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Operation BROADSWORD - Canada & the Gulf War

RichB

Well-known member
02 August 1990. Saddam Hussein unleashed his Republican Guard Forces Command on Kuwait. By the evening of 03 Aug Kuwaiti military forces were forced to retreat or be over run. It was now only a matter of time until Iraqi forces were on the border of Saudi Arabia. An agreement reached on 06 Aug would allow non-Muslim forces to be defend Saudi Arabia and on 07 Aug the US 82nd Airborne Division were the first to land. By the end of October, with Hussein refusing to withdraw his forces from Kuwait, a stand-off had developed between Iraq and the Allied coalition.

In anticipation of government requests, Canadian Forces commands had begun work on several contingency plans. The Canadian governments first action was the authorization of Operation FRICTION, a naval task group deployment to the Persian Gulf on 10 Aug, departing Halifax on 24 Aug and on station 01 Oct. The second tasking was announced 10 Sep deploying a CF188 squadron with a security company to provide air cover for the naval task group and coalition forces. Operation SCIMITAR flights to Qatar began on 04 Oct. Two bases were established, “Canada Dry 1” and “Canada Dry 2”, and 409 Squadron flew their first CAP mission on 14 Oct.

Canada was also approached by the British and US to commit land forces to the coalition. The UK had announced Operation GRANBY on 14 Sep and hoped to add a Canadian brigade to form a Commonwealth Division like that in Korea in 1951. The US proposal was to integrate a Canadian brigade into VII (US) Corps. Politically there were concerns for both options but there were undeniable facts that swung the choice to the US option. Canada had not operated closely with British units in the 20 years since Canada had moved its land forces from northern to southern Germany. Little commonality remained beyond Standardized NATO Agreements. The move to Central Army Group and assignment to VII (US) Corps saw the Canadian and US units exchange liaison officers, conduct familiarity training, routinely integrate during NATO exercises and most importantly was the Integrated Lines of Communications (ILOC) agreement.

On 05 Oct, the Canadian government announced Operation BROADSWORD, the deployment of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (CMBG) to join the coalition land forces in Saudi Arabia. Units identified for deployment were:
• 8th Canadian Hussars (Princess Louise’s) – armoured​
• 3 Royal Canadian Regiment – mechanized infantry​
• 1 Royal 22e Regiment – mechanized infantry​
• 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery​
• 4 Combat Engineer Regiment, Royal Canadian Engineers​

In an agreement with the US government much a Canada’s aging fleet of vehicles would be replaced from US stocks already in or in route to Saudi Arabia. Key in the offer were the M60A3’s (later upgraded to M1’s), M2’s, M3’s and M109A2’s. This would reduce Canada’s logistics problems with the troops and smaller equipment being transportable by air. As had been done in 20 years of NATO exercises, 4 CMBG would be integrated into VII (US) Corps which would provide operational support. Canada would provide contingents to, but not have to deploy full strength units for air defense, NBC defense, a field hospital or logistics. Combat helicopter support would be provided by US Army Aviation requiring only a utility flight to support brigade headquarters. While Canada did not have the numbers to perform an “advance to contact” role it could provide the especially important roles of flank guard/screening and reducing bypassed strong points. The 4 CMBG would be a Corps asset tasked to support 1st (US) Armoured Division.

A Brigade Planning Team was immediately stood up, with a cell assigned to VII (US) Corps’ Deployment Planning Group. In the next four weeks, Brigade level work concentrated on selecting and preparing the troops and material to be sent to Saudi Arabia. In addition to the mountain of administrative work required, as much time as possible was devoted to training, which included courses for crews of the new vehicle types being provided by the US. At Corps level, the priority was given to determining the best balance for the arrival of combat and support units in theatre. A small cell was assigned to begin operational planning receiving daily updates from US Headquarters in Saudi Arabia.

On 08 Nov President Bush announced that VII (US) Corps would deploy to Saudi Arabia. The following day a senior commanders conference was convened where MGen Franks outlined VII (US) Corps’ deployment and training plan. The plan was set in motion the next day. By 11 Nov advance parties were on the ground and the movement of troops and equipment began the following day. The first units arriving in theatre on 05 Dec. As the pace of troop and equipment arrival increased, there was the inevitable confusion caused by such a rapid movement with resultant delays encountered in unloading and matching troops to their equipment. The first Canadian units arrived in mid- December and began their preparation and training for desert operations as quickly as possible. Mid-December saw the first units move to VII (US) Corps 17,000 square kilometer Tactical Assembly Area (TAA) JUNO. In early January 4 CMBG began its move west with 1st (US) Armoured Division to TAA THOMPSON within TAA JUNO, an exercise that would not see the complete division in place until 02 Feb due to transportation logjams. Frustrated by the delays, BGen JMR Gaudreau received permission to conduct a road march to move most of his brigade to its assembly area. As troops and equipment arrived, they were assembled into ad-hoc units and assigned sectors to defend against a potential Iraqi attack.

While VII (US) Corps completed its move, Desert Storm began on 17 Jan with the first sorties of the air campaign. The next day commanders were authorized to start reconnaissance west of Wadi al Batin, selecting approach routes, command post and airfield locations and begin stocking the logistics base. A week later limited reconnaissance was approved for the new Forward Assembly Areas (FAA).

Training continued as units arrived in TAA JUNO covering every level from individual skills to staff and command exercises. To ensure 4 CMBG’s readiness, BGen Gaudreau launched a series of training events (Exercise Harba Forge) including fire and maneuver and assault exercises progressing from individual units to brigade strength to inclusion of the US forces they would be operating with. By the end of January, he reported to MGen Franks that the Canadians were ready.

On 12 Feb orders were issued for the move to Forward Assembly Area (FAA) GARCIA. The move was conducted as a maneuver rehearsal practicing communications, reporting, maintaining formation and desert navigation. Advanced parties deployed on 14 Feb, with the remainder of the division following the next day. The division moved in a “desert wedge”, 25 kilometres wide and 80 kilometres deep and covered approximately 150 kilometres in two days. The VII (US) Corps completed its move to the FAA’s on 17 Feb and was in position to envelop the front-line Iraqi defenses and confront the Republican Guard.

With Canada Dry 3 established in FAA GARCIA, 4 CMBG began final preparations. Senior staff held debriefings to discuss the successes and problems from the move and adjust plans as necessary. Individual units had the opportunity to perform maintenance and servicing on their equipment, restock their supplies and waited for the order that would launch Desert Sabre.

Cheers,
Rich

(Op BROADSWORD was a detailed contingency plan prepared for the deployment of a brigade sized formation to Saudi Arabia. There were unofficial proposals from British and US command staff to add Canadian Forces Mobile Command units to the land component. Considering the aging equipment in use by Canadian Forces Europe, there were plans underway to acquire new equipment, including the offer by the US to supply vehicles as they were doing for many other coalition forces. The reasons behind the decision to not implement the plan are only known to those that made it and too political for this forum. Op BROADSWORD is likely destined to remain one of the great “what if’s” in Canadian military history.)
 

RichB

Well-known member
The subject for this project will be a M2A2 Bradley assigned to 3RCR using Tamiya's M2A2 ODS kit as a base. As the kit is based on the 1985 M2 release there is a laundry list of tweaks to bring it up to date. I'll cherry pick from this list. While it is labelled ODS, several of those mods had already appeared by the time of Gulf War so I will leaving the late bits off. This release doesn't include the interior from the original but thanks to a derelict M2 kit it will find a new home.

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Rich
 

RichB

Well-known member
Its been about a week of plastic surgery on the lower hull. Being a 1985 Tamiya kit it can be motorized meaning filling several large cutouts and simplified suspension. The swing arms are molded onto the hull side, there are no shock absorbers, the drive housings are malnourished, drive covers are incorrectly positioned and no track adjustment details on the idlers. If you are a big Bradley fan there are fixes for that, scratch build or rob from other kits, but as I am leaving the armor/sand shields lowered most of the missing detail will be hidden.

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I did fix the cover position by holding them in position as per instruction while installing the drive covers on the hull front. The mounting pins can then be removed and the semi-circle ridge trimmed to rotate the cover so the top edge is parallel to the sponson. I didn't enlarge the housings, they would need 1.50-2.00 mm added and the cover plates rebuilt. This means that a rectangular plate that needs to be added running up from the hull running to the mudguard is a little larger than it should be, but I can live with that. Thighs plate isn't actually attached to the mudguard on the real vehicle, but might be just to keep things square. While still on the front end, the upper laminate plate need a join line added on its centreline.

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Moving to the back end, surgery gets more serious. The wings to mount the external stowage boxes on the aft bulkhead were cut off and the extensions cutoff the trapezoid. If done carefully, the trapezoids can glued back onto the aft bulkhead, making it a flat piece. An extension of the sponsons needs to be cutoff as well so the aft bulkhead will fit flush. The pillar on the left side has the curved addition included in the kit, but the right hand pillar requires the extension to be scratch built. The rear mudguards were thinned down to a more scale look. The upper hull also required the water barrier to be cut away along the sloped section so it is flush with the bulkhead. More work will need to be done here once the upper and lower hulls are joined together.

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Next was to figure out how the stowage boxes are attached. After poking around the internet and a few Bradley books I think I have a reasonable representation of their installation. First I added 1.00 mm sheet to the back of the kit boxes to close them off. The front edges of the light bracket was thinned and strips added for the attachment flanges to the boxes. Two 0.50 mm thick trapezoids were cutout for each side and sanded to match the aft bulkhead shapes These plates were spaced with 4 x 0.50 mm discs. The bulkhead mounts were made from 2.50 mm dia rod, cut 3.0 mm long, 4 for each side. These were all attached to the stowage boxes which will go on once the hull halves are joined.

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Next up will be some interior work.

Thanks looking in,
Rich
 
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