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Warrior's Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


It is that immediacy and intensity of close combat that Warrior s Rage evokes. Macgregor depicts war as it is experienced and fought, not with neat arrows on a well-drawn map, but with seared flesh, grit, blood, dirt and pain. Exhaustion, confusion, fear and death define the world of Cougar Squadron; Macgregor describes every bit of it. Yet he also grants us a glimpse into how soldiers deal with such grim realities leadership, discipline, training
and humor surely help. Warrior s Rage includes all of those as well. A book like Warrior s Rage would normally be on the reading list of every fighting battalion in our Army.
Some will hesitate at that, though, because there is a strong subtext to Macgregor s
account. It s a truism of war that although good units are composed of team players, most soldiers know well that when you close that hatch, few have much good to say for those bastards back at platoon. That is a normal part of a soldier s point of view. The dangers of combat only serve to amplify this tendency. Macgregor does not spare us his opinions about his superiors. He castigates America s generals as a group and often by name for what he sees as their timidity in finishing the job in 1991. By implication, and in many cases by bald statement, a reader of Warrior s Rage would not be surprised that these generals chosen successors have fumbled around in the current war as well. That may turn off some readers, but I would encourage those offended to hang in there. Believe it or not, such things get said about most leaders in the Army maybe even Macgregor. As soldiers, we have learned after a lot of failed operations at the National Training Center let alone on the ground in theater to be brutal on ourselves, to ask the hard questions and to own up to mistakes. Our Army judges by results more than by form or style. The ability to adapt under fire is the key to winning. Macgregor s Cougars did it at 73 Easting, but ourselves, to ask the hard questions and to own up to mistakes. Our Army judges by results more than by form or style. The ability to adapt under fire is the key to winning. Macgregor s Cougars did it at 73 Easting, but it all starts with the guts to accept criticism. Macgregor himself offers the best
explanation for why his harsh tone still makes Warrior s Rage well worth the read. At one point, describing a particularly headstrong cavalry troop commander (now a serving general officer), Macgregor approvingly quotes Werner Binder, a German officer who fought on the Eastern Front in World War II: Your best commander is always your most difficult subordinate. He always asks hard questions and offers new ways to do things, because he thinks. He may be quick-tempered and occasionally insubordinate, but if you have one like
this, give him the freedom to do what he thinks is right whenever possible. Macgregor did just that, and the outcome was a signal victory. I think Binder s advice may be good for anyone who reads Warrior s Rage. The author of Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation
Under Fire has never been a shrinking violet Macgregor was always a most difficult subordinate. But he s also one of the smartest and most gifted armored commanders our Army has produced. Warrior s Rage is just the latest fine contribution from a veteran cavalryman who will no doubt stay in the fight for the Army he loves. --Army Magazine, MG Daniel P. Bolger<br /><br />This is the story of the U.S. Army s largest tank battle since World War II, which occurred in February 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. It is related here by a participant, an officer who fought the battle from his M1 Abrams tank. Col. Macgregor (Ret.) (lead partner, Potomac League, LLC; Breaking the Phalanx) trained and led Cougar Squadron, the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, into the open desert in pursuit of Iraq s Re --Library Journal

In Warrior's Rage, retired Col. Douglas Macgregor gives us two books. One is a graphic account of the obliteration of an Iraqi Republican Guard brigade by the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment during the Gulf War. Since the author filled the number two slot in the squadron, and was instrumental in how it trained and the tactics it used, and since he believed in leading from the front in his own combat tank, he probably witnessed more of the conflict than anyone, and thus is an ideal narrator. His second theme is a blistering critique of the colonels and generals who led the Army and who, he believes, frittered away the monumental victory the company grade officers and enlisted men tried to give them. Both accounts are graphic and passionate and show the author's deep concern for the future of the U.S. Army...The author feels that the abundance of errors in thinking lies primarily in what he calls the corporate culture of the Army. The way to get promoted, as in any bureaucracy, is not to make mistakes. The way to avoid mistakes is not to do anything. And before long you are on the promotion list. Col. Macgregor has written other books on how to improve the Army. Presumably he will continue to do so. He may not always be right, but he is worth listening to. --Sol Schindler, The Washington Times

About the Author

Douglas Macgregor, Colonel, USA (Ret.), is a decorated combat veteran with a PhD in international relations from the University of Virginia. He is the author of Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation under Fire and is a frequent guest on television and radio news shows. He is the lead partner of the Potomac League, LLC, in Reston, VA.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591145058
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591145059
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Dog of War on September 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The Good: This book is a pretty good book detailing the fight the 2nd ACR fought against the Iraqi Republican Guards along the 73 Eastings line. I was a tank platoon leader in the 1st ID during Desert Storm and this book brought back memories. MacGregor takes the reader down "into the trenches" so to speak. If you have not served in an armor unit, you will get a good feel for what it is like from reading this book.

The Bad: Somebody please give MacGregor a pacifier. He constantly whines about how the generals were stupid and how he knew what he was doing and they should have listened to him. He starts the whining in the first couple of pages of this book. Sure, there are politically motivated generals who do not care about the Soldiers, but not all are. It is obvious he has an ax to grind because he had to retire as a lowly colonel while others he served with achieved general stars.

I knew this guy was starting to get full of it when he started criticizing General Franks, the VII Corps commander during Desert Storm. In a nutshell Schwarzkopf tells him to destroy the Republican Guards and Franks says, We can do this. We'll make it happen." After this Macgregor launches into a hissy fit about Shwarzkopf should have fired him because he obvious wasnt the right man for the job, he needed fighting spirit, yada yada yada. What did he want? Franks to jump up on the table, beat his chest and sing the Army song? Like I mentioned earlier I was a tank platoon leader in the 1st ID which was part of VII Corps and after we did the breach we pretty much hauled [...] in order to make contact with the Republican Guard. My ankles swelled up from standing in that darn turret for hours. I remember the passage of lines with the 2nd ACR.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kirk L. on October 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So said the Iraqi brigade commander of the Republican Guard unit that then-Major Douglas Macgregor's 2nd Squadron, 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment "Cougars" (Toujours Pret!) had just annhilated at the Battle of 73 Easting in Feburary, 1991. Unfortunately, Macgregor and the rest of the U.S. military had their orders; a ceasefire was soon implemented, preventing 2/2 ACR and the rest of VII Corps from pursuing and destroying their enemy. Consequently, the main body of the Iraqi Republican Guard was able to retreat and later crush Shiite and Kurdish rebellions inside Iraq, keeping Saddam Hussein in power for another 12 years.

There aren't a lot of books published about the First Gulf War, but this is a worthy addition to what is already out there and should spark debate, as it goes against "conventional wisdom". Macgregor takes the reader on a detailed and fascinating accounting of his experiences as operations officer of the famed cavalry squadron who engaged with and destroyed a brigade-sized Iraqi armored formation thanks in large part to the actions of then-Captain H.R. McMaster's Eagle Troop. McMaster is now a Brigadier General and one of the more notable names to come out of the Iraq War, having made news as the commander of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Tal Afar in 2005, one of the most successful case studies of counterinsurgency warfare practiced by the U.S. military in modern combat.

The book is an extremely compelling read for many reasons, but is not without flaws. As I have noted in two previous reviews of books by LTG (ret.) Ricardo Sanchez and LTC (ret.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Joel R. VINE VOICE on October 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"Warrior's Rage", by Douglas MacGregor, is the story of the brave men of `Cougar Squadron', one of the units that participated in the world's largest armored conflict since the 1944 Battle of Kursk. In this rather lop-sided Feb 1991 battle, armored elements of the United States Army demolished the vaunted Iraqi Republican Guard, suffering relatively few casualties in return. This book is told from the perspective of one of the tactical leaders who was there.

On February 22, 1991, Cougar Squadron entered Iraqi territory with the mission of engaging and destroying the Republican Guard. MacGregor does an incredible job of chronicling the events over the next few days as Cougar Squadron smashed into a much larger force at 73 Easting. Readers will empathize with the fears, frustrations, and exhilarations of armored combat as expertly described by the author. MacGregor also pays a fitting tribute to Sgt Andrew Moller, the sole fatality of this small part of the war. If MacGregor would have focused solely on this aspect of the war, it would have been an outstanding book.

As a battle study, the book lacks a description of how Cougar squadron fit into the overall context of the war. The author did not provide a single map of where the unit fought in Iraq, in relation to other units in VII Corps. There are numerous tactical level charts that show how the sub-units deployed on the battlefield, but readers like me would have benefitted from an operational level chart.

MacGregor argues that the US Army could have defeated the Republican Guard and deposed Saddam Hussein back in 1991. While I will concede that he presents a compelling argument, it is one-sided.
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