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OPERATION PROTEA - Willem Steenkamp

OPERATION PROTEA - Willem Steenkamp

R 375
Out of Stock

This is the second volume of the 61 Mechanised Battalion Group's project to increase the accessibility of former members to specific episodes in the regiment's history. It deals mainly with 1981's Operation Protea, but also covers the other related operations which took place in that time-frame - Daisy, Yahoo, Meebos 2, Phoenix and Dolfyn

As with the first book in this project,  The Battle for Smokeshell, this volume is based mainly on the appropriate chapters in the regimental history but incorporates some interesting new items of information which were not available when Mobility Conquers was published in 2016.

Operation Protea was a landmark in the inexorable escalation of the South West African/Namibian counter-insurgency campaign. Firstly, the SADF and SWATF were involved in direct clashes with FAPLA, the Angolan regime's conventional forces, with which SWAPO was now so deeply intertwined that it was no longer possible to distinguish between the two; and secondly because at its conclusion the South Africans decided to break with the practice of previous operations and remain ensconced in Angola's Fifth Military Region for an indeterminate length of time.

Radical though this about-turn was, it was not motivated by a wish to become enmeshed in that country's ongoing civil war but was reluctantly deemed necessary to inhibit SWAPO operations south of the international border. Whatever the motivation, Protea marked the start of South Africa's periodical interventions in the Angolan fighting which did not end till the final ceasefire in 1989.

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