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Offline eberhard

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15 April 1982
« on: April 15, 2018, 08:07:21 am »
15 April 1982: Five SADF and three SWATF members attached to 61 Mechanised Battalion Group were Killed in Action during a fierce fire-fight with a group of heavily armed SWAPO/PLAN Typhoon Unit insurgents near Tsintsabis when their Ratel was ambushed and knocked out by Soviet RPG-7 Anti-Tank rockets. By the time the back-up force had formed up to come to their rescue, they had all been killed, either in the initial attack or later by hostile small-arms fire. The casualties were:

74846544PE 2/Lieutenant Daniele Rudolf van der Westhuizen. He was 49. (Etosha Area Force SWATF)
77554202PF Corporal Maarten Jacobus van Jaarsveld. He was 20. (1 SAI)
78330479BG Lance Corporal Johannes Jacobus van den Berg. He was 20. (1 SAI)
77375863BG Rifleman Leonard Patrick Hough. He was 20. (3 SAI)
78491404BG Rifleman Marius Petersen. He was 19. (1 SAI)
67302257BG Rifleman Johan Hendrik Potgieter. He was 30. (Etosha Area Force SWATF)
78431104BG Rifleman Barend Jacobus Wolfaardt. He was 19. (1 SAI)
79648515SP Rifleman Jan Kouswab. He was 40. (Etosha Area Force SWATF)

Not to be forgotten.

RIP
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Offline Bie

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 09:14:34 am »
Respect!
RIP brave young men.
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Offline Vis Arend

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 09:36:54 am »
RIP fallen soldiers, I salute you.   :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut:
No matter how slow you go, you're still lapping everybody on the the couch
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Offline landieman

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2018, 04:36:26 pm »
 :salut: :salut: :salut: :salut:
don't worry about things you can't change,change the things you can.
 

Offline SmuGS

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2018, 04:50:22 pm »
 :salut: :salut: :salut:
Nee wat vlekkelose ek kuier op my lekkerste tussen die rokers,dronkgatte,vloekers,hoere en ander sondaars  :imaposer:
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Offline Whethefakawe

Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 09:22:56 pm »
It was Ops Yahoo, the 1982 counteroffensive to SWAPO's annual invasion when they tried to get through the red area and into the farming areas south of Ovamboland.

I only learned the details of those 3 months from Peter Stiff's book about Koevoet COVERT WAR, 30 years later. The 1982 invasion was the biggest one of the bush war, between 245 and 294 of Swapo's "elite" Volcano terrs crossed the border around 25 March. They ran into this Ratel soon after and shot it out, killing six 61 Mech personnel and one skiet-piet loot (the 49 year old, a local farmer). The main axis was past Tsintsabis which is about 60 km due north of Tsumeb and 120 or so east of 61 Mech's base at Oshivello. Koevoet, 61 Mech, parabats, two Alouette gunships and a Puma or two, and my bike squad platoon 11 were involved. By the time they reached the "south" they'd been whittled down (mostly by Koevoet) to three groups of about 40 each. By June most were killed and a few captured.   

Platoon 11 had been stationed at Tsintsabis from September 1981 till about February 1982 and left just before the shit hit the fan.When I first joined platoon 12 in June we went back to Tsintsabis for a week. some skietpiet colonel wanted us to sweep the cutline on the bikes every day whichw as a pointless excercise. You can't ride slow enough in the thick sand to see any spoor, he wouldn't believe us so we took him out on a bike......much hilarity resulted. Next day we fucked off back to SWASPES  :imaposer:

Platoon 11 spent a week in Etosha, sweeping the east-west cutlines in the eastern part of the Park where no tourists were allowed. We were looking for one of the groups of 40, I learned from Stiff's book. Once the terrs moved south of Tsumeb, bike platoon 11 was the RM unit in the Tsumeb-Grootfontein-Otjiwarongo area. We did follow-ups at first light most days for probably two months, the swaps - by now scattered into many small groups of three or four - rocked up at farmworkers' houses at night to get food and water and then the farmers called Otavi Commando HQ in town on the radio. We typically got called out when it was still dark and were at the contact point by the time it got light. I used up at least two of my nine lives in that period, one on Kudus running across the road at first light  :lol8:

I spent a week with anything from one troop to a section trying to catch the last terr in the Grootfontein-Otavi area and missed the cnut by minutes several times. Three of us sat on the hillside above an abbattoir for half a day once, waiting for him to pitch.....no luck. Do you have any idea what an abbattoir smells like up close? Suffering and torture. Two days later he was captured by a farmer and his son out hunting, less than a k away....fucker had probably watched us rock up that day and never moved while we mouth-breathed for 5 hours. I'll probably die of lung cancer one day.

Besides these 61 Mech casualties, a parabat captain was killed one evening when they cornered a terr in a shack not far from Otavi and he threw a grenade at them. The loot and I had chatted with him four hours earlier as he was heading out on the night op. I can still see him standing there in the dusty street in Otavi if I close my eyes.

One troop on farm protection duty was also killed, as was a SWATF commando pilot when the home-made bombing system he'd installed in his Piper malfunctioned and a grenade exploded in the aircraft.

The Volcano unit was decimated during Ops Yahoo and never featured again after that. That  year was the last farm invasion of any significance.

 Many stories.......

http://www.61mech.org.za/operations/operation-yahoo
https://www.iol.co.za/entertainment/whats-on/joburg/the-covert-war-koevoet-operations-namibia-1989-peter-stiff-925452

Swap alpha-sierra spoor on a farm an hour south of Otavi


Bikes didn't work so well in the dense bush around Otavi - quite obvious


So we ended up doing lots of Buffel and a few Ratel trips, this was in Etosha




Gunships at SWASPES


On the cutline bewteen Tsintsabis and Oshivello, platoon 12 around the end of Ops Yahoo

You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 

Offline eberhard

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 06:09:01 am »
Well put. (your pictures brought back many memories)
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Offline frankmac

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 07:53:37 am »
It was Ops Yahoo, the 1982 counteroffensive to SWAPO's annual invasion when they tried to get through the red area and into the farming areas south of Ovamboland.

I only learned the details of those 3 months from Peter Stiff's book about Koevoet COVERT WAR, 30 years later. The 1982 invasion was the biggest one of the bush war, between 245 and 294 of Swapo's "elite" Volcano terrs crossed the border around 25 March. They ran into this Ratel soon after and shot it out, killing six 61 Mech personnel and one skiet-piet loot (the 49 year old, a local farmer). The main axis was past Tsintsabis which is about 60 km due north of Tsumeb and 120 or so east of 61 Mech's base at Oshivello. Koevoet, 61 Mech, parabats, two Alouette gunships and a Puma or two, and my bike squad platoon 11 were involved. By the time they reached the "south" they'd been whittled down (mostly by Koevoet) to three groups of about 40 each. By June most were killed and a few captured.   

http://www.61mech.org.za/operations/operation-yahoo
https://www.iol.co.za/entertainment/whats-on/joburg/the-covert-war-koevoet-operations-namibia-1989-peter-stiff-925452


As a result of their serious losses, the following years' incursions by PLAN combatants into the farming areas were rather lean.

Also, we started being more proactive by stepping up the sweeps and info gathering at the start of the rain season. This led to us breaking up some of the big groups before they could get further south and whittling them down broke their resolve

Can't say I was too disappointed as that thorn bush around Tsumeb was hell on CASSPIR tyres and I'd had enough of repairing punctures.

Reading through that post on Peter Stiff's book, the unnamed author makes some broad and ignorant statements.

"As for his question, the answer is simple: Koevoet were not soldiers, they were policemen with a six-week counter-insurgency course at SAP Maleoskop outside Pretoria, playing at soldiers.

The writer served with 61 Mech Bn Gp in Namibia from December 1988 to December 1989."

Of course Koevoet were not soldiers and never claimed to be. They were a counter-insurgency unit.

Furthermore, among the operators, we had a couple of ex-Recces, some Special Task Force guys and quite a number who had done training and tours in Rhodesia with PATU.

Beside the 6 week COIN training at Maleoskop, the most valuable was the on-the-job training under the watchful eyes of experienced Owambo colleagues.

The Police Act specifies that the SA Police are responsible for the internal security of the country and as such were assigned to border duties from the late 60's.

Of course, like any other unit, we had a number of members who shouldn't have been selected and were more of a burden but despite this the unit was pretty successful.

 
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2018, 05:52:20 am »
Edit:
1) It was Platoon 12 that was based at Tsintsabis form late 1981 to early 1982.
2) Platoon 11 swept the western part of Etosha, nott he east. From iving in the northern hemisphere, my in-head compass is 180 degrees off.
3) I used up 3 of my 9 lives during Yahoo, not 2.. Just remembered another one yesterday. 2 of the 3 were bike-related, not swap related.....although, if we weren't chasing the cnuts, we wouldn't have been out there.
That's moi in the last pic, airing out my armpits. :lol8:
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 06:07:02 am by Whethefakawe »
You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 

Offline wreckit

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 07:04:46 pm »
I remember lifting a suspected terr back to the inteligance guys for interegation on that opps I think. He was sitting the wrong way around on the bike with his hands tied together, holding on to the back carrier blindfolded. This was done so that they could not grab your rifle. We were hauling through a Shauna when Huffnagel passed me. As he rode over the and the fence that the armoured vehicles flattened going in, The fence stood up straight right in front of me while I was doing about 90 kays an hour.
.
The fence stopped the bike, but my back acted like a launching ramp before I fell off, and as I was getting up  the poor bastard hit the dirt about 30 meters in front of me in a big cloud of dust. When he got up the blind fold had slipped off his one eye and I think he thought I was trying to kill him and to get into my good books, ran up and helped me pick up the xr.

 Unfortunately he chose the red hot exhaust header pipes to grab onto with his hands still tied together. The skin on his hand just dissapeared in a cloud of smoke. When I eventually I got him back to the intelegance guys they accused me of torturing the poor guy as he had hardly no skin left and his palms was just meat!!! and wanted to claar me on. It was only after I showed them I was also bleeding that they believed me.
 

Offline Whethefakawe

Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2018, 08:40:58 pm »
 :imaposer:

Whatís your name? We know each other.

Look at the pic of the Buffel in the mud, I think thatís Huffnagel far left walking like Shrek. Do you recognse the oke pushing on the right? Thatís Franken.

I have a photo of Versterís section in  Buffel  from this same series, him and Huffnagle clearly visible  :sip: :lol8:
You been using dogsh*t for toothpaste, Mullet?
 

Offline wreckit

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Re: 15 April 1982
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2018, 08:41:30 pm »
Yes, It does look like him. I am Paul Retief. We do know each other. Good times