Phase l… 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. Wrecked Bradley IFV K-12 burns after being hit by Iraqi tank fire during the first stages of the battle. Michael D. Krause, “The Battle of 73 Easting, 26 February 1991”, A Joint Center of Military History and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Project, 24 May 1991, “Extract of the Second Armored Cavalry Regiment’s Operations Log”, Second Armored Cavalry, ca. Within 24 hours, most of the other Iraqi brigades were gone. Each ground squadron was made up of three cavalry troops, a tank company, a self-propelled howitzer battery, and a headquarters troop. Join the list to receive special offers, updates, and everything Black Rifle Coffee. Each of the Iraqi units possessed approximately 3,000 soldiers and had significantly more armored vehicles. American Graffiti: A Look at How Tankers Have Prepared Their Armor for Battle, Tanks Reigned Supreme on WWII Battlefields, As US Forces Withdraw from Somalia, the Navy and Marines Park Some Serious Firepower Offshore, 9 More of the Best Coffee Moments in American Movie History, WATCH: F/A-18C Hornets Made History Dogfighting & Dropping Bombs on Same Mission During Gulf War, Here Are the 10 Best Military Movies of 2020, The Nashville Christmas Bomber: Here’s What We Know So Far, Web Design and Development by Hire Jordan Smith. Hundreds of Iraqi infantrymen and their lightly armored transporters lay scattered on the wadi floor. "Ghost Troop, Battle at 73 Easting." 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 regiment’s advance was led by its scouts in M3A1 Bradleys. [10][11] The troop returned fire with its Abramses and Bradleys, silenced the Iraqi guns, took prisoners, and continued east with the two tank platoons leading. You’d have to dig even deeper for significant battles involving armored tanks. Draft Report The Battle of 73 Easting, 26 February 1991, a historical introduction to a simulation. [19] The 210th FA Brigade Commander estimated that his two FA battalions and single MLRS battery destroyed 17 tanks, seven APCs, six artillery pieces and around 70 other vehicles. 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). 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. By then, G Troop had destroyed “at least two companies of Iraqi armor. Lute, The Regiment's Perspective, IDA Conference papers, p. I-115. 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. Army historians and simulation modelers thoroughly interviewed the American participants, and paced the battlefield meter by meter. The Battle of 73 Easting was fought on 26 February 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, between the armoured forces of the United States as well as the 1st Armoured Division of the United Kingdom and those of the Iraqi Republican Guard and its Tawakalna Division. Individual and unit experiences in the same battle often vary widely. Very quickly, however, G Troop found itself facing counterattacks by tank units of both the Tawakalna Division and the Iraqi 12th Armored Division. This missile is easy to operate and highly effective at destroying enemy armor. Colonel Holder issued a Fragmentary Order at 3:20 to comply with the Corps Commander’s directive and by 3:45 Second Squadron’s E and G Troops were in contact with well-organized defenses of the Tawakalna Division. The best bet for a look at a tank engagement in Operation Desert Storm is the 1996 Denzel Washington movie “Courage Under Fire.” However, the Battle of 73 Easting was an impressive feat and is considered one of the great tank battles of the 20th century. morsfig.xls. 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. Each troop was comprised of 120 soldiers, 12 M3 Bradley fighting vehicles, and nine M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks. (Lt Colonel Kobbe had pulled his Troop F out of the Second Squadron’s leading echelon when his zone narrowed.) The number of vehicles damaged by artillery was greater. Far from the textbook actions and decisions of H.R. The American vehicles, on the other hand, possess “sloped” or “angled” armor that stood a much higher chance of deflecting enemy projectiles. (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. The cannons on the Abrams carried a higher caliber round, far superior to the Iraqi tanks. By 4:40, Captain Joe Sartiano’s G Troop had gained a position on a ridge overlooking a wadi at and parallel to the 73 Easting, north of E Troop. By 9 p.m., G Troop had expended all its TOW missiles and was becoming desperately short on 25mm and 120mm cannon ammunition. The Corps had two goals: to cut off Iraqi retreat from Kuwait, and to destroy five Republican Guard divisions near the Iraq-Kuwait border that might attack the Arab and Marine units moving into Kuwait to the south. [8] The Iraqi resistance that 2ACR met on the previous day had been from the 50th Armored Brigade whose mission had been to cover the preparation of that defense. In that action the Iraqis stood their ground and attempted to maneuver against the troop. (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.) He has served operational deployments in South Korea and Afghanistan. In the battle, four of the 2nd ACR’s armored cavalry troops, Troops E, G, and I with Troop K contributing to I Troop’s fight (totaling about 36 M1A1 tanks), defeated two enemy brigades, the Tawakalna Division’s 18th Brigade and, later in the day, the 9th Armored Brigade. Linkedin. Twitter 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. In just 23 minutes E Troop destroyed approximately 50 T-72s, 25 armored personnel carriers, 40 trucks and numerous other vehicles, without suffering any casualties. At one point a Military Intelligence (MI) Platoon from the 2nd ACR's 502nd MI Company had to suspend its signal intelligence operation and return the fire of Iraqi soldiers who exited a burning BMP-1 and continued to attack. [16], Artillery fire and air strikes played a large role in the battle, especially in the far north. 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. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif. In direct support of 2nd ACR, Colonel Garrett Bourne’s 210th FA Brigade launched missions out to the 78 Easting. 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. This area was referred to by a grid coordinate line because the desert was completely void of any geographic landmarks or population center. The Battle of Medina Ridge, Battle of Norfolk and the Battle of 73 Easting were tank battles of historical significance. The 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division engaged the Tawakalna Division, while the rest of 1st Armored Division continued after the Adnan Infantry Division in conjunction with continuous artillery and helicopter attacks. The British responded decisively with MLRS fire, cannon artillery, and air strikes. 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. They covered the advance of the 3rd Armored Division until late on February 25 and then covered the movement of 1st Infantry Division as it moved north from its initial objectives. VII Corps Fragmentary Plan Seven, issued during the night of February 25–26, made the 60 Easting the Regiment's initial limit of advance. Moller died instantly and the remainder of the crew evacuated the damaged vehicle. Janus Simulation Results Battle of 73 Easting. The mission of 2nd ACR was to motor eastward. The Iraqi units were also set in a defensive posture, which offers a significant advantage during battle. The mechanized force was brought to its knees with minimal American casualties. Far from the textbook actions and decisions of H.R. The Regiment had its three armored cavalry squadrons operating on line with Second Squadron in the north, Third Squadron in the center and First Squadron in the south. It consisted of three ground squadrons (1st, 2nd and 3rd), an aviation (attack helicopter) squadron (4th), and a support squadron. Weather restricted flight operations severely, however, and kept Fourth Squadron grounded for about half of the daylight hours. Captain McMaster, leading the attack, immediately engaged that position, destroying the first of the eight enemy tanks to his front. Initial Iraqi resistance was light and scattered and the 2nd ACR fought only minor engagements until 25 February. The Battle of 73 Easting (a north-south grid line on the map) was one of many fights in Desert Storm. The Regiment moved from the 60 Easting with eight of its nine cavalry troops generally abreast of each other. Battle of 73 Easting. The mechanized force was brought to its knees with minimal American casualties. [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. The Iraqi force greatly outnumbered the American units. 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. The Battle of 73 Easting was also important because it become the most accurately simulated battle ever: The Battle of 73 Easting has become the single most accurately recorded combat engagement in human history. Janus Simulation Results Battle of 73 Easting. The Battle of 73 Easting was one of many fights in Desert Storm. of the investment made in it: that is, the collection of data from the field of battle immediately following the event for the purpose of creating an after-action battle replication. Experimental Results, 73 Easting … The 2nd ACR's limit of advance changed during the operation. March 1991. In this educational history video, we will take a look at what happened in the gulf war at the Battle of 73 Easting. 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. 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. All Rights Reserved. McMaster and his fellow 2nd ACR troopers, 73 Easting has had as much influence on the military as any battle since Jutland in 1916. 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. The Fourth Squadron (the combat aviation squadron) flew reconnaissance and attack missions chiefly in the northern and central zones. Based on the intelligence gained during the battle, Colonel Holder advised the Corps Commander that the 1st Infantry Division should pass through the southern units of the Regiment. American media was able to shed a patriotic spotlight on what was known as the American military’s “shock and awe” tactic to defeat Saddam Hussein’s army. 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. Now, instead of three armored cavalry squadrons, the Iraqi 18th and 37th Armored Brigades faced six heavy battalions of American tanks and infantry fighting vehicles and another six battalions of 155 mm field artillery. Other 2nd ACR Troops I (call sign “Iron”), K (“Killer”), and G (“Ghost”) joined the fight minutes later. Air cavalry operations ceased just after 9 a.m. and would not resume until afternoon. Iraqi T-62 knocked out by 3rd Armored Division fire. 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. 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. These staggering figures came at a cost of a mere 12 Americans killed in action. April 1991. 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. Immortalized in Mike Guardia’s book “The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting” and the documentary “The Last Great Tank Battle of the 20th Century,” the Battle of 73 Easting was fought on Feb. 26, 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm. The mechanized force was brought to its knees with minimal American casualties. Sporadic fire continued throughout the night but no major engagements occurred after 10 p.m. Located behind the Bradleys were mighty M1A1 Abrams tanks that provided rear protection while the scouts helped to identify enemy positions. 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]. It was this battle which the simulation project portrayed. Iron Troop of Third Squadron had halted around the 67 Easting to control the limit of advance with its tank cannon. “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. 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 Battle of 73 Easting was an armored engagement during the Persian Gulf War to force the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait. 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