by: Jim Adams [ ]
Originally published on:
Iran and Irag fought a long drawn out war during the 1980’s. Their land battle slowly began to spill over into the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf. Their main intent was to stop the flow of oil from the gulf thus starving out the other country.
At the same time in America we saw the change of Presidents and the return of the 52 American hostages from Iran. The US Navy had operated in the Persian Gulf since the end of World War II as a show of force to help protect American interests in the area, namely oil.
Iraq was an uneasy ally at the time of the Iran/Iraq War. On the night of May 17, 1987 all of that changed when two Exocet missiles struck the USS Stark, FFG31 while in routine patrol in the Gulf.
“TANKER WAR: America's First Conflict with Iran”, 1987-88 is not a modeling related book in any way. However it is a very well documented book on a subject we saw flash on the nightly news back in the late 1980’s.
For me it was slightly personal, I knew several different sailors who took part in the attacks. Lt. Gordon van Hook who was engineering officer on the Samuel B. Roberts when she hit the mine in the gulf was the XO of the USS Scott when I was on board. He was sort of a hero at the time because of the actions he and others undertook to save the Roberts after was split after the explosion.
So, with all of that said this is a great book. The author has done a great job doing his research, using both official documents and interviews of the participants. As with many books there is a center spread of pictures.
The book starts with the USS stark being hit by an Iraqi Exocet missile. The US response included reflagging Kuwaiti tankers under the US flag. This allowed the US military to expand its operations in the gulf to protect these ships. Any attack on any US flagged ship could then be met by a military response.
Overall this is an excellent book on a very little known conflict in US Naval history. My thanks to Casemate Publishing for the review copy.
Highs: History, War, and Navy wrapped into one book.
Lows: None noted.
Verdict: If you are looking for a nice history book, pick this one up.
Copyright ©2019 text by Jim Adams [ ]. All rights reserved.
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