Anthem To The 47th Cuban / Faplan Brigade Poem by Gert Strydom

Anthem To The 47th Cuban / Faplan Brigade

Whom but your mothers back in Havana
and some in Luanda
mourn your lost or knows
that you were slaughtered in battle
as if human life
holds nothing sacred,

were wiped out by one
of only two battalions
at the junction of the Lomba
and Cuzizi Rivers,

that you heard Ratel armoured cars
driving in at speed,
the roar of Olifant tanks
and the thunder of their guns
or the whining stutter of machineguns
nor did you probably say any prayers
before deadly shells fell from the sky.

What remorse does your supreme leader feel
when your mothers, wives and children
light up candles
(who never really had a chance
for a proper goodbye)
and knows by now
that you will never come home.

[Reference: “The results of the campaign up to April 1988 were 4,785 killed on the Cuban/Faplan side, with 94 tanks and hundreds of combat vehicles destroyed, against 31 South Africans killed in action,3 tanks destroyed (SADF tanks entered the war after the Lomba River campaign) and 11 SADF armoured cars and troop carriers lost. A total of 9 Migs were destroyed and only 1 SAAF Mirage shot down.” Jannie Geldenhuys.1994: At the front. P240. Johanthan Ball Publishers.]

Gert Strydom

Gert Strydom

Johannesburg, South Africa
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