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Le 22SAS12 est un groupe de reconstitution de Parachutiste SAS Français Libre et du 22eme régiment SAS anglais. Ce blog présente notre approche particulière de la reconstitution mais il s'adresse aussi à tous les passionnés des SAS. Nous parlons des opérations, des équipements mais aussi de littérature, de cinéma et de l'actualité. Crée en 2006, ce blog est devenu la première source francophone sur le "Regiment" !   
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22SAS12 is a group reenacting WW2 era Free French SAS paratroopers and the modern 22 SAS. This blog presents our particular approach of the reenactment but is also aimed at all people passionate about the SAS. We talk about operations, equipment but also about literature, cinema and the current events. Created in 2006, this blog has become the premier French-speaking source on the "Regiment" !

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3 février 2006 5 03 /02 /février /2006 13:03

Le général N. Schwarzkopf et le 22SAS.

A la fin de la première guerre du Golfe, le général en chef de la coalition, l'américain H. Norman Schwarzkopf, déroge à la règle en saluant publiquement l'action des SAS britanniques.

Tout n'avait pas aussi bien commencé, le général Schwarzkopf rechignait à l'emploi des forces spéciales pour les opérations défensive puis offensive en Irak. Il souhaitait tout d'abord engager une force militaire conventionnelle de façon massive face à ce qu'on appelait à tord la quatrième armée du monde. Il rassemble ainsi plus de 700.000 hommes aux frontières irakiennes qu'il souhaite engager après un long bombardement effectué par l'aviation. La deuxième raison vient de la réputation sulfureuse des forces spéciales. Schwarzkopf avait gardé l'image des opérations américaines dans le Sud Est asiatique, elles furent couteuses et peu efficaces. Le général américain reprochait aussi aux membres des forces spéciales leur arrogance et leur suffisance. Un ancien du SAS : Alan Bell admet : "Nous avions tendance à être arrogants; nous savions tout, avions tout fait et n’avions plus rien à apprendre". L'emploi de ces troupes en coordination avec les forces conventionnelles lui parut difficile, il s'avéra réalisable et très efficace.

Schwarzkopf, pourtant sceptique, apprécia à juste titre l'action des forces spéciales notamment le 22SAS qu'il vint saluer lors d'une cérémonie à huit clos. Ce genre de rencontres sont peu courantes et connaissant la mentalité du général au début du conflit, il est donc de bon ton de le rappeler.

Voici la lettre de recommandation adressée au personnel du 22SAS :

09-03-1991
 
Shortly after the initiation of the strategic air campaign, it became apparent that the Coalition Forces would be unable to eliminate Iraq`s firing of Scud missiles on Israel carried with it enormous unfavourable political ramifications and could, in fact, have resulted in the dismantling of the carefully crafted Coalition.
Such a dismantling would have adversely affected in ways difficult to measure the ultimate outcome of the military campaign. It became apparent that the only way the Coalition could succeed in reducing these Scud launches was by physically placing military forces on the ground in the vicinity of the western launch sites.

At that time, the majority of available Coalition forces were committed to the forthcoming military campaign in the eastern portion of the theatre of operations.
Further, none of these forces possessed the requisite skills and abilities required to conduct such a dangerous operation. The only force deemed qualified for this critical mission was the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment.
I wish to officially commend the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment for their totally outstanding performance of military operations during Operation Desert Storm.
From the first day they were assigned their missions until the last day of the conflict, the performance of the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment was courageous and highly professional. The area in which they were committed proved to contain fare more numerous enemy forces than had been predicted by every intelligence estimate, the terrain was much more difficult than expected and the weather conditions were unseasonably brutal.
Despite these hazards, in a very short period of time the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment was successfully in totally denying the central corridor of western Iraq to Iraqi Scud units.
The result was that the principal areas used by the Iraqis to fire Scuds on Tel Aviv were no longer available to them. They were required to move their Scud missile firing forces to the north west portion of Iraq and from that position the firing of Scuds was essentially militarily ineffective.
When it became necessary to introduce United States Special Operation Forces into the area to attempt to close down the north-west Scud areas, the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment provided invaluable assistance to the US forces.
They took every possible measure to ensure that US forces were thoroughly briefed and were able to profit from the valuable lessons that had been learned by earlier SAS deployments into Western Iraq.

I am completely convinced that had the US forces not received these thoroughly indoctrinations by SAS personnel US forces would have suffered a much higher rate of casualties than was ultimately the case.
Further, the SAS and US joint forces immediately merged into a combined fighting force where the synergetic effect of these fine units ultimately caused the enemy to  be convinced that they were facing forces in western Iraq that were more than tenfold the size of those they were actually facing.
As a result, large numbers of enemy forces that might otherwise have been deployed in the eastern theatre were tied down in western Iraq.
The performance of the 22d Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment during Operation Desert Storm was in the highest traditions of the professional military service and in keeping with the proud history and tradition that has been established by that regiment.
Please ensure that this commendation receives appropriate attention and is passed on to the unit and its members.

H. Norman Schwarzkopf
General, US Army
Commander in Chief

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