Carter's options to compensate for the blow of the spy nest/ How the rescue operation came to a standstill?
US President Carter planned an operation called "Rescue" to free the hostages taken during the capture of the spy nest, which ultimately failed. This defeat dealt a major blow to America's image internationally, as well as to the domestic morale of their nation. The following is a description of this operation and how it failed.
Irdc.ir: US President Carter planned an operation called "Rescue" to free the hostages taken during the capture of the spy nest, which ultimately failed. This defeat dealt a major blow to America's image internationally, as well as to the domestic morale of their nation. The following is a description of this operation and how it failed.
At a meeting on April 11, 1980, at a foreign policy breakfast, President Carter raised an important issue. "As you know, the first week the hostages were taken, I instructed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to plan a rescue operation to be used in situations of urgent need," he said.
"The group is now fully prepared for the rescue operation," Carter said. Foreign Minister Cyrus Vance, who opposed the military operation, was on vacation in Florida, and his successor, Warren Christopher, was in attendance. Carter had previously listened to advisers concerned about his political future in the election. Carter's wife Rosalyn, Walter Mandepel, Hamilton Jordan and Judy Powell had completely convinced him of the rescue operation. Iran-US relations, centered on hostage-taking, were completely murky. The Americans should have realized very soon that they had to change their strategy in the face of the new Iran.
Finally, after five months of unsuccessful negotiations and pressure, the Carter administration decided to send commando units to Iran to rescue the hostages:
"They were professional soldiers who volunteered for a dangerous mission."
"No more delays in this operation," said President Jimmy Carter.
Vance's objections and the reasons he cited for the unfortunate consequences of the military operation did not convince any member of the Security Council. Brzezinski encouraged a military operation, and Vance called for patience. Apparently, Jimmy Carter was deciding a fate by his own hand which his faction was severely affected by. But Carter's domestic rivals were waiting for him to end the election in their favor with his mistakes. As Brzezinski noted, the rescue operation had been planned for the past few months.
He and military officials had previously considered bombing and occupying Kharg Island in order to force Iran to return the hostages, but the rescue and infiltration operation on Iranian territory and the release of the hostages was the best military option. Delta forces had practiced this operation many times: The rescue squad was led by Colonel Charlie Beckwith. He was a corpulent, 51-year-old man who had commanded operations in Korea and Vietnam.
At 7.30 pm on April 24, 1980, eight C-Stallion RH-53D helicopters flew from the Nimitz aircraft carrier along the southeast coast of Iran. The plan was as follows: They join six Hercules C-130 cargo planes.
The Delta mission was designed to be interconnected in the form of a chain operation. In case of failure in one step
, the rest of the steps would have remained fruitless. If one step went forward, it was a guarantee for the next step. The first stage was the deployment of manpower, equipment and supplies in the Indian Ocean, and any movement was done with a cover to prevent it from being exposed. The second stage was the importation of this force and equipment into Iranian territory in Desert 1, which was located near the small town of Tabas. Eight RH-53D helicopters and six 130C aircraft had to be landed on the runway. After loading and refueling, the planes had to leave Sahra 1 and the helicopters flew closer to Tehran using the darkness of the air. After hiding, they have to wait for the darkness of the next night. The next night, rescue operations were carried out and helicopters were to be deployed to transport the team, and the hostages appeared as soon as possible. Helicopters then had to fly to Desert 2 and transport people to the plane.
The real attack on the embassy was extremely important to the Americans, because the casualties of the hostages were reasonably high. Therefore, the most important part of this stage was the principle of surprise. Eight helicopters from the Nimitz fleet flew to Iran in the Oman Sea. After two hours of flying over Iran, which was considered the most difficult stage of the operation, one of them suffered a technical defect. As a result, helicopter No. 6 landed and put its men on another helicopter. Because of the radio silence, the White House did not know that the occupants of the damaged helicopter had entered another helicopter. Of course, although the alarm system sounded 43 times, there were no signs of a crack in the impeller. Shortly after stopping Helicopter No. 6, a cloud of sand dust flooded the helicopters, reducing their visibility. But helicopter No. 5 also suffered technical defects and helicopter No. 2 also suffered from hydraulic problems, after landing in the Tabas desert, it became impossible for helicopter No. 2 to continue its journey. Therefore, this helicopter was abandoned.
Colonel Beckwith, the commander of the operation, found the operation unfavorable due to the sandstorm. The helicopters were 85 minutes late and the dawn was appearing.
He called Carter and offered to withdraw. Carter agreed with him. He ordered his forces to prepare to return.
During the refueling of the helicopters, an important incident occurred in Tabas, which disrupted Operation Delta. Apparently, the propeller of one of the helicopters hit the Hercules 130-c plane and a terrible explosion occurred. The sandstorm was a major obstacle to the pilot not being able to properly detect the aircraft carrying the fuel. Eight American Marines were burned and killed, and five others were seriously wounded.
The remaining helicopters, along with 130-c aircraft, flew quickly and left the area. Five healthy helicopters remained in the area and the attackers failed to return them. Gary Sick makes this bitter confession: ''If one wants to point to only one factor as the ultimate reason for the failure of the mission, it is nothing but a sandstorm that was unpredictable and almost from the very beginning disastrously disrupted the timing of the attack''.
The White House issued a statement at 1 a.m. April 25, and Carter appeared on television to take personal responsibility for the failure of the operation. This operation had negative consequences for the invading country:" The hostages were scattered throughout Iran to stay out of the reach of the Americans, Eight American Marines were killed and five were wounded, US allies who had cooperated with the Americans in Iran's economic sanctions lost their trust in the Americans.
American military reputation suffered devastating damage. Most important of all was Carter's political defeat, in which he lost all chances of winning the next election, and the American national spirit was humiliated