Summary of the Cassinga Raid
By Edward George McGill Alexander
(Original link)

In 1978 the SADF carried out an airborne assault on Cassinga in Southern Angola. The South Africans claimed that Cassinga was a key SWAPO military headquarters, training camp and logistic base. SWAPO claimed it was a refugee camp and that the approximately 600 people who died in the attack were innocent civilians. The SADF said it had dealt SWAPO a significant military blow; SWAPO said the SADF had carried out a brutal massacre of old people, women and children. This dissertation focuses on the military dimensions of the raid, examining first the military situation in southern Angola and northern Namibia at the time, then looking at Cassinga itself before reviewingthe airborne capability of the SADF, considering the decision that was made to launch the attack, describing the planning and preparations, the actual assault, a Cuban counter-attack and the extraction of the South African paratroopers. It concludes with the propaganda claims from both sides before assessing the military significance of the action. (Extract from the dissertation)

This fascinating insight into the raid on Cassinga is laid out in a number of PDF files for you to download.

1. Dissertation - The dissertation itself

2. Bibliography - A List of sources

3. Appendix 1a - A List of frequently used abbreviations

4. Appendix 2a - A roughly drawn map of southern Angola and northern Namibia

5. Appendix 3a and 3b - Aerial and other photos taken of Cassinga before the raid

6. Appendix 3c - Declassified documents depicting enemy deployment in Angola at the time

7. Appendix 4a, b, c,and d - Photographs depicting SADF capabilities for an airbourne raid

8. Appendix 5a - Declassified annotated SADF sketchmap of Cassinga

9. Appendix 6a, c and e - Organigram of the airborne force used in Operation Reindeer

10. Appendix 6d - Organigram for the assault on Cassinga

11. Appendix 7a, b and c - Pre and post strike photos of the raid
(Contains bloody images!)

12. Appendix 9a and b - Post strike photographs
(Contains bloody images!)

This website about the South African Defence Force is a tribute to all who served in the SADF, and a reminder to those who have long since forgotten ...