Romanov Ascendant: What if the Soviet Union survived?

Let me know your opinion on how exactly this war would progress. Wasn't sure how to do a in forum poll, so I just made an external one. Keep in mind this isn't the entire war, but rather just the first phase, involving only the arab members.

 
Chapter One: The Battle of Al Jahra
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The Battle of Al Jahra Part I
By 9AM, it appeared the positions had stabilized. Saudi Soldiers were given an opportunity to rest and eat, the sorrounded as well as front line Iraqi divisions dug in. The air war continued, edging in favor of the coalition. When an MiG-25 flew too close to Saudi airspace, it was struck down by a patriot missile fired by American forces. The Iraqis were in an awkward position, clearly this was an act of war, but they had their hands full fighting the coalition as it is. When Saddam was informed of his, it took the direct threat of the Soviet ambassador to completely withdraw any support if they would engage any western forces. Characteristically he was furious, but he reluctantly accepted. He turned his aggression towards a counter offensive, goaded on by the ambassador. If Iraq couldn't use it's Scud missiles against Saudi Arabia, he would at least lob them at the Saudis and Egyptians conventional forces. The Iraqis began to concede control of the skies in southern Kuwait, staging ambushes with MiG-25s and patrols with MiG-29s, preventing full air supremacy from being established. The Egyptian 2nd Armoured Division (Equipped with upgraded M60A3s) and the 4th Saudi Armoured Brigade (Equipped with M1IPs and M60s) were given the go ahead to advance, escorted by AH-64 patrols. The overall strategic vision of the coalition was to cut a swath through the desert, encircle the city, create a defensive line against Iraq and force the encircled forces to surrender. This was clear to the Soviets because of their interceptions of communications as well as satellite images.

The Tawakalna and Nebuchadnezzar Republican Guard Divisions, accompanied by the 1st Mechanized Iraqi Army division spear headed the counter attack. Hundreds of tanks would face off. Coalition recce units, combined with UAV surveillance confirmed the large movement of forces. They had a quantitative superiority at the minimal. A UAE armoured regiment and the 8th and 10th Saudi Armoured Brigades, previously held in reserve were ordered to maneuver. The spearhead was ordered to take defensive and preferably hull down positions. Minutes later, by 11:22AM, the roar of 105 and 120mm guns filled the air.

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Corporal Khaliq Shehadeh, 4th Saudi Armoured Brigade, Crewman, M1IP
We didn't have a lot of time to get familiar with these new tanks, the fact most of the labels were in English and these new 'computers', but our American instructors drilled us hard and assured us these tanks would win us the war. We were tired from driving all day, we kept all of hatches open, the heat was starting to get to us. As we drove, we began to lull into a false sense of security, but once we heard the word contact on the radio, I felt more awake than ever in my life. We saw vehicles coming at us at about 5 and a half kilometers out. The weather was perfect. I got the first one dead on, I think it may have been a BMP or something. I saw two almost flying, trying to close the distance. We let it go and took out one, the other reversed and the driver threw a smoke grenade. My hands were shaking, I could even register what happened in my mind, but it seemed as if not my soul. I was a killer.

I had no time for any spiritual or philosophical inquiries. The unmistakable sound of tank round, passing our turret by a few meters or more. Sgt. Shalif kicked me in the shoulder, told me to aim 24 degrees. At least 5 T-55s were coming at us. I let off a round and saw it hit, the tank didn't explode but it was immobilized. Two more rounds flew by us, the Commander ordered smoke and we reversed. I peered up from the turret, where once some of my friends had stood were replaced by burning hulks. Outside of the tank I could hear helicopters and jets, from both directions. As we reversed it was clear we had taken losses, but we inflicted many more.


The Iraqi's advance guard was composed of BMP-1s, BMP-1Ps, T-55s and T-62s, tanks they felt had a reasonable chance at pinning down the Saudis, allowing the Republican Guards more advanced models exploit the gaps and maneuver to better positions from which to gain leverage. Egyptian BMP-1s exchanged ATGM fire at distance, but as the ranks closed the distance some M-60s were lost, but the Iraqi advance guard was decimated by the coalition.

Captain Kaseem Shakoor, 6th Nebuchadnezzar Division, Commander, T-55MV Squadron
We didn't expect them to eat away at the frontal forces so quick, even the Russians thought that. We were meant to be held as a tactical reserve, to exploit any gaps. Unfortunately for us, when the first tactic failed, they decided the T-72s would take that role. No matter, at the time we thought that if we could beat the Iranians, we could beat the pompous ass of the Saudis. We pressed on, it was a fucking hot day. I had our loader, a veteran of the war with Iran, scouting with my binoculars as we advanced. We drove passed many wrecks, but I was encouraged to see that the black plumes funneled up at the enemies side as well. They would sporadically pop smoke, alternating between tanks to allow for one to give fire, and for the other to reverse. It was clever, I wonder if the Americans taught them that. I got on top of a sand dune and used my range finder, I had 3 of them within 4 kilometers. I ordered my other tanks to the dune, and to be ready to use the bastion missiles. My loader came back in and got one in the chamber. We let them off, two other gunners, stupid motherfuckers, ran theirs into the ground, but my gunner got one right on to the front of the new American tanks. It was scorched, but he still managed to get his gun on me. I started praying to God, but my 2nd got him with another one. It burst into flames. I ordered another volley and we knocked out a few more Saudi tanks. On my line they all popped smoke and started reversing. I knew this was too easy, it had to be a trick or something. I radioed division but I couldn't get anything but static. I continued my advance as per my orders.


Losses began to pile up on both sides, but it quickly began to appear the Iraqis were gaining the momentum. Saudi AH-64s were cutting a path through the desert. As the Saudi center flank began to falter, hellfire missiles cut through the sky destroying a vast number of Iraqi AFVs. In the rear ZSU-23s poured lead at them, but the Apache proved remarkably sturdy. Saudi pilots began to pull back, an Apache took an 9K33 Osa directly, blasting into a fireball and falling in molten rain. At this point an hour had passed, almost a hundred vehicles had been destroyed and nearly a thousand soldiers were dead. American piloted F-15Es began direct airstrikes against the Iraqi spearheads, selectively at great range, to avoid the possibility of shoot down and exposure. This limited their effectiveness, and limited Saudi CASs to F-5s and their own lesser skilled F-15E pilots. As the Saudi reinforcements began to arrive, the Iraqi forces were ordered to continue assaulting, despite their own losses piling up.

Colonel Venedikt Grigorev, Soviet Army attaché to Iraq
By 12:30 it appeared as if we could gain the advantage tactically, but strategically, there was no way for us to gain from this battle. They would waste some of the best armour we gave them to win a few sand dunes in the middle of no where? There was no way for them to take a defensive position and attrite the enemy at this point. My colleague in the Iraqi Army, Major General Salah Aboud Mahmoud agreed with me. But he said there was no way for him to argue this with command, I asked him why. He asked if I would argue with Stalin about retreating from Stalingrad. I understood. I said we had to make the most of this unfortunate waste of lives and resources, and win. As we examined the map, we decided we needed to get our own air assets into play. Saddam was willing to give us the air cover, if we could give him the victory. Mahmoud told me his life depended on it, and I wasn't about to disappoint a friend.
 
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Also I'd like to point out that this isn't necessarily a military history style timeline, but I'd argue that it adds flavor. A lot of history can be dependent on institutional factors, and while warfare doesn't escape that, it is one of the few points in time where human will, circumstance, and chance can completely alter the historical progression. Anyone can say that a 'particular event' should or would have happened, but when so much can change from a tile thrown off a roof, a round straying off course, or a simple factory worker not putting enough powder in a shell, it's fair to say that at that point history becomes its most dynamic, or at least tragically dramatic. Are these personal interludes good or distracting from the overall narrative?
 
Chapter One: The Conclusion of Al Jahra
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The Battle of Al Jahra Part II
Saudi and Egyptian pilots were beginning to feel fatigued, and either continued assisted by amphetamines or switched out. Much needed maintenance was done on the airframes at the bases by US and British crews. Iraqi radar and ground control knew that the coalition presence in the sky was thinning out, and if they were to establish even temporary air superiority, or at least allow for the use of their strike planes, they would have to act now. This coincided with requests from the Republican guard and their soviet advisors for air support. Saddam, wanted his mother of all battles and would get it. MiG-23Ps were dispatched from Kuwait city international airport, as well as MiG-29s, and MiG-25s from Iraq. Using numbers and fighter baiting tactics, as well as the more advanced jamming and ECM abilities on the 23P model, the Iraqis managed to break Saudi control of the skies. After 2 F-15Cs and 3 F-16s were shot down, exchanged for 5 MiG-23Ps and a heavily damaging a MiG-29 that returned to base, Coalition command and control began readying a major sortie to regain supremacy. But this would take time, offering Iraqis the use of their SU-25s, Mirages and SU-22s and the opportunity to further bring up their SAMs. By 3PM, the Egyptian and Saudi armoured core were reduced to fighting an elastic defence, reversing and retreating as much as possible to buy time for their promised reinforcements and air support. The Iraqi Mirage F1s began dropping beluga cluster bombs, forcing armour to disperse leaving it more vulnerable. As their mechanized infantry, self propelled AA and vehicles, as well as reinforcements began arriving, but Iraqi Mi-24Ds and Mi-28s sorties arrived. M163s, Mistrals and AMX-30SAs did their best to defend the columns, and close the distance to protect the tanks, managing to knock out several hinds at the cost of several vehicles. The Mi-28E (export models, that didn't exist OTL) instead focused on knocking out Saudi armour and helicopters (With their R-73s), and quickly retreating. One was hit by a stinger, but managed to whither the blow long enough to stage an emergency landing behind Iraqi lines.

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Major Jabir Aydin, Iraqi Air Force, No. 82 Sqn, MiG-29 Pilot
I thought I was good, I had flown a MiG-25, back in the war with Iran. I even shot down an F-4 in '87, and I swear to God I almost had an F-14, but I'll admit that Iranian bastard was good too. I also thought that I've seen war, at least how to fight a war in the air. What happened that day over Al Jahra was something completely different. We had ambushes, counter ambushes, vectors from 5 different sides, top, down. My eyes were glued to my panel and my HUD, those F-15Cs may have been lions but their pilots were often sheep. But they were sheep that could follow orders, and those orders were coming from the best. We all knew this, but our ground control was solid and the Soviets knew what they were doing. It was me, my wingman working with 96 Squadron, who were flying MiG-25s. They'd bait the F-15s, get them to waste their missiles on them, speed the hell out of there and leave them up to us. It was a lot easier said than done. There was one in particular, he was out flying me, dodging me, trying to get around me. He managed to get the drop on my wingman and knocked him out. Thank god he ejected, the Saudis got him though. That almost ace got a little too smug, I managed to get a lock and he tried to dodge, took too many Gs and flew into the ground.

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The speed and ferocity of modern warfare between two sides roughly comparable in technology, at this scale, was something not witnessed. At least 680 Iraqi MBTs faced 460 Coalition over a battle front extending 15 kilometers. As attack helicopters began to dog fight each other, F-15s dropped paveways, F-4Es launched mavericks, both sides became confused and units became separated from each other. Communications were being jammed by both sides. The coalition had a slight edge, and managed to coordinate better, they continued to draw the Iraqis deeper into the range of the now American piloted attack helicopters and supercobras. The latter brought down several Hinds with their AIM-9 missiles, and even got into gun fights with other Hinds, driving each other away. The Iraqi T-72Bs were equals with a slight edge compared to the upgraded M-60s, and their more experienced crews, finally understood how to use their laser range finders (Unlike OTL, surprisingly), whereas their more numerous T-72Ms still could hold their own against the M1IP and M-60. While Saudi F-15Es dropped cluster and dumb 500lbs bombs to disrupt Iraqi formations, selective American raids targeted the still centralized Iraqi command and control systems. A similar situation started occuring as SU-22s, equipped with KH-25MLs, struck several command posts and M117s, and Mirages dropped 500 pound bombs onto forward positions. SU-25s in particular ripped apart supply convoys, or strafed the coalition line. As the Saudi air power increasingly came back into play, two were shot down. Both sides began to suffer serious air to air losses as they dueled for the skies.

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As the Iraqis lost their brief window to control the skies, they increasingly became the target of Saudi (and American air raids) that began to chew up the isolated tank units, which in many cases had either become lost, displaced or out of range of their anti air protection. Iraqi artillery units began launching coloured smoke rounds, a signal devised in case communications broke down as units moved too far out. As the Iraqi mechanized infantry moved up, they began consolidating their forces and retreating to more defensible locations. Moving in their artillery, digging trenches and bringing up their anti air systems. While the Saudi and Egyptian advance was completely halted, and their front line armour units left in disparate condition. Supply lines were extended and it would take days to recover. The Iraqis were in no better shape either. They took far more losses, in both men and material, and wasted an armoured spearhead on a needless battle. More importantly, the further depletion of their aircraft, loss of pilots and inability to prevent the establishment of air defences would tip the scales further in the air towards the coalition. Both forces began to entrench.

There was a feeling of conflict and contradiction. The reports brought up a feeling of indignation, almost like an ulcer. He remembered it plaguing him those few short years ago. But on other hand, pride and other thoughts began to fill his mind. He could barely comprehend the reports, this style of war, but the Soviets seemed to know it well, and he intended to use them for as long as he could. The subtle realization that the Americans, the hated British and their Saudi puppets could throw everything they had and his best men struck it down. It began to go to Saddam's head.

The Soviets, Iraqis, nationalistic Arabs and even some American news sources presented this as a defeat, akin to the military incompetence displayed by American patrons like South Vietnam. This was possible because most of the footage leaked of the battle, came from Soviet and Iraqi propagandists embedded with Iraqi units, allowing careful editing of what was released to the foreign media. They raved how Egypt and Saudi Arabia groveled to the west, wasting their soldiers lives rather than facing the true enemy in Israel. This propaganda was specifically formulated in conjunction with the KGB and aimed at the Egyptian rank and file, which did negatively affect morale. Regardless, the Iraqis had suffered severe losses of vehicles and aircraft, including hundreds of tanks, including some of their better and newer Soviet imports, at least 6300 Iraqi soldiers and 4100 Coalition soldiers were casualties (not necessarily KIA) CNN, BBC and other western agency coverage was only permitted in the rear areas, despite who they may have had in Baghdad. The Americans countered the Soviet/Iraqi propaganda efforts with drone, fighter and sat images/footage, yet this seemed to only prove that the situation was a stalemate at best. The official coalition line was that a massive Iraqi offensive operation was stopped dead in it's tracks, and that this was only the beginning of the campaign. Behind the scenes, heated arguments occurred in the Pentagon, White House, State Department and CENTCOM.
 
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Interesting story indeed. Different Gulf War is rather plausible too: Desert Storm lite. However, I'm not so sure why Jordan is in and Egypt not. Middle East politics are confusing but I recall Jordan was an ally of Iraq and Egypt not. Where does Yemen and the PLA stand too?
 
Interesting story indeed. Different Gulf War is rather plausible too: Desert Storm lite. However, I'm not so sure why Jordan is in and Egypt not. Middle East politics are confusing but I recall Jordan was an ally of Iraq and Egypt not. Where does Yemen and the PLA stand too?
That is actually a really good point, I knew that the Jordanians had a closer relationship with Iraq but now that I have looked more into it, it seems as if even popular opinion was pro Saddam. I think Egypt would make the better partner militarily, and could be leveraged by secret agreements to constrain Israel, favorable economic aid and of course military aid (Much to the chagrin of Israel). I'm going to switch Jordan for Egypt, that seems definitely more realistic.

The PLO is in the pro-Iraq camp, helping their propaganda against Saudi Arabia. I'm going to write a separate update about the Yemeni situation, but overall Soviet support of the south is altering the power balance.
 
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Chapter One: Enter Milosevic
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A Global Village
As the 90's progressed and the Gulf War waged on, there was one fact that everyone in the first and second world could agree to, information was becoming increasingly available at faster speeds. The internet was in it's infancy, it's developers in the US encouraged and inspired by the Soviet's 'intranet'. Viewers in the United States and UK, the BBC's and CNN's consistent and constant coverage was a marked divergence, even from those who could remember the nightly broadcasts from Vietnam. In the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, the internal media also began to evolve. Most Urban and a solid majority of rural households could now boast of having a television, and there were now up to 18 channels! While censorship was maintained, the avenues for delivering state sponsored propaganda increased ten fold. The Foreign coverage of TASS now featured exciting footage of the Gulf War, in between segments on the sad disease of drug addiction, HIV and racial violence now apparently endemic in the west. TASS's foreign journalists had a field day on the invasion of Panama, after the KGB secured them evidence proving Noriega's links to the CIA. TASS was quickly equipped to provide television services in other languages, although was immediately restricted in the United States under already existing legislation. This combined with increased efforts to support leftist organizations in Western Europe, helped rebuild the Soviet image and promote left wing radical politics, to the degree that they didn't enter the complete fringe as in OTL. For the vast majority in Europe (Other than some notable exceptions) this simply amounted to communist propaganda on steroids, creating a major debate within the British parliament to allow for it's broadcast. There was stronger pressure on western Europe to come to terms with the European community, and Thatcher's hold of the prime ministership was beginning to collapse as even flag draped tories believed that the Euro was necessary to stop communism.

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Polish Spring
However, the Eastern Bloc was proving itself that despite the best efforts of the KGB and General Secretary, the will of the majority could still be heard. The situation was not proceeding to Soviet advantage in two particular countries. The Polish state's attempt to implement EGSVT had only resulted in a revolt of the bureaucrats, contributing to further unrest and the reinstitution of martial law. In the May of October 1991, the lesser bureaucrats, members of various organizations, clergy, solidarity and some defecting party members (marked for removal by the KGB), managed to stage what amounted to a riot or popular revolt in the city of Gdansk. Mass gatherings managed to overwhelm the police and internal troops and some armories were raided, and in some cases several police defected. Wojciech Jaruzelski was told that if he couldn't keep control, the General Secretary and Soviet Army would. In what was called the "Uprising of Gdanksk" or the "Polish May" thousands of reserve police were mobilized along with reliable military units. Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were exchanged and some even resorted to self immolation. But by the end of the month, the ZOMO units had the city under curfew, along with nearly every major city in Poland. At least 80 civilians had died and one police officer was killed. These events were exposed by the CIA, satellite and undercover photography and video recorded by the participants and word put out by emigrants.

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Enter Milosevic
The unrest in Yugoslavia was coming to ahead, President Dragutin Zelenovic, who had become the puppet of Milosevic after the purging of many communist officials and replacement with Serbian nationalists which had consolidated his power. He managed to avoid the dissolving of the Yugoslavian communist party, because of tacit Soviet pressure, despite the withdrawal of the Croatian and Slovenian delegations. General Secretary Romanov considered the notion of bringing the errant Yugoslavia into the Warsaw Pact, completely cementing his reputation within the Politburo, as a major goal. But Milosevic's nationalism, favoritism of Serbs and flagrant disregard for the principals of Tito's Yugoslavia were creating a contradictory situation. Milosevic was fundamentally a pragmatist and recognized that his path to power resided with Soviet support and compromised. He completely contradicted his own words from 1989, and said that Yugoslavian socialism and Serbian nationalism were one and the same. Romanov was pleased with someone who appeared to know his place, and in exchange for joining the Warsaw pack, Romanov would guarantee Yugoslavia's territorial integrity and protect it from secessionism. This created even more internal unrest and anti communist dissent, even among his Serbian supporters, as many interpreted it as him selling the country to Russia. For the Soviets this was another foreign entanglement, especially considering that the procession of secession was already underway in Slovenia and Croatia. The events in Poland, and the upcoming military operations necessary to quash Croatian and Slovenian secessionism were a Faustian bargain, that would again provide the west the means to paint the Soviet Union and Romanov as an aggressive tyrant. When the Slovenians revolted, the Serbians were pushed to engage in a full scale military crackdown. Advisors from the Soviet group of forces in Germany assisted in directing efforts, resulting in a month long campaign. Slovenians ambushed and destroyed entire columns, as well as having stormed JNA (Yugoslavia People's Army) garrisons. However, despite defections of Croatian, Slovenian and even Serbian soldiers, the unassailable advantage the JNA possessed with a full scale invasion prevented any meaningful defence until the JNA had made it to Ljublijana.

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The Battle of Ljublijana
Despite the inability of the Slovenian militia to provide any strong resistance to the advance of the Yugoslavian army, they had been able to arm themselves from looted depots and captured soldiers fairly well. The CIA and MI6 smuggled in as many weapons as possible, and organized crime in Italy had no problem selling anything they could get either. The widespread support for Slovenian independence ensured that thousands volunteered to defend their republic's capital city. The Soviet's were hesitant on replicating Bucharest, and their JNA counterparts who wanted to save as many lives as possible agreed. The connections to the city were cut and it was put under siege. Selective air raids by the Yugoslavian air force went array however, and many civilians were killed or injured, many recorded by western journalists. Before the encirclement of the city, many volunteers from Croatia had joined. Many saw the mass defence of the city as a continuation of the spirit of the revolt in Gdansk. As these idealistic speeches were broadcast, and the weeks dragged on without an agreement to surrender, the JNA stormed the city. It took two weeks to break the will of the defenders, who fought back by any means necessary. As the city fell, many resorted to suicide bombs, fake surrenders and fighting from the sewer. Ljublijana was "liberated" by the 17th of July, 1991. Some insurgents fought on in the hills, but more importantly, the fires of unrest were stoked. In the eyes of those who had witnessed or watched the events in Ljublijana, they demonstrated something. Communism, and the tyranny of Romanov, had to be opposed by any means necessary, including violence.
 
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I'm really enjoying this TL! Another cool update! I have so many questions that I hope get answered. Will the Soviets back the 1992 coup attempt by Chavez? What will happen with the conflicts in Colombia and Peru? Will the collapse of Somalia unfold any differently? What will the Soviet reaction be to the Rwandan Genocide/ Congolese Civil War (if those developments occur roughly per OTL of course)? Will South Africa transform in the same manner it did in OTL? Is there continuing Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia? How do the PRC and the Romanov regime view one another? Will Romanov back Kim Jong Il, or maybe someone else? Good luck and great work! Keep it up!
 
Hmm. I like this timeline as I am a Soviet Union fan but I have a question... will Vladimir Putin be still involved as a leader like Joseph Stalin level or just some random Agent?
 
I'm really enjoying this TL! Another cool update! I have so many questions that I hope get answered. Will the Soviets back the 1992 coup attempt by Chavez? What will happen with the conflicts in Colombia and Peru? Will the collapse of Somalia unfold any differently? What will the Soviet reaction be to the Rwandan Genocide/ Congolese Civil War (if those developments occur roughly per OTL of course)? Will South Africa transform in the same manner it did in OTL? Is there continuing Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia? How do the PRC and the Romanov regime view one another? Will Romanov back Kim Jong Il, or maybe someone else? Good luck and great work! Keep it up!
I really appreciate that! I think with KGB participation, and with a stronger Cuba than OTL, Chavez would prove successful. Venezuela would become a base for which they could easily destabilize Colombia, support FARC and which of course would provoke a massive reaction from the United States. My thoughts are initially that Somalia wouldn't collapse, as they would still have a Soviet lifeline. However as Romanov presses further into South America and the Balkans, I could easily see him cutting Africa commitments. With South Africa, I'm not in particular sure how it should proceed, just as with the PRC, the year of 1989 created a political zeitgeist that in my opinion encouraged the release of Nelson Mandela. However, if the white South African government can't come to terms with the ANC, collapse is also a distinct possibility.

The PRC especially is where I'm not sure, a lot of the members of the CCP would be interested in what the Soviets would be doing with the electronics and automation of the planned economy. Whether they could oppose (Or if he would even bother to oppose) Deng Xiaoping. I'm thinking of leaving it up to a vote, which direction China goes. I was say as of 91' and 92' relations are slightly warming up between the two. The Soviets supporting Tiananmen, having more to offer economically and technologically, definitely goes a long way. However there is also no doubt that foreign industry and pro free market forces are strong within the CCP either.
 
Hmm. I like this timeline as I am a Soviet Union fan but I have a question... will Vladimir Putin be still involved as a leader like Joseph Stalin level or just some random Agent?
I could definitely see him as someone who eventually rises in the ranks, especially as the KGB is getting politically elevated...
 
Chapter One: Gulf War Syndrome
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Conclusion of the Mother of All Battles
Two Weeks had concluded since the battle of Al Jahra, on the 26th of April. The frontlines in the desert had stabilized, a few F-16s were shot down by Tor SAMs, but regardless, the Iraqis had been left under low intensity air bombardment. It would of course increase at night when American pilots and F-117s could fly unhindered. Events in Europe began to take away the attention of the western populace and a move was necessary to regain the initiative and assist the Arab coalition to it's victory. The CENTCOM in conjunction with Pentagon and White House decided that despite the inflammatory nature of such an act, the independence of Kuwait (And the humbling of Iraq) a was paramount need. The US ordered the deployment of the 3rd Armoured Division and the First Marine Division, and USAF squadrons of F-117s, A-10s, F-15s and F-111s were readied for action. On the 21st of April, the Americans attacked in full force against the softer south of the Iraqi western defenses. SEAD raids by F-18s and F-111s suppressed Iraqi air defences to allow American AH-64Ds to operate with near impunity, eviscerating Iraqi armour south of Kuwaiti city. M1A1s mopped up the rest, despite taking a few losses from Iraqi infantry teams equipped with the Konkurs and Konkurs-M ATGM system. Americans forces had the benefit of advanced electronic warfare, counter battery systems, exceptional combined arms tactics and near total situational awareness. The Iraqi command and control system was ravaged in the south. The Iraqi forces retreated into the suburbs of Kuwait city, aided by Republican Guard forces ferried in at night and protected by the Iraqi Air Force, which had shouldered heavy losses against the USAF. The 3rd Armoured controlled the southern approaches to the city, and the marines were enlisted to force the Iraqis out and to clear a path for the armour.

Corporal, Lee Towner, Infantry, 1st Marine Division, 5th Regiment
Waiting for months and months in that god forsaken desert, was getting to us, we knew the Iraqis weren't pussies but anything was better than waiting around at the border. It only took us three days completely fuck up that grand old Iraqi army that stopped the Arabs dead in their tracks. Of course it helped that the chair force cleared the way, but many men in the regiment had to take out field fortifications by hand, and it wasn't easy. By the time we approached Kuwaiti City, it was our turn. The Iraqis had turned the city into a fortress, and didn't allow the civilians to leave, I bet the commies told them to do that. Of course we still bombed the shit out of them, but it slowed us down. We had to ditch the AAVPs and started huffing it, backed up by M-60s and few M1A1 companies donated by the army. When we really needed extra firepower we'd call in LAVs to help us transition. As the city got denser, and the barricades became harder to clear, it soon became clear to me what the phrase "war is hell" meant to me. My uncle was in Vietnam, he fought in Hue City, he wouldn't talk about it. The only reason I'm talking about it is because you're paying me. We had to move building to building, some were easy, some were a lot harder. Apparently this was the difference between the republican guard and the army, not that we could tell or notice. We didn't even have time to process what they looked like until they end. We'd blast a door in, and throw grenades. My squad moved up to some building, could have been a school or some shit. We caught a few of them unaware, three of them in fact, threw in an M67. We kicked in the door after the blast and I let our boy with the M249 rip anyone unfortunate enough to be in our path apart. It started getting tricky when we had to clear rooms, those mother fucking cocksuckers got my friend. An AKM round straight through the gut, they medievac'd him but it wasn't enough. We were wasting them, but any chance they could get, especially those republican guard fuckers, would get us on the stairs or through another building.

*Pauses*

We made it to the 2nd floor, and I kicked a door in. He didn't look a day over the age of 15 or 16, not that I gave a fuck at the time. I had him at muzzle point the entire time, it was seconds but it felt like hours. I looked him in the eye, begging him to just drop it. But he didn't, he hopelessly tried to bring down his AK on me, and I let a burst go. His body flopped back, landing on some desks, completely lifeless. I had to stop, just for a second. My sergeant, a tough fuck who had rode my ass since we got here, came in. He looked at me, I looked at him. He gave me a pat on the back, told me to hold back as our rear guard. It wasn't too long after until we were given the order to pull back, arty the shithole. I got the bronze star, not that I gave a fuck.

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The US intervention had brought the Arabs to the forefront of Kuwait City. The original plan to clear it completely from the Iraqis was abandoned. Tor and Osa SAMs were shooting and then being hid in garages, unacceptable causalities were being taken in brutal urban warfare. There was absolutely no doubt that the American soldier and marine especially, were better equipped, better trained and more ready for battle. Yet the circumstances of fighting in built up areas, with different vectors meant that mistakes were made. The Americans killed at least 15-20 Iraqis for every one casualty taken, but in some circumstances they faced special republican guards. Men who had already fought in the Iran-Iraq war. In the OTL Gulf War, they were buried alive or burnt into a husk from air raids, but in these circumstances, urban warfare, they actually managed to fight back. CENTCOM decided that this intervention was enough, the Iraqis were weaker and that now the Arabs could take care of the arduous task of clearing out the city with their help.
 
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Plus I should also note that the American intervention in Iraq would have given the Soviets the political capital to intervene in Yugoslavia.
 
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