The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting

The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting

by Mike Guardia
The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting

The Fires of Babylon: Eagle Troop and the Battle of 73 Easting

by Mike Guardia


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As a new generation of main battle tanks came on line during the 1980s, neither the US nor USSR had the chance to pit them in combat. But once the Cold War between the superpowers waned, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein provided that chance with his invasion of Kuwait. Finally the new US M1A1 tank would see how it fared against the vaunted Soviet-built T-72.

On the morning of August 2, 1990, Iraqi armored divisions invaded the tiny emirate of Kuwait. The Iraqi Army, after its long war with Iran, had more combat experience than the U.S. Army. Who knew if America’s untested forces could be shipped across the world and thence contest the battle-hardened Iraqis on their homeground? The Kuwaitis had collapsed easily enough, but the invasion drew fierce condemnation from the UN, which demanded Saddam’s withdrawal. Undeterred by the rhetoric, the Iraqi dictator massed his forces along the Saudi Arabian border and dared the world to stop him. In response, the U.S. led the world community in a coalition of 34 nations in what became known as Operation Desert Storm – a violent air and ground campaign to eject the Iraqis from Kuwait. Leading this charge into Iraq were the men of Eagle Troop in the US Army’s 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Commanded by then-Captain HR McMaster, Eagle Troop was the lead element of the US VII Corps’ advance into Iraq. On February 26, 1991, Eagle Troop encountered the Tawakalna Brigade of Iraq’s elite Republican Guard. By any calculation, the 12 American tanks didn’t stand a chance. Yet within a mere 23 minutes, the M1A1 tanks of Eagle Troop destroyed more than 50 enemy vehicles and plowed a hole through the Iraqi front. History would call it the Battle of 73 Easting.

Based on hours of interviews and archival research by renowned author Mike Guardia, this minute-by-minute account of the U.S. breakthrough reveals an intimate, no-holds-barred account of modern warfare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612002927
Publisher: Casemate Publishers
Publication date: 05/04/2015
Pages: 248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Mike Guardia is an internationally recognized author and military historian. A veteran of the United States Army, he served six years on active duty as an Armor Officer. He has twice been nominated for the Army Historical Foundation's Distinguished Book Award and is an active member in the Military Writers Society of America. He holds a BA and MA in American History from the University of Houston. He currently lives in Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Forword General Fred Franks, USA, Ret 9

Introduction 11

1 From the Ashes of Vietnam: The Army of 1990 17

2 The Troopers 23

HR 23

Virrill 28

Gifford 34

Davis 38

Scouts Out! 42

Hamilton 46

Destefano 49

Foy 52

Hedenskog and Ohelr 55

Lee and Rhodes 60

The Attitude Track 65

Moody 70

Tribble 72

3 "Deforger-90" 75

4 Life in Descrt 103

5 Into Iraq 135

6 Day of Battle 153

7 Ceasc-Fire 177

Epilogue: After the Storm 195

Appendix: Eagle Troop Battle Roster 205

Bibliography 209

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