Tuesday, 21 October 2014

More AK 47 in Angola

Cuban Intervention Halts South African Invasion

The Guardian 26 July 1985

Sources in Luanda claim an invasion of Angola's southern Cuando Cubango province by South African forces has been halted after fierce fighting.

'For several weeks the apartheid regime has been sending tanks and mechanised troops over the border in support of CIA backed UNITA terrorists who are challenging the authority of the legitimate MPLA led Government of Angola,' said a spokesman in Havana.

'Cuban soldiers have assisted their Angolan comrades to fight off this assault, and after a series of battles have successfully expelled the South Africans from Angolan territory' he said.

'The South Africans have suffered heavy losses, particularly in their armoured formations, whilst Cuban and Angolan casualties have been minimal,' he said.

Sources closer to the front line in Angola's southern town of Menongue report heavy military traffic, all heading south, over the past week. 

If Havana has committed combat troops this could represent a major escalation of the so called 'border war' that has dragged on in this region for the best part of a decade since Angolan independence in 1975. Since the mid seventies, Cuban forces have largely been confined to garrison duties as well as providing training and logistical support for the MPLA Government forces. Most of the actual fighting in Angola has been between the western and South African backed UNITA rebels and the MPLA forces. Additionally, Pretoria has been fighting a low intensity war along the Namibian - Angolan border with SWAPO guerrillas who use bases in Angola for their efforts to destabilise South African occupied Namibia.

Washington alleges that East German and Soviet pilots and aviation technicians have recently been deployed in Angola. If true, this is further evidence that that Moscow is escalating a proxy war in southern Africa.

Cuban tanks take the objective - a destroyed MPLA T-34 marks the crest of the hill

 Cuban Motor Rifle troops seize the railhead - UNITA militia take cover in the background

A murderous little battle for a territorial objective - SADF mechanised infantry fight off  enemy T-34s, BTR 60s and infantry

In other words we've played three more games using the original AK 47 Rules. This has really given us fresh enthusiasm. Whether this will manifest itself in renewed interest sufficient to breath more life into these blog posts we'll see. When I started this blog the narrative was a much bigger part of things - we'll see...

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Tank Battles on Namibian - Angolan Border

The Guardian 19/8/1985: 

Reports of heavy fighting between South African forces and Angolan troops on the Namibian border indicate that the South African army is under pressure and taking heavy casualties.

Correspondents in Luanda and Havana allege that South African mechanised columns crossed the border a month ago as Pretoria launched a major offensive against SWAPO guerrillas operating in northern Namibia.

'There are a number of refugee camps in southern Angola and the South Africans have bombed these as they've retaliated against several successful operations by SWAPO in occupied Namibia,' said sources in Havana.

'Cuban soldiers, carrying out their international duty in support of our Angolan and Namibian comrades, have provided assistance to the anti-fascist fighters and have been victorious every battle. We have also provided air defence forces to strike back at the aggressive bombing of unarmed refugees and civilians'

Sources in Warsaw released this aerial photograph of South African armour operating in Southern Angola

Cuban armour and infantry fighting in a built up area, In the centre of the picture there are several destroyed South African armoured fighting vehicles.

We're having lots of fun with the classic AK47 ruleset. Three games in and some of the subtleties are becoming apparent, particularly around where to concentrate one's efforts given the fog of war factor regarding objectives i.e. the defender knows what features the attacker is aiming for but he doesn't know their relative worth (to the attacker). Allied with alternate unit activation, randomly determined movement distances and simultaneous exchanges of fire this is providing us with some very enjoyable weekend afternoons.