Actually, and although best-known in the West, the portion of the Iran-Iraq War related to the Iraqi effort to prevent foreign tankers from loading the crude at Iranian oil terminals at Khark and elsewhere, was only one aspect of this naval war: indeed, 'just one brick' in an entire 'wall' that can only be described as the 'oil war' between Iran and Iraq. While the 'most spectacular', or at least attracting most of public attention, attacks by fighter-bombers of the Iraqi Air Force on tankers exporting the Iranian oil were 'barely scratching the surface': at least as often the Iraqi Navy trying exactly the same, but with help of its helicopters, fast missile craft and mines. In turn, the Islamic Republic of Iran Navy deployed its warships and helicopters – supported by interceptors and fighter-bombers of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force – to run a massive and convoy-protecting operation: the largest of its kind since 1945. The result were the most intensive air-sea battles of the last 75 years – all characterized by their high speed and exchanges of massive blows.
The Iran-Iraq Naval War describes and illustrates the key combatants and the most intense operations of both sides. Destroyers, frigates, corvettes, and fast missile crafts are all covered in thoroughly researched text, photographs and custom-drawn color profiles, as are aircraft and helicopters supporting them. This book is thus taking the taking the reader in the middle of the action at sea and in the skies above it.