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Thread: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

  1. #1
    Kennylz's Avatar Akaboshi
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    Default Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    During Desertstorm that is. I got into an argument with a friend of mine about it, because it was odd to me, that Iraq would possess the fourth largest army in the world, yet be destroyed so easily.

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    Aonghus G. Friedhold's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Yes, they did, they got crushed because virtually the entire western hemipsphere attacked them. That beans 2 of the largest.
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    Farnan's Avatar Praefectus Cohortis
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    The problem with the Iraqi Army in DS was that it had no good junior officers and NCOs. Thus it was heavily reliant upon higher command to give it direction. Well the US and Allied Air Force destroyed the Iraqi Communications apparatus thus the Iraqi Army was unable to fight back effectively.
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    Gary88's Avatar Bleurgh
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    it was 4th largest but not fourth best, poorly trained troops and alot of outdated kit (not god awful but not up to yank standards). if you gave evry guy in china a knife you could say they had an army half a billion strong but it wouldnt be a good army
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    ajm317's Avatar Yuzo
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    This just goes to show you, size isn't everything, money is.

    That's why I always roll my eyes when people tell me China and Iran have great armies. No. They have BIG armies.

    Size means little. You want to rank armies? Look at defense spending.

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    John I Tzimisces's Avatar Get born again.
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gary88 View Post
    it was 4th largest but not fourth best, poorly trained troops and alot of outdated kit (not god awful but not up to yank standards). if you gave evry guy in china a knife you could say they had an army half a billion strong but it wouldnt be a good army
    Although the Iraqis used a lot of Soviet equipment (US even got a go-ahead from USSR to invade, even), their equipment was poorly serviced by both Russian and American Standards. On top of this, the Americans had pretty much total air superiority...Iraqis didn't exactly have anywhere to hunker down and hide either, not like there were mountains. Everything really worked against them in that war.

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    ajm317's Avatar Yuzo
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    More about defense spending:

    The U.S. spends in the neighborhood of $450 billion a year on defense.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Militar..._United_States

    By comparison Iraq's TOTAL GDP is only $88 billion.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat.../print/iz.html

    In other words we spend 5 times as much money on defense as they have, period.

    Now of course I'm sure Iraq's GDP was higher at the time (adjusted for inflation anyway), but you get the point.

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    Mahmud Ghaznavi's Avatar Destroyer of Idols
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Iraq had the 4th largest armored division in the world, not the 4th largest army. A lack of air-cover rendered their tanks useless - or giant coffins.
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    Darkragnar's Avatar Member of Ordo Malleus
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Many People keep forgetting What it was like before Desert Strom , every defense analyst was saying that Iraq would be a tough nut to crack with the 4th largest army and that they had virtually a Decade of Experience of War against the Iranians , they were saying that The coming Fight would be a hard one and they were preparing for massive casualty , about 30,000 in the first few week itself. The Image of Iraq was completely different back then , not like it was before the 2nd gulf war.
    Last edited by Darkragnar; June 29, 2007 at 04:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    The problem with the Iraqi Army in DS was that it had no good junior officers and NCOs.
    That's been a major problem of virtually every military in the Middle East for a long time now historically. Just look at the Iran-Iraq War during the 80s and then think of some of the most fundamental modern strategies preached throughout Western military doctrine concerning conventional maneuver warfare for the last half century. Throughout the entire war the ideas/strategems concerning Mobility & Firepower never once went through either the Iraqis' or Iranian's heads. It was literally a redux of WWI in terms of just about everything, leadership, communication, objectives, etc.

    Many People keep forgetting What it was like before Desert Strom , every defense analyst was saying that Iraq would be a tough nut to crack with the 4th largest army and that they had virtually a Decade of Experience of War against the Iranians , they were saying that The coming Fight would be a hard one and they were preparing for massive casualty , about 30,000 in the first few weeks itself. The Image of Iraq was completely different back then , not like it was before the 2nd gulf war.
    Couldn't be more accurate if I said it myself, and do you know what the funny thing is? The same people say practically the same thing today concerning Iran and it's "vaunted" military.

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    Major.Stupidity's Avatar أبوالمقاومة
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Yes it did, but what most people over look is that Saddam's once proud army, came out a crippled man from the Iran-Iraq war. What the media portrayed during the run up to Operation Desert Storm was a myth, constructed during the 1970's, when Iraq was at its highest point, considered a golden age of sorts by most Iraq's, a period long since lost to the shadows of history and crushed by Saddam's violent rule.
    Last edited by Major.Stupidity; July 02, 2007 at 11:58 PM.
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    jimkatalanos's Avatar 影武者
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    I don't think it had the 4th largest. I think the biggest armies were those of China,USA,Russia,India.
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    Principe Alessandro's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    The fact that had the fourth largest army doesn't mean anything,
    USA
    URSS
    Israel
    United Kingdom
    France
    Germany
    ecc. ecc.
    had the most technologically advanced army in world.
    The Iraq army is a typical non professional army, in the Iran-Iraq war the Iraqis soldiers fight at day and sleep at night, the coalition forces with the night vision can fight 24 hour for 24.

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    killerchinchilla's Avatar Yoda
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimkatalanos View Post
    I don't think it had the 4th largest. I think the biggest armies were those of China,USA,Russia,India.
    It had about 1.2 million ground troops according to wikipedia. At the time the Soviet Union was under going cut backs and I don't believe in peacetime the US has ever reached 1 million. China and India however have maintained sizable armies. Its all numbers though a only means something when there is little or no technological advantage.

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    JP226's Avatar Tribunus Laticlavius
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    We've always had around 2 million peace time and of that 1.2 or 3 active and the rest reserve.
    Sure I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is Im not. I honestly feel that America is the best country and all other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism.

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    ajm317's Avatar Yuzo
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by JP226 View Post
    We've always had around 2 million peace time and of that 1.2 or 3 active and the rest reserve.
    However not all of that is the army. The army is well under 1 million.

    Nobodies claiming the Iraqis had a great navy or airforce.

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    Darsh's Avatar Maréchal de l'Empire
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Iraq had also the first ghost chimical weapons.

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    Chola_Kingdom's Avatar Princeps Prior
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    i think in advance and power Indian and Pakistan armies would come in 3,4 th place because they have [top secret size for the metal ] tanks which have been made with Russians and Chinese scientists so i dont think irag have the 4th place and also check out the list
    btw [american spend more than trillion dollars alone in the irag, afghan war so far rumors have it[they have the highest loan in world bank]]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...f_armed_forces
    Last edited by Chola_Kingdom; June 29, 2007 at 03:54 PM.

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    Darkragnar's Avatar Member of Ordo Malleus
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caelius View Post
    Couldn't be more accurate if I said it myself, and do you know what the funny thing is? The same people say practically the same thing today concerning Iran and it's "vaunted" military.
    Exactly Mate, thats what i keep telling everyone i know of how stupid this really is, they even use the same words, cant be bothered to change them even
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    Gelgoog's Avatar Jū kihei
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    Default Re: Did Iraq really have the fourth largest army in the world?

    lets see a couple reasons

    first- they had just gotten out of a long brutal war with iran. soldiers were experienced, but very exausted, their will to fight was already very weak. combine this with the fog of war ( no communications and being bombarded from the air for months) and they had the will sapped out of them.

    2nd- equipment was haphazard. take their tanks for example, which were considered quite good at the time, but ive heard of things like most of their gunbarrels were worn out, long past their service life of 100 rounds. this could explain their poor accuracy and range. remember think of iraq capabilities like those of the nazi's on D-day, most of their armored divisions had been shot to peices by close air support long before the opposing army came into sight. they most likely were opperating at a fraction of their true strength.

    3rd- coalition forces bypassed most of the iraqi defenses situated on the boarder and sea. they iraqi forces had very strong defenses setup, thats why we did the big left hook flank attack and went around them blitz style. if we went head on against most of their dug in forces, it might have been a bit bloodier. this is why the heavy fighting was done by the republican guard, because they were sitting in the iraq boarder to be used as reinforcements, they werent up on the saudi-kuwait boarder, they were sitting back at the iraq-kuwait boarder. the whole battle played out much like the german invasion of france. bypass the heavy defenses and all your fighting is the enemy reserves that are widely dispersed.

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