Hobby Master HG3303 Iraqi T-55A Main Battle Tank with AA Machine Gun - 26th Armored Brigade, 5th Baghdad Mechanized Infantry Division, Operation Desert Storm, 1991 (1:72 Scale)
"We are not intimidated by the size of the armies, or the type of hardware the US has brought."
- Saddam Hussein, commenting on the build up of Coalition Forces in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Shield, November 12th, 1990
The T-54 and T-55 main battle tanks were the Soviet Union's replacements for the World War II era T-34 tank. The T-54/55 tank series is the most numerous in the world, and very widely employed, especially by former client states of the Soviet Union.
The T-54 and T-55 tanks are very similar and difficult to distinguish visually. Many T-54s were updated to T-55 standards. Soviet tanks were factory-overhauled every 7,000 km, and often given minor technology updates. Many states have added or modified tank equipment (India affixed fake fume extractors to its T-54s and T-55s, so that Indian gunners wouldn't confuse them with Pakistani Type 59s).
T-54 can be distinguished by a dome-shaped ventilator on the turret front-right, and has a SGMT 7.62 mm machine gun in a fixed mount in the front of the hull, operated by the driver. Early T-54s lacked a gun fume extractor, had an undercut at the turret rear, and a distinctive "pig-snout" gun mantlet. The T-55's new turret has large D-shaped roof panels, visible from above.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a T-55A main battle tank which served with the Iraqi 5th Mechanized Infantry Division, then attempting to thwart the Coalition forces' drive to cut off and annihilate Iraqi units occupying Kuwait.
Length: 4 inches
Width: 1.5 inches
Release Date: March 2008
Historical Account: "En Garde" - During the night of 29th and 30th January 1991, Iraqi armored and mechanized infantry forces began several battalion-sized attacks against Coalition ground forces. The eastern most Iraqi force occupied the Saudi Arabian border town of Al-Khafji. The Iraqi forces were from the 5th Mechanized and the 3rd Armored divisions of the regular army, equipped with several hundred tanks and other armored vehicles, but they had no air support. The combination of dogged resistance by the ground forces and the constant pounding from Coalition air forces stopped the Iraqi advance.
By February 24th, 1991 Iraqi regular army units constituting the second echelon in Kuwait were directed to reposition themselves.
Concealed by the dense smoke of the oil fires that were ignited beginning February 21st, parts of what was left of the second echelon of the Iraqi army -- 1st Mechanized Infantry Division, 3d Armored Division, 5th Mechanized Infantry Division, 6th Armored Division, the 10th Armored Division and the 12th Armored Division -- were in a movement toward Basrah.
On February 26th, 1991, the American 2nd MARDIV reached Al-Jahra, overcoming the Iraqi rear guard dug in south of the city in quarries and dumps. The 6th Marines advanced into the quarry area, encountering stiff resistance from elements of the Iraqi 3rd Armored and 5th Mechanized divisions, some equipped with T-72 tanks. Elaborate bunkers were uncovered that housed brigade CPs, complete with kitchens and classrooms. 1st Battalion, 6th Marines advanced to the outskirts of Al-Jahra, the first Marine unit to reach Kuwait City. Relatively few prisoners were taken since the Iraqi rearguard chose to fight rather than surrender.