the gulf war
homeoral historywar storiesweaponsmapsdiscussion

chronology

This chronology of the Gulf War is taken from CRUSADE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE PERSIAN GULF WAR c1993 by Rick Atkinson. Reprinted with permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

July 1990
* Internal Look, a U.S. war game, shows Saudi Arabia could be defended against Iraqi invaders, but at terrible cost.
august 1990
August 2Iraq invades Kuwait.
August 5President Bush declares invasion "will not stand."
August 6King Fahd meets with Richard Cheney, requests U.S. military assistance.
August 8Initial U.S. Air force fighter planes arrive in Saudi Arabia.
August 10John Warden first meets with Schwarzkopf in Tampa to outline proposed air campaign.
August 28Secret Israeli delegation flies to Washington to stress likelihood of Iraqi attack on Israel if war begins.
september 1990
September 18Schwarzkopf asks four Army planners to begin work on ground offensive.
october 1990
October 10CENTCOM's One Corps Concept unveiled at White House.
October 21Colin Powell flies to Riyadh to discuss offensive plans.
October 31Bush decides to double U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia; decision kept secret until November 8.
november 1990
November 29UN Security Council authorizes use of "all means necessary" to eject Iraq from Kuwait.
december 1990
December 6First ship carrying VII Corps equipment arrives in Saudi Arabia from Germany.
january 1991
January 9James Baker meets Tariq Aziz in Geneva in unsuccessful effort to find a peaceful solution.
January 12Congress authorizes use of force.
January 15UN deadline for Iraqi withdrawal. Schwarzkopf accuses Air Force of ignoring orders by not including Republican Guard in initial bombing sorties.
January 17Allied attack begins with Apache strike at 2:38 A.M.
January 18First Scuds hit Israel. Navy aircraft losses during attack on Scud sites leads to recriminations about low-altitude bombing tactics. First American air attacks are launched from Turkey.
January 19David Eberly and Thomas Griffith are shot down.
January 20Lawrence Eagleburger and Paul Wolfowitz arrive in Tel Aviv.
January 22Navy attacks Iraqi oil tanker, triggering Schwarzkopf's threat of court-martial. British high command, alarmed at aircraft losses, abandons low-altitude attacks against airfields.
January 23Intense attack against Iraqi aircraft shelters begins.
January 26U.S. Marines in Oman participate in Sea Soldier IV, rehearsal for amphibious landing on Kuwaiti coast.
F-111s attack oil manifolds at Al Ahmadi in effort to counter Iraqi sabotage.
January 29Iraqis attack Khafji and other border positions. Allied pilots begin flying combat air patrols to thwart Iraqi flights to Iran.
January 30Richard Cheney dispatches Delta Force to Saudi Arabia to hunt for Scuds.
January 31Khafji is recaptured. David Eberly is moved to new prison, the "Biltmore."
february 1991
February 1Last Tomahawk missiles are launched in attack on Baghdad airfield.
February 2Schwarzkopf formally decides against amphibious landing in Kuwait.
February 3First battleship gunfire against targets in Kuwait.
February 5First "tank-plinking" mission flown.
February 6VII corps finishes closing in theater with arrival of final 3rd Armored Division equipment.
February 7CIA, in daily intelligence brief, notes large discrepancy between Washington and Riyadh regardingdestruction of Iraqi armor in air attacks.
February 8Cheney and Powell fly to Riyadh for final review ofground war plans.
February 11Al Firdos bunker in Baghdad suburb added to master attack plan. Moshe Arens in Washington complains about ineffectiveness of Patriot missile against Scuds. Yevgeni Primakov arrives in Baghdad to urge Iraqi withdrawal.
February 13Strike on Al Firdos bunker kills more than two hundred civilians and leads to restrictions on strategic bombing campaign.
February 15Radio Baghdad suggests Iraq willing to withdraw, Bush rejects proposal as a "cruel hoax."
February 16VII Corps moves into final attack positions.
February 18U.S.S. Tripoli and U.S.S. Princeton strike mines. Army complaints about insufficient air support lead to confrontation with Air Force.
February 201st Cavalry Division feints up the Wadi al Batin; pulls back with three dead and nine wounded.
February 21CIA and Pentagon officials meet at White House to air differences over battle-damage assessment. Bush sets deadline of noon, February 23, for Iraqi withdrawal.
February 22Marines begin infiltrating into Kuwaiti bootheel.
February 23Stealth fighters attack Iraqi intelligence headquarters, unaware that allied POWs are inside. Army Special Forces teams inserted deep into Iraq.
February 24Ground attack begins. Schwarzkopf decides to accelerate main attack of VII Corps by fifteen hours.
February 25Schwarzkopf explodes at slow pace of VII Corps. 101st Airborne Division cuts Highway 8 in Euphrates Valley. Iraqis counterattack 1st Marine Divsion. Scud destroys barracks in Al Khobar, killing twenty- eight Americans and wounding ninety-eight.
February 26Iraqis flee Kuwait City. VII Corps hits Republican Guard in Battle of 73 Easting.
February 28Cease-fire takes effect at 8 A.M.
march 1991
March 224th Infantry Division fights Hammurabi Division as it flees; destroys six hundred vehicles.
March 3Schwarzkopf meets Iraqi generals at Safwan.
March 5David Eberly and most other POWs are released.
june 1991
June 8Victory parade in Washington.


*Dates and hours are in Riyadh time.

home · oral history · war stories · weapons · maps · chronology
tapes & transcripts 
FRONTLINE · wgbh · pbs online

web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

RECENT STORIES

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS