Academic journal article Military Review

The Eyes of Orion: Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War

Academic journal article Military Review

The Eyes of Orion: Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War

Article excerpt

THE EYES OF ORION: Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War, Alex Vernon, with Creighton Neal Jr. and Barry R. McCaffrey, Kent State University Press, Kent, OH, 1999, 330 pages, $35.00.

Generals Normal Schwarzkof, Frederick M. Franks Jr., and Barry McCaffery have written about the Persian Gulf War from theater-, corps- and division-level perspectives. In The Eyes of Orion, Lieutenants Alex Vernon, Neal Creighton Jr., Greg Downey, Rob Holmes and Dave Trybula tell the story from a closer view. Each was on his first command and joined the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) in time to participate in several exercises at the National Training Center before deploying to Saudi Arabia. Their assignments placed them at "the tip of the spear" as their division advanced into Iraq.

Division lead elements encountered an unexpected variant of the meeting engagement shortly after the cease fire. Convoys of retreating Iraqi forces attempted to breach roadblocks established to halt the return of Iraq's forces to Baghdad. When retreating Iraqis ignored warning shots, the division was drawn into firefights that led to the destruction of most of the defeated enemy's trucks. …

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