People I dearly cared for appreciated and respected — a band of brothers – until today. It was limited warfare in the true sense of the word – a bloody sequel of move, surprise, encircle, annihilate and withdraw.
Operational guidelines were clear cut, it stated: “In and out within fourteen days”.
Battle group 30 under command of commandant Chris Serfontein 4.
Battle group 40 under command of commandant Deon Ferreira 5.
Battle group 10 under command of commandant Roland de Vries 2.
Battle group 20 under command of commandant Johann Dippenaar 3.
It was one of the largest mechanised operations ever undertaken by South Africa since the Second World War.
The destruction of the bases at Xangongo and Ongiva would undermine Swapo’s ability to conduct operations on the North-Western front and also have a psychological impact by reinforcing the message that it no longer had the luxury of safe sanctuaries in Southern Angola The following restriction guidelines were imposed: 1.
Not to attack any FAPLA positions or troops unless they interfered and the safety of own forces were thus threatened 2.
To respect the lives and property of the local population 3.
Our young subalterns and junior non-commissioned officers were national service men of calibre.
The small clan of permanent force staff members commanding and managing 61 Mech were proud of our fighting unit and our young men.