What Really Happened During The Persian Gulf War


Forum Staff
Aug 2016
The video correctly states that some American carriers operated from the Persian Gulf while others operated from the Red Sea.

Very few faults in the video, at least that I can see. The claim that the Iraqi Army was the fourth largest in the world is widely used by other sources. It's technically true or at least close enough to the truth, but I don't know how useful that statistic is. It's just a troop count. The Iraqis lagged behind in terms of how advanced some of their weapons were and in doctrine. The same claim about being the fourth largest has also been made about North Korea's Army with the same issues about doctrine and (un)advanced weapons.

The video cites a troop count for the Allied Coalition circa December 1990. Coalition reinforcements continued to arrive in January and February. There was no need for some troops to be present before the ground war began in late February. My unit didn't arrive until mid-January, and we were not the last to arrive. A more useful statistic would be how many Allied troops were in theater in mid-February. It's possible the troop figure cited in the video is correct for mid-February, but the date is incorrectly given as December 1990.

Linking the Iraqi Army to the Iran-Iraq War can be misleading. The Iraqi Army drafted soldiers for two years. By 1990, almost all of the rank and file soldiers with combat experience from 1988 had cycled out of the army. Almost all of the Iraqi officers were veterans of the war with Iran but not the rankers. Iran fought using very different tactics than the Allied Coalition did. The Iran War did very little to prepare the Iraqi Army for the Gulf War of '91 and may have been a disservice if it taught the Iraqis the wrong lessons.

I like that the video explored Sadam's motivation about debt relief and oil drilling.