counter create hit Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War - Download Free eBook
Hot Best Seller

Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War

Availability: Ready to download

This definitive account of the Gulf War relates the previously untold story of the U.S. war with Iraq in the early 1990s. The author follows the 42-day war from the first night to the final day, providing vivid accounts of bombing runs, White House strategy sessions, firefights, and bitter internal conflicts.


Compare

This definitive account of the Gulf War relates the previously untold story of the U.S. war with Iraq in the early 1990s. The author follows the 42-day war from the first night to the final day, providing vivid accounts of bombing runs, White House strategy sessions, firefights, and bitter internal conflicts.

30 review for Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Terry Cornell

    This is the first of Rick Atkinson's books that I've read. Amazing research. He manages to make the historical account of the Persian Gulf War seem almost like reading a Tom Clancy novel. From a fly-on-the-wall perspective in planning sessions, to combat on the ground and air, this chronicles events, political influences, and the personalities involved in the decision-making and fighting. Atkinson also does a great job of explaining strategy, and weapons systems without getting overly technical. This is the first of Rick Atkinson's books that I've read. Amazing research. He manages to make the historical account of the Persian Gulf War seem almost like reading a Tom Clancy novel. From a fly-on-the-wall perspective in planning sessions, to combat on the ground and air, this chronicles events, political influences, and the personalities involved in the decision-making and fighting. Atkinson also does a great job of explaining strategy, and weapons systems without getting overly technical. Can't wait to read some of his works on World War II.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eric Atkisson

    As a veteran of the Gulf War and a fan of Rick Atkinson's work, I was 24 years late in reading this book. I'm glad I finally did. There was much I learned that I had either forgotten or never knew about what was happening in other parts of the theater, including the two Navy ships that were severely damaged by mines. The accounts of all the friendly fire incidents--more than one quarter of Allied fatalities--were especially sobering. My only criticism is that there seemed to be some baffling omi As a veteran of the Gulf War and a fan of Rick Atkinson's work, I was 24 years late in reading this book. I'm glad I finally did. There was much I learned that I had either forgotten or never knew about what was happening in other parts of the theater, including the two Navy ships that were severely damaged by mines. The accounts of all the friendly fire incidents--more than one quarter of Allied fatalities--were especially sobering. My only criticism is that there seemed to be some baffling omissions; for example, in spite of devoting several chapters to the plight of Col. David Eberly and other American POWs, Atkinson never once mentioned the occasions on which the Iraqis forced POWs to renounce the war on TV, for propaganda purposes. He also, incredibly, failed to mention the Battle of Kuwait International Airport and gave relatively little attention to the combat the 1st and 2nd Marine Divisions experienced during their drive into Kuwait. Still, overall this is a solid work of journalism and well worth reading for anyone wanting to learn more about the war.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Stieb

    This is probably the best military history of the Gulf War that I've come across. Atkinson is a fantastic writer. There's not a lot on the policy side, but Atkinson gives an engaging account of the war from multiple perspectives: American generals, field commanders, prisoners of war, and ordinary soldiers. He doesn't hold back on the brutality of what has been remembered as a clean war, but he's also very fair to the genuine desire of the leadership to limit casualties and collateral damage. The This is probably the best military history of the Gulf War that I've come across. Atkinson is a fantastic writer. There's not a lot on the policy side, but Atkinson gives an engaging account of the war from multiple perspectives: American generals, field commanders, prisoners of war, and ordinary soldiers. He doesn't hold back on the brutality of what has been remembered as a clean war, but he's also very fair to the genuine desire of the leadership to limit casualties and collateral damage. The US military comes across as unbelievably deadly and effective in this book despite major ego and bureaucratic problems in the leadership. I could have used a little less detail in some areas (500 pages is a lot for a 1 month conflict), but overall I can strongly recommend this book to general enthusiasts in military history. It's more engaging than Trainor and Gordon's "The Generals' War," although that account is better if you want a more systematic exploration of how policies and strategies were made.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    Excellent. I read Atkinson's trilogy on the US Army a few years ago and enjoyed them immensely. Atkinson's style is engaging and never dry. Crusade was no different. The first Iraq War turned out to be a cake walk but Crusade illustrates that few recognized that at the time. As a result there is much tension, misgivings and not a few mistakes. I also learned that the technology was not what I thought it was when I watched the war unfold on TV. Sadly, 340 Americans did die and many were "blue on b Excellent. I read Atkinson's trilogy on the US Army a few years ago and enjoyed them immensely. Atkinson's style is engaging and never dry. Crusade was no different. The first Iraq War turned out to be a cake walk but Crusade illustrates that few recognized that at the time. As a result there is much tension, misgivings and not a few mistakes. I also learned that the technology was not what I thought it was when I watched the war unfold on TV. Sadly, 340 Americans did die and many were "blue on blue" meaning they were killed by friendly fire in the confusion of battle. In Crusade you get the high level view from Bush, Cheney, Powell and Schwarzkopf and rhe view from the pilots, sailors, Marines and grunts on the ground as well as insights into our allies. This book will not disappoint.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Albright

    One of the foremost aspects of contemporary historiography is the matter of untold stories. There seems to be an obsession among many who are historians or are interested in history that there are a lot of untold stories that need to be told. And yet in reading this ample-sized book, it is not as if the stories here have not, largely, been told. To give but a few examples of many, no one needs to be told that George H.W. Bush had the wimp strong about him, or that 93% of the bombs that were drop One of the foremost aspects of contemporary historiography is the matter of untold stories. There seems to be an obsession among many who are historians or are interested in history that there are a lot of untold stories that need to be told. And yet in reading this ample-sized book, it is not as if the stories here have not, largely, been told. To give but a few examples of many, no one needs to be told that George H.W. Bush had the wimp strong about him, or that 93% of the bombs that were dropped on Iraq were dumb bombs and not smart bombs, or that the Iraqis did not seek to use hostages, including prisoners of war, as means of trying to secure the survival of buildings of military interest in the face of bombing. Nor is this book's study of friendly fire anything that is particularly new or striking in light of the fact that friendly fire was responsible for a considerable portion of the deaths of the Gulf War, which were also not nearly as much as was expected. Nor even was the bristly attitude of Schwarzkopf particularly surprising. Indeed, as far as the desire of the author to distinguish himself from any number of books that were written in the early to mid 1990's in the aftermath of the Gulf War, this book does not contain much in the way of new information that was not previously known. This book begins in media res with a prologue and is then divided into three parts. The first part of the book covers the first week of the war, including chapters that deal with such matters as the dramatic bombing of the first night (1), the following day of conflict (2), the effect of the Scud missiles on Israel (3), the planning of the left hook against the Iraqi forces in Kuwait and southern Iraq (4), and the Delta force efforts to chase down and eliminate the Scud missile launching areas (5). After this the second part of the book discusses the middle month of the war, from the special forces units that were operating in what was labeled as Mesopotamia (6), the Iraqi assault on Khafji and its aftermath (7), the war in Riyadh (8), the thought of the desert as a sea (9), the attack on Al Firdos (10), the political misadventures among coalition military command (11), and the preparation for the ground war (12). The last part of the work then consists of the last week of the war (III), with the life of prisoners at the Biltmore (13), the start of the ground assault (14), the success of the coalition in quickly reaching the Euphrates (15), the march of the coalition forces upcountry (16), the liberation of Kuwait (17), and the closing of the gates to surround the retreating Iraqi forces (18), after which the book ends with an author's note, acknowledgements, chronology, battle maps, notes, a bibliography, and an index. What this book does, and does well, is tell a large amount of stories that have been gathered from a large amount of interviews. It is not so much the novelty of what has been told as much as the intimacy and the feeling that one is there listening to arguments taking place in the Allied camp or among journos upset at missing the big stories while the war is going on. What is perhaps most telling is that the interviews and thus the story are heavily slanted towards the side of the coalition forces, since there have not been the sorts of interviews with Saddam or the leaders of the Republican Guard divisions or the ordinary foot soldiers on the Iraqi side who faced the terror of being bombed to bits, buried under in their trenches if they did not surrender fast enough, and being strafed while they retreated. That would have been the sort of untold story of the Gulf War that was worth telling, the wide gulf between soldiers whose logistical systems worked and who could operate in basic safety from the threat of the opponent and the side which was so afraid of the lack of morale of its soldiers that there were rumors that soldiers were having their Achilles tendons cut to make it impossible for them to run away. That is an untold story that deserves to be told, indeed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Gamespacenl

    Solid, readable history. Very US-centric point-of-view but well written.

  7. 4 out of 5

    John

    I've run out of superlatives to describe Rick Atkinson's skills as a war-history writer. His research is detailed, his writing is compelling, he's a good story-teller and his historical judgments are sound. The 1991 Persian Gulf war re-established the American military as a respected, competent and professional force following 20 years of ill-feelings and resentments following the Vietnam debacle. Atkinson shows the reader that the American military learned those hard Vietnam lessons very well. I've run out of superlatives to describe Rick Atkinson's skills as a war-history writer. His research is detailed, his writing is compelling, he's a good story-teller and his historical judgments are sound. The 1991 Persian Gulf war re-established the American military as a respected, competent and professional force following 20 years of ill-feelings and resentments following the Vietnam debacle. Atkinson shows the reader that the American military learned those hard Vietnam lessons very well. I know of no other war in American history where the US military was even close to being prepared - the story of those preparations was intriguing. War is never executed flawlessly, but in Iraq 1 we came very close. Its a really good book and a good story too.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tom Schulte

    This is a revelatory look at the military planning and early execution of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the first Gulf War to free Kuwait. The inter-service rivalry is unnecessary and disheartening. The personal stories of coalition captives and the resourceful use of Vietnam-era infrared tech to locate and destroy Iraqi armor adds a lot of depth to this military history. This book adds a lot of depth to Schwarzkopf, Commander-in-Chief, showing him to have his own curious affectation for This is a revelatory look at the military planning and early execution of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the first Gulf War to free Kuwait. The inter-service rivalry is unnecessary and disheartening. The personal stories of coalition captives and the resourceful use of Vietnam-era infrared tech to locate and destroy Iraqi armor adds a lot of depth to this military history. This book adds a lot of depth to Schwarzkopf, Commander-in-Chief, showing him to have his own curious affectation for niceties rather unexpected for this "stormin'" and ground-truth publicity. There is also the build-up to the publicity coup of the false planned amphibious landing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vaughn

    This overview of the military events of the First War with Iraq contains a mostly American perspective and thus is familiar to me. To me, this conflict is seared into memory because of the precise destruction of targets as demonstrated by a military leader on television. Things like laser-guided munitions, bunker-penetrating bombs, and armed calvary speed were visually demonstrated every evening on the nightly televison programs. This book reveals the degree of planning and precision that made t This overview of the military events of the First War with Iraq contains a mostly American perspective and thus is familiar to me. To me, this conflict is seared into memory because of the precise destruction of targets as demonstrated by a military leader on television. Things like laser-guided munitions, bunker-penetrating bombs, and armed calvary speed were visually demonstrated every evening on the nightly televison programs. This book reveals the degree of planning and precision that made those events possible, and the book also demonstrates that war is cruel, deadly, and often filled with confusion and hunches. I question what sources the author used as I listened to this in audio form.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    It's a great look into not only the reasons behind the 1st Gulf War, but the personalities that made the war play out the way it did. It seems that Stormin' Norman had a very different persona than the one we all saw portrayed in the media. I simply love the way Rick Atkinson writes, and I am in the process of reading all of his books. Very engaging, personal style that's easy to follow. He puts all of the characters into a human light, for better or worse. It's a great look into not only the reasons behind the 1st Gulf War, but the personalities that made the war play out the way it did. It seems that Stormin' Norman had a very different persona than the one we all saw portrayed in the media. I simply love the way Rick Atkinson writes, and I am in the process of reading all of his books. Very engaging, personal style that's easy to follow. He puts all of the characters into a human light, for better or worse.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Clem

    If you took a sight-seeing vacation via automobile, upon your return, I would love to have heard about the great things that you saw on your vacation. I would not love it if you would have, instead, popped the hood of your automobile and showed me every component of your car’s engine. If you videotaped your vacation, and had videotaped 120 hours of footage, I would like to see a 15-minute recap of the highlights, I would not like to have to sit through and watch all 120 hours of unedited footage If you took a sight-seeing vacation via automobile, upon your return, I would love to have heard about the great things that you saw on your vacation. I would not love it if you would have, instead, popped the hood of your automobile and showed me every component of your car’s engine. If you videotaped your vacation, and had videotaped 120 hours of footage, I would like to see a 15-minute recap of the highlights, I would not like to have to sit through and watch all 120 hours of unedited footage. I use these analogies because while I was reading this book, I sometimes felt like I was watching 120 hours of video of someone showing me every component of a car engine. I felt like this book was simply too much, and was way overdone in terms of detail. This book is about the 1991 Gulf War. A war that lasted six weeks. Yet this book is 500 pages long. Think about that for a second – a 500-page book about a six-week war. I’m not sure anyone could do a good job giving such a drawn out narrative about such a brief moment of time, so safe to say, I would have enjoyed this book a lot better had it been carved in half. There’s just too much detail. Too many descriptions of military movements, weapon specifics, battle positions, and detailed meetings of Norman Schwarzkopf constantly berating his generals. I was just mainly bored. This book actually took me longer to read the book than the actual conflict lasted. I had to force myself to read ten pages every day just so I could get through with it. Then there’s the fact that most of this book focuses on the “here and now” and not enough on the causes of the war, and the backgrounds of the countries involved in the conflict. Some of this is here, but not enough. Had the author given us more background of the Middle East, and the turbulent histories, it would have made a much better book. Instead, it seems were transplanted immediately to the battlefield and we immediately start following all the tactical moves in precise detail without really knowing much about the “why”. This would have helped tremendously since most U.S. citizens had never even heard of Saddam Hussein until Kuwait was invaded. Then, this book was written very shortly after the conclusion of the war, so there really isn’t any opportunity to reflect back on the conflict, and see where and why things happened the way that they did, and what many of the post war effects actually were. This probably would have been a better book had it been written five or six years after the conclusion of the war. The author does give us some insights, however. He does talk in detail about the “goal” of the war – which was never to destroy Saddam Hussein and his evil regime, but to simply get them to withdraw from Kuwait. George Bush was very careful about minimizing U.S. casualties, and figured that ousting Hussein would be too costly, and wouldn’t be worth the battle. Plus, he earnestly believed that, after the war, Iraq would then dispose of their leader via a coup, and that would free the U.S. and its allies from having to do much of the bloody work. Of course, hindsight now tells us that such judgements were mistaken, but we don’t get to read too much of this here though because, again, this book was written so closely after the war ended. This book will tell you just about everything that happened during the war on the battlefield, so if that’s your thing, this book gives a great synopsis. I just wanted “more” of some things, and definitely “less” of others – such as all the meticulous detail.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sean Shin

    In the book, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War, by Rick Atkinson, we follow the forces of the coalition as they fight to liberate Kuwait from the invading Iraqi Army. As the story unfolds, the theme most prevalent in Crusade is that war is chaotic and confusion always reigns supreme on the battlefield. As Atkinson takes us through a journey of the war, both from the perspectives of the soldiers battling on the ground and from the perspectives of the commanders directing hundreds In the book, Crusade: The Untold Story of the Persian Gulf War, by Rick Atkinson, we follow the forces of the coalition as they fight to liberate Kuwait from the invading Iraqi Army. As the story unfolds, the theme most prevalent in Crusade is that war is chaotic and confusion always reigns supreme on the battlefield. As Atkinson takes us through a journey of the war, both from the perspectives of the soldiers battling on the ground and from the perspectives of the commanders directing hundreds of thousands of men, his narrative paints a startling image of the war, and modern warfare in general. Even with the most modern targeting systems, cutting-edge communications equipment, and the best surveillance and reconnaissance assets in the world, it was a very common sight to see soldiers end up at the wrong destination miles away from where they were supposed to be. In fact, as Atkinson shows through his detailed depictions of numerous councils of war, it was not uncommon to see a commander not exactly sure where his troops actually were. Atkinson shows us the extent of the confusion during the war through cold statistics; half of all the coalition’s casualties were from friendly fire as soldiers and commanders received incorrect or incomplete reports, got confused, and fired on friendly forces. Atkinson also dispels the myth of a clean and clear war, giving us the sobering statistics on the supposed cleanliness of war. From massive number of missed bombs from air strikes, many from confusion and incorrect information, to the unintentional, but real civilian casualties of around three thousand. Throughout the book, Atkinson shows us that war has not changed into a version where only the baddies get killed and civilians cheer for the liberators. Rather, he shows us that it is just as chaotic and confusing as wars past, and no less devastating. I gave this book five well-deserved stars. This book is written and narrated like a proper story with fleshed-out characters and a flowing narrative, rather than just a collection of names, dates, and numbers, something that many history books inadvertently become. The detailed descriptions given by Atkinson of the desert battlefields and of the machines of war paint a very vivid image of the war and the conditions it was fought in. Atkinson brings the people of the Persian Gulf War to life by truly letting their own distinct personalities come into the limelight. We go from the aggressive but loyal Norman Schwarzkopf whose frequent rages during war councils struck fear into his own staff, to the ambitious and thorough Frederick Franks, commander of the VII Corps that smashed the Iraqi defenders guarding the path into Iraq. We get to see the headaches of the coalition air force commanders as they try to maintain a state of twenty-four hour air supremacy over Iraq to protect the troops on the ground. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history and wants to learn more about the obscure Persian Gulf War. I found that once you get invested into the book, it gets very hard to put down. One complaint I had about the book is that it rarely gives attention to the forces of the coalition other than the US, British, and French soldiers. The operations of the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian forces in the heartland of Kuwait are simply glanced over. Even more glaring than that is the severe lack of attention paid to the US Marines who were the ones to fight in and liberate Kuwait, the main objective of the war. Other than those complaints, I had no other major issues with this book and found that it was a very informative, yet entertaining book about one of the most obscure major conflicts in US history.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Morrissey

    For all of the attention Americans pay to their military heroes, some warriors, and even whole wars, fizzle out of the American conscience. Perhaps no war is harder to recall than the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the seemingly tidy war waged by President George H.W. Bush to liberate Kuwait, hinder Saddam's Iraq, and restore geopolitical equilibrium to the Middle East. Therefore, there is no better writer to shatter the myths and bring forth the ugly truth of that war than Rick Atkinson. From General For all of the attention Americans pay to their military heroes, some warriors, and even whole wars, fizzle out of the American conscience. Perhaps no war is harder to recall than the Persian Gulf War of 1991, the seemingly tidy war waged by President George H.W. Bush to liberate Kuwait, hinder Saddam's Iraq, and restore geopolitical equilibrium to the Middle East. Therefore, there is no better writer to shatter the myths and bring forth the ugly truth of that war than Rick Atkinson. From General Schwarzkopf down to privates, Atkinson depicts a war far from clean and precise, but rather one waged against a terribly outnumbered, outgunned and out-general-ed foe. Atkinson does much to break apart the mythos of the first technologically-precise war: while the missiles were certainly more accurate than their ancestors of Vietnam, Germany and Japan earlier in the 20th Century, they were far from 100% accurate, or even up to the standards set forth by those in the Pentagon hoping to establish US technological dominance via press release. More importantly, though, Atkinson deploys the reader to the front line, right into skirmishes, tank battles, air sorties, and maneuvers that elicit all of the chills of grander battles. Soldiers are blown apart, struggle in captivity, and endure countless hardships, if only in smaller numbers than WWII, Korea, Vietnam and others. Atkinson's analytical and writing skills extend up the chain of command, depicting the yin and yang relationship of Schwarzkopf and JCS Chairman Colin Powell, the inner workings of Bush and his administration, and the inter-service rivalries and ongoing debate about the efficacy of air power. Schwarzkopf in particular comes off as overbearing, tyrannical at times, but imbued with a common sense that outweighs the negative attributes, and which often appears sorely missing in the annals of great wartime leaders. Atkinson's book, published in 1993, is a fascinating relic of the pre-9/11 world. The author weighs in towards the end of the book with the conclusion that Bush's decision to halt the war effort without toppling Saddam's regime and waging a broader war within the boundaries of Iraq seem prescient given the quagmire endured by American soldiers in Iraq from 2003 onward. One is left to ponder how men like Cheney, Powell, Wolfowitz, and others, who successfully prosecuted the limited war in 1991, could, with time, un-learn the lessons so dramatically under the presidency of George W. Bush. Americans, as Atkinson points out, may scoff at limited wars: they do not sync with the all-encompassing optimism of America nor the annihilative instincts of American combat from the Civil War through Vietnam. However, in retrospect, the limited war of George H.W. Bush in Iraq grows in stature amidst the human, political and economic carnage of the later Iraq War. That the Persian Gulf War was so restrained may be its ultimate lesson and enduring glory.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Casey S

    An excellent account of the Persian Gulf War. I highly recommend it. The Persian Gulf War was an important event in American history. It was an early gauntlet for a superpower all but victorious from the Cold War and at a peak of political, global, and technological power. The war would help define, through it's victories and mistakes, America's role as global hegemon in the following years, not to mention the consequential developments in the Middle East. And yet many people, including myself, k An excellent account of the Persian Gulf War. I highly recommend it. The Persian Gulf War was an important event in American history. It was an early gauntlet for a superpower all but victorious from the Cold War and at a peak of political, global, and technological power. The war would help define, through it's victories and mistakes, America's role as global hegemon in the following years, not to mention the consequential developments in the Middle East. And yet many people, including myself, know so little about such an important and recent event. A truly impressive effort, Atkinson has parsed through numerous interviews, reports, and documents to produce a history combining both the military and human aspects of the war. Atkinson also writes on the evolution of warfare by referencing previous conflicts throughout history and their consequences. My only complaint is that such a comprehensive book inevitably gets lost in the many names and roles involved, further jumbled with the frequent use of military abbreviations and weaponry. The addition of some sort of glossary including a "cast listing" would be helpful to quickly refresh reader's memories. Also, since the book was published in 1993, it would be nice if another edition could be published with an afterward reflecting on new insights of the war and the long-term aftermath, most importantly the War in Iraq a decade later. Perhaps Rick Atkinson has addressed this in another book or article, but I feel it would be most beneficial to include such a chapter in this book. I end my review with the following quote. "Bush and his men concluded that the excessive price of total victory would be indefinite responsibility for rebuilding a hostile nation with no tradition of democracy but with immensely complex internal politics. This was - and remains in retrospect - a sensible strategic calculation."

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dan Downing

    To be reading this 30 years after the first germane events occurred is to experience a sublime mix of memory and text. Atkinson proves to have the stronger hand: his pages are imbued with facts, strong personal profiles, quotations from almost every noted warrior (except Sun Tzu), and a skillfully integrated story. The various fighting services, their leaders, the Washington, D.C. power club and a few individual actors all have speaking parts. The result is akin to a military thriller since the To be reading this 30 years after the first germane events occurred is to experience a sublime mix of memory and text. Atkinson proves to have the stronger hand: his pages are imbued with facts, strong personal profiles, quotations from almost every noted warrior (except Sun Tzu), and a skillfully integrated story. The various fighting services, their leaders, the Washington, D.C. power club and a few individual actors all have speaking parts. The result is akin to a military thriller since the writing is far superior to most academic or journalistic efforts. Balancing my memory of the early 1990s is the experience we have had during the 37 years since the book was published. Saddam may have survived the war described here, but we got to see him hiding in a hole of corruption like the cockroach he was. Later, he was hanged, which seemed enough at the time, but after refreshing memory with a revisit to the First Gulf War, it fell far short of what he deserved. Atkinson's attempt to put it all in perspective seems stronger now than it was in 1993 because we know that neither the simplistic nor the convoluted paths offered as the war wound down or in the aftermath would have made much difference to the morass that is the Middle East. Atkinson gives us a map section sequestered at the back of the book, as opposed to his usual approach of sprinkling them throughout the book. I found the use of a bookmark made this technique superior to spreading the maps throughout. We also are graced with a chronology; a list of his sources which must run close to a comprehensive list of the 500+ interviews he conducted, offered "With Appreciation"; and the usual Bibliography and Notes. The Author's Note carries its own special weight. Highly recommended.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Exceptionally well written and covers everything from the opening Tomahawk and Apache strikes to the last hours of the war. Atkinson brings the weapons of war to life by describing in succinct detail the men and woman flying A-6s, F-117s; F-15Es; F-111s (the tank-planking section was particularly interesting to me); Bradley and Abram tanks; the specifics of the Hellfire, Tomahawk, SCUD, Silkworm, and Patriot missile systems; and the naval fighting force parked in the Persian Gulf. Atkinson also Exceptionally well written and covers everything from the opening Tomahawk and Apache strikes to the last hours of the war. Atkinson brings the weapons of war to life by describing in succinct detail the men and woman flying A-6s, F-117s; F-15Es; F-111s (the tank-planking section was particularly interesting to me); Bradley and Abram tanks; the specifics of the Hellfire, Tomahawk, SCUD, Silkworm, and Patriot missile systems; and the naval fighting force parked in the Persian Gulf. Atkinson also gets in an depth look at the personalities behind the conflict: Saddam, Bush, Powell, Schwarzkopf, the major players in the Coalition, and several other major generals in the various branches of the military. He also describes the POW conditions which was largely unknown to me. I think the ultimate conclusion you can draw from this book is that the Desert Storm conflict was largely a runaway success, but that there were several major hiccups that were never reported or acknowledged. "Misadventure" or friendly-fire accounted for several Coalition deaths, the Patriot missile systems did not work as well as advertised, the Navy was largely unprepared for the mine threat in the Gulf, Special Forces were probably not utilized to their full potential, inter-service rivalries hindered the war effort, and surgical strikes by stealth bombers with laser or TV guided bombs were scrubbed clean for CNN and other major television networks to hide any shortcomings of those systems that apparently missed frequently. I only have high praise for Atkinson's highly researched and very readable books.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian

    From my favorite war historian is a recounting of the first war that occurred during my lifetime. I was a freshman in high school when this developed and recall with amazement how quick and devastating this war was against the Iraqi army. Surprising to me was how arrogant Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf was and how he demeaned his commanders. We saw the confident and charismatic side but here we can see the vulnerabilities. What was most frustrating was to see that even though there was such a low nu From my favorite war historian is a recounting of the first war that occurred during my lifetime. I was a freshman in high school when this developed and recall with amazement how quick and devastating this war was against the Iraqi army. Surprising to me was how arrogant Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf was and how he demeaned his commanders. We saw the confident and charismatic side but here we can see the vulnerabilities. What was most frustrating was to see that even though there was such a low number of casualties, so many of those were friendly fire. With all the technology in place, we still couldn't safeguard our own. Along with that, we learn of the massive shortcomings of the Patriot missiles, the inaccuracy of the bombs, and other issues of the "perfect battlefield". The writing is stellar. Atkinson is easy to read and makes you feel like you are there. The book was a bit repetitive in its descriptions, but how else do you fill 500 pages with e a war that lasted about 6 weeks. I would have liked to see the maps located within the text, instead of grouped in the back. And many out posts and objectives were frequently mentioned but not located on the maps.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Atar

    Crusade by Rick Atkinson is the book by which all other books about the Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) should be judged. It is an authoritative account of this war. A detailed and explicitly honest telling of a war many have forgotten. Once claimed a technological war, which it was, but also a gritty in your face ground war with very real human interactions between foes. In context of Afghanistan’s long war or the second Iraq war, the Gulf War may seem small or insignificant but those tha Crusade by Rick Atkinson is the book by which all other books about the Gulf War (Desert Shield/Desert Storm) should be judged. It is an authoritative account of this war. A detailed and explicitly honest telling of a war many have forgotten. Once claimed a technological war, which it was, but also a gritty in your face ground war with very real human interactions between foes. In context of Afghanistan’s long war or the second Iraq war, the Gulf War may seem small or insignificant but those that were there would completely disagree. To them, their battles, friends lost or injured, or the memories that haunt them, this was was no less than any other. This book does a fantastic job of making sure the reader understands its significance. Crusade also does a great job of looking at this war from all aspects politically, militarily, socially, and monetarily. Of which Rick Atkinson does a superb job of explaining in such literary style as to keep the reader interested though it all. A great book, a must read if your interested in the Gulf War.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nukes

    I suppose this was the first war to come live on CNN or so we were made to believe then but the book suggests otherwise. Apparently there was a lot of cooking before the rosy and sappy images were beamed. The book debunks the myth of precision bombs and cast aspersions at the efficacy the Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Intercept of Target) as a scud antidote. I suppose all those claims of scud intercepts by the patriot is what Raila Odinga would call vifaranga via computer. Every war is it's own I suppose this was the first war to come live on CNN or so we were made to believe then but the book suggests otherwise. Apparently there was a lot of cooking before the rosy and sappy images were beamed. The book debunks the myth of precision bombs and cast aspersions at the efficacy the Patriot (Phased Array Tracking Intercept of Target) as a scud antidote. I suppose all those claims of scud intercepts by the patriot is what Raila Odinga would call vifaranga via computer. Every war is it's own justification but this one inspired many other wars especially after that "axis of evil" thingie. I will give the book 4 stars for not sticking to the John Wayne script.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Connor Sullivan

    Terribly interesting and fascinating book, well researched (I assume by the 15 pages of footnotes and acknowledgements) and very well written. The only book I've read about the First Gulf War so the best this far. I enjoy the content switching of perspectives from the White House to Al Kharj to Ridayah to OP4, very neat way to link up the events of a conflict. It maybe got a little too caught up with the disagreements within the Army brass at times, but definitely better to have more details tha Terribly interesting and fascinating book, well researched (I assume by the 15 pages of footnotes and acknowledgements) and very well written. The only book I've read about the First Gulf War so the best this far. I enjoy the content switching of perspectives from the White House to Al Kharj to Ridayah to OP4, very neat way to link up the events of a conflict. It maybe got a little too caught up with the disagreements within the Army brass at times, but definitely better to have more details than less. I also thoroughly enjoyed the discussion of the Israeli view point of the war and how it related to their rather industrious military history. Looking forward to reading more Atkinson.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nicholas Broussard

    Atkinson is one of the great historians in the tradition of Caro and McCullough. This account of the Gulf War taught me more, and in an entertaining way, than I learned at West Point as an undergrad. In fact, the analysis of Crusade should be the starting point for evaluating the Gulf War for all students. Atkinson is skilled at blending knowledge of tactics with the context of strategy. He brings to life all the characters - Powell, Schwartzkopf, Cheney, etc. He injects realism into the debates Atkinson is one of the great historians in the tradition of Caro and McCullough. This account of the Gulf War taught me more, and in an entertaining way, than I learned at West Point as an undergrad. In fact, the analysis of Crusade should be the starting point for evaluating the Gulf War for all students. Atkinson is skilled at blending knowledge of tactics with the context of strategy. He brings to life all the characters - Powell, Schwartzkopf, Cheney, etc. He injects realism into the debates about right and wrong war acts by showing the complexity of the decision making process in a tense, constrained wartime environment. I learned so much and I'm so thankful this book exists.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    This book is an amazing piece of writing, I cannot really decide what to choose to describe what I feel for it. The book goes through the stages of the Gulf War 1991, the wording and the picturing used in the book with the talented Rick's eyes and mind is beyond any critics. It was the first time i have read something from the West rhetorical stream that was fair enough to the Iraqis. You get to be travelling between Riyadh and Washington...you will see and read about the US prowess. By the way, a This book is an amazing piece of writing, I cannot really decide what to choose to describe what I feel for it. The book goes through the stages of the Gulf War 1991, the wording and the picturing used in the book with the talented Rick's eyes and mind is beyond any critics. It was the first time i have read something from the West rhetorical stream that was fair enough to the Iraqis. You get to be travelling between Riyadh and Washington...you will see and read about the US prowess. By the way, all that was in 1991 so guess what how the things are now? it is really amazing. I recommend it

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ivan

    FIRST LINE REVIEW: "The first sound they heard, fittingly, was that familiar din from the last, lost war -- the deep whomp whomp whomp of helicopter blades beating northward." Atkinson continues to impress with every book of his that I've read (and finishing this one means that I've now read ALL of his books). Telling the often confusingly-detailed stories of war is no easy task. What sets Atkinson apart is his ability to does so with clarity, but more importantly, with humanity. I come away fro FIRST LINE REVIEW: "The first sound they heard, fittingly, was that familiar din from the last, lost war -- the deep whomp whomp whomp of helicopter blades beating northward." Atkinson continues to impress with every book of his that I've read (and finishing this one means that I've now read ALL of his books). Telling the often confusingly-detailed stories of war is no easy task. What sets Atkinson apart is his ability to does so with clarity, but more importantly, with humanity. I come away from his books having felt a connect to many of the key players, as well as the victims. Masterful.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nolan Martin

    The Gulf War went from being a historical event that I knew almost nothing about to one that I now understand much, much better. Atkinson does a fine job of giving the tactical picture and is equally well at giving the personal side of the commanders and their men. Especially interesting is that this was written in the mid-90's so the view of frustration over Saddam Hussein's still being in power is pervasive. Very interesting to read this with a 2019 perspective. A very good book for anyone wit The Gulf War went from being a historical event that I knew almost nothing about to one that I now understand much, much better. Atkinson does a fine job of giving the tactical picture and is equally well at giving the personal side of the commanders and their men. Especially interesting is that this was written in the mid-90's so the view of frustration over Saddam Hussein's still being in power is pervasive. Very interesting to read this with a 2019 perspective. A very good book for anyone with as hazy an understanding of the Gulf War as I had.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Michael Scott

    As someone who was in the Gulf War I had no clue as to what was going on. This book puts the overall tactical situation in perspective with a detailed explanation of the air and ground campaigns as well as the interpersonal squabbles among the general officers and the affect on the war. It is a must read to understand the Gulf War and is very interesting. The book is well written and a page turner to boot. It did not take long to get through.

  26. 5 out of 5

    S.

    I thought this was going to be another Blackhawk Down, a work timely only for its own era, and much smaller than later wars to come. instead, Atkinson deftly ties together the grand strategic and the personal experience. true journalistic prose makes for a steady, fluent read. I thought this was going to be another Blackhawk Down, a work timely only for its own era, and much smaller than later wars to come. instead, Atkinson deftly ties together the grand strategic and the personal experience. true journalistic prose makes for a steady, fluent read.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    I had no idea there were so many friendly fire casualties during the Gulf War. I was sickened (again) by the results of the flawed decisions and men making the decisions to send American men and women into a war that is still reverberating. Atkinson did a great job keeping me turning the pages from start to finish. Great reporting and weaving of the facts to tie it all together.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    Surprisingly well written account. Lots of Clausewitz references which was cool. I got bogged down with the play by play accounts of the ground war at the end, but I don’t fault the writer for it. A very comprehensive and thoughtful account that tries to give a considered overview without coming down too hard on any one side in terms of an interpretation of the justice of the war.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josef

    Great, easy read on a conflict that I knew little about, particularly overshadowed by the last 17 years in Iraq. It's especially interesting to read this book now as it showed an inter-Iraq war perspective. Great, easy read on a conflict that I knew little about, particularly overshadowed by the last 17 years in Iraq. It's especially interesting to read this book now as it showed an inter-Iraq war perspective.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Robin Case

    Audiobook: Average writing and production values. Nothing exceptional or new content. Good history of the conflict.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.