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October 06 , 2009

Shield and Sword: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf War


Though not so well known as the land and air campaigns, the campaign at sea in the 1991 Gulf War was vital in subduing Saddam Hussein's invasion forces and driving them out of Kuwait. U.S. Navy surface ships and submarines launched hundreds of cruise missile attacks against Iraqi targets throughout the war, and carriers sent air strikes deep into enemy territory. The battleships Missouri and Wisconsin bombarded hostile targets while U.S. sailors joined U.S. Army and Royal Navy helicopter crews in additional actions. SEAL missions, global sealift actions, mine countermeasures, and operations in support of the economic embargo were still more contributing factors to the complex joint warfare effort.

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Details of these naval operations are thoroughly documented and analyzed in this authoritative study, conducted by the Naval Historical Center and published in limited numbers in 1999. It is based on previously classified action and lessons-learned reports, interviews with participants, and studies conducted by the Center for Naval Analyses and the Department of Defense. The book includes candid evaluations of leadership effectiveness, interservice relations, and methods of command and control. It also analyses the effectiveness of various weapons and sensors, including the Tomahawk land-attack missile, the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft, the Aegis battle management system, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Winner of the Navy League's Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize and favorably reviewed by military scholars and foreign affairs journals, this credible historical account captures the drama as well as the detail of a modern victory at sea.

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