A highly readable blow-by-blow account of the first Iraq War.
Lowry, a chip designer for an aerospace firm when the Gulf War began in 1991, was dissatisfied with the level of information available while Desert Storm raged and was equally disappointed with the first books released after the conflict ended. So he turned to the military itself to gather information about the war, writing letters to the commanding generals of each unit who participated in the conflict. This approach netted a large amount of information, which Lowry distilled into The Gulf War Chronicles, a thorough account of the entire war from the initial aerial bombardment to the ground war to the Allies’ eventual victory. Thanks to the reams of information at Lowry’s disposal, this book is striking in its level of detail, yet switches effortlessly from the dry data of troop placement and technical specs to firsthand accounts of covert action and engrossing personal narratives from the soldiers who took part in the conflict. Lowry frequently presents soldiers’ stories in their own words, which adds a personal layer missing from similar military histories–when necessary, Lowry masterfully shifts from broad overviews of the entire theater to the experiences of individuals. Since this book is designed for general readers as well as military historians, the author includes a helpful appendix of military acronyms. The major impediment to this book’s readability is the one-sided nature of the conflict itself. This book is written strictly from the Coalition point of view, so readers interested in the Iraqi perspective are bound to be disappointed. But while the reader can certainly find accounts of more closely contested military conflicts, this account is particularly relevant to the current situation in the Middle East. For those curious about Allied operations in Desert Storm, it is difficult to imagine a better resource.
Extraordinarily detailed and extremely engaging.