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Operation Firewood was a secretive military operation in 1987 by the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the Angolan Civil War and South African Border War.

Operation Firewood
Part of the South African Border War
Location Angola
Operation Firewood is located in Angola
Operation Firewood (Angola)
Objective An attack on PLAN's on Northern Command base.
Date 31 October 1987

Background[edit | edit source]

The PLAN Northern Command base was said to be found 35 km north of the town of Techamutete at a place called Indungo.[1]:350 A SADF battle group was formed and consisted of elements of 1 Parachute Battalion, 5 Reconnaissance Regiment and 101 Battalion.[1]:252 This battle group would be a mechanised force and consisted of Ratels, Casspirs and Buffels.

Order of Battle[edit | edit source]

South African and South West Africa Territorial Forces[edit | edit source]

  • 101 Battalion
  • elements - 1 Parachute Battalion
  • elements - 5 Reconnaissance Regiment
  • elements - 2 Reconnaissance Regiment

Battle[1]:252[edit | edit source]

The attack occurred on 31 October 1987. The PLAN base was attacked from the west by recce's and the parabats while 101 Battalion covered the base from north, east and south, the direction PLAN forces were expected to flee. The fighting was said to be intense with PLAN putting up a fight against the SADF. The base was not taken and the SADF forces withdrew when PLAN reinforcements were said to be on their way.

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

The South African forces are said to have incurred 12 killed and 47 wounded,[1]:252 while other sources say it was as high as 19 killed and 64 wounded.[1]:489 On the SWAPO side, the casualties were said to be high too. Honoris Crux medals were awarded to five 101 Battalion members for gallantry in action.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

  • Scholtz, Leopold (2013). The SADF in the Border War 1966-1989. Cape Town: Tafelberg. ISBN 978-0-624-05410-8. 

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Scholtz, Leopold (2013). The SADF in the Border War 1966-1989. Cape Town: Tafelberg. ISBN 978-0-624-05410-8. 

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