Battle of Bubiyan
|Battle of Bubiyan|
|Part of the Persian Gulf War|
|Iraqi Navy|| United States Navy
Royal Canadian Navy
|Commanders and leaders|
| Saddam Hussein
Ali Hassan al-Majid
| Norman Schwarzkopf
Peter de la Billière
Kenneth J. Summers
|Around 22 naval vessels of various types||Several frigates, cruisers, Lynx helicopters and CF-18 Hornets|
|Casualties and losses|
|Iraqi Navy neutralized||USS Princeton disabled
USS Tripoli disabled
The Battle of Bubiyan was a naval engagement of the Gulf War, that occurred in the waters between Bubiyan Island and the Shatt al-Arab marshlands, where the bulk of the Iraqi Navy, while attempting to flee to Iran, much like the Iraqi Air Force, was engaged and destroyed by Coalition warships and helicopters.
The battle was completely one-sided. The initial attack by three Lynx helicopters of the Royal Navy using Sea Skua missiles destroyed five TNC 45 fast attack craft, a landing craft and two Zhuk class patrol boats, before the US Navy aircraft arrived. The battle saw 21 separate engagements over a course of 13 hours. A total of 21 of the 22 ships that attempted to escape were destroyed. Both surviving vessels were seized by the Iranians.
Also related to the Bubiyan action was the Battle of Khafji, where Saddam Hussein sent an amphibious assault to Khafji to reinforce the city from the Coalition attack. This too was spotted by the Coalition naval forces and subsequently exterminated. The last action of the Iraqi Navy was to fire a Silkworm missile from an inland launcher at the battleship USS Missouri (BB-63); however, it was intercepted midflight by a Sea Dart missile from the British destroyer HMS Gloucester (D96) and destroyed.
The Iraqi Navy, much like the Iraqi Air Force, was a reluctant enemy, relying on passive force and defensive weapons such as naval mines. After the Bubiyan action, the Iraqi Navy ceased to exist as a fighting force at all, leaving Iraq with very few ships, all in poor condition.
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