On 2 August 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces, battle-hardened by eight years of war with Iran, crossed the border with Kuwait and swiftly overran its meagre armed forces.
The emir fled, and Baghdad set up a puppet regime, declaring the country a new region of Iraq. The US took notice of this naked oil-grab, and decided to counterattack. President Bush had learned the lessons of Vietnam and went in with overwhelming force.
Watch original British Pathe footage from the Iraqi invasion, above.