Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Pretoria September 1975

'This gentleman, is what we plan to do in Angola'

'The aim is to put a friendly government in power in Luanda by 11 November, the day the Portuguese leave and when Angola is officially independent. Of the three factions fighting the Portuguese and one another Holden Roberto's FNLA will receive the full support of the South African Government and any and all military and political assistance we can furnish.'

'Operation Savannah will commence in mid October. Three brigade sized groups, codenamed Task Forces Zulu, Foxbat and Orange; will attack across the Namibian frontier on converging axes here, here and here. The objective is to reach Luanda by independence day. A fourth Task Force, codenamed Blue, and in similiar strength, will invade Angola from Zaire.Same objective'

'Each of the Southern Task Forces will comprise three motorised infantry battalions of the SADF, with appropriate reconnaisance, engineer and artillery support. Airborne troops in company strength will be responsible for seizing key bridges and airfields ahead of the ground troops. Each Task Force will have a battalion of FNLA troops made up of black soldiers and mainly Portuguese mercenaries. It is important we give the impression the SADF is assisting an indigenous Angolan liberation movement...'

'Task Force Blue will be made up of two battalions of FNLA troops and a battalion of Zairian motorised infantry. Artillery support will also be provided by Mobutu's army. This force wil be stiffened by a cadre of white mercenaries, again mainly Portuguese, although there will be British and French soldiers of fortune present.'

'We do not anticipate any serious resistance from either SWAPO or the MPLA. The biggest challenge will be the distance the southern task forces are required to advance and the associated supply problems. Each airfield will be a staging post for the next leap forward. The key is speed and aggression. The paras take the airfields, we follow through hard and the air force will fly in supplies.'

'The one potentially serious problem, apart from the distance we need to cover, is the presence of four Cuban training camps. We have yet to locate a single one of these although signals intelligence and aerial reconnaisance indicates that two of them may be across the projected lines of advance of Zulu, near Benguela, and Blue, to the north of Lunada, here and here.'

'At this stage it is unclear just how many Cuban troops are present and how heavily armed they are.'

'Z Day is currently set for 15 October. There's a pack here for each of you. I suggest you study it and we re-convene at 1400. Any immediate quesions?'

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