The Bush War


The South African Bush War is a term used in parallel with the term Border War. Using the term Bush War more readily associates with the operations that were planned directly against Angola/FAPLA as part of the anti-communist efforts and thus also in support of Unita. Due to the secretiveness of the work the data on the operations are limited. It is estimated that just over 300 different operations were performed with single operations sometimes meant being deployed for as long as 4 months.

In the early period of the conflict the work was very much that of a light and effective ground based strike force. As the conflict deepened the work scope expanded and the specialist work was added. The Units started to specialise. The workload increased and diversified. In addition to being a mobile rapid deployment force that could perform high powered raids the units were also tasked do maximum impact operations and limit the overall capacity of its enemy. This required strikes against selected national key points and then acting to inflict maximum damage to these. In the execution of these tasks the soldiers would deploy deep into Angola to neutralise the bridges, tunnels, railway lines, power supply and fuel supply as well as limiting their arial abilities.

In addition to this specialised work the units still deployed in its role with the conventional forces. As part of the forces during the battle for Quito they acted as advance reconnaissance, FOO and stopper groups. By the time the conflict ended in 1990 these were the most experienced soldiers in the world.



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