Battle of Mirbat

Battle of Mirbat

Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Mirbat


caption=
partof=Dhofar Rebellion
date=July 19, 1972
place=Mirbat, South Oman
result=Decisive British victory
combatant1=British SAS
combatant2=Dhofarian and Communist rebels
commander1=Mike Kealy
commander2=
strength1=9 SAS soldiers (later reinforced by 23 more)
strength2=250 Adoo guerillas
casualties1=2 killed, 1 wounded
casualties2=80+ killed

The Battle of Mirbat took place during the 1970s Dhofar Rebellion in Oman which was supported by communist guerillas from South Yemen. Britain assisted the Oman government by sending elements of its Special Air Service to both train soldiers and compete against the PFLOAG guerillas for the "hearts and minds" of the Omani people.

At 6am on 19 July 1972 the PFLOAG retaliated against the British, sending 250 well-armed men against the isolated British Army Training Team (BATT) house near Mirbat (commanded by Captain Mike Kealy). Against overwhelming odds, the nine SAS soldiers stationed there resisted fiercely, holding the PFLOAG back for several hours until reinforcements could arrive. Defeated, the PFLOAG withdrew at about 12:30pm.The 25 pounder gun, now known as the "Mirbat gun" which was used by Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba (a Fijian SAS soldier) during the siege is now housed in the Firepower museum of the Royal Artillery at the former Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Sgt Labalaba was killed in action. He displayed notable bravery by continuing to fire the 25 pounder in spite of being seriously wounded. Labalaba's actions helped to keep the insurgents pinned down until a relief force arrived. Labalaba was awarded a posthumous Mention in Dispatches for his actions in the Battle of Mirbat, although some of his former comrades have campaigned for him to be award a posthumous Victoria Cross.Fact|date=June 2008

Sir Ranulph Fiennes alleged in his book 'The Feathermen' that Mike Kealy was murdered years later in the Brecon Beacons by an Arab militant cell.Fact|date=October 2008

AS soldiers present

Some of the known SAS soldiers who were present at Mirbat on 19 July 1972:Fact|date=June 2008

Captain Mike Kealy,

Sergeant Bob Bennett

Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba,

Corporal Roger Cole,

Lance Corporal Pete Winner,

Trooper Tommy Tobin,

Sergeant Sekonaia Takavesi

The above list is not complete as 2 of the SAS men who were present at Mirbat have never been named publicly.

References

*cite book |last=Kennedy |first=Michael Paul |title="Soldier I: SAS" |origyear=1990 |origmonth=October |publisher=Bloomsbury Publishing PLC |location=London |isbn=0747507503 |pages=320

External links

* [http://www.britains-smallwars.com/Desert_song/Mirbat.htm Description of the battle]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/hereford/worcs/3219357.stm BBC News Article]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mirbat —   Town   One of Mirbat s several dilapidated Yemeni style mud brick structures …   Wikipedia

  • Bataille de Mirbat — Théâtre du champ de bataille[1] La bataille de Mirbat eut lieu le 19 juillet 1972 durant la Guerre du Dhofar à Oman, impliquant la guerrilla …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Dhofar Rebellion — Date 1962–1976 Location Oman, Middle East Result Defeat of insurgents Modernisation of Oman …   Wikipedia

  • List of battles (alphabetical) — Alphabetical list of historical battles (see also Military history, List of battles): NOTE: Where a year has been used to disambiguate battles it is the year when the battle started. In some cases these may still have gone on for several years.… …   Wikipedia

  • List of battles 1901–2000 — List of battles: before 601 601 1400 1401 1800 1801 1900 1901 2000 2001 current 1901 1925*1901 Balangiga Massacre September 28 Filipino guerrillas launch a surprise attack on soldiers of the 9th U.S. Infantry and massacred nearly all of them.… …   Wikipedia

  • Special Air Service — The Regiment redirects here. For the video game, see The Regiment (video game). Special Air Service Special Air Service cloth cap badge Active …   Wikipedia

  • M2 Browning — This article is about the .50 caliber M2 machine gun. For the Browning .30 06 machine gun, see M1919 Browning machine gun. Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB M2HB heavy machine gun …   Wikipedia

  • Mike Kealy — was the 27 year old Captain at the Battle of Mirbat in 1972. After the battle he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He died of hypothermia in February 1979 on a training exercise in the Brecon Beacons. References Warman, Matt (19… …   Wikipedia

  • Ordnance QF 25 pounder — Gun shown mounted on its firing platform, King Street West, Dundas, Hamilton, Canada. Type Field gun/Howitzer …   Wikipedia

  • Royal Irish Rangers — Infobox Military Unit unit name= The Royal Irish Rangers 27th (Inniskilling) 83rd 87th caption= dates= 1 July 1968 1992 country= United Kingdom branch= Army type= Infantry Regiment of the Line size= On disbandment, 2 Regular Battalions 1 TA… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”