That Time US Army Artillery Decimated Iraqi Forces In Less Than 72 Hours

HiMARS Training

The 3rd Battalion, 27th Artillery Regiment was the artillery support for the 24th Infantry Division during Desert Storm assisting them with the invasion of Iraq. In one part of the invasion, they were able to take out 41 Iraqi battalions, two air defense sites, and a tank company, all under 72 hours.

New Weaponry

A new weapon accompanied the 3-27 when they joined Desert Storm. The Multiple Launch Rocket System was said to have rockets that launched with enough force to break the sound barrier and fly to the target.

The first time the rocket went off, it created quite the scene. Soldiers unfamiliar with the MLRS went scurrying off for cover and even tried to dig some foxholes to hide.

Sgt. Maj. Jon H. Cone said, “It scared the pure hell out of everybody.” But as the troops became more familiar with it, it became one of their favorites.

Cone said, “After that first time, it was showtime.”

Territory Push

The 24th infantry was worked to push deeper into Iraqi and seize more territory than any of the other groups, but this meant their support had to fly through the sand keeping ahead of the maneuver units.

The 3-27 was up to the task and kept an eye out for the enemy. They even took bold moves, like when their Alpha battery cut through enemy lines and raided the enemy territory while the rest of the forces moved forward.

One of their largest attacks was the Objective Orange assault, two Iraqi airfields that sat side by side. The 3-27, along with additional artillery units, were to take out 2,000 Iraqi soldiers, ten tanks, and two artillery battalions to make the infantry assault easier.

The rockets launched to hit each target within seconds of one another. The rockets dropped bomblets on the Iraqi soldiers. One of the prisoners of war who was a survivor of the assault told U.S. soldiers that the Iraqis were on their guns when the rockets flew in.

They thought the attack was a failure when the bombs began to explode but soon realized they were incorrect. The bomblets made almost a steel-like rain, killing most of the soldiers in range and demolishing the equipment. The survivors were ready to surrender the second the infantry arrived a the airfields. The battalion was awarded the Valorous Unit Citation after Desert Storm was over for their bravery.

Sources: 1, 2

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