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Upcoming book highlights artillery warfare in Operation Desert Storm

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The last week of February 1991 saw the beginning—and the end—of the ground campaign in the Gulf War.

Operation Desert Saber, the official designation of the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm, famously lasted 100 hours.

Following six weeks of extensive aerial bombing, the coalition offensive kicked off on Feb. 24, and President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire four days later, after the liberation of Kuwait.

Most people remember the images of precision bombs finding their targets, and many are familiar with the massive, lightning-quick armored flanking maneuver known as the “big left hook,” and the battles of 73 Easting and Medina Ridge.

Few, however, know about the eight-day barrage of artillery fire that preceded the maneuvers.

Fortunately, this spring the University Press of Kentucky will help tell the story when it publishes Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War by retired Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter as part of the Association of the U.S. Army Book Program.

Lingamfelter was an artilleryman, or redleg, assigned to the 1st Infantry Division in the conflict, serving as operations officer for divisional artillery command.

His book combines military history and personal memoir to provide a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the largest U.S. artillery bombardment since World War II.

Lingamfelter will also share his perspectives during a Lemnitzer Lecture at AUSA’s General Gordon R. Sullivan Conference and Event Center in Arlington, Virginia, on May 12.

Details for the lecture can be found on AUSA’s Meetings and Events web page by clicking here.

While victors get to write the histories, it can be instructive to see the experience of the vanquished.

The Iraqi army’s defeat to coalition forces in the first Gulf War is one of three major wars it fought under Saddam Hussein.

The others are the war with Iran from 1980-88 and Iraq’s collapse against the United States in 2003.

Pesach Malovany examines why Iraqi tactics and strategies failed in the Gulf War in his comprehensive work The Wars of Modern Babylon: A History of the Iraqi Army from 1921 to 2003. This award-winning text provides invaluable information for anyone looking to understand modern Middle East history.

Please visit www.ausa.org/books to order these titles and others in the AUSA Book Program.