VII Corps provided the main offensive element of the coalition forces posted within Saudi Arabia in readiness for Operation Desert Storm and was tasked with carrying out the initial breach of the border before destroying the heavy armoured units of the Iraqi Republican Guard. After the initial crossing into Iraqi territory, VII Corps swung east with three divisions ready to engage the bulk of the Republican Guard armoured forces whilst additional US forces were deployed by helicopter behind enemy lines to block their escape. Allied air support, combined with tank formations on the ground, proved far superior to any Iraqi defensive efforts, with the main engagement during the Battle of Norfolk on 27 February resulting in a resounding coalition victory. The battle was seen as the second largest US tank battle to date and resulted in the destruction of around 750 Iraqi tanks and the Republican Guard Tawakalna Division, which was the pride of the Iraqi Army.
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