On this day thirty years ago a ceasefire was declared bringing ground operations in the first Gulf War to an end. An overwhelmingly powerful coalition force had stormed across the desert driving Saddam Hussein's forces out of Kuwait and concluding the ground campaign after only 100 hours of fighting. To commemorate this anniversary I am joined on the podcast by General Sir Rupert Smith who commanded the UK 1st Armoured Division during the conflict. We talk about his role during the war, the challenges of command and what we should understand about the changing nature of combat in the modern world.
General Sir Rupert Smith joined the army in the 1960s and served on deployments across the world including Africa, Arabia, the Caribbean, Europe, Malaysia and Northern Ireland where he was decorated for gallantry. In October 1990 he was promoted to Major-General and assumed commanded of the 1st Armoured Division as it was being deployed to the Gulf in anticipation of the war. This was the largest British armoured force deployed in action since the Second World War. After the Gulf War Sir Rupert went on to serve with distinction in Bosnia and wrote a book called The Utility of Force which remains essential reading in military circles.