In response, the United Nations began to pass a series of resolutions demanding the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Despite this loss, the platoon continued forward and soon opened fire on the Iraqi tanks with the LAV-25s' autocannons. “Schwarzkopf told us he didn’t want to put any other forces over there,” recalled retired USAF Maj. Gen. Thomas R. Olsen, who at the time was serving as CENTAF deputy commander. [35] [53], Throughout 28 January, the Coalition received a number of warnings suggesting an impending Iraqi offensive. [41]. [35] Infantry divisions normally consisted of three brigades with an attached commando unit, although some infantry divisions could have up to eight brigades–however most infantry divisions along the border were understrength, primarily due to desertion. This is a nuts-and-bolts, you-are-there tactical study of the Battle of Khafji, the first serious combat involving U.S. ground forces in the first Gulf War, back in 1991. [92] The 8th battalion of the Saudi Arabian brigade was ordered to deploy to the city by 10:00 hours, while 5th Battalion to the north engaged another column of Iraqi tanks attempting to reach the city. • Biddle, Stephen (Autumn 1996). [75] Khafji was occupied by approximately 00:30 on 30 January, [76] trapping two six-man reconnaissance teams from the 1st Marine Division in the city. [34] These divisions also had armored personnel vehicles such as the BMP-1, scout vehicles such as the BRDM-2, and several types of artillery. The reconnaissance platoon stationed at OP-4 were the first to come under attack, their withdrawal from the engagement was facilitated by another company providing cover fire. Hundreds of air attacks on Iraqi forces in Kuwait were already scheduled and under way. [45] 1st Marine Division had three companies positioned at observation posts 4, 5 and 6 (Task Force Shepard), while the 2nd Marine Division's 2nd Light Armored Infantry Battalion set up a screen between observation post 1 and the Al-Wafrah oil fields. Copyright 2020. Its most notable service was in the Arab wars with the Israelis in the 1956 Suez Crisis, the 1967 Six-Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Storm on the Horizon is the little-known story of the key land battle of Desert Storm: the Battle for Khafji -- and how that engagement has become part of military history. Iraq was trying to start a ground war of its own. “But he knew.” The president trusted his old friend’s advice, and that trust was rewarded: Shevardnadze did get Hussein to turn the ships around. At Khafji, airpower’s deep interdiction robbed the Iraqi maneuver forces of the initiative by attacking them as they moved. Toward evening, Saudi and Qatari forces assigned to the area began the first of two attacks to retake the town. It was named for a UTM north-south coordinate line in the featureless desert that was used as a phase line to measure progress of the offensive as they were going through what the Iraqis thought was trackless desert. A well-executed offensive maneuver should throw a defender off balance and give an attacker the initiative to set the terms of the battle. American airpower had within a short period of time destroyed enough vehicles to stifle the Iraqi III Corps’ effort to regain the initiative. By 1 February, the city had been recaptured at the cost of 43 Coalition servicemen dead and 52 wounded. Redesignated as the 64th Tank Battalion, it was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division during the Korean War and it spent most of the Cold War stationed in West Germany before elements were transferred to Ft. Stewart, Georgia in the late 1990s.

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