Gulf War One is the incredible story of the largest tank battle in history, with a US-led coalition of Western and Arab forces including the Taliban. This book also shows how political weakness at the end of the fighting led to the invasion of Iraq, the collapse of stability in the Middle East, and the emergence of radical Islamic terrorism.
In 1988, Iraq was the region’s dominant military power and ambitious to become leader of the Arab world. Saddam’s war-experienced army were known to have used biological and chemical weapons in the past. When 260,000 troops and 2,000 tanks crossed into Kuwait they met with little resistance. And yet Iraq’s defeat at the hands of the coalition forces was the most devastatingly efficient in military history.
It was the first war fought over a resource: oil. The UK committed 43,000 troops to this new ‘high tech’ war, and suffered few casualties. Yet on the Iraqi side, uncounted thousands of soldiers were killed, many of them poorly trained conscripts. Returning coalition soldiers have since found themselves dogged by health problems, likely caused by the new technologies that proved so effective in battle. Iraqi power was diminished, but Saddam Hussein was allowed to remain in power, laying the scene for the protracted suffering of the Iraq invasion over a decade later.
Hugh McManners’ original interviews for Gulf War One, plus extracts from diaries and regimental interviews, provide a compelling picture and explode many myths of how this war was carried out, and why. This unique first-hand witness format melds all the many perspectives and points of view into a compelling and often very strange universe: from military planners and politicians to ordinary soldiers and Gulf War Syndrome sufferers, civilians and those caught up in the war, tell its history in their own words.