Twenty-six years ago this past Sunday, the US Navy began an operation that would become the largest naval engagement for the navy since World War II. Who was the opponent? None other than our best friends in the whole-wide world, Iran.
But this battle also helped change how Iran views any future war with America: why fight head-on against America's military might when you can hit them from where they least expect?
This type of military strategy is best summed up as "asymmetrical warfare", which as the name suggests, is conducting war in an unconventional manner compared to that of your presumed enemy.
With this idea in mind, this recent article from the good folks at the War is Boring have put together a good piece concerning how it appears that Iran's military COULD have done the US Navy a great deal more damage during Operation Praying Mantis and chose not to do so because they feared the retaliation that likely would follow (especially since Iran was still waging a war of attrition with Saddam Hussein's Iraq).
For those who don't know much about Iran's military and it's rather, "interesting" history and tactics, this article is a good start!
War is Boring: In 1980's Battle with America, Iran Held Back Its Deadliest Missiles