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Every Man a Tiger: The Gulf War Air Campaign (Commander Series) Paperback – May 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Commander Series (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 564 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1st edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425172929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425172926
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,469,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This Tom Clancy real-life military thriller is more nuanced than his novels, because its object is not simply to dramatize armed conflict but to relate the life lessons of his source, jet-pilot-turned-Desert-Storm-air-commander General Chuck Horner. Horner is no war cheerleader like General "Buck" Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove. He loathes the arrogance of the backwards, nuke-happy Strategic Air Command and the madly out-of-touch Vietnam War planner Robert McNamara. McNamara confesses his folly in two books, Argument Without End and In Retrospect, but Horner's you-are-there account more vividly demonstrates Vietnam's grim lessons. He flew an F-105 Thunderbird "Thud" fighter in the Wild Weasels, the unit with the highest medals-per-aircrew ratio, knew pilots who were stoned to death by villagers, and realized all the bombing did zero good. "All we really had to do was befriend Ho," says Horner sensibly. "Seems he wasn't part of a monolithic Communist plot, and hated the Chinese more than anything else." Horner is savvy about the screwups, the achievements, and the political maneuvering in and after the Gulf War, as leaders and branches of service battled for PR victories. His idea of a hero is Boomer McBroom's pilot Captain Gentner Drummond, who won a Flying Cross medal for refusing AWACS orders to down a jet that turned out to be a Saudi ally. Horner thinks the interservice and international cooperation in the Gulf War was way better than in Vietnam, but there's ample room for improvement. The action scenes aren't quite as brilliant as those in Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, but Clancy fans will find plenty to admire. Horner's improbable survival of a 150-m.p.h. near-crash in Libya in 1962 belongs in a Tom Clancy film. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Clancy's second study in high command of the U.S. armed forces (after Into the Storm, written with Army general Fred Franks) focuses on Air Force general Chuck Horner, the fighter pilot who was overall air commander for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. This book is less about the Gulf War than about the making of a modern fighter general and the remaking of a modern air force. Horner was part of a new Air Force generation that rejected the Strategic Air Command model of "predictability, order and control" in favor of a holistic approach to air power and air command. A firm believer in central control of air assets, Horner also regarded traditional distinctions between "strategic" and "tactical" air as no longer relevant. What mattered was the appropriate situational use of air power in an integrated war plan. The main text demonstrates Horner's success in implementing his concepts over Iraq. Though the narrative offers no startling insights or revelations, the authors make the important contribution of presenting command friction as a natural consequence of interaction among senior officers with high intelligence and strong wills. The implication is clear: to succeed in an unpredictable international environment, America's armed forces will need tigers at their head. Tigers are dangerous. They challenge each other. They take issue with higher wisdom and higher authority. And, according to the authors, they can be replaced by safely neutered house cats only at the country's peril. 500,000 first printing; $500,000 ad/promo; BOMC main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Tom Clancy was great at making history interesting to read.
William C.
In this book, Clancy collaborates with retired Air Force General Chuck Horner for an "inside look" at U.S./Allied air operations in the Persian Gulf War.
PHIL FOUNTAIN
They may do what we ask, and it may not work, it may not be the right thing, it may not be what we actually want.
W. B. Abbott

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John G. Hilliard on April 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
Clancy really did a good job with this book. I have also read the first book in this new series he is putting out "Into the Storm - A Study in Command" and I have to say that this book is much better. One would think that as it is the second book, maybe he learned how to put together a non-fiction story in a more readable and interesting way or maybe the co-author was just a better writer. Clancy has teamed up with the General that was in charge of the air war in the Gulf War, and has a done himself a favor getting someone as inteligent and engaging to work with.
The book is basically three parts, the first section talks about the Generals career in the Air Force, the Air Force development from Viet Nam to the Gulf War and a touch of the politics involved within the different military branches. The second section of the book deals with the build up to the air war. The final section deals with the air war both the stand-alone part and as a joint effort with the ground war.
The author does not give you an action packed, inside the cockpit type of story. What we do get is the process for building up the forces, developing a plan, working with the other countries and military forces and finally the execution of the plan. I found the discussions of target selection and the relationship between the air and ground element to be the most interesting. Overall this is a well-written and constructed book. It has a lot of value if you are interested in the Gulf War or just how current U.S. battles are planned and fought. From watching the nightly news you can see that many of the same processes and tactics discussed in this book were used with the current U.S. military efforts in Afghanistan
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brasidas on March 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
General Chuck Horner, with the writing help of Tom Clancy, crafted a wonderful book that tells the story of how to organize, equip, deploy and employ massive yet diverse airpower during the Gulf War in 1990-1991.
There are three parts and fifteen chapters in this book. The first third focuses on the past (1960-1989) for Chuck Horner and America's Air Force before Desert Shield. The focus is on the unique climate amongst pilots, especially fighter pilots (Horner's primary skill set) and the entire aviation community. The emphasis Horner places on teamwork is striking, and shows the importance of every airman who contributes to launching and aircraft and its payload down the runway and into the skies. This part of the book also describes the strategic vision of Air Force leaders in the 1970's as they sought to apply the lessons learned from the Vietnam War, and reemerge from the post war malaise as a coherent fighting organization.
Throughout the first part are snapshots of what Horner was trying to create in the chaos that followed the Presidential decision to reinforce Saudi Arabia to deter further Iraqi aggression and finally expel Iraq from Kuwait. Horner, who became Commander in Chief, Central Command (Forward) CINCCENTFWD noted that everywhere he initially went, the staffs' "efforts lacked order and focus...missing essential details such as basing logistics and sortie rates." Horner's essential task was to understand the intent of General Schwarzkopf and the National Command Authority, and to focus the effort of the CENTCOM team to deploy and employ forces in a logical way that would accomplish the national strategic goals.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Hedrick on November 29, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book. Both the first half, describing the life and career of General Horner, and the second half, detailing the planning and execution of the war in the gulf are engrossing and kept me reading. This book gives a good look at how a theater-level conflict is planned and the many parties that are involved.
I would highly reccomend this to anybody who has an interest in the U.S. Air Force or national security strategy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I worked for Gen Horner during most of his time as Commander of Ninth Air Force/USCENTAF. I also deployed with him to Riyadh during Desert Storm. I can tell you that everything Gen Horner says is right on track, and that Gen Horner the person is as honest as the day is long.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By rodboomboom HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book. Gave great and compassionate insight on inner workings of Desert Storm and USAF. Gen. Horner is someone I would have loved to serve under, tough but unbelievable compassion and dedication to the task set before him. Very enjoyable and captivating read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marino J. Martinez on July 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While I was in the Air Force during Desert Shield, Desert Storm and some of the follow-on actions, I never got close to the action (I did long-range research). Although I went to as many of the classified briefings (a bit more graphic than CNN) about air war progress as I could, there was no way to convey the enormity of the task that Gen. Horner was given. More than anything, this book gave me much insight into the "other" Air Force that I rarely saw: the combat units.
I have a much better appreciation now for what the folks in those positions faced, and why the majority of generals MUST be pilots. I am still amazed that the coalition Air Forces maintained the pace they did for so long.
One things I had hoped for, and missed, was some serious comment on the real Patriot intercept rate and more information on all the rumors we heard about incredible stories of shot-up aircraft returning to their bases, having survived much more than their designers expected them to.
Though the high-level activities and maneuverings were very interesting, I was most interested in his recountings of actual bits of the war itself, at the pilot level. In the end, I lost a lot of respect for Gen. Schwarzkopf (sp?) and his ego regarding ground force targetting, but I gained admiration for our fighting air forces.
A very good read for Air Force and Gulf War afficianados.
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