The Battlefront: Combat In the Sand

The allies repel Baghdad's attempt to start the ground war and claim supremacy in the air

It was not supposed to start this way. The standard scenario called for the long-awaited, and dreaded, ground war to begin in mid-to-late February with an all-out U.S. and allied aerial, artillery and missile barrage on the Iraqi army's fortifications in Kuwait, followed quickly by a massive tank and infantry assault. So how come the ground war began in the last days of January with an Iraqi attack? On a penny-ante scale, with about 1,500 men and 80-odd tanks and other armored vehicles initially engaged? Aimed at a Saudi Arabian ghost town?

Allied forces recaptured that town, the sprawling beachside community...

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