A Clash of Armour

The largest clash of armour on the African continent since World War Two took place between August 1987 and March 1988 during a conflict which pitted South African Olifant main battle tanks against their Soviet T-55 rivals

This dug-in T-55 was shot out from a distance of about 200m 
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A destroyed T-55 from Fapla’s 21st Brigade 
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SADF Olifant tanks lined up before the start of Operation Hooper in 1988 
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‘At one stage, we saw an enemy T-55 moving at full speed across our formation line with a plume of fire shooting out of its turret hatches’

Following independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola descended into a bitter civil war fought between two former anti-colonial liberation movements. On the one side was the communist-backed People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and on the other, the anti-communist National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita).

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