Saturday, February 26, 2005

On this day in military 1991

On this day in military history….in 1991. The 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment (ACR) attacks elements of the Iraqi Tawakalna Republican Guards Division and 12th Armored Division. After having executed the “Hail Mary” flanking movement, the US-lead coalition was attacking the Iraqi forces in Kuwait from the west flank. The 9 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 12 M2A2 Bradley fighting vehicles of Eagle Troop under the command Capt. H.R. McMaster were out in front of the main US force, scouting for enemy troops in a heavy sandstorm. Their mission was to locate the enemy and hold them in place while the heavier forces of the 3rd Armored and 1st Infantry divisions could come up and assault the enemy positions. Late in the afternoon, Capt. McMaster’s troops stumbled on to dug-in elements of the Tawakalna and 12th Armored divisions. Using their M1A1 tank’s superior war-fighting capabilities, the US tank forces proceeded to decimate the Iraqi forces. After 40 minutes, one US cavalry troop had destroyed an entire Republican Guards Brigade consisting of 37 Iraqi T-72s and 32 other armored vehicles while loosing only one Bradley fighting vehicle. The battle could be described like “shooting ducks in a barrel”. It was one of the most lopsided victories of all time.

An interview with an Iraq armored brigade commander after the war puts the dominance of the US armored forces in perspective. When asked about his units’ losses during the war, he stated that when the US Air Force started bombing, he had only lost two tanks after one month of bombing. After one hour of fighting with the US Army M1A1 Abrams tanks, he only had one tank left. The US Air Force likes to talk about how air power is the “do-all, be-all” of combat, but everyone knows that the real way to destroy tanks is with other tanks, or as they say in the Armored Cav, "tank-on-tank" action.


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