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"Iran-Iraq War fortifications" Topic

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679 hits since 9 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

stefanov09 Feb 2019 5:41 a.m. PST

Hi there,
I am currently researching for the fortification types used during the Iran-Iraw war. I did not manage to find anything in literature, so Iresorted to contemporary satellite views. You may look at my findings here:
I would very much appreciate any interpretations of what I found, especially on the unit size that might have been holding the various size earth berms.
I would like to reproduce some for my Spearhed Brigade or Divisional-level games.

Legion 409 Feb 2019 7:42 a.m. PST

Well I see trench lines and some fortified positions for heavy weapons, CPs, etc., in the mix. I know from pictures of the 1st Gulf War that the Iraqis did have trenches similar to what we saw in WWI. But not as elaborate. Looked more hastily constructed.

ScoutJock09 Feb 2019 9:47 a.m. PST

This is a pretty typical layout used by just about everybody in that war.


stefanov09 Feb 2019 2:00 p.m. PST

Thank you ScoutJock, I had never seen these diagram before, most interesting !

Dn Jackson09 Feb 2019 5:27 p.m. PST

ScoutJock, I remember seeing those illustrations before the ground war kicked off when we were preparing to go over the border. Nice find.

There were reports that they used a form of fougass in the trenches so we planned on hitting them with woolly pete prior to the infantry assaulting.

LORDGHEE09 Feb 2019 9:27 p.m. PST

right before the war I was wacthing 60min and the army was so worried about thease foratications that they brtought in the news to report on the copies they made in the Ca. desert.

As I wacthed this I picked up the phone and call a fellow gamer and

said turn on 60 min,

he said I am watching.

I said did you know that the M1 can use anything that an M 60 can. it was part of the contract.

no so

I said the Israeli"s according to Janes have dozers blades and mine plows and rollers that fit M 60

really I know who to call

he got up hour and a half early and was told by the guy he was the third call missed it by 15 mins and the captain out of Florida who had mission in Israel, with them got a Medal.

that is where all the dozer blades and stuff showed up from. the Army returned it after the war and promptly bought there own stuff.

Almost famous.
medal for the information.

Legion 410 Feb 2019 2:11 p.m. PST

I know in the Tank Bn, my M113 Mech Co was often attached to, '87-'89. Each MBT Plt of 4, had one tank with a dozer blade. That Tank Bn had 3 M60A1 Cos. and 1 M1IP Co.

This was probably the only Tank Bn in the US ARMY at the time that was organized this way. This Bn was part of a Mech Hvy Separate Bde attached to the 18th ABN Corps.

And yes, as Scoutjock said, that diagram is basically what was used by most. Unless they were incompetent, etc., etc. So I don't know how many Iraq units' positions were that well constructed and organized. From what I understand, they rarely demonstrated little to any tactical & technical expertise in fieldcraft, TTP, etc. In any of the Gulf Wars or in the Iran-Iraq War fought previously.

Blutarski10 Feb 2019 7:04 p.m. PST

For a very good look at the Iran-Iraq War, do a web search for -

Institute for Defense Analyses
IDA Document D-4121
Project 1946

This study comes in two separate PDF files:
"Project 1946" and
"Project 1946 Phase II"

Sometimes a bit elusive to track down, but a little persistence in the search will ultimately prove rewarding. Williamson Murray is a member of the analysis team. Phase II contains a number of detailed and ineresting interviews with Iraqi field commanders re their campaign experiences, tactics, technology, internal politics situation, etc.

Short story on the tank versus tank situation the Iraqis were pleased with their T55s, T62s (w/ stabilized guns) and T72-Ms and enjoyed success with them against Iranian armored forces. Iran's armored forces consisted of about 2/3rds British Chieftains with the rest being M60s plus a few older M47s and M48s in reserve. According to the Iraqi commander interviewed, they did not think much of the Chieftain too slow, too heavy for the terrain conditions of the front and frontally vulnerable to the T62 APFSDS.


Legion 410 Feb 2019 11:16 p.m. PST

As usual a weapon is generally only as good as the trooper/crew using it. Plus capable leadership. In this conflict both armies demonstrated little of either based on my study of it.

And we know how poorly generally the Iraqi military performed in both Gulf Wars. And in the first one, they had the 4th largest military on the planet. Plus should of had plenty of combat experience. But here again you are only as good as your competition, in you last fight, i.e. in this case the Iranians.

Steve Wilcox13 Feb 2019 1:11 p.m. PST

This study comes in two separate PDF files:
"Project 1946" and
"Project 1946 Phase II"
Thanks for the tip, those look interesting! :)

Project 1946
PDF link

Project 1946 Phase II
PDF link

Blutarski14 Feb 2019 3:46 p.m. PST

Hi Steve,
Indeed, I certainly found it most interesting reading.


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