15 km inside Angola across the South West African Border there is a road junction. In March 1979 this was the place where the front in the war between South Africa and Angola was formed. The South African 62 Mechanised Battalion, the spearhead of Operation CROSSBOW found themselves attacked by elements of the Angolan 11th Motor Rifle Brigade. In the picture above the South Africans will try to secure the junction and the surrounding high ground - three gentle rises that barely qualify as hills.
Left: A South African command element is trying to consolidate atop a low ridge south of the road. A knocked out Angolan T-34 is on the skyline and Angolan Air Force MiG 21s are being used in the fighter bomber role against the SADF troops.
Despite being caught in the open by the MiGs the South Africans managed to avoid suffering serious losses and successfully dug in on the hill, thereby securing one key objective.
The MiGs were flown by East German pilots and it's believed that the Communist forces experienced problems co-ordinating air support with their ground troops.
Left: Angolan T-55s are brewed up by South African armour. The South African Olifants destroyed two thirds of the Angolan tanks but were surprised when the Communists kept closing the range and knocked out several Olifants.
The Angolan armoured troops were commanded by a cadre of Cuban officers and NCOs.
Below: South African troops have succeeded in consolidating on another of the low hills south of the lateral road. The Angolans have advanced in their BTR 60s into the woods at the foot of the slope and have disembarked their infantry but cannot cross the open ground dominated by the South African machine guns and RPGs.