Operation Hooper

Operation Hooper

Operation Hooper was a military operation by the South African Defence Force (SADF) during the South African Border War. This operation forms part of what has come to be called the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

Directly following on from Operation Modular, Operation Hooper's task was to inflict as much damage as possible on the retreating FAPLA forces by supporting UNITA's drive towards the town of Cuito Cuanavale as well as clearing the area east of the town, between the Cautir and Chambinga rivers, of all FAPLA forces.

The main battles fought during this operation were:

  • 13 January 1988 - When South African forces attacked FAPLA's 21st Brigade, who subsequently retreated to safety west of the Cuito River. During this battle more than 250 FAPLA soldiers were killed and large quantities of arms were captured or destroyed, including fourteen main battle tanks.[1]
  • 14 February 1988 - When South African forces attacked FAPLA's 59th Brigade. During this battle more than 230 FAPLA soldiers were killed and nine T-55 tanks destroyed.[citation needed]
  • 25 February 1988 - When South African and UNITA forces attacked FAPLA's 25th Brigade south of the Tumpo River, about 25 km east of Cuito Cuanavale. Despite encountering an extensive anti-tank mine field, which stopped the tank-supported South African/UNITA attack with the loss of two Olifant tanks, the intense artillery bombardments and infantry assaults inflicted heavy casualties on FAPLA.[2] Although some FAPLA forces remained in the Tumpo River area the combined South Africa/UNITA force had succeeded in capturing the tactical highground in the area, Chambinga heights, which dominates Cuito Cuanavale and its nearby territory.

At this point Operation Hooper was considered to be over and Operation Packer to have begun.

See also


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