n Journal for Contemporary History - The role of the South African Air Force (SAAF) during the SADF's cross-border operations in Angola, November 1981 - 1982 : a historical exploration

Volume 34, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



It was particularly during the late seventies and eighties that the various arms of service of the South African Defence Force (SADF), and particularly the South African Air Force (SAAF), were involved in several cross-border operations. The most well-known of these included: Reindeer in 1978, Saffraan, Rekstok, Lunge, Sceptic, Backlash, Bootlace in 1979, Butterfly in 1980 and Carnation and Protea in 1981. Seen from a South African military perspective, the SA forces achieved great successes, particularly during Operation Protea. The SAAF assisted the army in what was described as the largest mechanised operation of the SA Army since World War II.

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