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Storm Command: A Personal Account of the Gulf War [Paperback]

Gen. Sir Peter de la Billière
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: £10.00
Price: £8.36 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

27 Nov 1995

‘My primary aim in writing this book is to demonstrate the importance of individual human beings in modern warfare. In the battle to drive the Iraqi army out of Kuwait, Coalition forces used every form of high-technology weapon available; yet in the end success depended on the performance of individuals, whether they were pilots, divers, tank drivers, mechanics, engineers, cooks, radio operators, infantrymen, nurses or officers of all ranks. It was these ordinary people who, at the end of the day, were going to put their lives on the line and risk their neck when their Government decided to go to war.’
Gen. Sir Peter de la Billiere

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (27 Nov 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006387497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006387497
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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From the Back Cover

"More gripping than fiction: the graphic account of an SAS corporal's harrowing 200 mile escape through western Iraq, for instance – a tale almost too incredible for a thriller… An important and enjoyable book."

"A no-holds barred, on-punches-pulled account of the most high-tech war ever fought. General Sir Peter De la Billiere, Britain's Gulf War commander, vividly describes the build-up to conflict – the political wrangling in Whitehall and the troops' dismay at Margaret Thatcher's ousting, the ferocity of the air war, designed to minimalise allied casualties, and the superb performance of Britain's Desert Rats as they helped defeat Saddam Hussein's much-vaunted army in under one-hundred hours… But it is also about superb leadership and teamwork."

"Fascinating… Deserves a place even in the glorious annals of British soldiering"
JAMES BUCHAN, 'Spectator'

"This excellent and moving book builds up to a most exciting climax."

"A commander who made men do almost impossible things by doing them himself first… A soldier who from the most undisciplined and unpromising beginnings achieved complete mastery of himself and the men who fought under him"

"Action Packed"

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dull but worthy 15 Oct 2006
Given the dramatic nature of the subject, it is some sort of feat to produce a book which is so put-downable. The text seldom comes vividly to life and is occasionally repetitive. However, in the same way that the writing style tends to put off this casual civilian reader, it is also revealing of the mind of a senior military man. The obsession with rank and seniority shouldn't come as a surprise, I suppose, but shines out of almost every page. The author takes great pains to explain his own position in the hierarchy and his level of decision-making authority, relative to the US command and the political authorities. However the explanation is incomplete: there are frequent references to his frustration with nameless figures and bean-counters in Whitehall who appear able to countermand decisions agreed between the UK's top military brass and the Minister of Defence. Who were these people? The book would benefit greatly from a few contributions by some of these other actors in the drama.

The only part in which the book tells a straight story of military action is the chapter devoted to SAS operations inside Iraq. For one chapter, the book turns into "Bravo Two Zero", then turns back to an account of military bureaucracy. There is probably some historical value in the account of the inner workings of high command, but it mostly fails to grip the reader. To some extent I think the writer feels that he is under a leader's obligation to give credit to his subordinates' achievements, and a lot of space is devoted to this, which holds up the flow of the story; and he never truly puts the boot in, although there must have been someone he would have liked to take a real dig at.

The book has some worthwhile insights.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A man of integrity... 24 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not a particularly gripping read, but then it wasn't perhaps meant to be, as this is DLB's personal account of the Gulf War (phase 1 of course!).

What comes across to me is the man's integrity throughout; dealing with people at all levels, within and outside the military services. Perhaps too hung-up on 'rank' but that's probably the importance of the chain-of-command.

He quotes from letters that he wrote 'home' during his leadership and this gives it a very personal flavour.

I also found the book quite interesting when dealing with issues of which I have no knowledge, such as the major difference between American and British "Rules of Engagement" and the political procrastination, but importance, in getting these differences resolved.

He gives credit where it is due to leaders such as Margaret Thatcher and John Major - and generally speaking I found his portrayal of the war to be truthful, open and sincere.

I would heartily recommend it for gaining insight into how this kind of operation works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read 13 Aug 2007
One to save for those long deployments or exercises. A good account of the first gulf war from a well respected squaddie.
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5.0 out of 5 stars From the horse's mouth 16 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This account of the war by the General who commanded the British force is riveting with fascinating details on every page.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Wasn't for me 1 Jan 2013
Got half way through this book as wanted to see if it got any more gripping, but don't think it was supposed to, so my fault really. Bit long winded but still has my respect as a top General
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