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The Gulf War 30 Year Anniversary

Gulf War 30 Year Anniversary

Commemorating the end of the Gulf War

28 February 2021 marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War.

Fought from 1990-91, this conflict saw the largest single deployment of British troops since the Second World War, with over 50,000 British servicemen and women deployed during the conflict.

The Gulf War lasted for nearly seven months (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991). However, although the War ended on 28 February, peace was not officially declared until 6 April.

Remembering those involved in the conflict

On the 30th anniversary, we share our gratitude to those who fought in the conflict and thank them for their sacrifice. 

We also spare a thought for those who did not come home as well as for those who returned with life-changing injuries – physical or mental.

We commemorate and honour your service. Thank you.

The history of the Gulf War

The Gulf War (sometimes referred to as ‘the first Gulf War’) was a war against Iraq by coalition forces from dozens of nations, led by the United States, in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of neighbouring country, Kuwait.

On 2 August 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait after talks on oil production and debt repayment collapsed. This invasion was condemned by the UN.

Operation Desert Storm

On 8 November, President Bush received UN Resolution 678, which set a deadline of 15 January 1991 for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.

However, after refusing to withdraw, the deadline passed and conflict to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait began (referred to as Operation Desert Storm in the U.S. or Operation Granby in the UK).

Operation Desert Storm was launched in the early morning of 17 January. The U.S. and its coalition of allies launch a campaign of air and missile attacks on targets in Iraq and Kuwait. The campaign continued for several weeks, damaging or destroying Iraq’s air defences, communications, military infrastructure, oil infrastructure and transportation infrastructure. This was also followed by a ground assault (Desert Sabre), which began on 24 February.

After 42 days (over 1,000 hours) of attack a ceasefire was declared on 28 February 1991 and on 6 April peace was finally announced.

From a Gulf War veteran

Darren, an Army veteran and our Regional Community Fundraiser for the South, was 21 during the Gulf War and recalls his time serving in the conflict.

“On 23 December 1990 my unit arrives in Saudi Arabia as part of 4th Armoured Brigade and on 30 December my unit was deployed to the desert in preparation for Operation Granby.”

Watch this short video from Darren to find out more about his time in the Gulf War as he reflects on the conflict.

Living Archive

Want to hear more stories from veterans involved in the Gulf War? If you’re aged over 18, you can sign up to our Living Archive to watch powerful first-person accounts from veterans.

Register by clicking the button below and then search ‘Gulf War’ in the Living Archive to hear from veterans involved in this conflict.

Need support?

If you’ve been impacted by your time in the Forces, if you’re still in the Forces and need support, or if you’re the loved one of a veteran or currently serving member of the Forces and want to talk, then we’re here to help.

Our free, 24-hour helpline provides confidential mental health advice and support.

Veterans and their families can call 0800 138 1619

Serving personnel and their families can call 0800 323 4444

We also have a series of online self-help resources to help with a range of mental health problems veterans may be experiencing right now. There are also resources that provide specific support for the families of veterans and for organisations that employ veterans.

To access our self-help resources, please click the button below.