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Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian…
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Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War (Original 1993; 1994. Auflage)

von Rick Atkinson (Autor)

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Throughout the Gulf War of 1991, unprecedented restrictions on the media's access to the battlefield kept the true story of that brief, brutal conflict from being told. Now, after two years of intensive research, Rick Atkinson has written what will surely come to be recognized as the definitive chronicle of the war. Crusade follows the unfolding battle from the first night to the final day, providing vivid accounts of bombing runs and White House strategy sessions, fire-fights and bitter inter-service conflicts. Weaving individual stories into the larger narrative, Atkinson represents the allied campaign against Saddam Hussein as a wholly new kind of war, one that has transformed the nature of modern warfare.… (mehr)
Mitglied:top19
Titel:Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War
Autoren:Rick Atkinson (Autor)
Info:Mariner Books (1994), Edition: 58704th, 608 pages
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Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War von Rick Atkinson (1993)

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This is a very good read by a superb storyteller still early in his book writing career. Despite this being only his second title on military history ("The Long Gray Line" being his first) Atkinson shows his mettle in this volume published only two years after the conflict.

Broken into three parts that bracket the first week, middle month, and last week of the war, Atkinson weaves U.S. and Middle East history prior to Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait with significant events and plays in the Desert Shield/Desert Storm saga. After closing the story chapters with an epilogue, Atkinson provides an author's note on source, an appreciation on those sources, a brief chronology of events, maps, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index. There is a collection of photographs in the middle of the text.

As an Army brat, Atkinson's background makes him a far better chronicleer of the war than his journalist colleagues, who frankly struggled to report on the war (I was in the Navy at the time, and I cringed at the news coverage, especially on military matters). Atkinson is certainly not error-free in his writing--for example he locates the Royal Air Force base at Muharaqq, Bahrain in Oman and he identifies the M203 40mm grenade launcher as a "203mm grenade launcher". However, of the "early" Desert Storm books (in my opinion those published within five years of the war) this is easily the best in providing clear details of event and some retrospective analysis of the war and its politics. There were quite a few books published within a year of Desert Storm's conclusion, and their poor quality is most evident compared to "Crusade".

Atkinson pays close attention to the story of people in this work, and he stood apart from many of his contemporaries by casting a critical eye on the key American figures of the era, although the author spends a great deal of his writing on the Commander in Chief, U.S. Central Command, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf. At a time when many were lionizing "the CINC", Atkinson reveals the extent to which he terrorized the Central Command headquarters and all of its subordinate senior commanders. In today's military, it is doubtful whether he would have been placed in command as the toxic command climate that Schwarzkopf engendered would have precluded him from at least any four star command billet. The strengths and weaknesses of all the major players are laid bare in this book--compelling stories of their own, and some of which were to make a reappearance on the world stage twelve years later for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In describing some of the political consequences of Desert Storm, Atkinson shows some clairvoyance. He recognized the agony of the debate between those American voices who wanted to overthrow the Saddam Hussein regime and those who just wanted to bring the troops home after liberating Kuwait. In retrospect, however, I'm not sure that a 1991 Iraqi regime change would have led to any different outcomes other than committing this country to a counterinsurgency campaign twelve years early. U.S. leadership did not read the tea leaves of the Iraqi peoples' situation in 1990-91 any better than they did in 2001-03. The Iraqi Army did not rise up significantly against Hussein on either occasion; however, the Iraqi Army, even after Desert Storm, was stronger than the 2003 version. Would the Coalition take the gamble of a possible extended Iraqi insurgenc in 1991-92. I suspect probably not. ( )
1 abstimmen Adakian | Mar 9, 2021 |
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Throughout the Gulf War of 1991, unprecedented restrictions on the media's access to the battlefield kept the true story of that brief, brutal conflict from being told. Now, after two years of intensive research, Rick Atkinson has written what will surely come to be recognized as the definitive chronicle of the war. Crusade follows the unfolding battle from the first night to the final day, providing vivid accounts of bombing runs and White House strategy sessions, fire-fights and bitter inter-service conflicts. Weaving individual stories into the larger narrative, Atkinson represents the allied campaign against Saddam Hussein as a wholly new kind of war, one that has transformed the nature of modern warfare.

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