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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 Entries
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Recent Blog Comments
Re: A nerve-wracking ride to Cuito Cuanavale
Good grief, I really had to search for the place on google earth with my fast and cheap and flatrate Internet (unlimited, €35 / month, just to make you jealous).

The street names sort of have changed. What happened to Esselen Street? Stayed for many years after the army in Sunnyside, before it turned into Darkside. Stalingrad has been changed back to Volgograd, but in South Africa I guess its the other way around, they would like to change Volgograd back into Stalingrad, or what says I?

Regiment Munitoria, as I remember it, was not much of a deal, and is a dicarded regiment. Its HQ was not much of a HQ, more of a store on a munitoria site, on the corner of Kotze and Skinner,street now Nana Sita street according to the spirit of the times. Just accross the street is Pre-Rand motors (where I bought my second car in life, a 1982 VW Passat - 'pas gekoop, sat gery...').

After national service I got a letter informing me I am now part of Regiment Munitoria. I then highly inquisitive drove to the adress mentioned in the letter. Was quite disappointed with the site, had quite something different in mind when reading the word 'Regiment'. I doubt that even a squad would fit into that site. Perhaps that was just a storeroom of the regiment, I cannot tell. The next letter I received I was informed that I am now part of Regiment Mooiriver.

And there ended my brief encounter with the famous Regiment Munitoria.

By German volunteer on: Monday, April 14, 2014
Hahaha, Varkpan Skutter...! I like your fighting spirit! Just like the Parabats have always been... indefatigable! Your Esprit de Corps is admirable, but as you may have noticed... I was there... and I am NOT afraid to put my name to it! I agree with you 100% that the gunners had a discipline problem... they were MY troops and as a 19 year old 2Lt I was left in charge... and had to take the blame for the entire fiasco! DESPITE the fact that everything occurred within the GUNNER's LINES and not outside! I think we could just ask the then Captain Pale van der Walt, who stood there, a head taller than the rest of you, having to hit some his own troops because they did not heed his admonitions to stop attacking the gunners - and he was a Parabat! This I saw with my own eyes... Anyway there is no need to fight anymore.. as we all managed to stand together and work well together during Operation Daisy! I told the story as I experienced it, and did not intend to tread on sensitive toes...;-)
By SuperUser Account on: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
I too am an ex H Coy member and remember this night well - and my memories are like chalk and cheese compared to the fantasies of the Piksteel Lt.

As has been pointed out in a few earlier comments, everybody wants to tell a story about how they pulled one over on the 'Bats - this story just goes a bit further than most.

Do you honestly believe that 13 'bats ended up with stitches ? There would be many records of that and I can tell you that there are none and that is because there was nobody who required medical treatment. H Coy was on full strength for the loooong drive North which was the start of Ops daisy - while the Arty boys were no doubt still in base licking their wounds and making up grensvegter stories.

The whole episode started when a bunch of poorly disciplined gunners were taught some manners by a much smaller group of proper soldiers - get over it guys, you too had the opportunity to volunteer for the Parabats but chose not to - don't hide your disappointment and jealousy by making up stories of how great you were.

Ex Alto Vincimus
By Varkpan Skutter on: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Re: Exclusive Photo Gallery of Operation Protea added
I was at that stage in HK 7 Inf Div where the originaly the planning for that Ops had started. I can confirm that it really happened. I have read the the report as it came in.
By Peet v d Merwe on: Monday, April 07, 2014
Re: A nerve-wracking ride to Cuito Cuanavale
Have you got any information on Regiment Munitoria? I have NOTHING on it at all! ;-)
By SuperUser Account on: Saturday, April 05, 2014
Re: A nerve-wracking ride to Cuito Cuanavale
Regiment Pretoria? My first property was in Valhalla at the time. After national service, I got assigned to the today little known Regiment Munitoria, then Regiment Mooirivier, and lastly Regiment Pretoria, where I did my last and only camp at Wallmansthal roundabout 1993 (last call-up was 1994, with wandered straight into the dust-bin. Refused to become part of the treason).

Will someday write something about that last camp, it was a historic moment what we troops experienced at that particular camp, something that still lingers with me up to this very day.

Missed most of my camps because of the army exemption board (I was busy with studies). I remember sitting in my house during ops Hooper etc., watching the 20:00 evening news with trepidation, my parents and family with me, for I was fully battle trained, awaiting a call-up anytime back then.

Very impressed with some of the Russian veterans on this and other boards. May we never look in anger at each other in future anymore, all of us of the same kind have a much bigger fight to fight nowadays, the battle for the cradle.

Come to think about it. Strange how the world has changed over the years.

During the Cold War the Eastern Block was our adversary and the West, with America as the leading western Nation our so-called friends.

Today the roles have sort of switched around, with Pres. Putin doing something for his people, and the USA (to be more exact, not the Americans, but the forces behind the American Government) having replaced Soviet expansionism, but let us not go into politics on this blog, for that is a topic for quite a different day.
By German volunteer on: Thursday, April 03, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
Dear Phillip,
Thank you again for your lucid explanation.
I would greatly appreciate if you could write me at
e a r t e m o v [aapstert]y a n d e x . r u *verwyder die spasies!*
We could discuss a couple of subjects I am interested in. Thank you so much again.
Best regareds--
Yevgeny :-)
By Evgeny on: Saturday, March 29, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
By the way, our training was aimed at producing instant obedience, which was a survival technique. But I do not believe that it was inherently sadistic - just very tough. There were a few sadists as well, but not as part of a systematic practice of sadism as such. I was a 56Kg weakling, and my PT instructor gave me hell, but at the end of it I was strong and fit, and it was his harsh treatment that made it so. I suppose all armies shave that three-fold seniority structure. With us it was roof-blougat-ou man. In the NVA it was Sprutz-Zwischenschwein-Entlassungskandidat. Some of our ou manne could be pretty hard. I had a very tough Panzer-corporal as mine. But though he barked and swore at me and chased me all around - double time - he treated me decently behind it all. Despite the sometimes (for a weakling) unbearable hardness of SADF training, I really have no complaints. I am in fact proud of having served in the SADF.
By The Ancient Armourer on: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
Ek't Russiese fonetiek geleer tydens my musiek studies. Ek haat om meesterwerke in vertaling te sing. Ek't Mussorgsky se Lieder en Danse van die Dood opgevoer, asook Tsjaikovski liedere gesing. Volgens wat ek geleer het, is daar 2 "e"'s in Russies - "yê" en "ê" (soos in "Aeroflot"). Ek't geleer dat die 6de letter van die Russiese alfabet as "Yê" uitgespreek word, soos in Tsjaikovski se opera Yevgeni Onyegin". Is ek dan verkeerd? Jou Afrikaans is darem 1000% beter as my Russies! Groete, Phillip.
By The Ancient Armourer on: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
O. Baie dankie, Phillip. :-) Ek sien dit nou. Ek het eintlik gedink dat die opset (die logika) van julle NCO’s se sadisties “you’re-in-the-army-now”-behandeling was om julle die troepe af te rig om ALLE bevele (selfs oënskynlik stupid, maar veral dodelik gevaarlike selfs hopelose) DADELIK, indien nie outomaties nie, uit te voer — soos die Amerikaanse seesoldate afgerig word. ’n USMC sersant kan die troepe beveel om een stewel uit te trek en net in een stewel aan te hardloop. As jy daarvoor lag, kry jy ’n opfok.
(’n Russiese grap: “’n Bepaling in die Israeli weermagregulasies: “Terwyl ’n ondergeskikte die bevelvoerder se bevel met die laasgenoemde bespreek, is dit is streng verbode om die laasgenoemde by sy uniformknoop te vat”.)

Ons het niks daarvan hier nie. Ek bedoel die logika. Ons het iets slegters: hazing. Dis is nòg sersants se mishandeling nòg buddies’ peer justice nie. Ouer (veral derdejaarse) troepe, die “oupa’s”, mishandel die juniors, die tweedejaarse “pa’s” en eerstejaarse “seuns”. Sien, daar is drie “generasies” troepe in elke eenheid. Ons sersante is ook dienspligtiges (nie beroeps-NCO’s nie) en is ook “oupa’s”. Dis maak hazing byna wettig.

Weereens baie dankie, Phillip.

Terloops, hoekom weet jy mens spel ook my naam met “Y”?

Yevgeny :-)
By Evgeny on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
Sure, Yevgeny. We had to do a certain amount of physical exercise. Most of this was given simply in the form of PT, etc., on the programme. Then there was punishment PT. This was given for "bad" inspections, etc. It was called an opfok (Afrikaans), because they "fucked you up" during a session of it.

As new recruits, we believed it to be extra physical punishments. As a result, when a fellow recruit messed up and caused you such a punishment, you might punish him yourself, for example, by lashing him with a wet towel - one hit each by the guys who had suffered the opfok. Later, we realised that we were going to get the PT anyway - only the instructors used it cleverly. They would make sure that someone who needed disciplining was blamed for the opfok - accusing him of dust on his bed, bad shave, badly polished boots, badly ironed trousers, etc. When we disciplined the person later, we were doing his dirty work for him without realising it - until much later in our training.

As an NCO, I and the other NCOs used the same trick to deal with troublesome soldiers. Sometimes we would make everyone except the troublemaker suffer the opfok. But it was in the end a constructive activity - the troublemakers were sorted out by their peers, and we all got fitter.
By The Ancient Armourer on: Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Re: Various opfoks and rondfoks during Basics
Hallo from Moscow, Philip!

Thank you so much for your great story. One thing attracted my attention. You wrote:

Later, as an NCO oneself, one was to do exactly the same. By which point, of course, the logic of the thing had become apparent.

Could you please explain why? It is not apparent to me, unfortunately.

As a matter of fact, I’d want to learn this to understand how SAW worked on the other side of the front during the Bush War.

Other contributors explanations will also be very welcome.

Thank you so much in advance.

By Evgeny Artemov on: Monday, March 24, 2014
Re: The English-Afrikaans thing in the SADF - another view
I can empathise with how you felt. I experienced exactly the opposite, growing up as an English speaker in a mainly Afrikaans town.
I had to pay for the British Victory in the Boer war myriad times (man, was I proud when I discovered that my grandfather had fought in it, on the English did )

All this negativity turned me into a Afrikaner hater, quite frankly. Through the army I spoke only English, with quite some difficulty, as you might imagine.

And then I met my Afrikaans wife. So even 18 years after having left South Africa, I still speak more Afrikaans daily than I used to speak in a year then.

Bottom line is : prejudice is ugly, it doesn't matter from which side of where it comes.
By Colin Beazley on: Monday, March 24, 2014
I've been looking for books of this nature for a way too long. thank you for sharing.

By debbie on: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Re: An SADF Conscript Remembers the Early 70s – Part One
Thanks, n8fan.
By The Ancient Armourer on: Thursday, February 13, 2014