The Navy's Role In Operation Desert Storm

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The invasion of Normandy, also known as D-Day, was the largest amphibious invasion in the history of the United States and in armed conflicts in general. According to dday.org, five thousand ships, eleven thousand planes, and over one-hundred and fifty thousand service men were deployed during the invasion that ultimately ended Hitler’s dream of Nazi domination. Among the one-hundred and fifty thousand men deployed, roughly two-hundred and four of those men were Naval UDT divers, the forerunners of the Navy SEALs. Although their numbers were few, their role was extremely crucial to the beach invasion. The invasion of Normandy in 1944 was the first major operation for the relatively new unit. Today however, the Navy SEALs are some of the most…show more content…
In the invasion at Normandy, the UDT divers took an indirect combatant role and assaulted the beach using small rubber boats to try and avoid enemy detection. The men in fact often went without weapons except for a large knife to cut detonation chord with (Navy SEALs: A History of the Early Years, Kevin Dockery, 85). According to National Geographic Magazine, the men were divided into groups of six and then assigned a specific section of the beach to clear a fifty yard gap in the German defenses; the men successfully cleared over one-thousand and six-hundred yards of anti-landing craft obstacles along the beach. Compared to their more modern day counter-parts, the UDTs and the Navy SEALs in Operation Desert Storm took very different combat roles. In Desert Storm Navy SEALs often took a direct combat role instead of providing just support for other combat units. SEALs were responsible for the search and seizure of numerous Iraqi-held oil platforms in order to interrupt Iraq’s economy and to prevent Iraqi soldiers from using the platforms as a base of operations. The SEALs secured numerous oil rigs and found maps and other intelligence that became essential for future operations in the area (Navy SEALs: A History Part III Post-Vietnam to the Present, Kevin Dockery,…show more content…
As previously mentioned, UDT divers only carried a knife and upwards of forty pounds of explosives on them to destroy beach obstacles. At Normandy the men were deployed by small rubber boats and were at the mercy of other units in terms of fire and vehicle support. However, all throughout Operation Desert Storm the Navy SEALs had the disposable of numerous kinds of vehicle and fire support. In Operation Desert storm the Navy SEALs had their own fast-attack vehicle detachment, a high speed boat unit, a delivery vehicle detachment, and a joint communications support element (Navy SEALs: A History Part III Post-Vietnam to the Present, Kevin Dockery, 214). The Navy SEALs of Operation Desert Storm were no longer restricted to just aquatic and dry land demolitions like their Normandy predecessors. The SEALs had their support vehicles entirely at their own disposal instead of having to piggy back off of other branches of the military as the UDT divers did in Normandy. The SEALs in Operation Desert Storm also had access to much more advanced weaponry than the UDTs in World War II. These new weapons allowed the men to be more precise and lethal throughout their various assignments (20th-Century Arms and Armor, Stephen Bull, 147). The rifles used in Desert Storm allowed the men to shoot powerful rounds at

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