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SPECIAL REPORT: WITNESS TO WAR : Memoirs From the Battle Front, the Diplomatic Front and the Home Front : THE GROUND WAR: Lightning Pace

March 12, 1991

What was learned:

* U.S. ground forces barreled through Iraqi defenses, defeating the vaunted Iraqi infantry and armored units quickly and decisively.

* U.S. forces moved far more rapidly than planned in flanking Iraqi positions from the west and then enveloping the disorganized units.

* American forces sustained 119 casualties killed in action during the Gulf War.

* American Marines were able to clear passages through Iraqi minefields in their frontal assault on Iraqi lines.

What is still Unknown:

* How many Iraqi soldiers were wounded or killed during the air war and succeeding ground action.

* Details of any of the major ground engagements, including some in which American servicemen were wounded.

* How U.S. forces would have saved the Apache helicopters that had run out of fuel during the thrust into southern Iraq. The choppers were grounded while the battles still raged.

* How U.S. forces and Kuwaiti authorities will clear the hundreds of thousands of mines still embedded in the sands of Kuwait.

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