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r/todayilearned
r/todayilearned
38.1k
Posted by3 months ago
Helpful2Silver

TIL during the Gulf War, Saddam Hussein built a defensive line filled with trenches and tunnels, hoping to engage the coalition in World War 1-style trench warfare. Instead, the US forces just charged with modified bullzdozers and simply plowed through the Iraqi trenches, burying many alive

2.9k comments
94% Upvoted
level 1

Tanks were literally invented to counter trench warfare, during WW1.

15.1k
level 2
· 3 mo. ago · edited 3 mo. ago

Per the article, the Iraqi soldiers had no anti tank weapons. With anti tank weapons it might have worked a little better. Very baffling that Saddam thought a flexible force like the US would just dismount and fight in the trenches.

1.4k
level 2

We gave them a chance to surrender and come out but they kept shooting at us so we were ordered to plow over them.

1.4k
level 2
· 3 mo. ago · edited 3 mo. ago
Helpful

They're also called "tanks" because when they were brand new, the enemy didn't know what they were. So the allies named them "tanks" because they wanted to deceive the enemy into thinking that they were harmless tanks of drinking water for as long as possible.

6.6k
level 2

I was there, and it was brutal. A lot of the Iraqi tanks were actually destroyed by Bradley IFV's and their cannons - they were moving forward so fast, and the Iraqi tanks were such shit that the scouts got a lot of kills. Turrets popping off just like you see in the Ukraine videos. We didn't lose a single enemy tank to enemy tank fire, only to mines and friendly fire. Watching the 6th French Light Cavalry and the 3rd ACR fuck up the Republican Guard was like watching a professional MMA player beat up an angry toddler.

136
level 2

My uncle drove a tank in the gulf war. He talked about hlthe Abrams being lethal so far beyond the expected range that it was odd. He "heat of battle" was sort of like a duck hunt, since the Iraqis couldn't even shoot back. The terror one should expect from war was there until it simply wasn't because we made their vaunted military obscenely useless.

But then he rolled up over some sand berm to find himself looking directly down the barrel of some big Soviet tank, and realized he was dead. But obviously he wasn't dead, since the crew of that Soviet tank has NO idea a US tank was going to appear, and shit themselves. He was so lucky, and I'm glad for it. That was one group that tried to surrender to some tanks, but had to wait because the tanks needed to keep on going. They waited, and their surrender was apparently accepted.

The horrors of war changed for him though. It wasn't the fear of death that followed him, since his Abrams kept him alive so well that fear sort of slid away. (at least as much as it could...). It was what he saw done to others that changed who he was forever. He came back very different, and it took years and years before he seemed okay. He's obviously much older now, and he's one of the kindest, most gentle people I know as a result of making it through what almost was too much for him to bare. The war very nearly cost him his life well after the battle on the ground ended.

231
level 2

While you are not wrong - the conflict in Ukraine has shown that trenche warfare is kinda back on the menu. Times where tanks were an easy counter for fortified trench positions are also long gone.

4
level 2

There’s a reason trench warfare hasn’t been a thing since.

50
level 2

Aircraft also kinda advanced since WWI. Trenches don't matter that much if you can just thoroughly bomb anything behind it anyway.

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level 2

Bulldozers are like tanks.

2

26 more replies

level 1

"I know burying people like that sounds pretty nasty," Col. Lon Maggart told Seattle Times reporter Patrick J. Sloyan, "but it would be even nastier if we had to put our troops in the trenches and clean them out with bayonets."

War is hell

7.4k
level 2

"War is war and hell is hell, and, of the two of them, war is worse."

3.0k
level 2

Or shotguns. In WWI they were nicknamed "trench brooms" after the Americans started bringing them over, and later the Germans tried to get everyone to ban their use as a war crime.

487

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