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What IF? (Iraq)

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posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 11:37 PM
Hey, I have a question I would like to ask that I've been wondering about. We all know Saddam's army of T-72s and other outdated Soviet equipment was murdered quite quickly by US/GB forces.

Here's my question. How much of the same equipment that Saddam used in Gulf 1 or 2 would it take to beat back the coalition?

10,000 T-72? 20,000?

400,000 BMPs?

3000 migs?

How many missiles?

At what number does our technology, and military excellence become not enough?

I would love to know your guys numbers of equipment and troop numbers. I understand Iraq doesn't have a huge population, but assume the best

Also remember, this is IRAQI terrain, open desert, target rich environment!

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 04:05 AM
I think your question is somewhat acedemic Shootersix.

Even with the best will in the world, you cannot simply believe that numbers alone can count against a technologically advanced opponent. If that were ever the case, we in Europe would be speaking Russian by now!

Another factor to consider, is that Iraq had only previously been involved in the Iran-Iraq war and that conflict lasted some ten years. Given that as the backdrop of your scenario, I seriously doubt if any of Iraq's forces were in any fit state to fight a Coalition force, no matter how numerically superior.

Sure, the much vaunted Republican Guard had little trouble rolling back the somewhat inferior Kuwaiti forces, but had they have come up against a well armed, well led force of equal status, I think Iraq would have had a very bloody nose.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 02:24 PM
reply to post by ShooterSix

The most important number would be in terms of aircraft. As long as the USA has air superiority, the enemy armor is going to be wiped out, before it overwhelms friendly armor. Technology or numbers isn't the only issue either. A well trained force can overcome technological or numerical superiority over an untrained/poorly trained force.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 02:54 PM
Thanks for the replies!

You're getting at what I'm thinking BlueRaja. Just how many inferior Iraqi aircraft, armor and troops would it take to beat back the coalition, or for the coalition to change their mind about the invasion altogether?

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 03:06 PM
reply to post by BlueRaja

Thats total rubbish im afraid.

after all the `shock and awe` of the air campaign bombing an Iraqi tank division - it only accounted for at best 15% of the ground armour - but in under an hour the rest of the division fighting M1A1 tanks were destroyed.

Air `power` is overated - the balkans has also shown it

sure against spotted and lazed targets its great - but dug in and reinforced positions? nah.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 03:57 PM

Originally posted by Harlequin
reply to post by BlueRaja

Thats total rubbish im afraid.

after all the `shock and awe` of the air campaign bombing an Iraqi tank division - it only accounted for at best 15% of the ground armour - but in under an hour the rest of the division fighting M1A1 tanks were destroyed.

Air `power` is overated - the balkans has also shown it

sure against spotted and lazed targets its great - but dug in and reinforced positions? nah.

The Balkans are a bad example(the rules of engagement prevented the aircraft from flying low enough to be more effective, due to Clinton's risk aversion). In the desert with clear skies, it's much more difficult to conceal your armor(especially if it's on the move), than in a woodland scenario with low cloud cover obscuring laser designation. The M1A1s were very effective against the T-72s, but a considerable amount of targets were taken out prior to the ground campaign ever starting.
If the USAF had JDAMs in the Balkans and could fly lower, the situation on the ground would've been less rosy for Milosevic's forces.

posted on Sep, 26 2007 @ 08:22 PM
reply to post by Harlequin

Agreed, air power is really overated these days.

To shootersix: The numbers of tech and soldiers Iraq had during the first gulf war, the numbers alone that is, would be enough to make any army reconsider fighting. That is if the tech is atleast up to date (which Iraq was...barely but it was), and there are brains and a firey cowrage behind that tech. That is something that Iraq did not really have. Their troops lacked the training, and hardly had the motivation to fight. Seing as this is the case the ammount of tech they would need to have to scare off the US military.........I suppose that number would have to be greater then the total of the US military's ammount of ammo.

Lol, that just made me remember an old Russian joke - Why would the USSR lose if it went to war with China? Because a Kalashnikov can't fire as fast as the chinese give birth.

To Blueraja: Which T-72 are you talking about? There were quite a few prototypes. Oh and what kind of shells would they be armed with? Hope you're aware of the fact that the ones in the gulf war were outdated down to the ammo they were equiped with.


posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 12:26 AM
Using the equipment Saddam had in the Gulf wars, driving back the coalition would take enough cannon fodder to keep all the western equipment busy for so long that it all breaks down.


Because the equipment Saddam used in the Gulf War was absolute rubbish. We westerners can spew out all the crap we want about our technological superiority over the east, but it doesn't change the fact that the main reason we lost almost nothing is because almost every last piece of equipment Iraq was using was decades out of date by Eastern standards. Sure, they had SOME t-72's, but even those that they had were old models. Many of their ground forces consisted of old t-55's, they didn't bother to equip any modern FCS on some of them, and, worse of all, the projectiles they were using were old steel penetrators that had been scrapped by everyone else 20 years earlier and were utterly useless against all modern armour. Additionally, their airforce was composed of aircraft which, while even by modern standards have good speed and maneuverability, are almost complete useless if you don't have up-to-date missile and general electronic systems.

To top that off, the Iraqi forces had inferior training programs.

It doesn't matter how many tanks you have if you're using shells that can hardly kill a jeep.

If rumours of massive up-to-date t-80 forces and other modern weapons were true, the Gulf war would have played out quite a bit differently. But Saddam had not much at his back other than some old vehicles and several-generations-behind projectiles.

[edit on 27-9-2007 by uberfoop]

posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 07:40 AM
reply to post by BlueRaja

I do actually disagree - they had to fly higher because they were being shot at - and hitting and killing allied aircraft!

vis-a-vis -the responded to the SAM activity by flying above them ergo accuracy went down the pan.

there is a discussion about an engagement at the end of the `thunder run` outside the airport gates - from what is told there were 4 T-72`s not like anything the M1A1`s had fasced - they were covered in blocks.

theres had come from Poland and with heavy duty ERA - and when engagaed by an M1A1 - bounced the first shot - much to the pure horror of the tankers who were used to poping T-55`s on the way there.

The equipment in 1991 had just come out of a 10 year war with Iran and was worn out allready but some of it was tip top - the same fight where it was reported to have bounced DU is also where a T-72 was reported to have killed an M1A1 with its main gun.

posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 08:18 AM
reply to post by Harlequin

Reactive armor is effective against HEAT rounds as it deforms the penetrator, but it's not gonna stop a DU round traveling over a mile per second. I haven't seen any reports of an M1A1 being destroyed by a T72, but have seen quite a few where the T72's rounds had bounced off(the few times where they were able to even get within their effective ranges). There was even a case where a disabled M1A1 killed 4 T72s, including one behind a berm(each of these T72s had engaged the Abrams, to no effect).

You're right that the aircraft flew higher due to SAMs, but that had as much to do with the risk aversion, as the SAM threat. The pilots weren't allowed to fly as aggressively as they could otherwise have, as the intent was to have few Allied casualties. I guarantee if they'd planned on prepping for a ground invasion, the aircraft would've had much more aggressive mission profiles. This of course was all pre-JDAM. Now clouds wouldn't obscure laser designators, thereby increasing the hit probabilities.
I agree airpower isn't the end all be all, as you eventually need boots on the ground, if you want to hold real estate. Air power does limit the enemies freedom of movement though, and limit the threat friendly forces have to concern themselves with.

posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 11:57 AM
the way russian heavy ERA works is not by stopping the round - it would be a case of irresistible force meeting imoveable object , no it works by having different materials with different sheer and torsional properties within the ceramic armour (think the layers of different materials in chobham) and by using those properties to `parry` or `deflect` the round away and thus reducing the effective energy before striking the hull.

Kontakt-5 Heavy ERA

Jane's International Defence Review 7/1997, pg. 15:


"Claims that the armour of Russian tanks is effectively impenetrable, made on the basis of test carried out in Germany (see IDR 7/1996, p.15), have been supported by comments made following tests in the US.

"Speaking at a conference on Future Armoured Warfare in London in May, IDR's Pentagon correspondent Leland Ness explained that US tests involved firing trials of Russian-built T-72 tanks fitted with Kontakt-5 explosive reactive armour (ERA). In contrast to the original, or 'light', type of ERA which is effective only against shaped charge jets, the 'heavy' Kontakt-5 ERA is also effective against the long-rod penetrators of APFSDS tank gun projectiles.

"When fitted to T-72 tanks, the 'heavy' ERA made them immune to the DU penetrators of M829 APFSDS, fired by the 120 mm guns of the US M1 Abrams tanks, which are among the most formidable of current tank gun projectiles.

"Richard M. Ogorkiewicz"

Janes report on heavy ERA.

[edit on 27/9/07 by Harlequin]

posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 10:00 AM
It is very sad to read the opinions of those whose country (as far as I know) has never stood on the brink of destruction, and had to rely on pilots who had at best, 15 to 20 hours flying training before being thrown against the might of the Luftwaffe.

To state quite boldly that air power is a thing of the past is, quite honestly, ludicrous.

Land battles are won primarily, in the air. If you can continue to knock the enemy aircraft out of the skies at a slower rate than yourselves, you are winning the air war. Whilst winning the air war, you gain air superiority over your enemy, and you can start to dictate when and where arial engagements take place.

Air supremacy is gained once the enemy air force has been defeated.

With air supremacy, you now force an enemy onto the back foot because you will be able to engage enemy ground forces at will and this will force the enemy to change positions and move only at night.

This tends to disrupt the enemy's ability to wage a successful ground campaign, inhibiting his offensive manoeuvers to those near his supply echelons and, should he choose to expand the terrain he controlls, then his extended supply lines may be engaged and destroyed at will.

As to numbers of obsolete equipment against modern afv's, guns and arial weapons, quantity just does not cut it above quality - ever!

[edit on 29-9-2007 by fritz]

posted on Oct, 1 2007 @ 11:40 PM
Air power is most definitely NOT overrated today!

How can you think that? I mean, look at the world today. Would the U.S. forces, NATO forces, and Coalition forces in Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to do half of what they did without not only air power, but air superiority?

Precision air strikes are what makes fighting any U.S. troop position extremely risky for anyone to do, anywhere in the world. In the current conflicts, experienced jihad fighters know how many minutes of time they have before the air support can show up, and know to break off the engagement to get out of view before they show up. It puts the U.S./Coalition into a very superior position on the fields of battle. Without it, I don't think Saddam and the Taliban would've been so easy to take out. Look at the trouble the Russians had.

posted on Oct, 3 2007 @ 01:46 AM
Hard to tell really. How smart are these guys plays a factor. The smarter the fewer. They, have shown to be not so smart. First shown by using horrid tactics, second by not abiding and letting the ultimate bum wipers come to conquer them. Its a matter of strategic difference. Finally, a number can't possibly be produced, too many variables left after these factors are considered. I don't see a whole lot of numbers in peoples replys, so this should be evident. Calculation impossible. Speculation? Probable. Accuracy of speculation? Too far off to be given any real merrit.

[edit on 3-10-2007 by 1337cshacker]

posted on Oct, 6 2007 @ 04:09 AM
Another factor has and always will be, Intelligence.

When Custer split his forces prior to engaging the Native American encampment [an over simplification on my part] little did he know that there were a couple of thousand warriors the other side of the Little Big Horn. Had he known this, I doubt he whether even he would have attacked.

In 1940 when Goering changed tactics and started Phase Four of The Battle of Britain, the Blitz on London, he assumed [wrongly] that the Royal Air Force had been destroyed. [This because of faulty intelligence from agents who had been turned]

Similarly in 1941 when the German offensive ground to a halt some 30 miles from Moscow, [due in no small part to the Russian Winter] the OKW simply had no idea the Siberian Reserves were in position and ready to launch their first Winter Offensive from north west of the capital.

In GWI, the US Marines launched a huge deception plan indicating they were about to launch a seaborne invasion to liberate Kuwait. The Iraqi intelligence, usually first rate by Arab standards, were completely
fooled. As a result, Iraq pushed more and more mechanized forces to the south eastern border.

I suppose quantity will always win against an inferior and poorly armed enemy, but quality of troops and equipment has always won through in the end.

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