This award-winning account captures the drama and detail of the Gulf War sea campaign.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book opens with a brief and useful historical overview of the Navy's presence in the Gulf and the run up to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. While the story of how the US Military arrived at its plan to fight the war is interesting, the account of the logistics of the buildup is somewhat tedious. I realize logistics are the backbone of any military operation; but it just wasn't that interesting except as part of an official history.
The authors deserve credit for addressing the problems the Navy faced: a lack of integration with the other services, infighting among the Generals (Army and USAF) and Admirals, and an ill-conceived mine laying operations that cost two pilots their lives, for example. It avoids being "whiney" about slights during the air campaign from an Air Force dominated air warfare command structure, yet is somewhat bogged down in details about tasking orders and control systems.
This book will probably only be interesting to the more die hard Naval historian and students of Joint Military Operations for lessons learned. For a good account of modern Naval Warfare, I would be more inclined to recommend Admiral Sandy Woodward's "One Hundred Days" about the Falklands War.
Described in these pages are the Navy's carrier and cruise missile strike operations, the bombardment by venerable battleships Missouri and Wisconsin of enemy forces in Kuwait, the fleet's destruction of the Iraqi navy and air defense of the Allied right flank in the Gulf, SEAL operations, embargo of enemy oceangoing commerce, and the globe-spanning sealift effort. The leadership and performance of Admiral Stan Arthur and other Navy officers and enlisted sailors are fully covered. The volume candidly evaluates problems that surfaced during the war in mine countermeasures, interservice relations, and the command and control of littoral operations. Above all, Shield and Sword highlights the experience of Navy men and women serving in aircraft carriers, frigates, and hospital ships in the volatile waters around the Arabian Peninsula; flying aircraft in dangerous skies over Iraq; and enduring the heat and other discomforts of Saudi desert. It is a story of service to the nation by the well-trained, dedicated, and professional sailors of the modern U.S. Navy.
RECENT REVIEWS: "A thorough, no-holds-barred review of the U.S. Navy's role in the Persian Gulf War." General Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"It is remarkably candid in describing the service's failures as well as its successes; the Navy's deficiencies in precision-guided weapons and mine-clearing capabilities receive forthright treatment." Eliot A. Cohen, military historian.
"[The authors] provide a comprehensive look at the long buildup and short but extremely successful conflict in the Gulf and candidly discuss shortcomings and failures as well as triumphs. Their objectivity, attention to detail, and thorough treatment make this not only a readable but IMPORTANT book." Norman Polmar, naval affairs analyst.
"Relating events as seen through the eyes of those involved in the decision-making process, the war literally comes alive and provides vivid characterizations of the personalities of the principal players involved." Rear Admiral Riley D. Mixson, USN (Ret.), Commander Battle Force Yankee in the Gulf War.
"Overall, a superb summary of the largest single naval action since World War II--and a tribute to the performance of the commanders and men and women of the Navy. . . This is a story that deserves to be known." Rear Admiral Thomas F. Marfiak, USN, Commandant National War College.
"Few Gulf War books published thus far have focused on the maritime aspects of the war, and fewer yet have done as good a job of viewing the conflict as the enormous multinational effort that it was." Michael A. Palmer, author and naval historian.