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45th (As Salman) Mechanized Infantry Division

At 0400 on 24 February, 6th French Light Armored Division scouts advanced into Iraq. Three hours later, the French main body attacked through a light rain. Its objective was As-Salman, a small airfield about 90 miles inside Iraq. Reinforced by the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, the French crossed the border unopposed and attacked north. Short of their objective, the French ran into outposts of the 45th Iraqi Mechanized Infantry Division. After a brief battle, using missile-armed Gazelle attack helicopters against dug-in enemy tanks and bunkers, the French captured 2,500 prisoners and controlled the objective.

As the ground offensive progressed, by 25 February 1991 Iraqi units' ineffectiveness became more clear. By the end of G + 1, five Iraqi VII Corps infantry divisions, one in US VII Corps zone in the tri-border area, were in jeopardy of being isolated on the front lines. From west to east in front of the Iraqi VII Corps, the 48th, 25th, 26th, 31st, and 45th Infantry divisions were engaged by American VII Corps armored and mechanized infantry divisions and rendered combat ineffective. By the end of G + 1, the Iraqi forward corps were assessed as combat ineffective - no longer capable of conducting a coherent defense in sector.

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Page last modified: 09-07-2011 02:46:55 ZULU