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1st Mechanized Division

As the ground offensive progressed, by 25 February 1991 Iraqi units' ineffectiveness became more clear. The Iraqi 36th Infantry, 1st Mechanized Infantry, and the 56th Armored Brigade established hasty defensive positions south/southwest of Al-Jahra, northwest of Kuwait City.

During the Gulf War, the US 2d Armored Division's Tiger Brigade advance split the seam between the Iraqi III and IV Corps, overrunning elements of the Iraqi 14th, 7th, and 36th Infantry Divisions, as well as brigades of the Iraqi 3d Armored, 1st Mechanized, and 2d Infantry Divisions. During four days of combat Tiger Brigade task forces destroyed or captured 181 tanks, 148 armored personnel carriers, 40 artillery pieces, and 27 antiaircraft systems while killing an estimated 263 enemy and capturing 4,051 prisoners of war, all at a cost of 2 killed and 5 wounded.

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 25 February 1991, the American I MEF advanced against the fiercest resistance it encountered during the ground offensive. In the American 2nd MARDIV sector, an Iraqi armored counterattack was repulsed by the 6th Marine Regiment using a combination of CAS, artillery, tanks, and TOW missiles. Attacked by aircraft as they formed for the attack south of Kuwait City, the Iraqis were reduced to less than brigade strength by the time they actually attacked the regiment. Attacking on schedule, the 2nd MARDIV, with the Tiger Brigade on the left, 6th Marines in the center, and 8th Marines on the right, advanced against elements of the Iraqi 3rd Armored Division and 1st Mechanized Division that had assumed defensive positions on the high ground to the north and northwest and in an area of buildings and fences known as the "ice-cube tray". Weather combined with intense smog from burning oil wells reduced visibility to a few yards. Fighting in near darkness, Marine M1s of the 2nd Tank Battalion (supporting the 8th Marines) and the Tiger Brigade, equipped with the M1A1 and enhanced optics, proved particularly successful at engaging armor at long ranges. Other Marine tank crews, in M60A1 tanks, relied on crew skill to outfight the enemy. In the "ice-cube tray", tanks and infantry cleared buildings and trenches at close ranges in the darkness, finally securing the area after 2200 against stiff resistance.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:51 ZULU