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beachav8r

Desert Storm - Mission 09 - Highway of Death

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One of the major events that occurred late in the war was the near total destruction of Iraqi forces retreating from Kuwait. The carnage on the "Highway of Death" is cited as one of the primary reasons the war was soon brought to a close because the Coalition thought international support would waiver with continued decimation of the Iraqi Army. Senior military leaders agree that it was important to destroy Saddam's retreating military hardware. Later investigation would show only a quarter or less of the vehicles were military, however the others were trucks and vehicles stuffed with war loot confiscated from Kuwait. The death tolls vary widely, but I come down on the side of those who think it numbered in the hundreds instead of thousands. If the vehicle in front of me and behind me blows up, I think I'm just going to high tail it across the desert. Controversy aside, the attacks on Highway 80 (and the lesser reported Highway 8) were incredible examples of the devastation concentrated airpower can have on pent up forces.

 

On the night of February 26, an E-8 JSTARS noted columns of vehicles departing Kuwait, retreating north toward Iraq.

 

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The first aircraft on scene were A-6 Intruders that spotted the six mile long column running the length of Highway 80. They bombed the lead and trail sections of the column with GATOR anti-tank mines to prevent the column from moving. From then on, it wasn't much more than a static bombing range for Coalition aircraft of every type.

 

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Heading for Highway 80...

 

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The assembled Coalition fleet in the Gulf...

 

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For my strike, I used CBU-87/B instead of GATOR...

 

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Picking up the coastline and some vehicles on the radar...

 

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In hot!

 

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Soon we have the column burning, which makes for an easy reference point...

 

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My wingman doing some damage with his Snakeyes...

 

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Cont..


An OV-10 loiters and throws white phosphorus rockets at the enemy column (framerate killer!)...

 

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Care must be taken not to get too low because there are enemy air defense units in the mix...

 

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With the initial strike completed, the entirety of Coalition air power will hit the column for two days, destroying 1500 to 2000 vehicles...

 

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I next take up an A-10 to do some damage. Upon arrival on-scene, I order my wingman to make the first attack and he drops CBU on the column making it easy for my subsequent attacks...

 

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Hmm..stay in my truck or leave my truck?

 

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Leave my truck...

 

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The airspace over the column is positively packed with Coalition aircraft. OV-10s, A-10s, F-4s, A-6s, A-7s, AV-8Bs, and others scream in from all directions...

 

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Deconfliction is a bit of a problem and disasters almost occur..

 

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We keep repeating passes until we run out of bombs..

 

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The temptation to drift ever lower during your attacks is a problem. Soon you find yourself down in small arms territory and you expose yourself to a lot of fire...

 

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The targets are endless...

 

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We switch to guns, which in the SF2 A-10A aren't very effective. They seem to have more bullet drop and less of a "laser" fire feel to them compared to the DCS A-10C. Lazing around at low altitude trying to pick of targets with the gun seems hazardous so we pack up and head home.

 

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I can't imagine what it must have been like to have been in that convoy for those two days. Once the bombs started to drop, I can't imagine many Iraqis decided to stay with their vehicles. Given the choice of showing up without their vehicles in Iraq and the consequences of that though, maybe some had no real choice. It indicates what a callous disregard Saddam Hussein had for his own forces that he would even put them in that position.

 

BeachAV8R

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A real shame is the lack of roads in most SF terrains, roadless maps lost a lot of realism and immersion. Great AAR, BTW.

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Great screenies... I like how you display the selected weapons and ripple quantity in the upper right screen! Very good...

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Great account, how did you generate the mission ?

 

It's the single play mission that is included with the Operation Desert Storm install - instead of Highway of Death it is titled: Road to Hell...

 

BeachAV8R

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Fantastic AAR. I almost felt sorry for them. Almost. :lol:

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Great read and screens! I ride Hwy 80 to and from work almost daily, and try to picture what that must have been like

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