Marine Corps Tank Battles in the Middle East

Oscar E. Gilbert

In the aftermath of Vietnam a new generation of Marines was determined to wage a smarter kind of war. The tank, the very symbol of power and violence, would play a key role in a new concept of mobile warfare, not seen since the dashes of World War II. The emphasis would be not on brutal battles of attrition, but on paralyzing the enemy by rapid man
Date Published :
February 2015
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Illustration :
photos throughout
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612002675
Pages : 312
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
In stock
$34.95

Overview
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In the aftermath of Vietnam a new generation of Marines was determined to wage a smarter kind of war. The tank, the very symbol of power and violence, would play a key role in a new concept of mobile warfare, not seen since the dashes of World War II. The emphasis would be not on brutal battles of attrition, but on paralyzing the enemy by rapid maneuver and overwhelming but judicious use of firepower. Yet in two wars with Iraq, the tankers, as well as the crews of the new Light Armored Vehicles, quickly found themselves in a familiar role—battering through some of the strongest defenses in the world by frontal assault, fighting their way through towns and cities.

In America’s longest continual conflict, armored Marines became entangled in further guerilla war, this time amid the broiling deserts, ancient cities, and rich farmlands of Iraq, and in the high, bleak wastes of Afghanistan. It was a familiar kind of war against a fanatical foe who brutalized civilians, planted sophisticated roadside bombs, and seized control of entire cities. It has been a maddening war of clearing roads, escorting convoys, endless sweep operations to locate and destroy insurgent strongholds, protecting voting sites for free elections, and recapturing and rebuilding urban centers. It’s been a war in which the tanks repeatedly provided the outnumbered infantry with precise and decisive firepower. The tankers even added a new trick to their repertoire—long-range surveillance.

Our fights against Iraq in 1991 and in the post-9/11 years have seen further wars that demanded that unique combination of courage, tenacity, professionalism, and versatility that makes a Marine no better friend, and no worse enemy. This book fully describes how our Marine Corps tankers have risen to the occasion.

About The Author
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Oscar E. “Ed” Gilbert Jr. served as an artilleryman and NCO instructor in the Marine Corps Reserve before earning a Ph.D., working for the Geological Survey in Alabama, and teaching at Auburn University. He enjoyed a three-decade career in worldwide oil exploration. Ed was the author of many books, including Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea (2006), and Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam (2008). He was awarded the 2016 General Wallace M. Greene Jr. Award for Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa (2015). Ed passed away in February 2019.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Preface
Acknowledgments
Glossary
Prologue

1. A Brutally Complex World
2. Operation Desert Shield
3. The Storm Breaks
4. Intervallum
5. Into Iraq
6. Bridges In The Desert—An-Nasiriyah
7. The Low Road To Baghdad
8. The Prize
9. Return To Iraq
10. Tipping Point: The Second Battle Of Fallujah
11. Harrying The Insurgency
12. Afghanistan—Winding Down

Epilogue
Where Are They Now?
References Cited
Index

REVIEWS
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"The book is written at a lively place, with plenty of first-hand accounts by marines that pull no punches in highlighting the brutal nature of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is well illustrated with maps and 16 pages of black-and-white photographs. It's certainly a compelling read and highly recommended to those with an interest in modern-day conflicts."

- Military Modelcraft International

“While Gilbert’s book is largely comprised of war stories, he enables readers to understand the Marine Corps’ challenge in projecting armored fighting systems with the Corps’ finite lift capabilities and when faced with the realities of operating in hostile austere environments… Gilbert does not oversell tanks, but provides a good argument for their relevance in the Marines’ integration of ground and air forces.”

- Military Review

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