Operation Nasr: Biggest Tank Battle of Iran-Iraq War

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Chief Master Sergeant
Aug 27, 2017
Tehran, Iran
Operation Nasr, fought in early January 1981, was a major battle of the Iran–Iraq War. It was the biggest tank battle of the Iran–Iraq War.

Three Iranian armored regiments advanced towards Iraqi forces that had invaded Iranian territory between the cities of Ahvaz, Susangerd and Dezful. The Iraqi forces were alerted to this movement and feigned a withdrawal. The Iraqis formed three armored brigades into a three-sided box ambush. The Iranians blundered into the ambush and the two tank forces battled for four days in a sea of mud. The Iranians withdrew, leaving many destroyed and disabled tanks stuck in the mud, or, because of logistical misplanning, had run out of fuel and ammunition. The condition of the terrain prevented a clean break from the battle and did not allow the Iraqi forces to pursue what was left of the Iranians en force.

Operation Nasr - Wikipedia

General info:

A- Codename:
A-1- Ground Forces: Operation Nasr

B- General Area:
B-1- W. of Ahvaz, between Susan-Gerd and Karun river

C- Date:
C-1- Jan 5-9, 1981

D- Type:
D-1- Offensive (at beginning)
D-2- Defensive (later stages)

E- Supreme Command in Charge of Operation:
E-1- Ground Forces Frontline Command South (Corps level)

F- Friendly major forces in theatre of operation:
F-1- 16th Armored Division (M47/8 , M60)
F-2- 92nd Armored Division (Chieftain)
F-3- Khuzestan`s Gendarmerie Command
F-4- Khuzestan`s Shahrbani Command
F-5- Elements of 77th Infantry Division
F-6- Elements of IRGC
F-7- Elements of Army Aviation
F-8- Elements of Air Force
F-9- Elements of Ground Forces Logistics Command

G- Enemy major forces in theatre of operation:
G-1- 5th Mechanized Infantry Division (BMP-1, BMP-2, T-55, T-62)
G-2- 9th Armored Division (T-62)
G-3- 10th Independent Guards Armored Brigade (T-72)
G-4- Elements of Iraqi Air Force
G-5- Elements of Iraqi Army Aviation
G-6- Elements of Special Warfare Command (Rocket Artillery)

H- Commanding Officers, Down to Brigade Level:
H-1- Colonel Hosseini, Seyyed Yaghoub, Officer Commanding Ground Forces Frontline Command South
H-2- Colonel Lotfi, Siroos, Officer Commanding 16th Armored Division
H-2-1- Colonel Djamshidi, Iraj, Officer Commanding 1st Brigade / 16th Armored Division
H-2-2- Colonel Mohammad-Djavadi, Mohammad, Officer Commanding 3rd Brigade / 16th Armored Division
H-3- Colonel Ghasemi-Nou, Gholam-Reza, Officer Commanding 92nd Armored Division
H-3-1- Colonel Nazeri, First name not mentioned, Officer Commanding 1st Brigade / 92nd Armored Division
H-3-2- Colonel Shahbazi, Amrollah, Officer Commanding 2nd Brigade / 92nd Armored Division

I- Fate and Results:
I-1- The operation was successful at first stage, but forced to defeat due lack of Support and Reserve troops and logistics.

end of part 1

Source: Operation Nasr: Jan. 1981 --- Colonel Hosseini, Seyyed Yaghoub, March 1983, Military History Bureau of University of Staff and Command of Iranian Army, Pages 27-29
Part 2:

Loses in manpower & equipment ...

Unit --- KIA --- WIA

16 AD --- 144 --- 362

92 AD --- 380 --- 1320

77 ID --- 35 --- 115

Shahrbani & Gendarmerie --- 10 --- 55

Air Force --- 16 --- 40

Army Aviation --- 66 --- 155

other --- 10 --- 35

grand total: KIA: 661 / WIA: 2082


equipment lost:

16 AD: 55 Tanks / 50 APC / Some light artillery and mortar / several cars and trucks

92 AD: 195 Tanks / 65 APC / Several Artillery and mortar / 40 - 50 cars and trucks

77 ID: 2 APC and 2 trucks

AF: 3 planes

AA: 11 helicopters / several cars and trucks

other: n/a



1- before, p-p 42 - 49

2- AAR`s of the represented units

3- available war diaries
Part 3:

Air Force at War!

During this Operation, Air Force had used 317222 lbs of Ammo; 145 Aerial bombardment sorties and 666 other sorties were done by Iranian pilots.
3 planes were lost during this operation, listed below:

1- F-4 E Phantom II , flown by Major Mohammad Hossein Qohestani and 1Lt. Abdolreza Kopal, plane lost, both crew KIA

2- F-5 E Tiger II, flown by Captain Mahmoud Yazdanpanah, plane lost, pilot KIA

3- C-130 H Hercules, pilot Captain Nosratollh Aqaiee, Co-Pilot 1Lt. Ali Asqar Malaek-Sefat, Navigator Captain Ahmad Ramezani, plane lost, Crew and passengers KIA


Source of this part: (Iranian) Air Force at Sacred Defense , P. 165
Wow that's quite the engagement! The Iran-Iraq war is a very interesting conflict to me, I definitely need to research it more at some point

Well, Yes, it is! but unfortunately there is no info about this war available on internet! Iran`s regimes only promotes its own paramilitary units! I advise you to use Facebook or Instagram for further researches / readings!

Any questions / info or translations, fell free to ask!

Great info!

it`s nothing compared to things that I've learnt from others. I hope it helps those who are interested or are looking for some info / details about this War.

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