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Kuwait 3 decades ago on this day...

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Kuwait 3 decades ago on this day...

Old 2nd Aug 2020, 21:07
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Kuwait 3 decades ago on this day...

3 decades ago on this day one of my best mates living in Kuwait City at time and her father was physically in there when Saddams tanks rolled in .... but she and other family were out of the country ....

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3csywvf

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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 03:22
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It's kind of weird. A guy who my dad knew from college was working the high level oil/finance stuff in Saudi in 90. I was deployed to West Pac at the time. He sent me a letter and explained to me what a bunch of useless pratts they were (they who lived in Kuwait) as viewed by the Saudis he worked with. He predicted that we'd never shed a drop of blood for them.
He guessed wrong.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 07:14
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Funny, everyone forgets the first time Iraq wanted to take over Kuwait in July 1961 when combined UK forces were sent in to repel the 'invader' with no help from the USA or anyone else.
Google 'Operation Vantage'.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 11:23
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A mate of mine was on the Kuwati Liaison Team and was there on the day when the tanks came rolling in. Went into hiding with his family until Saddam had the amnesty and released foreign personnel. He has one of the few Gulf War medals with the clasp '2 Aug 90'
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 13:13
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I was on an engineering course in the UK and a couple of guys on it were Kuwaiti nationals working for Uwait Airlines.. needless to say they were worried for their families etc, but safe.

I remember reading at the time there was a big meeting in the White House to decide who was going to announce to the world that the USA was coming to their aid, The President, Secretary of State, Generals etc were all in line for the job.... It turned out some Sgt or similar beat them all to it by posting NOTAMS along the route that the USA was coming in force.
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Old 3rd Aug 2020, 22:20
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I was in Wichita, working on one of the (then new) Air Force One 747s. I was working ~16 hrs/day so in the morning I simply got up, showered, and headed to hotel to the facility without checking the news or papers. First thing I noted while driving was that - overnight - the price of gas had gone from $.99 to $1.29 a gallon . It didn't take long to find out what had happened once I arrived at the Boeing facility.
That trip is not a pleasant memory - after finishing up on AF1 I'd headed to Minnesota for a family reunion - my dad died suddenly and unexpectedly during the reunion - but at least I had a few days with him before he passed.

I had a Kuwaiti national as a roommate when I was an undergrad (~1976) - apparently his family was fairly high up in the Kuwait government. I never heard from him again after the invasion - never found out what happened to him.
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Old 4th Aug 2020, 06:10
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Living on the beach in Hawaii. Told to start packing and shortly thereafter we were in country via a fuel stop in a country we were told not to mention.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 13:36
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A neighbour of mine from Odiham and his family was posted there a few months beforehand. His son ended up on TV with Saddam....All ended 'as good as can be' for them. I later flew out, from Hanover to Al Jubayl, on the last surviving Kuwaiti Airways 747.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 14:52
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At that time a near neighbour was a Kuwait Airways pilot. He 'thought' he had been
seconded from BA via Boeing to Kuwait Airways. When all went wrong and he escaped to UK
he found no-one actually employed him, so no help.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 08:44
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Funny, everyone forgets the first time Iraq wanted to take over Kuwait in July 1961 when combined UK forces were sent in to repel the 'invader' with no help from the USA or anyone else.
I remember hearing about the Hunters being deployed to Kuwait on my Dad's car radio when being driven home from school. He then said something accurate, if rather rude, about a certain 1957 Defence White Paper.

Roll forward to 1990; I'd just finished a month's block leave from my UAS when I was told that I was 'vulnerable for recall' due to the Iraqi action. "Oh great", I thought "...as some Ops Officer no doubt". But I was wrong - they were recalling me as a VC10K captain! Shortly after several inoculations and an extended GDT pistol firing day, it was off to do another AR5 course, then a couple of weeks refresher training before we flew ourselves to Bahrain. Masses of flying, then after a break in the UK for RWR and a simulator trip, it was back to the Gulf. More AAR training, then on 17 Jan the first of 40-odd war sorties.

Back home in March, but then it was "What are you doing here - go back to the UAS!"...….. Oh well.
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Old 7th Aug 2020, 17:40
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November Delta

My brother was due to fly back from the Far East on ‘ND’, but woke up late and missed the flight 🤦🏻‍♂️ Only to appear on my mother’s door step three days later. All he got was a smack around the ear 🤷🏻‍♂️

He he had no idea what had happened as he took a couple of transfers to get home, so missed all the excitement.

My mother, and the rest of us, had three days thinking he was stuck in Kuwait as we couldn’t get anything out of BA.

All before the internet, so not a case powering up the laptop, and phone was useless as BA wouldn’t accept phonecall, probably thinking it was a Jurno trying to find out info.

At least he mentioned the whole episode at out wedding in early October 👍
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Old 7th Aug 2020, 18:30
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
Funny, everyone forgets the first time Iraq wanted to take over Kuwait in July 1961 when combined UK forces were sent in to repel the 'invader' with no help from the USA or anyone else.
Google 'Operation Vantage'.
chevvron,

Not exactly a like for like comparison is it? There was no 'repelling' to be done as there was no actual invasion. UK forces were sent in July as a deterrent to a perceived threat of invasion. Nothing happened and they were all gone by October.

Hardly a comparison with 1991 now is it?
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Old 8th Aug 2020, 06:52
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“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?

Trite but you’d have to wonder if (even worse than ‘what about’) anyone had been brave enough to act on intelligence about Saddam Hussein’s intentions (?!?) if 1990/91 might have another ‘non-event’ .....

20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing
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Old 8th Aug 2020, 07:31
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Was there any 'intelligence' to hand re Saddam's intentions in 1990? Was anyone even looking in that direction?
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Old 8th Aug 2020, 10:24
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No direct knowledge of this but ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion_of_Kuwait
On 25 July 1990, April Glaspie, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, asked the Iraqi high command to explain the military preparations in progress, including the massing of Iraqi troops near the border
....
Glaspie also indicated to Saddam Hussein that the United States did not intend "to start an economic war against Iraq". These statements may have caused Saddam to believe he had received a diplomatic green light from the United States to invade Kuwait

Not finger pointing at the US, but there appears to have been some 'intelligence' out there.

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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:49
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
chevvron,

Not exactly a like for like comparison is it? There was no 'repelling' to be done as there was no actual invasion. UK forces were sent in July as a deterrent to a perceived threat of invasion. Nothing happened and they were all gone by October.

Hardly a comparison with 1991 now is it?
UK forces deployed comprised 2 aircraft carriers, 4 destroyers,7 frigates and various army and RM Commando units with air support from Akrotiri until October when the 'protection' task was taken over by the Arab League; sufficient UK forces were kept available to help defend Kuwait intil 1971.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 14:43
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 18:44
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
UK forces deployed comprised 2 aircraft carriers, 4 destroyers,7 frigates and various army and RM Commando units with air support from Akrotiri until October when the 'protection' task was taken over by the Arab League; sufficient UK forces were kept available to help defend Kuwait intil 1971.
None of the Invincible class aircraft carriers were deplOYED that I recall, largest helicopter carrier was the RFA Argus.

cheers
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 19:53
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Given that the Invincible class didn't start build until 1973, it's not surprising they didn't get to play.

My late father was on the PR9 at AKR at the time. He told me they had protested to the 'planners' at HQ NEAF* who were cleverly trying to task them down the same route and timings for days on end. It took a few days to sort out the madness but it took a strong intervention from the resident 1* to make it happen. He said they were given a Hunter escort, whose pilots had been briefed that they were not to engage if the PR9 was threatened and could only react under their own sovereign right of self-defence. The informal telephone briefing was allegedly rather different, the Hunter team making it quite clear that anything having a go at the PR9 would be engaged on the grounds that they themselves would obviously be next in line...

* This was the same HQ NEAF (same timeframe as Kuwait) that tasked a low-level oblique sortie to get imagery of a mysterious crate dropped off at Paphos by the Russians. Sqn calls the HQ: "Why don't we just send a photographer by road?" Silence at the other end of the call, followed by the tasker hanging up. Sortie cancelled shortly before launch.
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Old 23rd Nov 2021, 20:23
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The BBC is repeating the claims that there were UK military personnel on board and 'the flight was being used for a secret intelligence mission'.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59388975

If the statements of those on board are to be taken at face value I can't imagine the Mukhabarat would have taken long to extract the information from them.

I assume this is all trigerred by the release today of 33 related FCO files:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Files Released

Tuesday 23 November 2021Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Files Released

Today we have released FCO files relating to a British Airways flight (BA149) which landed in Kuwait City in the early hours of 2 August 1990, as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait began.

All the files have been digitised and can be found at the following links:
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