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Battle of the 73rd Easting

In: Historical Events

Submitted By alcruzer
Words 1786
Pages 8
Battle of the 73rd Easting

Headed due east on the afternoon of February 26, 1991, VII Corps was advancing with a front of four armored/mechanized divisions. In the center of this front, leading the way and conducting reconnaissance for the corps, was the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR). The 2nd ACR’s job was to locate the forward elements of the IRG divisions suspected to be in the area, fix them in place, then pass the heavy divisions of VIII Corps through their lines so that they could smash the elite Iraqi units with a single killing blow. It was a difficult assignment, made more so by the weather conditions.
The winter of 1990/91 was one of the wettest on record in the Persian Gulf, and had been a major problem during the preceding six weeks of the Desert Storm air campaign. Now the wind was howling, causing a sandstorm that was grounding the Army’s aviation assets and limiting visibility to as little as a thousand meters. Air reconnaissance was limited mostly to signals intelligence data, which meant that finding where the IRG divisions were located, would be up to the 2nd ACR. Like the prairie horse soldiers of 150 years earlier, the troopers of the regiments would grope forward until they physically ran into the enemy, in this case the IRG Tawakalna Division. Generally known to be the best and most aggressive of the various IRG formations, Tawakalna was the unit that would bear the brunt of the coming battle with VII Corps.
As 2nd ACR moved forward, the regiment’s three squadrons were line abreast from north to south. Each squadron had two of its three cavalry troops forward, with the other and a tank platoon in reserve behind. In 1991, armored cavalry troops were company-sized units, each with 9 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 13 M3A2 Bradley cavalry fighting vehicles, and a handful of M113-based mortar carriers and other vehicles. On the right (south) side of 2nd…...

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