Chapter 5: Combatente Do Buffalo - Combatants of Buffalo: Shaping the Unit and Operations, 1977


After laying the foundation for 32 Battalion, Breytenbach was transferred, and a new commander took over.  With the new commander came new ideas in the development of the unit.  At their home base, now called Buffalo Base, the new commander and his aides continued to form the unit. There were well over 3,000 women and children gathered in the kimbo (Portuguese for “village”) who needed to be looked after. 32 Battalion’s organisation was officially approved.  The time had come to get rid of the guerrilla movement ideas, and mould them into an SA Army unit, which involved the difficult task of installing strict military discipline.

The MPLA in Angola had declared that it had won the civil war, and thousands of refugees fled to Namibia, with some ending up at Buffalo Base.  32 Battalion had already become known for its operational successes in combating Peoples Liberation of Namibia (PLAN) cadres.  This success lay in 32 Battalion’s clandestine deployment into Angola to fight PLAN on its bases, a tactic about which only a few were aware. This chapter explores the progress in developing Buffalo base, establishing the kimbo, and military deployments and operations.

Original source documents used in this chapter. The page number indicates on which page in the book the document was used 
Page 271
Operational successes  (Afrikaans)
Page 273
Page 274
Page 274
Page 280
Page 280
Page 286
Warning to move TB  (English
Operation Wendy (Afrikaans)
Operation Seiljag War Diary (Afrikaans)
Operation Bucksaw OPSO (English)
Contact between platoons (Afrikaans)
Ambush Le Roux (Afrikaans)
Operation Wendy (Afrikaans)
Operation Bucksaw War Diary (Afrikaans)
Page 285
Operation Bucksaw Air Force debrief(Afrikaans)
Page 287
Page 288
Page 289
Operation Seiljag 2 War diary (Afrikaans)
Operation Kropduif air photo interpretation (English)
Contact report Fourie (English)
Page 289
Contact report Kriel (English)
Page 298
Page 302
Operation Seiljag 3 War diary (Afrikaans)
Operation Kropduif OPSO (Afrikaans)
Page 302
Page 302
Operation Kropduif  debrief report (Afrikaans)
Operation Kropduif War Diary (Afrikaans)
Page 302