Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Book Review: Every Man A Tiger: The Gulf War Air Campaign by Tom Clancy

Every Man a Tiger: The Gulf War Air CampaignEvery Man a Tiger: The Gulf War Air Campaign by Tom Clancy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every Man A Tiger primarily covers the planning, the problems, and execution of the Gulf War air campaign through writing of Tom Clancy and it's commander General Chuck Horner.  Instead of giving a blow-by-blow account of the Gulf War's air operations from August 1990 to March 1991, Clancy and Horner decided to give background of not only it's commander (Horner) but of the U.S. Air Force that deployed to Saudi Arabia in the fall of 1990.  The quick, but thorough biography of Horner went hand in hand with a history of the Air Force especially on how the service almost collapsed during and immediately after Vietnam then how it was rebuilt into an effective fighting force by the time of the Gulf War.

This background information served well as Clancy and Horner described the planning of the Air Campaign, primarily how Horner along with other Vietnam veterans wanted to avoid the mistakes of the past as well as tackling the challenges of creating a Coalition Air Force.  Once the war started, the authors wrote about various challenges that Horner and his command faced throughout the six weeks of exclusive air operations before the ground war began.

The thoroughness of this process is a highlight of this book.  I have seen some reviews that dislike the biographical portion of Ever Man A Tiger and while I understand some of their compliants, however Horner's biography and the accompany history of the U.S. Air Force was integral in knowing why the air campaign was planned as it was.  I will admit that I did get bogged down at times when the details got too technical, but those times were few and far between.  Overall I recommend this book for anyone interested in an in-depth look at the planning and execution of military affairs related to the Gulf War or the Air Force.

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