War plans, Iraqi regulars
Analysis / How the U.S. underestimated the Iraq resistance
By Ze'ev Schiff, Haaretz Correspondent
When the Americans were planning their campaign in Iraq, they reckoned the forces that would try to prevent the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime would be the Republican Guard divisions, special forces and the secret police.
They were contemptuous of the regular Iraqi army, and practically didn't take into account the popular militias.
The expectation that the regular army would quickly collapse or give up was based on assessments by Iraqi opposition figures who escaped to the west after the first Gulf War. The Americans were surprised to find the regular army ready to fight, though their morale and fighting spirit is not high and their equipment is inferior to the Republican Guards.
And the National Post of Canda reports:
Marines make short work of Iraqi regulars
Soldiers feel lucky they've not encountered more competent attackers
By Matthew Fisher
Posted By Dustin at March 30, 2003 05:25 PM
One by one the Iraqi guns were snuffed out and the Marines withdrew, leaving the tanks and Cobra attack helicopters to finish the operation.
The firefight gave the Pentagon and the Marines a foretaste of the far heavier fighting that is expected when U.S. forces begin to confront elite Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard units near Baghdad.
Those who thought before the war began 12 days ago that the Iraqis would not fight and would surrender en masse have been proven wrong. But Captain Cesar Rodriguez was not impressed by the Iraqi forces his men met in battle yesterday.
"We learned through our interpreter that these were regular army units and civilians who had been made to fight," Capt. Rodriguez said.
"There was no coordinated defence. Their mortar fire was unadjusted throughout the fight and they were using a built-up area for cover."