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Like most revolutions, they simply used whatever could throw lead. The Simbas used mostly captured stuff, like Mauser 98's, and FN-49s, and anything else they could find. It wasn't until later, after a great many set-backs mainly due to the introduction of mercenary and western backed forces, that the Simbas started receiving anything from the Soviets. Soviet and Cuban aid in the form of both materiel and training, late in the war didn't really change the outcome. The Simbas were eventually out gunned and out classed by western backed forces, especially the mercenaries. The Soviets and Cubans pretty much abandoned them after they realized things weren't going to work out.

In an interesting foot note, Cubans fought on both sides. The CIA provided aircraft and anti-Castro Cuban pilots to the Congo government forces.

Early Simba weapons were captured government stocks. Government forces were somewhat challenged in the training/leadership/motivation department, and would bug out pretty easily. At Stanleyville, Simbas managed to rout the govt forces and captured nearly all of their weapons, which was pretty big. I've seen a pic of a milled AK-47. I've also seen a mercenary officer with what appears to be a captured SKS over his shoulder, likely BFPU. There were FAL's and G-3's used by the govt forces. The M14 put in an appearance when one of the US military attaches that was observing/coordinating some stuff for one of Non-combatant Evacuation Operations, was in the wrong place at the wrong time and had to return fire with an M14. He was in the presence of mercenary forces, and the threat was neutralized fairly quickly.

Realize that part of the whole Simba ethos was rejection of western ways, and that included the use of western things, like guns. The witch doctors would convince the fighters that they were bullet proof, and they could attack with machetes. Early on this tactic worked on the govt forces, who pretty much fled when faced by them. It was one of the driving forces for introduction of mercenaries into the conflict. Once you get trained troops in battle, that tactic had predictable results. This idea of discarding weapons and attacking with machetes didn't go away even after Communist involvement. It's likely one of the reasons the Soviets/Cubans pulled stakes and went to regions that would actually work out better for them. You can imagine the "WTF?" on Che Guevara's face.

So while the Communists did manage move in the usual suspects of AK's/SKS's, it was pretty late in the conflict and not the wholesale quantity that would happen in other parts of Africa.
 

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As a child I got to meet some of the Cuban Pilots that flew the modified B-26 gun ships that fought in the Congo. These were the same planes and pilots that were supposed to have been the air support for the Bay of Pigs invasion that Kennedy aborted. This was at Hurlbert Field 9 of Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton, Florida. Dad was friends with the pilots as he had already known some of their relatives in Tampa when Dad was at MacDill AFB. Dad pitched fast pitch soft ball for the Have-a-Tampa Cigar company's team in the City League. They are the ones that introduced me to good Cuban cigars! Dad thought it was funny, but then he had to answer to Mom.............she made quit being the bat boy for the team if I ever did it again.

I got to ride in one of the modified B-26's one day. It was illegal as all hell, but it was a hell of a neat ride! They were making low level runs over the water and gun runs later. I miss the old days of just fun...............
 

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Those pics are pretty cool. Reminds me of the movie "Dark of the Sun" with Rod Taylor. Great action / mercenary film that in my opinion rivals "The Wild Geese" You can see that "The Dark of the Sun" was researched with those photos, as the use of the foreign mercenaries and the wearing of the Iron Cross on the uniforms. Looks like it is available on Amazon. I have a VHS to DVD copied version I bought years ago.
 

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I came across this on The Net a short while ago. New flick concerning the Congo. Having viewed the trailer, kind of reminds me of a more modern-day version of Zulu...
It's on Netflix (or was). Pretty good, no Michael Bay explosions.
 

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I came across this on The Net a short while ago. New flick concerning the Congo. Having viewed the trailer, kind of reminds me of a more modern-day version of Zulu...
It's a really fucking good movie. I watched it awhile back.
 

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I came across this on The Net a short while ago. New flick concerning the Congo. Having viewed the trailer, kind of reminds me of a more modern-day version of Zulu...
I just watched that movie a few weeks ago, and thought it was pretty good. Worth a look for sure if you have Netflicks.
 

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If you research the back story on Jadotville and the Katanga Conflict/Congo Crisis as a whole you'll find that many if not most of us in here would have probably backed the mercs who went up against the UN "peacekeepers," at least the way things were over there in the early 60's.
 
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