Military


51st Mechanized Division

During the Gulf War, some authorities indicate that the 17th Armored Division and the 51st Mechanized Division were subordinate to a II Armored Corps. Although Schwarzkopf on a number of occasions indicated his priority to destroy the Republican Guard, several air planners believe, because of corps commander insistence on moving air power south, air power was diverted from Republican Guard targets too soon. With air power strikes moved south, third echelon Iraqi units comprised of the Tawakalna Mechanized Division, Medina Armored Division, Hammurabi Armored Division and the 51st Mechanized Division, were provided respite from attack. It was these units, the best trained and disciplined in the Iraqi army that the Coalition forces would need to engage to secure Kuwait.

Iraqi forces resumed military operations in south on 08 April 2000. On 13 April, the regime's forces, comprised of the infantry and mechanized infantry units of the 51st Division (The Command of the Sariyet Al-Jebel Forces), attacked the resistance headquarters in the Ali bin Al-Hussein region, from Al-Medeyna-Nahr Salih axis. The attacking forces suffered some casualties and equipment, including a BMB-1 armored vehicle and a bulldozer. In response to the artillery and mortar bombardment of civilian homes in Talha, Al-Athel, and Huweimla areas by the 51st Division, the resistance forces launched an attack on the headquarters of this division on April 9th. The resistance forces attacked the headquarters of the 2nd Battalion of the 32nd Mechanized Infantry Brigade in the Huweimla area east of the Talha district. The resistance forces also attacked the headquarters of the 20th Armored Brigade in the Al-Athel region 10 Km north of the Talha district, inflicting heavy casualties and destroying equipment.

The 51st Mechanized Division's 8,000 soldiers, based around the major oil-shipment hub of Basra in southern Iraq, surrendered to coalition forces on 21 March 2003. The 51st had been one of the better-equipped army divisions, with about 200 tanks.



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