Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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The Iraqi column, which had moved south out of Basra, had already been pounded by air bombardment and artillery. Remnants were trying to disperse across open countryside. When the approaching armour had been spotted and identified, the Dragoon Guards, who had been travelling from west to east, split into two groups of seven tanks each as they closed in on the enemy.
One group came across a troop of Iraqi T55s in the process of being deserted as their occupants realised they were being overwhelmed by air and ground assaults. The other tempted the enemy into a “kill box” in a classic hunter-killer battlefield technique.
They lured the Iraqi squadron into believing they were being attacked only by a light infantry unit of commandos. But when the old Russian-built tanks made themselves visible in a wooded area, the Challengers moved in from the flank and began picking them off one by one at a range of about 1,500 metres.
“This was shock action. It was 14 against 14, and the score was 14-nil,” a military spokesman at UK National Contingent headquarters in Qatar said after the brief encounter, which is now regarded as one of the most decisive actions by ground forces in the war so far. “It was nothing less than a suicide mission by the Iraqis; it had no military logic,” the spokesman said.
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