Operation Abrasion

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Operation Abrasion
Part of the South African Border War
Location
Angola

Operation Abrasion is located in Angola
Mavinga
Mavinga
Jamba
Jamba
Menongue
Menongue
Cuito Cuanavale
Cuito Cuanavale
Operation Abrasion (Angola)
ObjectiveDisrupt FAPLA supplies from Menongue to Cuito Cuanavale
Date18 December 1985 – mid February 1986

Operation Abrasion was a South African special forces military operation in December 1985 by the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the Angolan Civil War and South African Border War.

Background[edit]

The plan was to disrupt the supply caravanas (supply convoys) run by Cuban and FAPLA troops between Menongue and Cuito Cuanavale.[1]:152 The caravana's in the past were subject to attacks from landmines, UNITA and air attacks from the South African Air Force (SAAF).[1]:152 The caravana's differed in size but were said to consist of a bulldozer, a BTR-60, BMP-1 and an anti-aircraft vehicle, followed by 5 to 10 supply vehicles and then similar vehicles in the rear guard.[1]:152-3 These caravana's could take up to 10 days to travel the 184 km journey between Menongue and Cuito Cuanavale.[1]:153

The SADF team would consist of 50 special forces troops and seven Unimog Sabre vehicles and a component UNITA soldiers with the plan to conduct hit and run attacks against these convoys.[2]:Chp11 The operation would begin on the 18 December 1985 and last until mid February 1986.[2]:Chp11

The SAAF component would consist of the use of C-130 transport aircraft to fly the special forces troops and their equipment into Mavinga, the use of Puma helicopters for medical rescue based in Rundu and Impala aircraft used as radio relays between the troops and headquarters.[2]:Chp11

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d George, Edward (2005). The Cuban intervention in Angola : 1965-1991 : from Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Frank Cass. ISBN 0415350158.
  2. ^ a b c Lord, Dick (2012). From Fledgling to Eagle. The South African Airforce during the Border War. Solihull, England: Helion & Company. ISBN 9781908916624.

Further reading[edit]

  • George, Edward (2005). The Cuban intervention in Angola : 1965-1991 : from Che Guevara to Cuito Cuanavale (1. publ. ed.). London [u.a.]: Frank Cass. ISBN 0415350158.
  • Lord, Dick (2012). From Fledgling to Eagle. The South African Airforce during the Border War(e-book). Solihull, England: Helion & Company. ISBN 9781908916624.