101st Airborne: The Screaming Eagles in World War II by Mark Bando

By Mark Bando

The mythical “band of brothers” in WWII in stirring phrases and photographs, from their ancient touchdown in Normandy to the Allied victory in Europe.

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He must have appreciated that once the attack commenced his men would be subject to the full firepower that modern western armies can muster. the countryside south of Basra had been the scene of heavy fighting in 1991, when Saddam’s republican Guard took a pounding in the ‘Basra Pocket’. the Guard had eventually escaped north but not before they had been subjected to a gruelling air attack and involved in bitter tank battles with the Americans. this time the republican Guard Corps was far to the north, defending Baghdad – General almajid was essentially on his own.

In the face of such overwhelming firepower it was difficult to see how the Iraqi defences could possibly hold. once across the bridge things began to go rapidly wrong for the marines as Iraqi rPGs forced the AAVs to scatter and 200 marines were pinned down for more 46 Book-Iraq War_Modern Warfare 05/02/2014 13:19 Page 47 than three hours. the tanks moved to clear the surrounding houses, but the AAVs proved vulnerable. one took two rPG rounds before a third finished it off. Four AAVs also became stuck in the mud along the euphrates and came under fire.

28 Book-Iraq War_Modern Warfare 05/02/2014 13:19 Page 29 British troops in WmIKs on the outskirts of Basra. the war in Iraq was characterized by the extensive use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. the US Global Hawk surveillance UAV flew in support of operation Iraqi Freedom. An m2A2 serving with the US 3rd Infantry division in Iraq fitted with appliqué passive armour rather than the explosive reactive armour system. the tigris and euphrates rivers join near Baghdad and then part again before meeting to the south at Qurna to form the Shatt-al-Arab river, or Waterway, which flows through Basra and on into the Gulf.

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