When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, triggering the First Gulf War, a coalition of thirty-five countries led by the United States responded with Operation Desert Storm, which culminated in a one-hundred-hour coordinated air strike and ground assault that repelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Though largely forgotten in descriptions of the war, an eight-day barrage of artillery fire made this seemingly rapid offensive possible. At the forefront of this offensive were the brave field artillerymen known as "redlegs."
In Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War, a veteran and former redleg of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery (otherwise known as the "Big Red One"), Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, recounts the logistical and strategic decisions that led to a coalition victory. Drawing on original battle maps, official reports, and personal journals, Lingamfelter describes the experience of the First Gulf War through a soldier's eyes and attempts to answer the question of whether the United States "got the job done" in its first sustained Middle Eastern conflict. Part military history, part personal memoir, this book provides a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the largest US artillery bombardment since World War II.
"Lingamfelter crafts an excellent story of the Big Red One's road to war during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm as seen through the unique perspective of a field artilleryman. As our army transitions from fighting insurgencies to multi-domain, large scale, combat operations similar to those experienced during the 1990-1991 Gulf War, Lingamfelter's work is a very timely publication. Overall, Desert Redleg is an enjoyable book on two levels: first, it captures both general and artillery lessons learned from a past conflict, which should be studied for the future; and second, it brought back memories of my own similar experiences as an Armor Officer and of the soldiers I served alongside during Desert Storm." -- Brig. Gen. Clint Anderson, US Army (Ret.)
" Desert Redleg proudly chronicles the field artillery's role, operations, and performance in support of the 1st Infantry Division during the First Gulf War. Lingamfelter's leadership style, entertaining narrative, and review of the historical records masterfully illuminate the key requirements for organization and synchronization of combat power. It is as if you are there in the fight with Lingamfelter and his teammates. The fundamentals and lessons found within Desert Redleg are timeless and should be heeded today as the US Army prepares for full-spectrum warfare." -- Gen. J. H. Binford Peay III, US Army (Ret.), superintendent of Virginia Military Institute
" Desert Redleg is a riveting account of the role of 1st Infantry Division Artillery during the Persian Gulf War. Relying on his personal diaries and the notes of his artillery comrades,Lingamfelter recounts the initiative, courage, and detailed planning required to penetrate Iraq's prepared defenses, exploit the breakout, and pursue its forces to the coast of Kuwait. None of us who fought to free Kuwait thought of the war as short, and Desert Redleg dispels the myth of the short war." -- Col. Gregory Fontenot, US Army (Ret.), author of The First Infantry Division and the US Army Transformed
"Scott Lingamfelter's Desert Redleg is an excellent account of the prominent role and devasting power of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery during Desert Storm. Lingamfelter's intriguing narrative of the logistical challenges, including efforts to synchronize artillery support for the Big Red One, reveals the perseverance of American soldiers. His assessment of the doctrinal, tactical, strategic, and geopolitical lessons learned in the Gulf War offers perspective for the US Army today and in the future. As a field artillery battalion commander during the Gulf War, Desert Redleg brings back personal and vivid memories of the gallant efforts we made in driving the Iraqis from Kuwait." -- Maj. Gen. Lynn Hartsell, US Army (Ret.)
"Scott Lingamfelter's book is a superb read. It has great operational details, as well as engaging human interest stories. I had the honor to serve with Scott and many of the people he profiles in the year following the 1st Infantry Division's return to Fort Riley and can only echo his praise for the outstanding work they did in getting quickly to the area of operations, conducting lethal combat operations, and getting back home in good order with minimal loss of American lives. Scott is to be commended for this excellent work!" -- Colonel Edwin C. Speare, US Army (Ret.)
"In Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in The First Gulf War, Scott Lingamfelter brilliantly captures the complexities of Operation Desert Storm. I highly recommend it to serious students of warfare." -- Colonel Robert L. Smith, US Army (Ret.) and former distinguished instructor of history at the United States Military Academy West Point
"Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter's book should be a required read for any generation of artillerymen. It contains wonderful background on many logistical and tactical problems involved before, during, and after fighting a war. It reveals why our military cannot become overly obsessed with preparing for only one type of threat or battleground, and shows why any who have served with the Big Red One, especially in wartime, are so proud!" -- SSG Val D. Johnson, US Army
"Christopher Reeves has said that 'a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.' L. Scott Lingamfelter in his book Desert Redleg retells his experiences as a leader of troops in the First Gulf War and makes it clear there was nothing ordinary about neither him nor his troops in their heroic efforts in overcoming obstacles natural and man-made to defeat Saddam Hussein.While the quarterback may get all the glory, his success is dependent on everyone else on the team doing their job, and war is no different. As Col. Lingamfelter makes clear, his beloved artillerymen and women helped pave the way for victory, and his story is one of grit, determination, and hard work from a dedicated and hardworking crew that, living up the Big Red One 'Duty First' motto, never quit.Not only is his personal story engaging, Lingamfelter, with his background in foreign affairs, ably sets the scene in the context of world politics: his story is all the more relevant as a result. For anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes efforts that determine the outcome of any endeavor, Desert Redleg is a great place to start." -- Jay D. Brock, M.D.
"Colonel L. Scott Lingamfelter has brought us the story of Desert Storm from the inside. It is an amazing account of the training, preparation to deploy, execution, and successful return of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery. You feel like you are there the whole way from Fort Riley, Kansas, to battle, and back again. Lingamfelter takes you on a very personal trip where you meet all the brave professional soldiers who accepted the call to fulfill this mission to liberate Kuwait from the monstrous Saddam Hussein. You come to understand how tactical decisions are made and how much can depend on those decisions. As a retired CEO of a major private healthcare company, I always told my leadership team that their primary role would be to solve problems. This book should be required reading for leadership teams as Lingamfelter takes you through all the challenges he and his troops faced to accomplish their mission. Whether your background is in the military or not, this is a great read and a great historical story." -- Rodney F. Ganey, cofounder of Press Ganey Associates
"Scott Lingamfelter has written an extremely powerful and poignant book about the complexities of preparing for deployment, war, and massing the full range of Fire Support assets during Desert Shield/Desert Storm in support of the Big Red One First Infantry Division. He writes too about the bond between soldiers, their leaders, and their families, with a bit of GI humor thrown in for good measure! His ability to discuss at the 10,000-foot strategic level, and then swoop down to everyday GI commentary with his driver and thoughts of home, underscore the traits of competent and confident leadership. Lingamfelter allows the reader to fully appreciate the challenges, the horse trading, the fatigue, and often the frustration which he so aptly describes, all of which took place behind the scenes to establish the superbly orchestrated Fire Support results, contributing to the overall success of Desert Storm. Lingamfelter brings all those complexities to the forefront in Desert Redleg in simplistic terms, adding with it the human element of the bonds between himself and his soldiers without any sugarcoating or embellishment. Desert Redleg should be required reading at all Combat Arms Captains' Career Courses." -- Colonel Bob Visbal, US Army (Ret.)
" Desert Redleg is a must-read and should be on all maneuver and support services bookshelves. As we once again focus on near peer-to-peer warfare the ability of artillery to dominate or substantially influence the outcome of a battle will be at the forefront. This well-written and researched book lays out many of the challenges we now face on coming to grips with this reality. A great addition to the military library that could not be more timely." -- LTG William Carter III, US Army (Ret.)