The Iran-Iraq war. Part 2

By the beginning of the war in the border area of Baghdad with the Islamic republic has about 140 thousand, 1.3 thousand tanks (in the main Russian T-55, T-62 and T-72), 1.7 thousand guns and mortars, 350 combat aircraft (including reserves — 190 thousand, 2.2 thousand tanks and 450 aircraft). From Iran they resisted grouping of forces in the nearly 70 million people, which was armed with 620 tanks (in the main South American and English manufacture, such as "Chieftain"), 710 guns and mortars, and 150 combat aircraft. As a result, the Iraqi armed forces were on the initial stage of the war an advantage for personnel and tanks in 2 times, combat aircraft — 2.3, and in artillery and mortars — 2.4. Also, keep in mind the fact that Iran had a limited ability to replenish military equipment, ammunition and spare parts. The case with the main supplier of arms — West were spoiled.

The Iraqi command planned to defeat the Iranians in the short campaign and the world has to offer. The main blow was about to deliver on the southern sector of the front — in Khuzestan. The loss of a major oil-producing province was to destabilize the Iranian economy. In the north and in the center of major surgery is planned, the main task of the Iraqi forces in these areas was to ensure the safety of the Iraqi border areas from possible retaliation of Iran. That's why, after only a week after the invasion, Saddam Hussein suspended Coming own forces and expressed his willingness to engage in peace talks in Baghdad. In general in Baghdad wanted to end the war on October 22.

Beginning of the war hit the Iraqi armed forces

The war began with a strong impact on the Iraqi Air Force military, economic and administrative centers of Iran. Also thrashed in his ports, naval and air bases. September 22, Iraqi MiG-23C and MiG-21s stormed the Iranian air bases in Mehrabad and Došen-Teppo near the capital, as the town Tabriz, Bakhtaran, Ahvaz, Dizful, Hamadan, Urmia, Abadan and Sanandaj. The Iraqi Air Force were able to partially damage the takeoff platform Iranian airfields, killing of the supplies of fuel, but in general, the Iranian air force did not suffer severe losses. Iranian combat aircraft, in the main it was the F-4, F-5 and F-14, were instituted in advance to spare the site. I must say that at first the war until the missing parts and ammunition (they were western production and business with the West have been sharply spoiled after the Islamic Revolution), the Iranian Air Force worked quite well. Thus, in the first days of the war, Iranian aircraft attacked the capital of Iraq, on the air base of Al-Walid, where there were the Iraqi bombers IL-28 and T-22.

The coming of the Iraqi troops was made at the front of up to 700 km, from Qasr-Shirin in the north to the south of Khorramshahr. 6 corps sun invaded Iraq to Iran on three fronts. By the end of the first day or "Iraqi blitzkrieg" troops managed to drive a wedge in the enemy area of 20 km and take a 1 thousand square meters. Iranian km area. On the north Iraqi mechanized division broke gornopehotnaya border garrison at Qasr-Shirin and moved up to 30 km to the east to the foothills of the Zagros, creating a danger of the highway between Baghdad and Tehran. At the central direction of the Iraqi forces took the town of Mehran. Then the central Iraqi group has moved to the east to the foothills of the Zagros, but was stopped by the blows of Iranian helicopters. The main blow inflicted on the Iraqi command the forces of the south 5 armored and mechanized divisions, they were advancing on two fronts. First group crossed the Shatt-el-Arab near Basra, and went on Khorramshahr. The second group dealt a blow to Susengerd continue to Ahwaz, which were the basis of the Iranian defense in Khuzestan.

Within 10 days of the war the Iranian army was thrown at 40 km from the border. Iraqis have captured a number of border cities such as Bostan, Mehran, Dechlorane etc. For first campaign Iraqi commanders made a number of severe failures: thrown to the seizure of large cities armored units replaced in order to bring them to the development of a breakthrough, it has led to huge losses in tanks . Also in the Iraqi armed forces were poorly established cooperation between the Army, Air Force and Navy. The Iraqi army was not prepared for the stubborn, fanatical resistance of the Iranians. Virtually all areas of the front observed fierce resistance of Iranian forces. Special tenacity showed not even a permanent part of the Iranian armed forces, and troops taking shape Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the People's Militia ("Basij"). In the ranks of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution and the militia to the beginning of the war there were about 100 thousand people. By the end of November 1980 Tehran sent to the front 200 thousand people.

In the middle of October 1980, Iraqi troops continue coming to Khorramshahr and Abadan. The Iraqi side, advancing to Ahwaz, advanced to 80 km and the city was subjected to heavy artillery fire. Only with the help of strong air strikes Iranian Air Force (many pilots priklnnyh Shah pardoned after the war) rescued from Ahwaz to capture and stop the coming of the Iraqis.

November 3, 1980 Iraqi mehchasti With years of Abadan, but their attack was stopped by troops of the IRGC. Abadan was blocked with 3 sides, a few blocks were captured, but the Iranians were transferred by water reinforcements and were able to hold the city. November 10, 1980, after angry street fighting Iraqi forces were able to take Khorramshahr.

Iran has started to respond to the coming Iraqi special operations troops. In Kurdistan, was hit by an Iraqi oil pipeline (Syria, which supported Iran, closed its ports to Iraqi oil). November 7th Iranian special forces supported by air and naval forces stormed the oil terminals at Mina al-Bakr, and on the Al Faw peninsula.

By the end of November 1980 Iraqi Blitzkrieg completely exhausted. Iraqi forces were able to take only a third of the area of Khuzestan, advancing at 80-120 km depth Iranian areas (Iraq seized a total difficulties about 20 thousand square meters. Km area of Iran). Iraq's armed forces captured the town of Qasr-Shirin, Neftshah, Mehran, Bostan and Khorramshahr, Abadan was surrounded, but their coming was stopped in front of large towns Kermanshah, Ahwaz and Dizful.

Hope Saddam Hussein uprising of hundreds of thousands of Arabs was not justified. At the peace talks the Iranian government does not matter. The advancing troops were not able to perform all tasks and began to prepare for defense. Frolicsome victory did not. In December, the war dragged on quite temper.

The failure of the main prerequisites for the Iraqi blitzkrieg

— Revaluation of the state's own armed forces and their combat capability, the underestimation of abilities Iranian army and paramilitary forces.

— Underestimating the strength of the new Baghdad regime in Iran. Iraqis believed that the invasion of their troops find support of the Iranian society, disaffected Islamic revolution and the Arab population. The loss of Khuzestan was to destabilize Iran. Shiite control of Iran, according to the plans of Iraqis had to ask itself the world.

— Lack of initiative and error command of Iraqi aircraft. The Iraqi command cast armored, mechanized units to storm the city replaced in order to develop an initial success. The loss of time and the speed of the operation led to the Iranian command was able to mobilize and redeploy to the front reinforcements, which equated the po
wer of the parties. Command failed to organize this interaction army, air force and navy. Iraqi troops were unprepared for the fierce resistance of the Iranians.

On the way to the turning point in the war

The Iraqi administration has decided that holding Iranian troops occupied areas, can be accessed from Tehran return all disputed areas. In addition, demands were made for subversive activities in the finish area of Iraq, support for the opposition, separatist movements and the abandonment of the policy of exporting the Islamic revolution in the Arab world. Another first in October 1980 Baghdad said he was headed for the goals, legitimate areas returned and offered to settle the war through peaceful negotiations. But Iran has not agreed to the proposal.

The Iranian clergy used the beginning of the war with the greatest utility itself. The war is allowed to solve some fundamental problems on the consolidation in power, to consolidate the society. Now you can officially start exporting the revolution to the neighboring country. On the front were focused virtually all departments and units of the former Shah's army, so Makarov, the ruling clergy bled much of the opposition. The war is allowed to enter an emergency mode and defeat the Democratic Left Movement, which played a huge role in the overthrow of the monarchy. Immediately able to dramatically enhance the new military and punitive structure, the faithful clergy, such as the IRGC. Religious and patriotic treatment of the population has led to the fact that the vast majority of society has rallied against the common enemy, dissatisfied were obliged to remain silent. So Makar, the war with Iraq was for the new regime is not just a gift of fate.

The Iranian political-military management decided that the transition of Iraqi armed forces to the defense of their states of helplessness and develop a plan of counter-attack. First, in January 1981 the troops went to advent, but it suffered a disaster. On the main direction of impact 16 Panzer Division was to relieve Abadan, but it fell into the "fire bag" and was defeated by one hundred percent (Iraqis claimed that they had killed or captured 214 tanks of the 300 Iranian, Iran acknowledged the loss of only 88 cars) . In spring and summer, the Iranian commanders tried to spend a few individual offensive operations of limited scope, but a good result, they did not bring the Iranians. The main premise of Iranians trouble at the front at this time may explain the lack of experience in the organization of command and control, a weak level of training of troops, equipment and ammunition shortcoming, technical professionals to service the heavy weapons. Weapons left over from the monarchy, and especially spare parts for it was not enough for a protracted war.

The Iraqi military and political control after the failure of the Iranian counter-attack made sure that defensive strategy was correct. In Baghdad, there was a wrong impression that the Iranian army is unable to break through the defensive line perfectly cooked. Because after a bad March coming Iraqi forces on Susengerd command to the end of the year did not solve any active offensive operations. In Baghdad, as previously believed that soon the regime in Tehran will fall due to the internal crisis that intensified war. In principle, the basis for such views were, the failure of the Iranian counter-offensive in January led to an exacerbation of the conflict in the Iranian leadership. In Iran there was a conflict between the army and armed newest structure — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Shiite clergy suspected that the army officer corps is strong proshahskie mood and tried to reduce the role of the army in the country. In June 1981, the Majlis passed the first democratically elected president of Iran Abolhasanu Banisadr impeachment with the wording "for activities against the Islamic clergy." In the night from 21 to 22 June of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps blocked the house and the residence of the president, also took into custody the main editors of major newspapers. In the afternoon on June 22 signed Khomeini instructed the release from obligations Banisadr heads Iran. Banisadr some time hiding and then fled to Europe. In response to the people's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK), speaking against the strengthening of the role of the Shiite clergy, launched a terror in the country. August 30 was killed by the new president of Iran, Ali Rajai and Prime Minister Javad Bahonar. The authorities responded with mass arrests of activists of the MEK. In general, the calculation of Baghdad by a sudden change in Iranian domestic politics was not justified.

It should be noted that in the summer of 1981, Israel has promoted indirectly to Iran. June 7, 1981 the Israeli Air Force carried out an operation "Babylon" — was destroyed purchased from the French nuclear reactor. Iraq's nuclear programm was once again foiled.

Iranian counterattack

Second half of 1981 and first half of 1982 in the Iran-Iraq war were marked by the transition of the Islamic Republic of active offensive operations on virtually all fronts. The main efforts of the Iranian command, as before, and the Iraqi, concentrated on Khuzestan. Essentially giving the Iraqi Armed Forces in the quantity and quality of weapons, Iranian forces sought to use their numerical advantage. The attacks have tried to start at one point, NIGHT MODE, without preparatory artillery and air.

First, in September 1981 the Iranian command, using an advantage in the number of own troops, failed to make the appearance of coming to Basra, and dealt a major blow against Iraqi forces that ensured the siege of Abadan from the east. During the battle for Abadan, which lasted 26-29 September, the city was released. Then after a pause of some Iranian troops again fled to the area in the coming Susengerda took Bostan.

In December 1981 and January 1982, Iranian forces carried out successful coming in Qasr-Shirin.

In March — May 1982, the Iranian commanders held a new offensive. By May of Iranians took to the state line border with Iraq. In March 1982, the Iranian army unleashed a surprise night attack Shush. Moreover, this attack was noted by the use of suicide bombers — in the first echelon attack was a lot of young volunteer militiamen (including 14-16 years). Volunteers struck corridor in the minefields, then the battle have introduced regular part. In the same month, was another major offensive operation ("The undisputed victory"), in the process under her Susengerdom defeated three Iraqi divisions. Larger in the coming vernal operation was the "Holy Temple" in April and May 1982. Its main objective was the liberation of Khorramshahr and access to the state border. The researchers believe that this operation Iranian forces applied fairly flexible strategy. The Iranians had in front of him, Iraqi troops still reeling from the shock of the previous defeats, the possibilities for coordination have been weakened. Iranian commanders enjoyed it. Small sabotage units Iranians cut communications made visibility of the blockade and the environment Iraqi units. Several Iraqi divisions were shackled and disoriented. May 24, 1982 started out assault Khorramshahr. Stormed the city from four directions — one of the assault teams crossed the water hazard on the boats. Took part in the operation, and the Iranian Air Force helicopters. Iraqi commanders, despite the critical situation, was able to save a great part of the forces defending the Khorramshahr, relegating them to the area of Iraq the only river crossing the Shatt al-Arab. But about 19-20 thousand Iraqi soldier was captured. Iran's command began to prepare for war on the ground in Iraq.

After these defeats favorite Iraqi Saddam Hussein expressed his willingness to engage in peace talks on the settlement of disputes, and said the withdrawal of troops from the Iranian countryside. The Iranian government has put forward quite unacceptable for Baghdad's peace terms, including the care of the Hussein from power.

After the fall of Khorramshahr Iraqi military commanders reviewed the implementation strategy of armor. Earlier, they were used as the main striking force. And made huge mistakes, often used separately, without reinforcement units and software. After the transition to the defensive tanks were used in the 2nd tier of defense, they were placed in trenches and shelters. Path of their movement to alternate firing positions or temporary steel cover mounds of sand or go on a specially digging the ditches. In the counter-throwing tanks only in the case of the latter need, for example, had broken through the enemy infantry without languid anti-tank weapons. Broken through the enemy tanks trying to eliminate the fire on the flank and rear. The war has taken a position in nature, without the most profound breakthroughs. Iraqi commanders at all withdrawal of troops to the border line, leaving in his hands only contentious parts of the border.

Iranian commanders in this time of war tried to achieve operational surprise. The actions of the Iranian armed forces can mention a few features. Limited implementation of the Air Force (in contrast to the first period of the war, when, during the coming Iraqi troops Iranian Air Force were able to inflict a series of massive strikes against the enemy), armored vehicles and large-caliber guns — in the main because of the lack of spare parts and ammunition. In fact, absolutely no fighting acts of the sea. The Iranians have relied on the large number of soldiers and psychiatric settings (ready to huge losses). The troops used extensively close combat weapon — small arms, RPGs, mortars, small-caliber recoilless gun. Iranian troops suffered significant losses in manpower.

During this period, quite determine strategy Tehran — Khomeini and his resolutely tear away any samples to start negotiations on the settlement of the conflict. Not having enough heavy equipment, ammunition and equipment for a decisive strike against Iraq, the Iranian administration is waging a war of attrition of the enemy.

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