The Gulf War - Iraq

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Book Review: The Gulf War Chronicles, by Richard S. Lowry
Review by W.J. Rayment

When people recall the Gulf War they think of a cake-walk by the powerful U.S. Military. They do not realize that the Iraqi Army was a formidable military force. The United States and its allies had to struggle, suffer, plan and take many casualties in order to emerge victorious.

This is how Richard S. Lowry puts it in his book, "The Gulf War Chronicles: A Military History of the First War with Iraq":
Man-for-man, tank-for-tank, and cannon-for-cannon the opposing foes were evenly matched in the battle. We had the advantage of close air support. They had the advantage of weather and concealed positions. We had the advantage of a more mobile force. They had the advantage of longer-range artillery. We had the advantage of surprise. They had the advantage of being the defender...

So it was not the "slam dunk" that everyone now believes. Yet Mr. Lowry's day by day chronicle of the war makes clear the actual reasons for the incredible victory over the Iraqis. It was the "highly trained, intelligent, volunteers who were committed to fighting for, and dieing if need be, for the cause of freedom." Lowry's "Chronicle" takes events day by day, amazing events, such as the "biggest tank battle in history", and a stream of firsts that makes the war the most understudied victory of modern times.

The second factor that helped the U.S. to win the war: superb leadership. From the N.C.O.s through General Schwarzkopf the leap from textbook strategy and tactics to the battlefield was efficiently executed. The "Chronicles" is filled with hundreds of stories of individual servicemen, how they fought, how they died, how they triumphed, and most of all how they executed their orders with admirable professionalism and a zeal for doing the right thing.

The most up-to-date technology in the hands of such men would prove the most decisive factor in the allied victory. Even where allied units were outnumbered their equipment, coupled with their heroism saved the day. In the "Chronicles" we are treated to fascinating explanations of how these weapons and platforms were used, bunker busting bombs, fuel bombs, A-10 Warthogs, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, Tank Darts and more.

This book reads like an official history of the war, taking events as they come, naming names and describing events with a pithy verve that brings the reader right to the battlefield. Richard S. Lowry's "The Gulf War Chronicles" is a vital resource for anyone wishing to truly understand the Gulf War. Appendices include an order of battle and a solemn list of those soldiers who died for their country.

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For an excellent first hand account of the war, read Rick Francona on the Gulf War

Richard S. Lowry has procuced an excellent chronicle of the war. Read our review!

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