Desert Storm 1991

The most shattering air campaign in history

Desert Storm 1991 cover


An expertly written, illustrated new analysis of the Desert Storm air campaign fought against Saddam Hussein's Iraq, which shattered the world's fourth-largest army and sixth-largest air force in just 39 days, and revolutionized the world's ideas about modern air power.

The combat phase of the Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm, was 43 days long. This consisted of a 39-day air campaign followed by a four-day armoured mechanized assault. Together they shattered what had been the world's fourth-largest army and sixth-largest air force, and overturned conventional military assumptions about the effectiveness and value of air power.

In this book, author Richard P. Hallion, one of the world's foremost experts on air warfare, explains why Desert Storm was a revolutionary victory, a war won with no single climatic battle. Instead, victory came thanks to a rigorously planned campaign, which opened with a devastating night of attacks that shattered Iraq's advanced air defence system, and allowed follow-on strikes in the subsequent weeks to savage Iraq's military infrastructure and troops in the field – largely by destroying capabilities and equipment, without massive loss of life. When the Coalition tanks finally rolled into Iraq, to widespread Iraqi surrenders, it was less an assault than an occupation.

The rapid victory of Desert Storm, which surprised many observers, led to widespread military reform as the world's advanced militaries saw the new capabilities of precision air power. The military world that we live in today reflects, to a large degree, the transformation of military power heralded by the air campaign of the 1991 Gulf War.

Table of Contents

-The airpower of a global coalition
-Iraq's military machine
-The invading armed forces
-Saddam's air power
-Air defenses
-Resolution and resolve
-42 days to Kuwait City
-Final countdown
-Opening night: an assessment
-Grappling in the Central Blue
-Preventing resurgence: the shelter-busting campaign
-Per Ardua: Tornado at war
-The Iraqi SAM threat: suppressed but not eliminated
-Targeting Iraq's power infrastructure and forces
-The battle against the Scuds
-Clash of arms at al-Khafji: Saddam's calculated lashing-out
-Victory at sea: securing the northern Persian Gulf
-Phase III: “preparing the battlefield” or “destroying the
-The intelligence debate
-The al-Firdos bunker bombing
-Phase IV: to G-Day and afterwards

Product details

Published Feb 15 2022
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 96
ISBN 9781472846969
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Illustrated throughout with around 60 photos and at least 14pp of colour illustrations
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Air Campaign
Short code ACM 25
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Richard P. Hallion

Richard P. Hallion holds a Ph.D. in history from t…


Adam Tooby

Adam Tooby is an internationally renowned digital…


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