The Battle of 73 Easting was a decisive tank battle fought on 26 February 1991, during the Gulf War, between American-British armored forces and those of the Iraqi Republican Guard. The battle took place several hours after the Battle of Al Busayyah. It was named for a UTM north-south coordinate line (an "Easting", measured in kilometers and readable on GPS receivers) in the featureless desert that was used as a phase line to measure progress of the offensive.
The main U.S. unit in the battle was the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment (2nd ACR), mainly a reconnaissance element of VII Corps. The corps's vanguard also included the American 3rd Armored Division (3rd AD) and 1st Infantry Division (1st ID), and the British 1st Armoured Division (1 AD).
On the night of 23/24 February, in accordance with General Norman Schwarzkopf's plan for the ground assault called Operation Desert Sabre, VII Corps raced east from Saudi Arabia into Iraq in a maneuver later nicknamed the "Hail Mary." The Corps had two goals: to cut off Iraqi retreat from Kuwait, and to destroy five Republican Guard divisions near the Iraq-Kuwait border that might attack the Arab and Marine units moving into Kuwait to the south. Initial Iraqi resistance was light and ineffective and the 2nd ACR did not see much fighting until 25 February.
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