Latest News Gulf War 30th anniversary The date 28 February 1991 marked the end of the Gulf War, the six-month long international conflict that claimed nearly 500,000 lives. Now 30 years on, we remember what happened in Operation Granby and all those who were involved. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein invaded neighbouring Kuwait in August 1990, prompting outrage from the international community. It was feared if Saudi Arabia was next, the Iraqi dictator would control more than half the world's oil. He refused to comply with a United Nations deadline to withdraw troops and, in the early hours of 17 January 1991, the US, Britain and allies began an aerial bombardment. The first Gulf War brought together the largest military alliance, and the biggest ever deployment of the British Armed Forces, since World War Two. A total of 39 nations, including Britain, supplied 670,000 troops. It was the US and Britain who contributed the most resources, including 470,000 US military personnel and more than 53,000 from the UK. According to UK Government figures, 34,000 of the UK deployment of personnel were from the British Army. The British operation was called Operation Granby, named after John Manners, Marquess of Granby, a British Army officer and popular commander in the Seven Years' War. The US codenamed their deployment Operation Desert Storm. Royal Air Force aircraft were the first of the British forces to arrive, followed by Tornadoes, Jaguars and Hercules transport planes situated in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Over the following weeks the forces grew, with hundreds of British soldiers arriving daily. By October 1990, 7th Armoured Brigade had left Germany for Saudi Arabia to establish their presence in the region. Then a second British Army of the Rhine brigade joined them, with Challenger tanks adapted for the desert dust. From the launch of Operation Desert Sabre, the ground phase of the war on 24 February 1991, the British force advanced 180 miles in 66 hours, destroying the equivalent of three Iraqi armoured divisions and capturing more than 7,000 prisoners. In one instance, a tank of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards destroyed an Iraqi tank at a range of three miles, a distance record still unbeaten today. Britain’s Ministry of Defence transported to the Gulf 46,000 personnel and 46,000 tonnes of freight by air, and by sea 14,700 vehicles, 87,000 tonnes of ammunition and loose freight, and 7,000 containers. There was an estimated one million allied military personnel on the ground from 30 of the 39 countries involved. In these weeks cruise missiles were used for the first time in warfare, fired from warships in the Gulf Sea, with footage of the missile launch broadcast around the world. In a short time, Iraqi soldiers began surrendering, with around 80,000 prisoners of war. The retreat of Iraq's forces came as oil well fires were started. It took eight months to put the fires out. During the final hours of the conflict, a convoy of fleeing Iraqi troops heading for Basra were bombed by US aircraft - a route now known as the Highway of Death. Estimates suggest thousands were killed and it was British personnel who went on to clear the road, enabling the liberation of Kuwait to take place. A temporary ceasefire was agreed on 28 February, with a formal ceasefire signed on 11 April. The military campaign forced Iraq to withdraw but estimates suggest between 60,000 and 200,000 Iraqi soldiers were killed, and that up to 200,000 civilians died as a direct result of the war. We remember the 47 British personnel killed during Operation Granby and the many more who were injured. In 2016, to mark 25 years since the end of the conflict, a Gulf War memorial was unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire to honour those who died.