PDF Version. The Gulf War of the early s was a struggle that is well-known to many. More than 4, Canadian Armed Forces members served in the Persian Gulf region in as part of the international Coalition of countries that came together to drive the invading forces of Iraq out of Kuwait. In the aftermath of the conflict, Canadians would continue to serve with peacekeeping and embargo-enforcement efforts in the region for several years.
Iraq and Kuwait are Arab countries located next to each other in the heart of the oil-rich Middle East, a region of the world steeped in history. In the 20 th century, both Iraq and Kuwait achieved independence. The relationship between the two countries, however, has not been smooth. Iraq had long felt that Kuwait was really a part of Iraq and that Kuwaiti oil rigs were illegally tapping into Iraqi oil fields.
The First Gulf War
In the late s, tensions grew and relations became much worse. On August 2, , the situation came to a head when Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait, quickly taking control of its much smaller neighbour. Many in the international community condemned Iraq's bold act of aggression and Canada soon joined a country, American-led multinational Coalition to restore freedom to Kuwait. Functioning under the mandate of a United Nations UN resolution that approved the use of force, Operation Desert Shield saw the build-up of Coalition forces in the Gulf region.
Desert Storm: A Look Back > U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE > Story
The Canadian Armed Forces participation in the military efforts there would be codenamed Operation Friction. Canada's first military contributions came at sea in August , when three of our warships sailed to the Persian Gulf to be part of a Coalition fleet that would secure the waters off Iraq and occupied Kuwait. The first priority for Coalition forces was the destruction of Iraqi command and control bunkers, Scud missile launch pads and storage areas, telecommunications and radio facilities, and airfields.
Iraqi antiaircraft defenses, including shoulder-launched ground-to-air missiles, were surprisingly ineffective against coalition aircraft and the coalition suffered only 75 aircraft losses in over , sorties, though only 42 of these were the result of Iraqi action. The other 33 were lost to accidents. The next coalition targets were command and communication facilities. Saddam Hussein had closely micromanaged the Iraqi forces in the Iran—Iraq War, and initiative at lower levels was discouraged. Coalition planners hoped that Iraqi resistance would quickly collapse if deprived of command and control.
The first week of the air war saw a few Iraqi sorties, but these did little damage, and 38 Iraqi MiGs were shot down by Coalition planes. Soon after, the Iraqi Air Force began fleeing to Iran, with to aircraft flown there. As a purpose of the war was to destroy Iraq militarily, the coalition had placed aircraft over western Iraq to try to stop any retreat into Jordan.
This meant they were unable to react before most of the Iraqi aircraft had made it "safely" to Iranian airbases. In response the Iraqi Air Force launched Operation Samurra in an attempt to break the blockade imposed on them. The resulting air battle would be the last offensive action of the war for the Iraqi Air Force.
Iran did not allow the aircrews to be released until years later. The third and largest phase of the air campaign ostensibly targeted military targets throughout Iraq and Kuwait: Scud missile launchers, weapons research facilities, and naval forces. About one-third of the Coalition airpower was devoted to attacking Scuds, some of which were on trucks and therefore difficult to locate. Some U.
60a. Operation Desert Storm
However, the lack of adequate terrain for concealment hindered their operations, and some of them were killed or captured such as occurred with the widely publicised Bravo Two Zero patrol of the SAS. Coalition bombing raids destroyed Iraqi civilian infrastructure. Bombs destroyed the utility of all major dams , most major pumping stations, and many sewage treatment plants, telecommunications equipment, port facilities, oil refineries and distribution, railroads and bridges were also destroyed.
Iraqi targets were located by aerial photography and GPS coordinates. After being taken to the U. Upon return to the U.
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The U. One such instance had Iraq reporting that coalition forces attacked the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala. The final number of Iraqi civilians killed was 2,, while 5, were reported wounded. On 13 February , two laser-guided smart bombs destroyed the Amiriyah blockhouse , which was a civilian air-raid shelter , killing hundreds of civilians.
Jeremy Bowen , a BBC correspondent, was one of the first television reporters on the scene. Bowen was given access to the site and did not find evidence of military use. It missed and hit a residential area, killing up to civilians. The air campaign devastated entire Iraqi brigades deployed in the open desert in combat formation. It also prevented an effective Iraqi resupply of units engaged in combat, and prevented some , Iraqi troops from achieving a larger force concentration.
Operation Desert Storm was a practice run in press manipulation
The air campaign had a significant effect on the tactics employed by opposing forces in subsequent conflicts. Entire Iraqi divisions were dug in the open while facing U. Sign in to see reasons why you may or may not like this based on your games, friends, and curators you follow. You can use this widget-maker to generate a bit of HTML that can be embedded in your website to easily allow customers to purchase this game on Steam.
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