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    Default Battle plan for Iraq ?

    According to the Sunday Telegraph .

    Britain to fight Saddam on three fronts
    By Michael Smith, Defence Correspondent
    (Filed: 14/09/2002)


    Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, arrives back from Kuwait this morning with full details of what America wants Britain to provide towards the forces lined up against Iraq.

    Although officials continue to insist that no decision has been made on whether to go ahead, they admit that contingency plans are in place.

    The Ministry of Defence has set up a Target Planning Group to select targets for attacks by US and RAF aircraft on the no-fly zones in Iraq.

    Senior defence sources confirmed that Tornado GR4s patrolling the zones would be equipped with precision-guided Storm Shadow missiles to provide "more punch".

    Gen Tommy Franks, the US commander in the region, is known to want an extremely strong force of about 250,000 - including a British armoured division - to attack Iraq on three fronts.

    Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, insists that all possible options must be examined and that Gen Franks should think "out of the box" to come up with plans, but a full-scale invasion is seen as the only realistic choice.

    That would require three thrusts, one by US airborne troops, probably accompanied by elements of the Colchester-based 16 Air Assault Brigade, to occupy Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

    British and US special forces are already on the ground in the region and US air force engineers have already relaid three large air bases.

    The second thrust would be an amphibious assault on the south via Bubiyan island by a US Marine Corps expeditionary force, possibly including the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade.

    This would be bound to involve the Royal Navy, since the area is heavily mined and America has no specialist mine-seeking ships. It is also expected to involve the aircraft carrier Ark Royal and the amphibious assault carrier Ocean.

    Ark Royal is on its way to the Mediterranean, where it will be joined by the destroyers Southampton and Edinburgh prior to carrying out amphibious landing exercises with other Nato forces.

    The third and final phase will be a classic armoured advance from Kuwait into southern Iraq by five armoured divisions, one of them the Army's main armoured force, 1 Armoured Division, based at Herford in Germany.

    It will be stripped of one of its brigades, 20 Armoured Brigade, much of which is currently serving in Kosovo and Bosnia to form a two-brigade "light" division.

    The most famous of the two brigades is probably 7th -Armoured Brigade, the "Desert Rats", based in Bergen-Hohne and Fallingbostel. The brigade was due to take part in an exercise in Poland but this was cut down to a single battalion in anticipation of a possible deployment to Kuwait.

    The other brigade will be 4th Armoured Brigade, which is based at Osnabruck and Munster, and like 7th Armoured Brigade took part in the 1991 Gulf war.

    Kuwaiti government officials confirmed yesterday that Britain planned to deploy a "light" armoured division there in the coming months.
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    There are 3 types of people in the world - those who make things happen, those who watch things happen; and those who wondered what happened.

    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]Conservatives. Putting the 'N' into Cuts.


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