Article, History


The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale (1987 – 1988) in South West Africa is airbrushed out of the conventional history books and mainstream media. Yet, the conflict was Africa’s greatest clash of arms since the Battle of El Alamein took place during World War II on October 23 – 11 November 1942.

Cuban President Fidel Castro was picked by the Kremlin to teach Angola’s rebellious Portuguese community a lesson at the end of a bayonet. Whilst the world was distracted by the phoney Cold War in Europe, Washington and Moscow worked in harmony to affect the transfer of power from Portuguese Angola and Mozambique to Black rule managed by Wall Street banking corporations.

During the transfer, Angolan and Mozambique Portuguese colonists waged a brave but futile struggle against tremendous odds. During the transition, most of the terrorist outrages committed against the Portuguese and African communities went unreported by the West’s mainstream media.

! Battle of Cuito

The Battle of Cuito Cuanavale took place in Angola and was one of the greatest and decisive battles in African history. The conflict hardly made the mainstream media’s small print columns. It has been said that this anomaly was because the outcome of the battle was a setback and humiliation for those backing the Washington Moscow pincer movement on colonial Africa.

The purpose of the Soviet-backed FAPLA (Peoples Armed Forces of Liberation of Angola) the onslaught was to take control of the Cuito Cuanavale military airfield and to take the townships of Jamba and Mavinga controlled by UNITA, the National Union for Total Independence of Angola. Eight FAPLA brigades gathered for an offensive dubbed Operação Saludando Octubre.

As the battle commenced the odds were not in favour of the defenders as the forces of FAPLA arraigned against them were 50,000 strong. FAPLA’s troops were heavily supported by well-armed and supplied mercenaries and Cuban troops.

Cuito Cuanavale.

There was also a heavy presence of Red Army officers.  The 3,000 mostly South African defenders were hardly enough to fill the spectator stands of a school’s playing fields. However, the resolve of the South Africans wrought havoc on their foes. The small defending forces succeeded in cutting down 4,600 of their Communist foe.

The South African Defence Forces lost 31 men who were killed during the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale. Also lost were three tanks, five armoured vehicles and three aircraft.  In addition to the 4,600 troops scythed, the Communists lost 94 T-62 tanks, 23 rocket launchers, 100 armoured vehicles, and nine strike aircraft filched from the Warsaw Pact Soviet colonies. The Moscow backed forces lost an estimated 1 billion South African Rands in equipment.


As an interesting aside the tactics employed by the South African Defence Forces were based on tactics inspired by Third Reich Wehrmacht Field-Marshall General Erwin Rommel when he crushed the British forces at Gazala in the Western desert. EXCERPT The Last Gladiators Michael Walsh. Recently updated and enhanced. Thirty chapters, over 120 pictures, book reviews are very much appreciated.


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