OVERLORD’S BLOG: Libya’s Death Star

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Toyota FA/DA

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Death Star

On the morning of the of March 1987, the sun began to the desert around Bir Kora in Chad. It revealed a parched landscape with no vegetation at just reddened or ochre

Libyan Camp, photographed by air force in 1986

Fada had to the Chadian forces a couple of previously. The planned recapture of was the latest in a series of battles between Libya and Chad the previous 9 years.

Libyan had copied the Warsaw Pact and purchased all the Soviets latest with oil money.

Set against you had the fierce, wiry desert who were almost untrained. As an the Chadian armies Special received only six weeks of

The Libyan forces had set up a base at Doum. The base was heavily around a long runway, ran between two hills. On the top of those was a Soviet “Spoon Rest” system which controlled an SA-6 surface to air missile Over 5000 men were this complex loitering in the of the desert. One US intelligence official it as equivalent of the Death Star Star Wars.

French Air photograph of an SA-6 at Wadi

About 400m from the T55’s lay a rocky hill its sides covered by sand. at the top of the hill was a Toyota pickup The Chadian soldier in the back was one of the few a degree of training, as his Toyota one of the latest French supplied a Milan guided anti-tank

On a signal from their the Milan gunners launched a at the Libyan tanks. Some hit and some missed. When did hit the missiles easily punched the tanks armour, often the turret to blow off. The began to return fire their rounds had little as they were trying to hit a man target at 400m. Their peppered and blasted the rocks the were using as cover.

The commander ordered most of his to shift over to face the of the incoming fire.

As they did so the Chadians launched real …. More charged towards the weakened rear flank. The few tanks to defend it desperately tried to their guns round the Toyota pickups which moving at over 70mph the fine sand. Some of the managed to get their guns on and even a near miss smash the speeding pickup. the Libyan numbers were too few to the … from breaking the line.

Toyota FA/DA

The Libyans tried to some of their tanks to face the threat, but they bogged down in the fine powder like sand. around inside the Laager the began to engage the Libyans small arms, LAW’s Anti-Tank Weapon) and RPG’s Propelled Grenade). Some launched at such close that the rockets would the tanks and the explosion would the firer.

The Libyan commander panicked and to Wadi Doum for help, but the relief force could set out the was over with a crushing to the Chadians. A few Libyans managed to back down the road Wadi Doum.

The tactics the had used were identical to the desert tribes had been for centuries only replacing and camels with Toyotas. Hassan, Assistant Commander for the said to reporters later:

We we had nearly nothing. Our army is a one, with very means. We tried to act within our

The fleeing Libyans met the relief 12 miles back up the track, and the force took up a similar overnight with a battery of six artillery guns. Further up the were a number of tanks. On the of the 20th the Chadians repeated … in almost exactly the way. This time the was even more pronounced. The fled with almost no with the artillery not even a shot, and eleven T55’s abandoned where they the keys still in the ignition.

The panicked fleeing troops Wadi Doum air base, and the defenders that the Chadian was on the way. The defenders ignored the warnings and continued with daily routine. Some the small irrigated gardens were the only green for hundreds of miles. Others plaques with passages Qaddafi’s green book or the The words were made by stones and pebbles to boards.

They defenders thought were safe inside two of defensive lines and minefields. The dust clouds were by some to be their missing returning. On the 22nd the Chadians quickly overwhelming the outer line.

Toyota FA/DA
Toyota FA/DA
Toyota FA/DA

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