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10th Armored (Saladin) Division

The 10th Armored Division was variously reported to be headquarted at Al Teeb (Immarah), Al Teab, or Al Amara. Of these locations, the only placename that could be readily identified was Amara [at 3143'00"N 04706'00"E] or Amarah [at 3150'43"N 04710'31"E].

On the first day of the ground campaign, movement of the Iraqi heavy reserve units was on the ARCENT intelligence "watch for" list as VII Corps passed through the breach and fanned out across the desert. No matter how good the data, intelligence analysis always involves a subjective reading of objective information: the G2's professional assessment of what the enemy will do. Good intelligence requires the G2 to put himself in the mind of the enemy, requiring leaps of analytical faith based on a foundation of facts. Intelligence therefore, is not a science but an art, a large part of which involves making correct assessments from partial or flawed data. American analysts had inadvertently switched the identities of four Iraqi heavy units. As those units entered the KTO or moved around inside the theater prior to the air operation, signals intelligence analysts picked up bits and pieces of unit call signs, movement orders, and other tip-offs that said, for example, that the 12th Armored Division was moving to a new but unspecified location. If imagery showed an armor unit moving or adjusting its positions at that time, the unit was labeled the "possible" 12th Armored. As more "hits" developed on the unit's identity, the "possible" identification hardened to a "probable," and might even be confirmed by another source. The units in question were the 12th and 52d Armored Divisions in one pair and the 10th and 17th Armored Divisions in the other.

By 24 February 1991 Iraqi regular army units constituting the second echelon in Kuwait were directed to reposition themselves. Concealed by the dense smoke of the oil fires that were ignited beginning 21 February, parts of what was left of the second echelon of the Iraqi army -- 1st Mechanized Infantry Division, 3d Armored Division, 5th Mechanized Infantry Division, 6th Armored Division, the 10th Armored Division and the 12th Armored Division -- were in a movement toward Basrah.

On 27 February 1991 the American 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) overran the Iraqi 12th Armored Division and scattered the Iraqi 10th Armored Division into retreat. On 27 February remnants of Iraqi operational and theater reserve forces west and south of Al-Basrah attempted to defend against heavy pressure from the Coalition. Remaining elements of the 10th Armored Division linked up with the remains of the RGFC Al-Madinah Division just north of the Iraq-Kuwait border and attempted, unsuccessfully, to defend against advancing US forces.

Late in the evening on 27 February, the 3rd Armored Division again employed Apaches under adverse weather conditions and struck deep into the rear area of the Iraqi 10th Armored Division. These attacks behind the Iraqi lines broke the continuity of their defense and forced them to abandon both their positions and much of their equipment. Together with attacks by the 1st Infantry Division, heavy frontal pressure from the 1st and 3rd Brigades of the 3rd Armored Division, supported by MLRS fires, forced front line enemy units to retreat directly into the disorganized rear elements. This combined arms operation prevented reorganization and completed the rout of the Iraqi 10th Armored Division.

In November 1996 Iraqi Army and Republican Guard units manoeuvred towards Arbil and the contact lines in the Iraqi Kurdistan areas, which were still out of the regime's control. The movements included the 44th Brigade of the 8th Division towards Isma'il Bik hill, which overlooks the basin opposite the Haybat Sultan area. Personnel from the Military Intelligence and Military Security units of the 1st Army Corps were deployed in the Dighalah area. Unconfirmed reports said that forces from the 17th Mechanized Brigade of the 10th Armored Division, the Nasr Forces Command of the 4th Army Corps, were deployed in the same sector.

In August 1999 it was reported that Iran and Iraq had moved huge military units toward their common border areas in the biggest move of its kind since the war between the two countries ended in 1988," London's. Iraqi troops from the 10th and 11th Divisions and a number of armored brigades had concentrated in the border area and on the right bank of the Shatt Al-Arab. At the same time, Iran reportedly had strengthened its military presence on the other side of the Shatt Al-Arab.

In December 2000 it was reported that Iraq had begun to form a special corps called "Al-Maqdis," to be stationed near the Syrian and Jordanian borders. Reportedly, the new corps would consist of elements from the 2nd mechanized infantry division, in addition to two divisions from "Saddam Fedayeen," and a brigade from the Republican Guard's Hammurabi Division. According to other reports, in December 2000 Saddam Hussein's youngest son, Qusay, was said to have visited Syria to discuss contingency plans for Syrian-Iraqi military cooperation in the event of an Israeli attack. Qusay reportedly agreed to establish a joint command and control center and place two Iraqi armored divisions (the 10th Armored Division and an unspecified Republican Guard division) on a state of heightened readiness for deployment to Syria.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:48 ZULU