Attack by Fire at the Chambinga River – Graviteam Tactics: The Day of the Olifant

Savimbi's finest have outflanked the FAPLA ( Forças Armadas Populares de Libertação de Angola)  and Cuban dwellers of the Canoka strongpoint. The UNITA warriors proved to be excellent at patrolling/infiltrating and after a day of maneuvers and deception, they managed to isolate the Canoka village, where enemy mechanized and armored forces await are expecting an attack.

Welcome to a great DLC by Graviteam, The Day of the Olifant, featuring the actions at the Chambinga River which followed the FAPLA/Cuban catastrophic defeat at the Battle of the Lomba (see previous DLC).

Please be advised: this battle happened at 2000 local time and in order to provide a better view, some screenshots have been adjusted for levels and contrast.

A UNITA company has maneuvered and positioned itself west of Canoka, effectively isolating the FAPLA/Cuban forces. With the daylight waning and knowing that mechanized/armored enemy forces await at Canoka, I ordered the UNITA forces to stay put west of Canoka, and the South African troop (3 Ratel 20 platoons and one Olifant platoon) to attack Canoka by fire. Little did I know that the enemy would try to break towards the west.

This is what happened.

An overview of the situation at the beginning of the battle. The first signs of the enemy attempt to break west materialized in the form of a mechanized platoon that caught my forces trying to position themselves into a massive attack by fire mission aimed at Canoka.

Caught in the flank by the enemy, the South African forces tried their best to re-position and repel the enemy's attack. This Olifant has just suffered a mobility kill. A later inspection of the records revealed that there was also some crew casualties.

There is no doubt that the Olifant MBTs provided a great reassurance in the thick of battle. But their limited numbers meant that it was not the decisive weapon in this engagement.


The 105 mm main gun of the Olifant in action. The end of the barrel points at an enemy T-55 which was destroyed at a range less than 400 meters.

In a remarkable feat of gunnery, an Olifant tank managed to disable this T-55 with a long distance shot. Note the dug in position of the T-55, in the outskirts of Canoke.

The enemy made extensive use of illumination rounds to find targets blocking their movement towards the west. An rocket barrage was then delivered, with great effect on our brave UNITA fighters.


By the end of the engagement, the FAPLA/Cuban forces were left without fire support from either artillery, IFVs or tanks. This meant that they could be neutralized with almost no effort.

The battle ended in a draw. Disappointing result for our forces, since we only managed to destroy just two vehicles (with plenty of others immobilized and/or abandoned). No doubt we will see them again. The majority of our casualties were UNITA forces in Samungure, which received multiple artillery rounds.

The UNITA fighters west of Canoke stayed in defensive positions and remained un-molested for the duration of the engagement. From their vantage point they could see the intense fighting down in the Chambinga river.







3 thoughts on “Attack by Fire at the Chambinga River – Graviteam Tactics: The Day of the Olifant”

  1. Love this obscure small Cold War stuff. The unit density and overall numbers are so vastly reduced vs a typical WW2 scenario. It’s like modern naval engagements where the unit count is low enough to actually manage everything without needing to abstract the action too much.

  2. Hey man, I really enjoy the stuff you do I’ve been a huge fan since your blogspot but haven’t commented until now. You’ve actually inspired me to want to make my own blog so if you ever want to join forces shoot me an email! It’d be an honor! I have a wealth of knowledge on various military subjects and currently own Arma 2, Arma 3, DCS A-10C Warthog, and Falcon BMS.

Leave a Reply