opressor.
You must be able to free yourself from the past and look forward. The pas has made us stronger. So you should be careful when you pass judgement on me and African people and ideologies.
Another thing I have against your post is that you glorify military action. Have you seen war from up close ? I have seen how civilian cars look like that hit a landmine? Not a pretty sight. Have you seen the Angolan children and children in Mozambique with artificial limbs from exploded anti-personnel mines ? There is nothing glorious about war.
Now that's really funny ^^
I've counter-replied at your (poor military logic) and instead reply at them you reply from a political point of view.
It's a nonsens your claim to separate the operation from '70 and '80 and i've explained because..
The joke is that first you claim Zhardkin as a good source, now you admit he's a racist.. i've read part of the Zhdarking's writing.. and he doesn't seem so much pro-Angolan to be honest..
I've NEVER said that Cuban are "saviour of us people", again.. don't force my words, maybe you think so.. and remember that's a LIST of the main battles, while the SWAPO acted mainly as guerrilla.. that's a Cuaban topic, focusing on Cuban action... if you're so anti-Cuba, your trolling is simply not welcomed here
Again you insult me without know nothing (because obviously i visited Cuba and not as tourist) and if you start saying that capitalistic society bring "benefict".. well.. maybe you shold just watch a Tv news to see how many european countries (including mine) are close to the bankruptcy.
I'm in Italy opposing capitalism here because escaping it's not a solution. If struggle to pay the mortage is a benefict.. so i discovered something of new.
I'm the FIRST to show the atrocities of italian FASCISTS in Aftica and not only there.. again you are inventing in the absence of valid responses
I know the situation in SA and elsewhere because some my comrades visited the country to have an insight ... and it not seems a "paradise"...
And now you're really funny XD YOU said that it was a "glory" having strong opponents as UNITA and it's not fair calling them bandits.. and I replied that there is nothing glorious about war.
Alternative Display:Mobile view