Battle of Cassinga – 1978 (South African Bush War)

South African forces carry out a raid on the SWAPO base at Cassinga.

The SAAF carry out initial bombing runs and set up a helicopter assembly point 15 miles to the east. They then drop five parachute companies and support elements to take the base.

When the alarm is raised, Cuban units 15 miles to the south are alerted and come to their aid.

However, the SAAF manage to bomb and straff them and provide time for the ground units to be airlifted out. The air transport units are available on turn 11.

SAAF units are staggered to reflect refueling and rearming.

The operation is controversial as it was claimed that the base was in fact a refugee camp. Whilst photo evidence detailed defences and anti-aircraft installations, a UN report stated that most facilities would have had those features and that that didn’t mean it was an active base.

SADF lost 3 men and a few other wounded. SWAPO forces lost about 600 men.

Cassinga Day, 4 May, is now a national public holiday in Namibia.


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