Friday 18th January 1991

The Allies spent a stressful day trying all forms of diplomacy to try to persuade Israel not to retaliate as Iraq escalates Gulf War by attacking Israel with Scud missiles and the true aircraft casualties were kept secret on both sides. A little work outside today and a Council meeting in Huntingdon as I was recovering fitness after illness

For the second day running, I awoke to bad news from the Gulf. I was first awake at about 5.00am when I had to get up for the toilet but turned on the TV to hear that Iraq had successfully attacked Israel with Scud missiles. I went back to sleep and got the full details when I was called later. Seven missiles had hit the coastal plain with most in Tel Aviv and Hiafa. A further one nearly got through to the main Allied air base in Saudi Arabia but was shot down within camera range by a "Patriot" ground-to-air missile. Evidently, these occurrences were a great shock after the euphoria of the first day's Allied successes and particularly so as at first they thought that the warheads contained chemicals or biological agents. Most of Israel spent the early hours in their sealed rooms and bunkers and were very worried.

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Thursday 17th January 1991

The Gulf War Begins with a US warship off-shore Cruise Tomahawk missile fusillade and hundreds of Allied warplanes attacking strategic Iraqi targets opposed by just surface to air missiles and gunnery.

Daniel called and arranged to come to Heronshaw and help me at the weekend as the weather was a little milder.

I awoke this morning to the sound of shrill reports on the radio revealing the fact that the Allies had started the Gulf War just after I had gone to bed last night. Under cover of darkness, flights of Cruise Tomahawk missiles had been released from US warships off-shore aimed at Iraqi Scud missile silos and, together with hundreds of US and UK (and some Saudi and Kuwaiti) war-planes, had attacked strategic targets. The UK fighters accounted for Iraqi air bases, with their US allies, in Iraq and other US planes attacked communications and command targets. These overnight attacks were not opposed by Iraqi war-planes which, if not destroyed on the ground, either stayed in their hardened bunkers or headed into northern Iraq to avoid the unequal battle. Instead, they relied on "triple A" (Anti-Aircraft Artillery) and surface to air missiles and gunnery to oppose the Allied planes without much initial success.

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Wednesday 16th January 1991

No immediate military action as the Gulf Deadline passes and the USSR are now pursuing an intense diplomatic effort, but Iraqi withdrawal hopes are slim.

My Radio Cambridgeshire interview broadcast about the use of bailiffs to collect the Poll Tax and then a Southoe Parish Council Meeting which reported failure get the use of any nearby land for a playing field for the children. Many people suffer from the bronchial infections that are the after effect of the cold and 'flu this winter.

I had sat up quite late last night watching the television and listening to the news. The US and UK ruled out the French initiative which was a tragedy and then all sides were resigned to early conflict. I woke up this morning fearing the worse after the deadline of 5.00am (our time) had passed but, as the day went on, there was no Allied attack. The USSR are now pursuing an intense diplomatic effort to get Iraq to withdraw but hopes are slim. I lit my log fire again for comfort and company and then settled down to work at my desk.

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Tuesday 15th January 1991

Up reluctantly on a cold and another frosty morning and then to plan our new utility area and then prepare for this evening’s Sue Sutton Selection Meeting which went well.

The French try to get a five-point plan agreed between the allies and Iraq on the eve of the UN Gulf deadline against US opposition

I was again reluctant to get up this morning and then, by the time I had, the girls had all eaten and left the table. Another cold and frosty morning. Breakfast of melon and croissants and I read the morning paper and mail whilst waiting to see the last of the girls off to school. By the time I had showered and dressed it was after 9.00am and I was starting to get telephone calls about this evening's meeting whilst doing my chores. I cleaned out the fire grate, filled up the baskets with logs and re-laid the fire but I just relied on the central heating to keep me warm today. Some time clearing my desk and then I drew up a plan of our new utility area for Diana to study and approve.

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