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16th Infantry Division

The 16th Infantry Division is assigned to the Iraqi Army 5th Corps.

During the Gulf War, a series of three leaflets were dropped by American forces on Iraqi positions. The first leaflet advised enemy military personnel to abandon their equipment and leave their present position. The text read "The 16th Infantry Division of the Iraqi army will be bombed tomorrow. Leave this location now and save yourselves." This leaflet was addressed to specific enemy units such as the 16th, 20th and 28th Divisions and let them know that the allied forces controlled the skies and could bomb them whenever they chose. This leaflet also let them know there was nothing they could do to stop the bombing short of surrendering. The demoralization would result with some desertions and/or surrenders but the pride of the Iraq Army who had successfully fought a 10 year war with Iran often resulted in them initially waiting to see just how real was our threat.

After the predicted bombing, which was just enough to let them know that the US could act as predicted, a second leaflet would be dropped. This leaflet depicts the BLU-82 aerial bomb, which was nicknamed the super-explosive "Daisy Cutter". The "Daisy Cutter" was refered to in the leaflet's text as the "most destrucive conventional bomb of the war, having more power than 20 Scud missiles."

The translation for the leaflet was " FRONT:"Flee and save your life, or remain and meet your death!" BACK:You have suffered heavy losses because we have used the most powerful and destructive conventional bomb of this war. It is more powerful than 20 Scud Missles in respect of explosion capability. We warn you! We shall bomb your position again. Kuwait will be liberated from Saddam's aggression. Hurry and join your brothers from the south. We shall treat you with all our love and respect. Abandon this position. You will never be safe!"

This leaflet's message gave a stern warning that once again they were to be bombed and they could not hide from us. Not even in their bunkers would they be safe. The scheduled time for the next bombing would be several hours later to allow the soldiers time to think and worry about the upcoming bombing and how with the daisy cutter bombs they were not even safe in their reinforced bunkers. Following receipt of this leaflet, many of the Iraqi soldiers became "true believers" and elected to surrender and/or desert.

The third leaflet dropped would be done right after the effects of the daisy cutter bombing. Again a warning of an upcoming bombing would accompany the leaflet. This time however, the warning told them that they would not be reading another leaflet following the bombing as the next bombing would be so intense, no one would survive. If the first two leaflets did not do the trick the third leaflet was usually enough to make true believers out of even the most dedicated Iraqi soldier or officer. It was not unusual as this point for entire units to surrender.

As the ground offensive progressed, by 25 February 1991 Iraqi units' ineffectiveness became more clear. In the Iraqi IV Corps area of western Kuwait, in front of I MEF and JFC-N, the Iraqi 20th and 30th Infantry divisions were assessed as combat ineffective by the end of the first day of the ground offensive. The 21st and 16th Infantry divisions appeared to be falling back to a defensive line south and west of 'Ali As-Salim Airfield. The 6th Armored Division, west of 'Ali As-Salim Airfield, was heavily reduced.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:50 ZULU