VII Corps

In November,1990, U.S. Army, Europe, sent VII Corps to Saudi Arabia to take part in Operation DESERT SHIELD and, later, in Operation DESERT STORM. V Corps immediately received orders to send the 12th Aviation Brigade to Southwest Asia, and then took on the mission of helping VII Corps deploy out of Germany. Victory Corps also sent its 3rd Armored Division and some battalions from the 8th Infantry Division along with VII Corps, because the Spearhead Division was well advanced in its modernization process and was largely equipped with Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The corps then provided additional equipment and ammunition to VII Corps and took over control of those VII Corps troops that did not go to Saudi Arabia. Units across the corps gave up people and equipment to get the deploying units up to 100 percent strength.

Order of Battle for VII Armored Corps

VII Corps Staff
Commander, Lt. Gen. Fred Franks, USA
Dep. Commander Brig. Gen. Gene Daniels, USA (Remained in Stuttgart)
Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. John Landry, USA
Executive Officer, Lt. Col. Russ Mulholland, USA
CO, Corps Support Command, Brig. Gen. Bob McFarlin, USA
VII Corps Artillery Officer, Brig. Gen. Creighton Abrams, Jr., USA
Staff Weather Officer, Maj. Jerry Thornberg, USA

VII Corps Chief of Plans, Lt. Col Tom Goedkoop, USA, transfered to command of 4/66 Armor, 1st Armored Division, on 26 January 1991, when that unit's original CO was injured. He was relaced at VII Corps by Lt. Col. Bob Schmitt, USA, from the plans office of 3rd Army.

* 1st Armored Division
CO Maj. Gen. Ronald Griffith, USA
ADC Brig. Gen. Jay Hendrix, USA
ADC (Support) Brig. Gen. Janett Robertson, USA
COS Col. Darryl Charlton, USA
The division deployed from Germany with a large number of non-organic and attached units. The division also deployed with the standard 6+4 maneuver battalions for an armored division.
o 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized)
[Replaced 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division in deployment for Operation Desert Storm]
4th Battalion, 66th Armor [Aschaffenburg] (M-1A1)
1st Battalion, 7th Infantry [Aschaffenburg] (M-2A2)
4th Battalion, 7th Infantry [Aschaffenburg] (M-2A2)
1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry [Katterbach] [BLACHAWK] [AH-1; M-3] (1st Armored Division Asset)
2nd Battalion, 41st Field Artillery [Bad Kissingen] (M-109 3x8)
26th Support Battalion (Forward) (Aschaffenburg)
o 2nd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Col. Montgomery Meigs, USA)
1st Battalion, 35th Armor [Erlangen] (M-1A1) (Lt. Col. Jerry Weidewitsch, USA)
2nd Battalion, 70th Armor [Erlangen] (M-1A1) (Lt. Col. Steve Whitcomb, USA)
4th Battalion, 70th Armor [Erlangen] (M-1A1) (Lt. Col. Bill Feyk, USA)
6th Battalion, 6th Infantry [Bamberg] (M-2A2) (Lt. Col. Michail McGee, USA)
o 3rd Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Col. Dan Zanini, USA)
3rd Battalion, 35th Armor [Bamberg] (M-1A1) (Lt. Col. Ed Kane, USA)
1st Battalion, 37th Armor [Vilseck] (M-1A1HA) (Lt. Col. Ed Dyer, USA) (also was in 1st Brigade)
7th Battalion, 6th Infantry [Bamberg] (M-2A2) (Lt. Col. Ward Critz, USA)
o 1st Armored Division Artillery
Battery A, 94th Field Artillery [Zirndorf] (MLRS) [During ground offensive OPCON 4th Battalion, 27th Field Artillery]
Battery B, 25th Field Artillery [Zirndorf] (Target Acquisition Battery)
2nd Battalion, 1st Field Artillery [Zirndorf] (M-109 3x8) [DS 2nd Brigade]
3rd Battalion, 1st Field Artillery [Bamberg] (M-109 3x8) [DS 3rd Brigade]
o Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division (Col. Dan Petrovsky, USA)
Task Force PHOENIX (Consolidated UH-60 assets, Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division) [During initial phase of ground combat served under Task Force 3-1 Aviation control]
Company G, 1st Aviation [Katterbach] (Command)
Company H, 1st Aviation [Katterbach] (Assault)
2nd Battalion, 1st Aviation [Katterbach] (18 x AH-64) OPCON to 2nd Armored Cavalry 24-27 Feb 91
3rd Battalion, 1st Aviation [Katterbach] (18 x AH-64)
Company I, 1st Aviation (Katterbach) (AVIM) (Lt. Col. Bill Hatch, USA) [Provisionally organized prior to deployment as 9th Battalion, 1st Aviation and committed in direct support of the Aviation Brigade as a prototype of the Aviation Support Battalion concept]
o 1st Armored Division Support Command
47th Support Battalion (Forward) [DS 2nd Brigade] (Erlangen)
123rd Support Battalion (Main) (Furth)
125th Support Battalion (Forward) [DS 3rd Brigade] (Bamberg)
400th Personnel Service Company (Ansbach) (attached)
1st Armored Division Band (Ansbach)
6th BN, 3rd ADA (Vulcan/Stinger) [Schwabach]
69th Chemical Company (Zirndorf) [less original 1st (Fox) Platoon with 24th Infantry Division since DESERT SHIELD] 16th Engineer BN [Furth]
Company B, 54th Engineer Battalion
501st Military Intelligence Battalion (CEWI) (Katterbach)
501st Military Police Company (Ansbach)
141st Signal Battalion (Ansbach)
Task Force WILDCAT (Engineer) provisional formation for ground combat phase consisting of Company C, 16th Engineer Battalion and Company D, 54th Engineer Battalion.
o OPCON and Attached Units
501st Civil Affairs Company (USAR NY)

* 3rd Armored Division [inactivated in 1992]
CO Maj. Gen. Paul E. "Butch" Funk, USA
CSM Sgt. Maj. Joe T. Hill, USA
Chief of Plans Maj. John Rosenberger, USA
Artillery Officer Col. John Michitsch, USA
No detailed order of battle is available. I will list the units and commanders that I know of with reference to order of battle if I know it. The division moved into attack with 1st & 2nd Brigades forward, and 3rd Brigade in reserve.

o Units in unknown brigade, maybe division assets
4th Battlion, 7th Cavalry
o 1st Brigade (Col. William Nash, USA)
3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry (Lt. Col. John Brown, USA)
1st Lt. Marty Leners, USA, 1st platoon leader, Company C, commanded the first tank in the division to kill an Iraqi T-72. His gunner was Sgt. Glenn Wilson, USA. 4th Battalion, 32nd Armor (Lt. Col. John Kalb, USA)
o 2nd Brigade
Col. Robert Williams, USA is identified as brigade CO in Certain Victory (the US Army official history), but Gen. Franks identifies Col. Bob Higgins, USA as brigade CO.
4th Battalion, 8th Cavalry (Lt. Col. Beaufort "Chuck" Hallman, USA)
o 3rd Brigade Col. Rob Goff
4th Battalion, 67th Armor (Lt. Col. Tim Reischl, USA)
o Aviation Brigade, 3rd Armored Division (Col. Mike Burke, USA)

# 1st Infantry Division [Mechanized]
CO Maj. Gen. Thomas Rhame, USA
ADC (maneuver) Brig. Gen. Bill Carter, USA
1st Infantry Division (Forward) and 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Mech) [Boblingen] in process of inactivating when Desert shield commenced. Personnel used as a port support activity in SWA.
3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was replaced by 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division, as a result of which the 10 maneuver battalions of the 1st Mechanized Infantry Division were 6 armored, and 3 mechanized infantry. So this division deployed in effect as an armored division, although short by one maneuver battalion.

* 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Col. Bert Maggart, USA)
1st Battalion, 34th Armor [Fort Riley] (Lt. Col. G. "Pat" Ritter, USA)
2nd Battalion, 34th Armor [Fort Riley] (Lt. Col. Gregory Fontenot, USA)
5th Battalion, 16th Infantry [Fort Riley] (M2) (Lt. Col. Sidney "Skip" Burke, USA)
* 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division (Col. Tony Moreno, USA)
3rd Battalion, 37th Armor [Fort Riley]
4th Battalion, 37th Armor [Fort Riley] (Lt. Col. David Marlin, USA)
2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry [Fort Riley] (M2) (Lt. Col. Daniel Fake, USA)
* 3rd Brigade, 2nd Armored Division [Garlstadt] (attached) (Col. David Weismann, USA)
(Lt. Col. Terry Johnson, USA, Deputy C.O.)
Replaced the 1st Infantry Division's own inactivating 3rd Brigade.
2nd Battalion, 66th Armor [Garlstadt] (M-1A1HA)
3rd Battalion, 66th Armor [Garlstadt] (M-1A1)
1st Battalion, 41st Infantry [Garlstadt] (M-2)
4th Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery [Garlstadt] (M-109)
Battery C, 26th Field Artillery (TAB)
498th Support Battalion (Forward) [Garlstadt]
Company D, 17th Engineer Battalion [Garlstadt]
* 1st Infantry Division Artillery
1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery [Fort Riley] (M-109) [DS 1st Brigade]
4th Battalion, 5th Field Artillery [Fort Riley] (M-109) [DS 2nd Brigade]
* Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division
1st Battalion, 1st Aviation (Fort Riley)
4th Battalion (Provisional), 1st Aviation [1st Infantry Division] [Fort Riley] (Created as Task Force from division's UH-60 and General Support Aviation companies)
1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry [Fort Riley] [M-1A1; M-3A2; AH-1; OH-58]
* 1st Infantry Division Support Command
101st Support Battalion (Forward) [DS 1st Brigade] (Fort Riley)
201st Support Battalion (Forward) [DS 2nd Brigade] (Fort Riley)
701st Support Battalion (Main) (Fort Riley)
Company F, 1st Aviation (Aviation Intermediate Maintenance) (Fort Riley)
1st Infantry Division Band (Fort Riley)
1st Personnel Service Company (Fort Riley) (attached)
2nd Battalion (-), 3rd Air Defense Artillery (Fort Riley)
12th Chemical Company (-) (Fort Riley)
1st Engineer Battalion (Fort Riley)
84th Engineer Detachment (Terrain) (Fort Riley) (attached)
548th Engineer Detachment (Terrain) (Fort Riley) (attached)
101st Military Intelligence Battalion (CEWI) (Fort Riley)
1st Military Police Company (Fort Riley)
121st Signal Battalion (-) (Fort Riley)
* Attached and OPCON Units
181st Chemical Company (Decon) (Fort Hood) [2nd Chemical Battalion] (Company (-) in direct support of 7th Engineer Brigade passing to 1st Infantry Division after breech; and two platoons with 1st Infantry Division throughout ground offensive)
323rd Chemical Company (Decontamination) (USAR, SD) [2nd Chemical Battalion] (Company (-) in direct support of 1st Infantry Division; two platoons in DS of 3rd Armored Division)
418th Civil Affairs Company (USAR, MO) (also used in support of Operation PROVIDE COMFORT) 9th Engineer Battalion [Aschaffenberg] [7th Engineer Brigade] (Direct support (OPCON) to 1st Infantry Division) 3rd Battalion, 34th Armor [Boblingen] (inactivating, used for port support activity) 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry [Cooke Barracks, GE] (Performed Port Support Activity under 24th Transportation Battalion and/or 299th Support Battalion)

# 1st Armored Division, UK (Maj. Gen. Rupert Smith, United Kingdom)
The United Kingdom initially deployed the 7th Armoured Brigade ("Desert Rats"). After Gen. Schwarzkopf called for another corps, that deployment was incresed to include a full division, designated 1st Armoured Division, though built out of pieces from various UK divisions deployed in Germany at the time. The overall commander of all UK forces in the theater was Lt. Gen. Sir Peter de la Billiere.

* 4th Armoured Brigade (Brig. Christopher Hammerback, USA)
14/20 King's Hussars (43 Challenger MBTs)
1st Royal Scots Infantry (45 Warrior IFVs)
3rd Royal Fusiliers Infantry (45 Warrior IFVs)
23rd Regiment, Royal Engineers
46th Air Defence battery (Javelin)
2nd Field Artillery Regiment (24 M109 SP howitzers)
* 7th Armoured Brigade (Brig. Patrick Cordingly, United Kingdom) ["Desert Rats"]
Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (57 Challenger MBTs)
Queen's Royal Irish Hussars (57 Challenger MBTs)
1st Staffordshire Infantry (45 Warrior IFVs) (Lt. Col. Charles Rogers)
2 Warrior & 2 Challenger companies; A co. CO Maj. Simon Knapper 39th Regiment, Royal Engineers
664th Helicopter Squadron (9 Lynx)
10th Air Defence Battery (Javelin)
40th Field Artillery Regiment (24 M109 SP howitzers)
* Division Troops
16/5 Queen's Royal Lancers Recon Battalion (24 Scorpion, 12 Scimitar, 12 Striker)
4th Army Air Regiment (24 Lynx with TOW & 12 Gazelle)
32nd Heavy Artillery Regiment (16 M109, 12 M110 SP howitzers)
29th Heavy Artillery Regiment (12 MLRS)
12th Air Defence Regiment (24 tracked Rapier)
32nd Regiment, Royal Engineers
* EPW handling infantry battalions
1st Coldstream Guards
Royal Highland Fusiliers
King's Own Scottish Borderers

# Independent and attached Corps Assets

* 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (Col. Paul Holder, USA)
* 11th Aviation Brigade (CO Col. Johnnie Hitt, USA; Dep. CO Lt. Col. Terry Johnson, USA)
2/6 Aviation Battalion(Lt. Col. Terry Branham, USA)
* 42nd Field Artillery Brigade (Col. Morrie Boyd, USA)
Assigned to support 3rd Armored Division
* 72nd Field Artillery Brigade
* 142nd Field Artillery Brigade
* 210th Field Artillery Brigade
* TF 8/43 Air Defence (Lt. Col. Larry Dogden, USA)
* 7th Engineer Brigade (Col. Sam Raines, USA)
* 14th Military Police Brigade (Col. Rich Pomager, USA)
* 93rd Signal Brigade ((Col. Rich Walsh, USA)
* 207th military Intelligence Brigade (Col. John Smith, USA)
* 2nd Corps Support Command (Brig. Gen. Bob McFarlin, USA)
* 7th Personnel Group (Col. Jo Rusin, USA)
* 7th Finance Group (Col. Russ Dowden, USA)

The VII Corps, under LTG Frederick Franks Jr., was deployed to the right of XVIII Airborne Corps and consisted of

During Operation Desert Storm. the VII Corps' mission was to attack to penetrate and envelop Iraqi defenses to destroy the Republican Guard forces in zone. After the attack. the VII Corps was to prepare to defend the Northern Kuwait border to prevent the Iraqis from reseizing Kuwait.

The corps' major combat elements were four armored divisions. one mechanized division. an armored cavalry regiment, the corps aviation brigade, and four field artillery brigades employing 145,000 soldiers.

The overall corps plan was drawn up in six phases:

Phase 1. Movement from the ports to tactical assembly areas (TAA). Some VII Corps convoys traveled more than 500 kilometers.

Phase 2. Movement from TAAs to forward assembly areas (FAA) and zones. To enhance the deception that the central command's (CENTCOM's) attack would occur in the east. VII Corps delayed the movement of the corps until only days before the attack. The corps rehearsed its LD/LC formation as it moved into zone. Distances for corps units ranged from 60 to 160 kilometers. This phase included demonstrations and feints. such as the 1st Cavalry Division's operations at Wadi Al Batin.

Phase 3. Penetration and envelopment of forward defenses. The 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) (ID(M)) conducted a deliberate breach of the Iraqi defenses west of Wadi Al Batin while the 2d ACR. 1st Armored Division. and 3d Armored Division bypassed enemy positions to the west.

Phase 4. Defeat of the enemy's tactical reserves. The 1st United Kingdom (UK) Armored Division passed through the 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized) and attacked to defeat enemy armored reserves behind Iraqi forward defenses.

Phase 5. Destruction of the Republican Guard.

Phase 6. Defense of Northern Kuwait.

The VII Corps had the mission of finding, attacking, and destroying the heart of President Saddam Hussein's ground forces, the armor-heavy Republican Guard divisions. In preparation for that, Central Command had built up General Franks' organization until it resembled a mini-army more than a traditional corps. The "Jayhawk" corps of World War 11 fame had a 3d Infantry Division (Mechanized) brigade attached to the 1st Armored Division and four field artillery brigades, the 42d, 75th, 142d, and 210th. To make deep attacks, to ferry infantry units into trouble spots, and to help armor crews kill tanks, the corps also had the 11th Aviation Brigade. Franks' command numbered more than 142,000 soldiers, compared with Luck's 116,000. To keep his troops moving and fighting, Franks used more than 48,500 vehicles and aircraft, including 1,587 tanks, 1,502 Bradleys and armored personnel carriers, 669 artillery pieces, and 223 attack helicopters. For every day of offensive operations, the corps needed 5.6 million gallons of fuel, 3.3 million gallons of water, and 6,075 tons of ammunition.

On 23 February 1991. the 2d ACR bypassed Iraqi defenses to the west and crossed into Iraq in preparation for the corps attack. Attack helicopter-64 and artillery raids intensified in the corps zone. Early on 24 February, the 1st ID(M) penetrated the Iraqi defenses east of the 2d ACR while the regiment pushed 30 kilometers to the north. With increasing evidence of success against the Iraqis, the CINC of CENTCOM accelerated the attack schedule. The VII Corps would attack by 1500 that day. The 1st and 3d Armored Divisions would follow the zone cleared by the 2d ACR while the 1st ID(M) conducted a deliberate breach of the Iraqi defenses. VII Corps won one of the most lopsided victories in history.