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If you would like to join this exclusive community and have your own WarBlog where you can post your personal stories about your experiences in the War In Angola, also known as the Border War, please go to the host site (www.warinangola.com) and register as a user.

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Apr 20

Written by: Johan Schoeman
2011/04/20 05:12 PM  RssIcon

Angola had strong Soviet and Cuban backing, and supported SWAPO/PLAN to the extend of providing assistance to the insurgents, co-locating Angolan troops in PLAN base camps in order to help protect them from South African aggression. The continued support to PLAN incursions prompted another strike by the SADF into southern Angola in 1980. This was Operation Sceptic, launched on 25 May, targeting the extensive 'Smokeshell' complex and several other base camps in Cunene province just north of the border. This is a small gallery of about 20 exclusive photos taken by Kobus Nortje during the operation.
  • If you are not a member of this WarBlog, you can view a SAMPLE of 5 photos of the operation here...
  • To become a member of this Warblog, you will need to Register at www.warinangola.com and SUBSCRIBE to the PREMIUM MEMBERSHIP
  • If you are a member of this WarBlog, you will have to log in to view ALL the photos of the operation here...


7 comment(s) so far...


Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

good post!

By runescape gold on   2011/09/05 04:55 AM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

Graag sou ek graag van die foto's wil sien.My Boetie GJ Kemp in 61 mech Dink is Ratel 21 is oorlede in die Show.

By Marietha Kemp on   2012/07/13 03:14 PM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

Marietha, gaan na www.warinangola.com en Registreer (dit is gratis) en dan na die Gallery... kies 'Photos of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell), 1980' en dan behoort jy almal te kan sien. Laai ook sommer die laaste ten of so Uitgawes van die Nuusbrief af (ook gratis). Dit bevat 'n redelike gedetaileerde beskrywing van die Operasie...Uittreksels uit die boek waarmee ek besig is.

By Johan Schoeman on   2012/07/14 04:03 AM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

Would love to see and hear from people who were in operation smokeshell

By Rose Sheard (nee Kruger) on   2013/06/20 07:09 PM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

I have loaded information, maps and stories about Operation Sceptic and the attack on Smokeshell on the War In Angola Portal at http://www.warinangola.com/Default.aspx?tabid=1644

By Johan Schoeman on   2013/06/21 05:31 PM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

Was in Smokeshell

By Ockert Coertze on   2013/07/16 11:09 AM

Re: Photo Gallery of Operation Sceptic (Smokeshell) added

Ockert, Please send me some of your experiences (and photos) of the operation if you have. I would like to consider it for inclusion in a book on the operation... You can email it to johan@warinangola.com

By Johan Schoeman on   2013/07/17 09:14 PM

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Recent Blog Comments
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
My memories are not as good as Hugh and Jims but I do think this was the scariest night of my life, waiting for the next explosion and hoping it wasn't me next.
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Gud day my name is dionisia dos Santos. The daughter of the late Fernando dos Santos. My father was a medic soldier of FNLA in angola n later went to Buffalo 32 battalion. Then koevoet zulu delta were they ended up in south africa. My father n mother died wen we we're very young. Now we are old and want infomation abt my father so dat we can trace his roots. We want to know his family. Coz we don't have any family here in south Africa family so dat we reunite with them again. Plz if there is any info do not hesitate to contact me. My number is 0027765877705, we are based in south africa.
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Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
My sister is currently touring the area and her talking about the area and sending photographs has brought back memories of that horrific night. I was sleeping in the bungalow next to the one that was hit that night. 40 years later I still have vivid memories and count my blessings.
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Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
I still remember that night so well. I was with 3 SAI, B Company and based at Wenela at that time. We were out on a platoon patrol along the 'kaplyn' that night, probably 3 or 4 miles from Wenela, but had been warned of heightened activity in Zambia. We all awoke when the first missile was fired at Katimo and went into a standby mode. Within a short while we were instructed to pull back to an artillery base (4th or 14th Field Regiment) a few miles back. It was absolutely surreal walk as the South African artillery was laying down a barrage of 155mm fire just beyond the kaplyn and these shells were whistling a couple of hundred feet overhead. It was probably the noisiest night of my life. When we reached the base we were assigned as base protection while the Operation went ahead. Hard to believe this all happened about 40 years ago. I have set up a FaceBook page containing quite a few photos of our time in the Caprivi. All the best to those that still remember this event.
By Hugh Hudson on: 04 September 2017
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
I was 12 years old on that date and I was in my father's residence next to Ngweze primary school and was just in the house with my brothers when the sound of a rocket that landed some four hundred meters from our residence was clearly heard as it shaked our house and other adjacent houses. I saw a vehicle that was moving from the urban settlement of boma heading towards the southern direction of town where the unexploded rocket was embedded. The voice from the speaker that early time was in Afrikaans and english saying stay in your houses SWAPO is beneKant. The next day we went to the cite where the rocket penetrated the ground and later moved to Mafuta with my brothers where we spent a night. Two days later we returned and I also witnessed a blue Bedford full of dead bodies that was paraded in front of the Legislative Assembly hall at Ngweze.
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I don't comment much, have enough personal challenges to deal with.

An old Afrikaans proverb: Vra is vry, en die weier daarby/It costs nothing to ask, including the refusal.

I have always wondered...

Is there no way how the old SADF highly experienced officers, that is, those that still are alive (they are heavily chopping in our part of the woods nowadays), can somehow assist in defusing the situation with Nato/USA encroaching on Russias borders? It is just not right what is busy happening there right now.
By German volunteer on: 08 May 2017
Re: "Trying to destroy the Olifants"
Baie dankie vir jou terugvoer, Deon. Jou tenk met die mynvëer was 12A. Kontak my asseblief op johan@warinangola.com. Ek sal graag jou hele storie ook wil laai. Jy sal die volgende video wat etlike dae na die aanval gemaak is waardeer en ook jou tenk sien:

Videos - Cuito Cuanavale after the battle
blogs.warinangola.com /Videos/CuitoCuanavaleafterthebattle /tabid/278/language/en-ZA /Default.aspx (onthou om die spasies uit die link te haal!)

Hier is ook fotos van die tenks, 12A, 52, en 53....
Tank Data
blogs.warinangola.com/Forums /TankData/tabid/266/language /en-ZA/Default.aspx (onthou om die spasies uit die link te haal!)

Dan is daar ook besprekings oor die tenks by War In Angola General Forums - “Operation 53”
www.warinangola.com:8088 /default.aspx?tabid=590 &forumid=3026&postid=11851 &view=topic (onthou om die spasies uit die link te haal!)

Jammer ek sien nou eers jou antwoord... ;-)


By SuperUser Account on: 10 April 2017
Re: "Trying to destroy the Olifants"
Dag Johan,
Baie intersante komentaar en het eers vandag die site ontdek.
Ek was die gunner van die tank wat die myn-vee apparaat vooraan gehad het en ook in die mynveld gelos was - Ek kan om die dood nie die roepsein onthou nie. Jy is reg, die eerste tenk het ons in n mynveld verloor gedurende die opmars. Daar is toe - eers onsuksesvol, met plofadders n pad deur die mynveld gemaak. Ons was nog besig om vuur te rig op loopgrawe met ons co-ax en af en toe n HESH as ons gedink het daars bunkers, toe ons die bevel kry om terug te trek. Ons het terug gestoot, nie omgedraai nie. maw die mynveer was nie aan die kant waarheen ons beweeg het nie, ons het afgewyk van die geveede spoor en toe die myn getrap. Die ander tank was ook in die aanval beskadig en is ook gelos. Daar was ook spar tenks wat ons het ook n klein aanval gedoen op dorpie- Bambi as ek reg onthou, met een van die spaar tenks na ons ons sn verloor het by Tumpo.
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More, ek is 'n oud-joernalis wat 'n nuwe uitdaging nodig het. Ek is meer as bereid om die verhale deur te gaan en te 'edit'.
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By host on: 08 February 2017
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Mrs. Maboea, when you write, it is like history coming alive again. Today we are old enough to sit in the Circle of the Elders, when we look back, we see our youth flowing away and old age creeping up like a thief in the night. Hope your people are fine today, there was so much unspeakable treachery and sorrow under which we all suffer today, and we, that really know what happened back then, have no stage from which our voices can be heard. We suffer and are helpless, the same for the heroic black man who soldiered on our side was also thrown to the wolves, see 32 Battalion and also the Caprivi people, and some time in history all these events will backfire on the perpetrators or their descendants, for these events will not be forgotten in the collective memory of the nations, even if it is not mainstream today anymore
By German volunteer on: 06 February 2017
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
It was the most terrifying moment of my life. All the Nationals who lived with us in Ngwezi township Katima Mulilo went to their rural homes that night. We were the only two black families from South Africa left behind in the township. We had nowhere to go.A miscile fell in front of our house with great thud, there was vibration everywhere and shuttered windows worsened the situation. By God's Grace the mortar didn't explode. Experts removed it. In the early morning one soldier used a loudspeaker to calm us down. We then looked through the window and saw dead people in the truck. I remember it distinctly, scary event!!
By Elizabeth Maboea on: 28 November 2016
Re: "Trying to destroy the Olifants"
For those that are not aware of this. Highly interesting, filled a few knowledge gaps for me, and I consider myself well-read:

New analysis on this conflict by mr. Stuart Sterzel, a compatriot of mine (I have never met him), and ex SADF special forces operator:


And a document on this topic by him, to be found on www.academia.edu, search for "South Africa and the Angolan War Stuart Sterzel". It is for free.
By German volunteer on: 19 October 2016