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Author: Bobby Thomson Created: 2015/08/22 12:49 AM RssIcon
Stories, information and photos relating to personal experiences in the War In Angola.
By Bobby Thomson on 2015/08/22 01:09 AM
The run-up to the attack was as follows: After the successful operation Reindeer and the battle at Cassinga or (Moscow and Vietnam) bases, SWAPO had to do something to save face and they came up with Ops Revenge. The strategy was to attack and annihilate Katima Mulilo, Wenela, Golf and Mpacha. A force of SWAPO and Zambian military personnel and equipment was gathered on the other side of the river and longer range weapons were positioned along the riverbank between Sesheke and their border post "Katima Mulilo" which was situated just across the newly scraped no-mans land from Wenela Base, which in turn was situated at the point where the Zambezi River turns into Zambia and the so-called Kaplyn started.

[View from the guardpost on the wall at Wenela looking towards the Zambian border post (their Katima Mulilo, meaning place where the fire dies). In the foreground is the beginnings...
Recent Blog Entries
23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Posted on: Friday, August 21, 2015


Recent Blog Comments
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Remember that night and still hear the Red Eyes flying.
By Coenie (Sdpikes) Groenewald0 on: Sunday, November 22, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Hi Alistair, I have set up a Facebook page titled '3 SA Infantry B Company 1977 - 1978'. Feel free to check it out and join up. This applies to anyone else that may be interested. Thanks.
By Hugh L Hudson on: Saturday, October 31, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 asking for more info and pictures of the incident
We want to do a short film about Katima and would like to have more information about the town of Katima and also your thoughts on what you think shaped the region
By frank Tapira on: Tuesday, September 01, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
I was in the mortar platoon of B Company 3 SAI based in Wenela. We, along with all others, returned fire across the cutline at Katima Zambia. I will always remember this day, like any veteran remembers as one filled with noise, but you did your job. I don't have nightmares, I remember and honour those we lost.
By Alistair Jameson on: Monday, August 24, 2020
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
41years later. Remember Lorry Lesch my driver, Erasmus Alpa gunner. Scary and prepare us for more later.
By Danie Rousseau on: Friday, August 23, 2019
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Was a gunner in that attack . Was in 1SSB and slept in the isle on that night, in the bungalow .Ran out of the bungalow after first red eye was shot
Slept in a bunker after that attack.Still have nightmares about that attack.
By Barry Callaghan on: Tuesday, April 02, 2019
1980 camp in katimo
My last 3 month camp in Katimo in 1980 after doing stints all over swa was the best of all. Slept in a bunker next to the river spying on the pont that was crossing over the zambesi river.cathing tigers in the river .
Would love to return to that erea of the world.
By Gordon Rudman on: Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
I was 10 years old and went to skool in Katima Mulilo, I will never forget that knight, siting in the bom shelter. Our house was against the Zambezi river next to the gest house.
By Jan Cronje on: Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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.
By Craig Sharland on: Saturday, September 30, 2017
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.
By Jim Tait on: Thursday, September 21, 2017
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: Monday, September 04, 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.
By Dr. Boniface MutumbaA on: Saturday, August 26, 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: Monday, February 06, 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: Monday, November 28, 2016
Re: 23rd of August 1978 01h15 I remember it distinctly.
Someone loaded some Katima movies:


He had a facebook entry with Katima base photos. But I remember the base (April - August 1980) quite differently (sure, memory fades with age, but some things remain quite distinct) - who has some more photos, especially around the mess, the parade ground in front of the mess, the car park for the armoured cars and the guard house at the main entrance (or was it the back entrance?). I can still draw from memory, but it looks different than in the film above.
By German volunteer on: Friday, September 16, 2016