The Gulf War Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

It may be one of the shortest wars the U.S. has been involved in, but that doesn't mean it was any less costly. What do you remember about Operation Desert Storm? Take the quiz to find out.

The Persian Gulf War began with a massive U.S.-led air offensive known as what?

The Persian Gulf War began on Jan. 17, 1991, with the offensive known as Operation Desert Storm. The buildup of troops in the Middle East in the previous months was dubbed Operation Desert Shield.


How long did Desert Shield last before Desert Storm?

Desert Shield was the U.S. and coalition buildup of air and naval forces, and enforcing sanctions in the Middle East that lasted six months prior to Desert Storm.


Who was secretary of defense during the Gulf War?

Dick Cheney was secretary of defense for President George H.W. Bush during the Gulf War.


What country did Saddam Hussein invade, prompting the start of the Gulf War?

Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighboring Kuwait in early August 1990, sparking alarm in neighboring countries and the eventual U.S.-led offensive.


Iraq occupied Kuwait between what months?

Iraq forces occupied Kuwait between August 1990 and January 1991, systematically committing heinous crimes against the Law of Armed Conflict as outlined in the Geneva and Hague Conventions.


True or false: On Aug. 3, 1990, the United Nations Security Council called for Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait.

Saddam Hussein refused, and three days later, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd met with Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney to request U.S. military assistance.


How many days did the Persian Gulf War last?

After 42 days of attacks by the allied coalition in the air and on the ground, U.S. President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire 42 days after the offensive began.


What countries made up the U.S.-led coalition of Operation Desert Storm?

By January 1991, there were more than 750,000 coalition forces, including 540,000 U.S. personnel and forces from Britain, France, Germany, the Soviet Union, Japan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


What massive allied ground offensive was launched Feb. 24, 1991?

Operation Desert Sabre shifted the focus of the coalition's air attacks toward Iraqi ground forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq, and within four days, coalition forces defeated the Iraqis and liberated Kuwait.


Was Saddam Hussein forced from power when most of the elite Iraqi Republican Guard were defeated by the end of February?

Absolutely not. Hussein surrendered and accepted new peace terms, agreeing only to recognize Kuwait’s sovereignty and get rid of all its weapons of mass destruction. But he remained in power.


How many U.S. troops were killed in the Persian Gulf War?

An estimated 100,000 Iraqi troops died in the Gulf war; 383 American troops were killed.


Immediately after the war, what ethnic groups did Saddam Hussein's forces brutally suppress?

In the aftermath of the war, Hussein's forces suppressed uprisings by Kurds in the North of Iraq and Shiites in the South.


What technological innovation made decision-making easier during the Gulf War?

Teleconferences saved many hours of travel time, because high-ranking officials could communicate and display charts through cameras and television screens.


How many Tomahawk missiles were fired during the Gulf War?

Desert Storm marked the first coordinated Tomahawk and manned-aircraft strike in history. There were 297 Tomahawks fired during the Gulf War, 282 successfully. (Nine failed to leave the tube, and six fell into the water after leaving the tube).


What were Tomahawk missiles used to destroy?

Tomahawks were used to destroy surface-to-air missile sites, command and control centers and electrical power facilities.


True or false: The U.S. Department of Defense has estimated the cost of the Gulf War at $51 billion.

The estimate from the Department of Defense was actually $61 billion


True or false: In 1998, Great Britain and the United States launched air strikes against Iraq.

The attack was known as Operation Desert Fox and was in response to Saddam Hussein's refusal to cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.


What other Middle East conflict helped lead up to the Saddam Hussein invading Kuwait?

Iraq owed $80 million in foreign debt from its 1980-88 war with Iran. Saddam Hussein demanded Saudi Arabia and Kuwait forgive $30 billion in Iraqi debt, which he saw as a result of protecting Kuwait from Shiite Iranian forces for eight years. He also accused Kuwait of stealing Iraqi oil.


True or false: In 1991, Iraq had the fifth largest army in the world.

True. Iraq's army had 1 million men in 1991, but only a third of those were skilled forces.


After invading Kuwait and annexing it as Iraq's 19th province, Saddam Hussein named whom as its governor?

Ali Hassan al-Majid (aka Chemical Ali) was named governor of Kuwait.


True or false: At least two dozen torture sites run by Iraqi forces were discovered in Kuwait City.

Iraqi forces were charged with torturing civilians to death and the point of disfigurement. Iraqi troops also tortured prisoners of war.


How many oil fires were set in the Kuwaiti oil fields?

Iraq set more than 600 oil fires that destroyed 85 percent of Kuwaiti oil wells. An estimated 1 billion barrels worth $2.8 billion were destroyed.


Why didn't President George H.W. Bush authorize the coalition troops to press on to Baghdad?

President Bush didn't send troops into Baghdad because he was abiding by the U.N. mandate. Once coalition forces expelled the Iraqi army from Kuwait by the end of February, President Bush halted all offensive operations.


What television network had reporters in Baghdad giving a blow-by-blow account of the opening night of the Gulf War?

News organizations around the world carried Bernie Shaw's live reporting on CNN the first night of the Gulf War.


True or false: Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf commanded the Gulf War force, which was larger and more complex than the D-Day invasion in World War II.

Schwarzkopf commanded a coalition of 670,000 personnel from 28 countries, along with combined naval and air forces, with 425,000 troops from the United States.


What country did Iraq launch Scud missiles into during the Gulf War?

Israel was not part of the Gulf War coalition, yet Saddam Hussein continued to launch Scud missiles into Israeli cities in hopes of drawing Israel into the conflict.


True or false: The official end of the Gulf War was April 11, 1991.

April 11 is when the United Nations declared an end to hostilities. Iraq signed the official cease-fire agreement on April 6, 1991.


What was the name of the withdrawal operation of American forces from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq?

Operation Desert Farewell was the mission sending home American forces.


True or false: All coalition troops had withdrawn from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq by March 10, 1991.

More than 540,000 troops came home beginning on March 10, 1991, while many stayed behind to enforce the no-fly zones.


True or false: On June 10, 1991, New York City honored men and women of Desert Storm with a massive ticker tape parade.

Thousands of troops paraded down Broadway.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!