Military Operations in the Gulf War: The Battle of Khorramshahr
ABBOTT ASSOCIATES INC ALEXANDRIA VA
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Theis study deals with the largest single urban battle of the Iran- Iraqi war. Although Khorramshahr, Irans principal commercial port, is only 10 km from the border, the civilian population had evacuated the city by the time Iraqi forces arrived leaving only medical and security personnel. A variety of ill-trained, ill-equipped, uncoordinated, but highly motivated militias defended the city with little help from Irans regular armed forces. The Iranian militias continued to fight long after they were cut off. They contested virtually every inch of Iraqs advance, counterattacking and using snipers extensively. The Iranian resistances instincts toward martyrdom contrasted sharply with the Iraqi leaderships aversion to taking casualties. Much of the initial battle was in fact an intensive artillery siege designed to drive out Irans defenders. Th relative inefficiency of artillery used against built-up areas meant, ultimately, however, that Iraqi ground forces had to engage the defenders. Despite the fact that Iraq ultimately succeeded in capturing Khorramshahr, the battle for the city lasted almost a full month even though the 3,000 poorly organized defenders faced well over a division of the Iraqi Army.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics