Bush Wars Mod is a mod for Armed Assault. Its purpose is to bring the history of the South African border war alive in Armed Assault. More than a game, it is a simulation of the South African - Angolan Bushwar 1966-1989.
The Bushwar lasted from 1966 until 1989, a total of 23 years, making it one of Africa's longest conflicts.
The Bushwar was fought in Northern Namibia (former South West Africa), and in Southern Angola - the so-called "Operational Area" or "Border". Sporadic and related skirmishes against Anti-SADF forces occurred throughout the sub-continent in places such as SW Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe (former Rhodesia), Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, former Homelands within the current South Africa; and South Africa itself.
Portugal was fighting 3 civil wars in its colonies at the time, namely Angola, Mozambique and Guinee Bissau. Being one of the poorer European countries at the time, it could hardly afford it, and local resentment against the wars grew. With a peaceful coup of the Caetano Government in 1974, a military government took over in Portugal, and established a rapid withdrawal of Portugal's military from Angola and the other colonies. It created an immediate power vacuum, and Angola was spiraling out of control being internally torn between 3 freedom movements often fighting each other, namely the MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) (Marxist orientated and the strongest) under leadership of Agostinho Neto dominating urban areas and with its powerbase in the Kimbundu Tribe with 4500 semi-trained fighters, FNLA (National Liberation Front of Angola) under Holden Roberto with its stronghold in the northern Bakongo region and supported by the USA and Zaire with 7000 men under arms, and UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) (pro-Western and supported by SA and the USA) under Dr. Jonas Savimbi dominating the central, south and eastern Uvimbundu parts of Angola.
The presence of the Portuguese ensured that SWAPO/PLAN could not establish a springboard in Southern Angola, and worked together with SA to prevent it. SA was concerned about the instability of Angola, and the threat of SWAPO getting a strong foothold across the SWA border, this lead to SA's intervention in Angola with Operation Savannah in 1975.
Operation Savannah was the 1st large cross-border operation of the SADF, and the 1st semi-conventional conflict it was involved in since WW2. The purpose of Ops Savannah was to clear Southern Angola of the MPLA presence, and support UNITA to secure the Southern and Eastern part of the country so it could have a winning change in the elections scheduled for 11 November 1975. Amidst the civil war still raging on election day, and the MPLA having driven the opposition out of Luanda, it declared independence on this day. Portugal recognised the independence and Agostinho Neto became the first President. The Angolans and Cuba often claimed that they had driven the SADF out of Angola. The facts however are that the small SADF taskforce advanced a distance of 3000km's into Angola in just 33 days; and was never tasked to take the whole of the country. The SADF would have been able to militarily take the whole of Angola, but it was not in its interest to do so while the UNITA proxy forces could secure the south. Holding the whole country 3-times the size of Iraq, under prolonged military control would not have been possible under the circumstances either. The SADF won all battles and skirmishes apart from the temporary retreat at the battle of Ebo upon which the Cubans and Angolans place their claims. Both the FNLA and UNITA did not recognise the MPLA declared independence, and with covert help form SA and the USA, the civil war raged on.
With the MPLA being backed by the Eastern Block and UNITA by the West, the conflict took on the shade of a Cold War conflict. SA had the secret blessing from the CIA that it will covertly support the SADF operation, but USA ignorance on Angola and Africa, as well as the embarrassment of withdrawal from Vietnam still fresh in American minds, made it pull out of the Operation on 19/12/75 when the USA Senate stopped all anti-MPLA support, leaving SA to fight it alone. UNITA was given a strong foothold with this operation and with ongoing SADF and Western support throughout the Bushwar it remained the dominant freedom movement in South Angola until the end of the Bushwar. The situation in Angola however deteriorated from 1975, plummeting the country into a bitter civil war that lasted until August 2002, well beyond the end of the South African Bushwar.
Cuba started sending military support to Angola as early as 1975. The purpose of the growing Cuban support was Fidel Castro's policy of spreading "popular people's revolution" in 3rd world countries, and after his failure to ignite such revolutions in Latin America, he focused on Africa, where the notorious Che Guevara was also sent in the '60's. By March 1976 there were 36000 voluntary Cuban military personnel in Angola. By 1989 the figure grew to 55000, and an approximate total of 350 000 Cubans did military service in Angola.
South Africa's reasons for involvement in this conflict, was its fight against the liberation movements of SWAPO in Namibia, MPLA in Angola, ANC and PAC in South Africa, FRELIMO in Mozambique, and ZANLA and ZIPRA in Zimbabwe. Apart from the fact that all these liberation movements were supported by the Marxist Eastern Block, the movements fought to get rid of the colonial yoke in the subcontinent.
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