As you know soon will be the 20th anniversaire of the start of the Cuito Cuanavale Battle. First of all I would like to send my regards and respects to all the veterans of that battle independently of their side.
On the other hand I want to ask to the experts some questions:
1) Who actually won the battle??
2) What has the battle suposed to SA, Cuba and Angola??
3) The Main events of that Battle
4) What was the order of battle of both sides??
5) Pictures of that Battle
Hope to receive help from you.
Check the casualty differences, as well as the stated objectives BEFORE the battle. Also the fact of WHERE and WHY they were fighting. Pretty obvious once you look at it. I would say Cuba/FAPLA got a spanking.
"The defeat of the apartheid army was an inspiration to the struggling people in South Africa! Without the defeat of Cuito Cuanavale our organizations would not have been unbanned! The defeat of the racist army at Cuito Cuanavale has made it possible for me to be here today! Cuito Cuanavale was a milestone in the history of the struggle for southern African liberation!"; Nelson Mandela, July 1991"
SA richer than Angola
US richer than USSR
Israel richer than Cuba
I say body counts don't help here because I'm sure MPLA viewed frustrating SA aims as a kind of victory. Thoughts?
The SADF had to design and produce all their own weapons. They couldn't afford to lost a lot of things - personnel or equipment. The Angolans got nearly all their weapons and equipment given to them, sometimes free, and also had Cubans fighting for them with Soviet and Pact advisors.
I'd argue that for net value, the SADF was the poorer of the two sides in the fight. The Eland-90 and Olifant weren't great first-world fighting vehicles even back then, whereas you could argue that the T-55 and T-62s and BMP-1s were.
Rattels were knocking out T-55 more then T-55 were knocking out Ratels.
Same ball rolls for Ystervarks downing MiG's around Cuito.
Pretty good read:South African armour and infantry would appear to have fought with their usual verve - moving faster than the terrain would seem to allow, and delivering massive violence suddenly once in contact. Their ability to move rapidly, manoeuvre to gain the best relative position, and then to engage and destroy an enemy force in the extremely dense bush and, often, soft sand of south-eastern Angola is testimony to an exacting traininq system. Visibility in some parts of the battle area is below 100 m, even less in places; the sand too soft to walk in with comfort. The toughness and reliability of the Ratel ICVs and of the Samil-series logistic vehicles is also a major factor. The Ratel-90 also appears to have again proven itself in the anti-tank role, although it was developed as a fire support vehicle and not as a tank destroyer. The Ratel-81 saw action for the first time, giving the mechanized infantry a highly mobile source of "in house" fire support. The equally new SP 20 mm AAA Ystervark celebrated its entry into service by bringing down at least one MiG-23.
Has anybody pictures about this battle??