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Gulf War

Page 6 of 12

Coalition involvement

C Company, 1 STAFFS, in a live firing exercise, during Operation Granby (British name for the Gulf War), 6 January 1991.Members of the Coalition included Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America. Germany and Japan provided financial assistance and donated military hardware instead of direct military assistance, which was later to be known as a "checkbook diplomacy". United States asked Israel not to participate in the war despite missile strikes on Israeli citizens. India extended military support to the United States in the form of refueling facilities situated in the Arabian Sea.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom was numerically the largest European nation to partake in combat operations during the war. Operation Granby was the name for the operations in the Persian Gulf. British Army regiments (mainly with the British 1st Armored Division), Royal Navy vessels, and Royal Air Force squadrons were mobilized to the Gulf. The Royal Air Force, using various aircraft, operated from airbases in Saudi Arabia. Almost 2,500 armored vehicles and 43,000 troops were shipped for action.

Chief Royal Navy vessels deployed to the gulf included a number of Broadsword-class frigates, and Sheffield-class destroyers, other RN and RFA ships were also deployed. The light aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was not deployed to the Gulf area, but was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea.

United Kingdom,France,Canada,Norway,


The second largest European contingent was from France. Operating on the left flank of the US XVIII Airborne Corps, the main French army force was the 6th Light Armoured Division, including troops from the French Foreign Legion. Initially, the French operated independently under national command and control, but coordinated closely with the Americans, Saudis and CENTCOM. In January, the Division was placed under the tactical control of the US XVIII Airborne Corps. France also deployed combat aircraft and naval units. The French called their contribution Opération Daguet


A column of M-113 APCs and other military vehicles of the Royal Saudi Land Force travels along a channel cleared of mines during Operation Desert Storm, Kuwait, 1 March 1991.Canada was one of the first nations to agree to condemn Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and it quickly agreed to join the U.S.-led coalition. In August 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney sent the destroyers HMCS Terra Nova and HMCS Athabaskan to join the maritime interdiction force. The supply ship HMCS Protecteur was also sent to aid the gathering coalition forces. The Canadian flotilla lead the coalition logistics force at sea. A fourth ship, HMCS Huron arrived in theatre after hostilies ceased. The ship was the first to visit Kuwait at the end of the war.

After the UN authorized full use of force in the operation Canada sent a CF-18 squadron with support personnel. Canada also sent a field hospital to deal with casualties from the ground war. When the air war began, Canada's planes were integrated into the coalition force and provided air cover and attacked ground targets. This was the first time since the Korean War that Canadian forces had participated in offensive combat operations.


In recent years, the work of Norwegian intelligence personnel of during the Gulf War has become public. Norwegian intelligence personnel, at a listening post in the North of Norway, were in secrecy presented with high ranking awards for their work in saving shot down American pilots during the Gulf War.

During the Gulf War, 63 American pilots were shot down. Rescuing the 12 downed pilots trapped behind enemy lines, was a very high priority and the United States devoted a large amount of resources to doing so. The pilots were fitted with emergency beepers, so that the Americans, via satellite could locate them.

However, the USA satellite coverage wasn't always present and American officials, refusing to leave any man behind, started looking around for other methods of locating their pilots. It was then that a small listening post located in Norway, above the Arctic Circle proved helpful. The Norwegian listening post continually listened to Soviet spy satellites, which received the signals from the American pilots without a problem. The Norwegian intelligence personnel "stole" the information they got by spying on the Soviet satellites and forwarded it to American personnel which could then get into the war theater at the correct location and save the pilots.

Several American pilots were saved because of this listening post in Norway. The personnel received diplomas signed by US President George H. W. Bush himself.

Norway also deployed a Field Medical Company as part of Operation Granby from January to May 1991. About 230 strong, this Army unit was stationed in Al Jubayl for the duration of the war supporting the British units. Luckily, the unit had very little medical work to do with allies, but some Iraqi injured were sent there. There was plenty of scope for preventive public health work for which the unit was also equipped.

Coalition forces.

Coalition military personnel deployment

List of Coalition forces by number of troops
Country Number of Troops, Comments / Major Events

United States 575,000 - 697,000  Operation Desert Shield
Battle of Khafji
Battle of 73 Easting
Battle of Al Busayyah
Battle of Phase Line Bullet
Battle of Medina Ridge
Battle of Wadi Al-Batin
Battle of Norfolk .

Saudi Arabia 52,000 - 100,000 Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Shield
Battle of Khafji
Operation Desert Storm

United Kingdom 43,000 - 45,400 Operation Desert Shield
Operation Granby
Operation Desert Storm

Egypt 33,600 - 35,000 Operation Desert Storm
France 14,600  Opération Daguet
Syria 14,500 Operation Desert Storm
Morocco 13,000
Kuwait 9,900 Operation Desert Storm
Oman 6,300 Operation Desert Storm
Pakistan 4,900 - 5,500
United Arab Emirates 4,300 Operation Desert Storm
Qatar 2,600 Battle of Khafji
Bangladesh 2,200
Canada 2,000 Operation FRICTION
Australia 1,800 Australian contribution to the 1991 Gulf War
Italy 1,200 Deployed Panavia Tornado strike attack aircraft
Netherlands 600
Niger 600
Senegal 500
Spain 500
Bahrain 400
Belgium 400
Afghanistan 300
Argentina 300

Czechoslovakia 200 Operation Desert Shield    Operation Desert Storm
Greece 200
Poland 200
Operation Simoom
South Korea 200
Denmark 100
Hungary 50
Norway 280


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