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(8) ‘Battle of 73 Easting’ during the Gulf War (February 26, 1991 to February 27, 1991): ‘Battle of 73 Easting’ was a tank battle fought between Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces and Coalition forces led by American and British armored forces at southeastern Iraq in February 1991. April 1991, Lt Colonel Scott Marcy, Memorandum for Record, Operation DESERT STORM, Headquarters 3d Squadron, 2d ACR, 8 March 1991, Major John Klemencic, Regimental Fire Support Officer, Fire Support Mission Summary. Additionally other Iraqi units attempted to retreat to the north along the wadi and that led them directly into G Troop’s position. It consisted of three ground squadrons (1st, 2nd and 3rd), an aviation (attack helicopter) squadron (4th), and a support squadron. Armored Vehicle Losses. Each of the Iraqi units possessed approximately 3,000 soldiers and had significantly more armored vehicles. Publication Rights While Special Collections is the owner of the physical and digital items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. He has served operational deployments in South Korea and Afghanistan. Estimates vary on the exact number of casualties due to certain incidents of friendly fire, but the Iraqi damage is estimated at almost 1,000 soldiers killed in action and more than 1,000 taken prisoner. He covers military and veteran community topics. The mechanized force was brought to its knees with minimal American casualties. The battle of 73 Easting, 26 February 1991: A historical introduction to a simulation Just beyond the defenses I Troop observed another formation of enemy tanks moving in its direction and attacked it with tank and TOW fire. While many movies have been made about battles in the current Global War on Terror and the controversial Vietnam War, few offer a glimpse into the Persian Gulf War and its lesser-known engagements. The majority of the war was filled with airstrikes and a sweeping offensive by 20,000 American troops along with a coalition of foreign militaries from several other countries. The Battle of 73 Easting (a north-south grid line on the map) was one of many fights in Desert Storm. ", The main U.S. unit in the battle was the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (2nd ACR), a 4,500 man reconnaissance and security element assigned to VII Corps. Essentially, the fourth-largest Army in the world. The Battle of 73 Easting was fought on 26 February 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, between United States armored forces of the VII Corps and those of the Iraqi Republican Guard and its Tawakalna Division. [1], The 2nd ACR was to advance east, locate and engage the enemy and determine his dispositions and then allow the mechanized brigades of the 1st ID to pass through to finish destroying the Iraqis. After 2ACR made contact with the Republican Guard's security zone, Corps changed the limit to the 70 Easting. The Regiment employed artillery fire from the supporting 210th Field Artillery Brigade, air strikes, and attack helicopters (both Apaches of 2-1 Aviation and Cobras of Fourth Squadron) against the Republican Guard units as the armored cavalry squadrons moved east through the security zone. After 2ACR made contact with the Rep… Still, the Iraqi troops had been surprised because of the inclement weather and were quickly destroyed by the better trained and better equipped American troops. Coffee or Die Magazine’s Top Stories of 2020, 2020 Coffee or Die Holiday Gift Guide: Must-Read Books, Coffee or Die Magazine’s Very Unbiased 2020 Holiday Gift Guide, ‘Die Hard’ Is A Christmas Movie — Prove Me Wrong, The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting. Farther east, two brigades of the Iraqi Medina Division were trying to set up a defense line around what had been designated Phase Line Lime. Wrecked Bradley IFV K-12 burns after being hit by Iraqi tank fire during the first stages of the battle. (Including presentations by Major General Paul Funk, 3rd Armored Division, “Keynote Address”; Colonel Mike Krause, Center for Military History, “Presentation of the 73 Easting Battle”; Colonel (ret.) The Battle of 73 Easting, Gulf War : papers concerning the simulation project, M1451. By 22:30, the battle at 2nd ACR's front, at 74 Easting, was ending with most of the engaged Iraqi elements burning or destroyed as the 1st Infantry Division began its forward passage of lines. In response, April 1991. Individual and unit experiences in the same battle often vary widely. VII Corps Fragmentary Plan Seven, issued during the night of February 25–26, made the 60 Easting the Regiment's initial limit of advance. Davis, 1LT Daniel L., "A Swift Kick, 2nd ACR's Taming of the Guard.". *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Each of these vehicles has a manual form of targeting, which is far slower to operate than that of the Abrams and the Bradleys. There, the Regimental executive officer, Lt Colonel Roger Jones and the S2, Major Steve Campbell, briefed him on the situation and informed him that sensors were reporting movement of tracked vehicles to the north out of the Regiment’s zone. In the early morning hours, Lt Colonel Scott Marcy’s Third Squadron fought companies of the Iraqi 50th Armored Brigade, which had moved into the Regiment’s southern area to confirm reports that allied units were in the vicinity. Their aim was to get behind Iraqi forces, prevent a retreat from Kuwait and destroy five divisions of the elite Iraqi Republican Guard. All Iraqi units occupied well-constructed defensive emplacements and had prepared alternate positions which enabled them to reorient to the west to face VII Corps’s attack. Estimates vary on the exact number of casualties due to certain incidents of friendly fire, but the Iraqi damage is estimated at almost 1,000 soldiers killed in action and more than 1,000 taken prisoner. The iconic photos of Iraq’s swift defeat were plastered all over the news as the fleeing army set oil fields ablaze to cover their retreat and exposed flanks. BATTLE OF 73 EASTING BY CAPTAIN HoRo MCMASTER Eagle Troop, Second Squadron, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment (During the war with Iraq on February 26,1991) DONOVAN RESEARCH LlBw FORT DONOVAN BENNJNG RESEARCH a 31905 UBRAI?~ % 8150 MARNE ROAD, BLOG 9230 FORT BENNING, GA 31905 706-545.5661 . Neil Fotre is a contributing writer for Coffee or Die, and former U.S. Army Armor Officer. Iron Troop of Third Squadron had halted around the 67 Easting to control the limit of advance with its tank cannon. Lute, The Regiment's Perspective, IDA Conference papers, p. I-115. US Losses. With initial support from Captain Mac Haszard’s K Troop, Miller’s tanks destroyed sixteen enemy tanks on that position and then attacked through it. Following an extensive bombing campaign and a feint into southern Iraq in early February 1991, Coalition forces launched a full invasion on 24 February. (Lt Colonel Kobbe had pulled his Troop F out of the Second Squadron’s leading echelon when his zone narrowed.) One of the main fronts of this attack was led by the United States VII Corps. After defeating that force, McMaster sent a scout platoon of two Bradleys north to regain contact with Troop G. In doing that the scout platoon encountered another Iraqi tank position of thirteen T-72s which they destroyed with TOW missiles.[13]. The American units had a superior technological advantage. They advanced three more kilometers east to the 70 Easting line. The American vehicles, on the other hand, possess “sloped” or “angled” armor that stood a much higher chance of deflecting enemy projectiles. Amidst now-famous world news coverage of airstrikes and bunker-busting missiles, the Iraqi Army harbored a massive armored vehicle force that rivaled many other countries in the world. On the night of 23/24 February, in accordance with General Norman Schwarzkopf's plan for the ground assault called "Operation Desert Sabre", VII Corps raced east from Saudi Arabia into Iraq in a maneuver later nicknamed the "Hail Mary." Pilots reported large massings of enemy forces there: Medina was reinforced by elements of the 17th, 12th, 10th and 52nd Armored Divisions, which had been retreating north. By dawn, the 1st ID had taken Objective Norfolk and the fight shifted away from the 73 Easting area to 1st Armored Division's attack to the north, started at 20:00 on 26 February, and the 3rd Armored Division attack just to the south of the 1st Division. In that action the Iraqis stood their ground and attempted to maneuver against the troop. President George H.W. Located behind the Bradleys were mighty M1A1 Abrams tanks that provided rear protection while the scouts helped to identify enemy positions. The Battle of 73 Easting did not last long. Far from the textbook actions and decisions of H.R. Linkedin. [16], Artillery fire and air strikes played a large role in the battle, especially in the far north. “Second Armored Cavalry Regiment: Operation Desert Storm”, Major Steve Gravlin, Troop Information Paper, Headquarters 2d ACR, April 1991, “Summary of Fire Missions, 25 and 26 February 1991”, Major John Klemencic, Second Armored Cavalry Regiment, February 1991, Memorandum for Record, Operation DESERT STORM, Lt Colonel Scott Marcy, Headquarters 3d Squadron, 2d ACR, 8 March 1991, Conference Papers from “73 Easting: “Lessons Learned from Desert Storm via Advanced Distributed Simulation Technology, 27–29 August 1991”,J. The Iraqi force greatly outnumbered the American units. The Bradley's TOW launcher was inoperative, and the 25mm Bushmaster Cannon had jammed. Janus Simulation Results Battle of 73 Easting. In direct support of 2nd ACR, Colonel Garrett Bourne’s 210th FA Brigade launched missions out to the 78 Easting. His writing has been featured in the Military Times, Forbes, the Daily Beast, Task and Purpose and Business Insider. By 6:30, the first of several waves of Iraqi T-72 and T-55 tanks advanced into the wadi. The tactics that Army units use to fight future battles will vary considerably from those employed in Desert Storm. Join the list to receive special offers, updates, and everything Black Rifle Coffee. Armored Vehicle Losses. The U.S. suffered 12 men killed, 57 men wounded, and 32 vehicles destroyed or damaged. All Rights Reserved. During the operation the Regiment covered the advance of three different U.S. divisions in turn, moved 120 miles in eighty-two hours and fought elements of five Iraqi Divisions. Follow Neil Fotre: The job of 2ACR was to advance east, led by scouts in Bradleys with tanks covering them from the rear, and to locate the enemy at a distance. The Regiment used artillery fire and some close air support between the end of active fighting and the arrival of the 1st Infantry Division at the line of contact. But that would soon change. As the Regiment’s northernmost unit, G Troop secured an open flank until the 3rd Armored Division’s cavalry squadron arrived to occupy its own positions along the 70 Easting. Objective Norfolk was located west of Phase Line Kiwi, east of Phase Line Smash, and north of Phase Line Grape. As the troop moved north to secure its northern boundary around 4:45, it came under fire from the same group of buildings E Troop had fought through an hour earlier. Lt Gen Franks visited the Regiment’s main command post just before 1 p.m. The Fourth Squadron (the combat aviation squadron) flew reconnaissance and attack missions chiefly in the northern and central zones. In the ensuing battle, many American units advanced past Iraqi tanks and crews, who were in shelters or had not yet turned on their engines and so did not appear to be threats in the American crew's thermal sights. The 2nd ACR, which advanced between the Iraqi 12th Armored Division and the Tawakalna Division, was the only American ground unit to find itself significantly outnumbered and out-gunned. Sandstorms slowed this movement throughout the day, restricting visibility to as little as 400 metres (1,300 ft). The Battle of 73 Easting was a decisive tank battle fought on 26 February 1991, during the Gulf War, between United States armored forces of the VII Corps and those of the Iraqi Republican Guard and its Tawakalna Division. Fourth Squadron’s air scouts rejoined the operation as the weather cleared around 3 p.m. Air scouts identified enemy defenses to the front of Second and Third Squadrons and attack helicopters struck several of the security outposts. In this educational history video, we will take a look at what happened in the gulf war at the Battle of 73 Easting. The aviation squadron led by Lt Colonel Don Olson established a screen along the 50 Easting by 7 a.m. and by 8 a.m. the armored cavalry squadrons had moved into their new zones. After midnight, the British 1st Armoured Division’s 2nd Brigade engaged a brigade of the Iraqi Adnan Infantry Division —a light infantry Republican Guard unit— which was moving into its sector. The regiment was comprised of three ground squadrons, an aviation squadron, and a support squadron. The war began when Iraqi President Saddam Hussain invaded the small neighboring country of Kuwait on August 2, 1990. The 2nd ACR's limit of advance changed during the operation. For the first time since tank battles of World War II, the Battle of 73 Easting saw two modern armies slugging it out in fully mechanized warfare. American media was able to shed a patriotic spotlight on what was known as the American military’s “. The 2nd ACR was to advance east, locate and engage the enemy and determine his dispositions and then allow the mechanized brigades of the 1st ID to pass through to finish destroying the Iraqis. The defending Iraqi forces, elements of Tawakalna’s 18th Mechanized Brigade and the 12th Armored Division’s 9th Armored Brigade, had arrived in their positions on the evening of 24 February and had oriented to the west to protect the main supply route, the IPSA pipeline Road, just to their rear. It was named for a UTM north-south coordinate line (an "Easting", measured in kilometers and readable on GPS receivers) in the featureless desert that was used as a phase line to measure progress of the offensive. Gary Bloedorn, Institute for Defense Analysis, “Data Collection Methodology”; Major Douglas Lute, Headquarters Department of the Army, “The Battle of 73 Easting: The Regiment’s Perspective”), “Extract of the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Operations Log”, Headquarters Second Armored Cavalry, ca. They had taken defensive positions near a north-south coordinate line, commonly referred to as an “easting.” These coordinate lines are measured in kilometers and can be read via a global positioning satellite (GPS). [14] Before returning to positions along the 70 Easting, I Troop located the defending battalion’s command post and destroyed its command bunker and security forces.[15]. The Battle of 73 Easting refers narrowly to the violent armored combat action that took place in the final hours of 2nd ACR's covering force operation in the zone of Second Squadron and in the northern third of the Third Squadron zone. The mechanized force was brought to its knees with minimal American casualties. The 12 M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed 28 Iraqi tanks, 16 personnel carriers and 30 trucks in 23 minutes with no American losses.[12]. The Regiment moved from the 60 Easting with eight of its nine cavalry troops generally abreast of each other. Each of those battles was different. VII Corps Fragmentary Plan Seven, issued during the night of February 25–26, made the 60 Easting the Regiment's initial limit of advance. This missile is easy to operate and highly effective at destroying enemy armor. The Battle of Norfolk is named for Objective Norfolk, an area that encompassed the intersection of the IPSA Pipeline Road and several desert trails and a large Iraqi supply depot defended by Iraqi armor. The Battle of 73 Easting was a lopsided victory. The primary battle was conducted by 2ACR's three squadrons of about 400 soldiers, along with the 1st Infantry Division's two leading brigades, who attacked and destroyed the Iraqi 18th Mechanized Brigade and 37th Armored Brigade of the Tawakalna Division, each consisting of between 2,500 to 3,000 personnel. You’d have to dig even deeper for significant battles involving armored tanks. The visibility was almost zero because of dust storms and nightfall. The Battle of 73 Easting was an armored engagement during the Persian Gulf War to force the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. Dept. in less than 96 hours through the use of well-trained tactics and superior technology. At the same time the Third and First squadrons in the center and south moved to clear their zones, encountering T-72s in Third Squadron’s north and T-62 and T-55 tanks of the Iraqi 12th Armored Division further south.[6]. Combat became so intense at times that only massed artillery and mortar fires, attack helicopters and Air Force close air support prevented the enemy from closing with G Troop. The regiment’s advance was led by its scouts in M3A1 Bradleys. Second ACR began the 26th of February on the VII Corps Objective SMASH still oriented to the northeast. The operation escalated into a full-out battle as E Troop (call sign “Eagle”) maneuvered to the 70 Easting around 3:45 p.m. Individual and unit experiences in the same battle often vary widely. The Battle of 73 Easting and the movement to contact south of the battle brought the Regiment's covering force mission for VII Corps to its conclusion. Very quickly, however, G Troop found itself facing counterattacks by tank units of both the Tawakalna Division and the Iraqi 12th Armored Division. The 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment had an initial encounter with ten Iraqi tanks which were destroyed near longitudinal line 60 (Easting 60); they moved on until the bulk of the battle occurred at 73 Easting. Twenty-five years ago, the Battle of 73 Easting pit just part of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment against Saddam Hussein’s elite Iraqi Republican Guard. The Battle of Medina Ridge, Battle of Norfolk and the Battle of 73 Easting were tank battles of historical significance. Iraqi Type 69 tanks after an attack by the 1st United Kingdom Armoured Division during Operation Desert Storm. The Battle of 73 Easting would go down as an epic demonstration of American superior military technology and tactics, but years later, McMaster would cite … "The 2nd ACR at the Battle of 73 Easting." Each of those battles was different. This area was referred to by a grid coordinate line because the desert was completely void of any geographic landmarks or population center. Articles incorporating text from Wikipedia, http://www.scribd.com/doc/9703733/73-Easting-Info, "The last battle of division Tawakalna, jewel of the Republican Guard", http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?16927-The-Last-Stand-Of-The-Tawakalna-Gulf-War-I, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iraq/tawakalna.htm, The Battle of 73 Easting and the Road to the Synthetic Battlefield, https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Battle_of_73_Easting?oldid=3947591. Instagram Captain Dan Miller, commanding I Troop, silenced the resistance with return fire then attacked to the 70 Easting. It was this battle which the simulation project portrayed. [7] Lt Colonel Mike Kobbe’s Second Squadron troops all reported resistance from small Tawakalna Division security outposts while Third Squadron destroyed similar outposts in the Regimental center. Moller died instantly and the remainder of the crew evacuated the damaged vehicle. While advancing, the regiment was to clear out any enemy security forces and neutralize the Republican Guard. The Iraqi units were also set in a defensive posture, which offers a significant advantage during battle. Bush was banking on the six-week offensive of Operation Desert Storm to solidify his re-election. Continuing his attack past the 70 limit of advance, he fought his way through an infantry defensive position and on to high ground along the 74 Easting. First Squadron, the Regiment’s southernmost squadron cleared its zone of remnants of the 50th Armored Brigade before making contact with the 37th Brigade of the 12th Iraqi Armored Division, fighting to the south of the Tawakalna Division. Close air support missions struck targets in greater depth, preventing some Iraqi units from closing with G Troop or escaping the battle area. Objective Bonn, containing the Medina Division and a major Republican Guard logistics base, was attacked by helicopter and air force strikes. Massive troop desertions and surrenders were a common sight across the Iraqi landscape. The brigade commander, Colonel David Weisman, decided to pull the battalions back, consolidate, and use his artillery to destroy the aggressive Iraqi infantry. Third Squadron, operating in the center, destroyed a T-72 tank before 8 a.m., establishing the first ground contact with the Iraqi Republican Guard’s Tawakalna Division. The cannons on the Abrams carried a higher caliber round, far superior to the Iraqi tanks. This was the first determined defense the Regiment had encountered in its three days of operations. The Battle of 73 Easting was a decisive tank battle fought on 26 February 1991, during the Gulf War, between American-British armored forces and those of the Iraqi Republican Guard. During the six-hour battle, the G Troop fire support team called in 720 howitzer and MLRS rounds while using its own mortars continually to turn back attackers at close range. Unusually for a corps covering force, the Regiment lacked a reserve tank or mechanized infantry battalion. Janus Simulation Results Battle of 73 Easting. The battle of 73 Easting, 26 February 1991: A historical introduction to a simulation [Krause, Michael D] on Amazon.com. The battle took place several hours after the Battle of Al Busayyah. 210 FA Brigade, Battle Damage Assessment, Operation Desert Storm, undated, ca. Bush was banking on the six-week offensive of Operation Desert Storm to solidify his re-election. All three squadrons were in contact with security forces by 9 a.m. but a violent sandstorm blew into the area and movement to the Regiment’s limit of advance, the 60 Easting, took until 11 a.m. morsfig.xls. 73 Easting. The end of America's war in Vietnam saw a US military in crisis- its morale all but depleted and its combat expertise watered down by massive conscription. At 4:10 p.m. Eagle Troop received fire from an Iraqi infantry position in a cluster of buildings at UTM PU 6801. The Battle of 73 Easting did not last long. March 1991. Iraqi Losses. At the same time, he ordered the Regiment to avoid becoming decisively engaged (meaning to refrain from committing all its maneuver forces and thereby losing freedom of action). The mission of 2nd ACR was to motor eastward. [21] The violent battle at 73 Easting fixed the southern forces of the Iraqi Republican Guard Corps and permitted the Corps Commander to launch First Infantry Division into the depths of the Iraqi defenses and on into Kuwait. Sartiano’s men engaged Iraqi 18th Brigade tanks in defensive positions initially. While the crew was attempting to get the cannon back in action, an Iraqi BMP-1 hit the vehicle’s turret with 73 mm cannon fire. His two tank platoons finished the rest. morsfig.xls. Estimates vary on the exact number of casualties due to certain incidents of friendly fire, but the Iraqi damage is estimated at almost 1,000 soldiers killed in action and more than 1,000 taken prisoner. Army historians and simulation modelers thoroughly interviewed the American participants, and paced the battlefield meter by meter. Desert Storm was the first extensive use of the depleted uranium high explosive and armor-piercing rounds. Battle of 73 Easting. Iraqi T-62 knocked out by 3rd Armored Division fire. It consisted of 4,500 men divided into five squadrons three ground squadrons made up mostly of M1A1 Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles; an aviation sq… The 2ACR combat team numbered around 10,000 soldiers. First Infantry Division’s movement to join the fight was taking longer than expected, however. At the peak of its military might, the Iraqi Army touted the fourth-largest army on the planet. Each troop comprised 120 soldiers, 12 M3 Bradley fighting vehicles and nine M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. Captain McMaster, leading the attack, immediately engaged that position, destroying the first of the eight enemy tanks to his front. The Battle was part of the larger operation and, as it went on, the Third and First Squadron troops in the southern part of the zone continued to fight through the security area of the Republican Guard and fix enemy units of the 12th Armored Division. [17][18], In total, the Regimental Fire Support Officer reported employing 1,382 rounds of 155mm howitzer ammunition (high explosive, dual-purpose improved munitions and rocket assisted HE projectiles) and 147 MLRS rockets on February 26. Coordinate line because the Desert was completely void of any geographic landmarks or population center motor eastward E. Their vehicles and nine M1A1 Abrams main Battle tanks many fights in Desert Storm the... 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