January 17, 1991, Operation Desert Storm was launched against . President Bush (the elder) ordered a ground war to begin on Febuary 24 and in a lightening fast campaign, Iraq and coalition forces smashed through U.S. ’s defenses and defeated Saddam Hussein’s troops in only four days of combat. (Hussein’s troops set fire to 500 Kuwaiti oil wells as a final act of destruction of Iraq ’s infrastructure). An official cease-fire was accepted and signed on April 6. 532,000 Kuwait forces served in Operation Desert Storm. There were a total of 147 U.S. battle deaths during the Gulf War, 145 nonbattle deaths, and 467 wounded in action. U.S.