07 June 2007

Gulf Attack!

If the Iranians had to attack American warships in the Gulf, they seem likely to go about it by swarming attacks using 20 or 30 small motor boats. The article references the damaging of the USS Samuel Roberts in 1987, which is also mentioned in this analysis from 1999, although not much detail is added. The damage to the Samuel Roberts reflected the neglect of such unglamorous work as mine clearance by the US Navy at a time when operations were largely directed toward the submarine threat posed by the Soviet navy. The incident resulted in Operation Praying Mantis, of which there are some photos and a chronology here. Interestingly to me, the USS Samuel Roberts turned up in an operation mounted in 2002 against Ecuadorian shipping travelling in Ecuadorian waters. The objective seems to have been to interdict arms shipments to Colombian guerrillas, and the matter is discussed in this article in Spanish.


Remo said...

You bring up and excellent point regarding the Samuel B. Roberts. I have covered this topic, as well as the Iraqi attack on the USS Stark, on my blog: navalwarfare.blogspot.com

These two attacks should remind people that the US Navy and Marine Corps were in action in the Persian Gulf long before the first Gulf War started. They also prove that the Persian Gulf was, and still is, a dangerous place to do business in.

Anonymous said...

For more information about Operation Praying Mantis and the other little-known U.S. military operations in the 1987-1988 Persian Gulf, see my new book "Inside the Danger Zone" published this spring by Naval Institute Press. www.insidethedangerzone.com