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n Historia - Die SAW/UNITA-bondgenootskap in aksie : Operasie Moduler (fases 2, 3 en 4), Oktober tot Desember 1987

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Abstract

Vroeg in 1987 het die SAW inligting bekom dat FAPLA en die Kubane besig was met intensiewe voorbereidings om UNITA uit Suidoos-Angola te verdryf. Op versoek het die SAW in Junie 1987 formeel besluit om UNITA te ondersteun met die doel om die FAPLA-offensief genaamd Operasie Saludando a Octubre (Salueer Oktobermaand) te stuit. Die Slag van die Lomba-rivier van 3 Oktober 1987 het, vanuit 'n SAW/UNITA-oogpunt beskou, die suksesvolle afsluiting van fase 1 van Operasie Moduler verseker: die FAPLA-opmars na Mavinga is effektief gestuit. Die SAW/UNITA-bondgenote was egter deeglik daarvan bewus dat die FAPLA-magte in staat was om binne die afsienbare toekoms die aanslag op Mavinga te hervat. Daarom is beplan om die FAPLA-brigades oos van die Cuitorivier te vernietig. Die primêre oogmerk kon egter nie naastenby verwesentlik word nie, aangesien die SAW/UNITA-bondgenote nie daarin kon slaag om die FAPLA-magte uit hulle stellings te verdryf nie. Die laaste SAW/UNITA-offensiewe van 25 en 26 November 1987, waartydens UNITA-bataljons as die hoofmag aangewend is, was 'n klaaglike mislukking. Die gemeganiseerde SAW-veggroepe is futiel in die onherbergsame terrein teen die deeglik verskanste FAPLA-stellings aangewend. Die SAW-elemente kon gevolglik nie die onontbeerlike ondersteuning aan UNITA bied nie. Hierdie artikel fokus op die bydraes van UNITA tot die bondgenootskap. Ondanks kritiek deur die SAW op UNITA as 'n bondgenoot is die positiewe aspekte van hulle bydrae tot Operasie Moduler van veel groter omvang as die negatiewe aspekte. 'n Wydgeskakeerde terrein, hoofsaaklik in 'n ondersteunende rol is gedek, soos die afvuur van lugafweer-Stingermissiele; insameling van inligting; optrede as ligte infanterie, voorhoede of skermmag tydens aanvalle; en misleidings- en steekaanvalle. In die proses het UNITA hewige lewensverliese gely. Sonder hierdie bydraes sou die beperkte SAW-mag van 'n skamele sowat 2 500 man 'n veel moeiliker taak gehad het.


Early in 1987 the SADF received information that FAPLA and the Cubans were busy with intensive preparations to force UNITA out of southeast Angola. Upon request, the SADF formally decided to support UNITA in June 1987 with the intention of stopping the FAPLA offensive named Operation Saludando a Octubre (Salute October). From an SADF/UNITA point of view, the Battle of the Lomba River on 3 October 1987 ensured the successful conclusion of phase 1 of Operation Modular: the FAPLA advance to Mavinga was effectively stopped. However, the SADF/UNITA allies knew very well that the FAPLA forces were able to resume their assault on Mavinga in the near future. They therefore planned to destroy the FAPLA brigades east of the Cuito River, but this primary goal could not be realised because the SADF/UNITA allies were unable to force the FAPLA forces from their positions. The last SADF/UNITA offensives of 2 and 26 November 1987, during which UNITA battalions were applied as the principal force, were a total failure. The mechanised SADF battle groups were deployed in vain in the inhospitable terrain against the well entrenched FAPLA positions. This also prevented the SADF elements from providing indispensable support to UNITA. This article focuses on the contributions of UNITA to the alliance. Despite the SADF's criticism of UNITA as allies, the positive aspects of their contribution to Operation Modular far exceed the negative aspects. They were deployed primarily in a supporting capacity, but their contribution was multi-faceted, such as firing anti-aircraft Stinger missiles; collecting information; acting as a light infantry, vanguard or a shield force during attacks; and deception and sting attacks. In the process, UNITA suffered a severe loss of lives. Without these contributions, the limited SADF force of about 2 500 men would have faced a far more difficult task.

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/content/hist/59/1/EJC153576
2014-05-01
2016-12-09
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