Sunday, 20 May 2012
Staff Conference Cuban 201 Composite Brigade HQ Luanda 10 November 1975
'Comrade Colonel, reporting as instructed.'
'Welcome Captain Martinez. How soon before your armour is ready to move?'
'Comrade Colonel, the last of the tanks are being unloaded this afternoon. The whole battalion will be ready to move by midnight.'
'Your boys will miss out on the independence party...'
'They're just glad to get off that ship Comrade.'
'We have reports that the South African advance guard have reached Dondo, here. They have light armour and jeeps. We're unsure about their supply situation but it can't be good. Air activity has dropped off considerably over the past 48 hours.'
'Colonel, we can attempt a night march but I doubt we'll make it in one bound I'd expect between three and six mechanical failures over that distance. We can fix them but it takes time. Better we move at night if at all possible.'
'I agree, there is no guarantee their aircraft won't reappear. There is a railway to Dondo but the system is in chaos. We'll send Sanchez's recon group ahead to the bridge at Cassoalala. They can get there tonight. They should be able to hold the crossing for 24 hours which will give you and Durreti's motor rifle troops time to relieve them.
'Comrade, the South Africans have to be stopped at here at the crossing. Time is not a luxury we have. The Chief is counting on you...'
'Yes Comrade, I understand.'