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Into the Storm: A Study in Command (Commander Series) Paperback – May 1, 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tom Clancy's latest love-letter to the military-industrial complex focuses on the Army--and Fred Franks, a general who helped smash Iraq in the Gulf War. In this first volume of a series on the intricacies of military command, Clancy traces the organizational success story of the U.S. Army's rise from the slough of Vietnam to the heights of victory in the Persian Gulf. In 1972, the Army lacked proper discipline, training, weapons, and doctrine; all these would be overhauled in the next 15 years. For those readers keen on such nuts and bolts, the book will be fascinating. But the book truly sparkles when Franks tells his story. A "tanker" who lost a foot in the invasion of Cambodia, he is a man of great courage, thoughtfulness, and integrity. One cannot help but wince when a civilian tells him, "You and those boys did that for nothing." And for all the acronyms and military history, that is what this book is about: healing the wounds Vietnam inflicted. "But this time [the Gulf War], it was going to end differently. They all would see to that." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Clancy combines three stories in this remarkable narrative. He shows how the U.S. Army recovered from the debacle of Vietnam, how a young officer named Fred Franks was able to return from losing a leg in Cambodia and become an integral part of this resurrection, and how all this prepared Franks to lead one corps of the reborn army to victory over the Iraqi Republican Guard during Operation Desert Storm. Clancy presents this tale in a clear and well-organized manner that frequently allows Franks to tell his own story. The description of the 100 hours of Desert Storm, with all of its excitement, confusion, and unpredictability, is Clancy at his best. The reading by Boyd Gaines and Ken Jenkins is excellent. Gaines reads the narrative in a clear and well-paced voice that is pleasing and engaging. Jenkins reads General Franks's dialog with great feeling and disciplined intensity. Indeed, he is the general. This contrast is complementary and enhances a fine work. For popular collections.?Michael T. Fein, Catawba Valley Community Coll., Hickory, N.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Commander Series (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042521656X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425216569
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,423,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rennie Petersen on August 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book describes General Fred Franks' life and especially his experiences during Desert Storm, the war in 1991 in the Persian Gulf to kick Iraq out of Kuwait.

To really like this book you need to be a bit of a military fanatic. Fred Franks repeats so many times how wonderful it is to be a soldier, and how great the "warrior ethos" is, that you realize that for him the military is practically a religion.

The thing in this book that I found the most interesting are the descriptions of the magnitude of military might that was fielded during Desert Storm.

The American Army VII Corps (commanded by Gen. Franks) included 146,000 soldiers, 50,000 vehicles (incl. 1,600 tanks) and 800 helicopters. Not only are these numbers huge, but the logistics involved are mind-boggling: the soldiers need food and water, and the vehicles and aircraft burned an incredible 3.2 million gallons of fuel each day. When fighting the VII Corps expended 2,500 tons of ammunition every day.

And VII Corps was only part of the military forces involved. There was another Army corps, there were Marine units, there was the Air Force and the Navy, and forces from quite a few other countries. An amazing marshalling of military forces, and all under the command of General Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf (more about him later).

I found the book interesting, but it does have a lot of problems. It's way too long, mostly due to repetitiveness. With some editing it could have been cut down by at least 30% with no loss of information.

Another problem is that there are no useful maps. There are a lot of small maps, about 1/3 of a page each, but they simply don't show enough detail.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have researched the Gulf War for several years and found this book to be one of the best to give an inside look into the corps command level. Clancy and Frank's book shows the campaign through the eyes of the VII Corps commander, which was in charge of the main effort during the Iraqi campaign. It contains facts and details that are unavailable elsewhere (at least not in non military sources). This book, together with Schwartzkopf's "It Doesn't Take a Hero", Atkinson's "Crusade" and Gordon's "The Generals'War", is a must for every Gulf War researcher.
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Format: Paperback
This book should be rated as one of the top three books dealing with OPERATION DESERT STORM. This is General Frederick Franks' story complete with inspiring leadership vignettes from Vietnam, the amputee ward in the (former) Valley Forge Army Hospital, to the pulverized dirt and sand of Southwest Asia. The cover of the book is somewhat misleading as Tom Clancy's name is in giant bold print larger than that of General Franks. From my reading of this fine reference the credits should be reversed with General Franks'name in the large print. Thankfully most of the book is General Franks' story, and a very detailed one at that, with scattered narrative interruptions by Clancy. Having personally served in the US VIIth Corps with the 1st Armored Division during DESERT STORM, General Franks' recounting of the corps' "bigger picture" and the decision process behind them enlightened me more about the drive into Iraq and Kuwait than I ever experienced at the maneuver Brigade level. I am well satisfied with the hard cover copy of this book and would recommend its purchase in hard or soft cover to any leader, military or business, or DESERT STORM historian.
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Format: Paperback
Clancy really did an average job with this book. I have also read the other book in this new series he is putting out "Every Man A Tiger" and I have to say that Into the Storm is a second to it. I think that as this was his first attempt at this type of book, he used it as a learning tool and the second book got better. Then again maybe the co-author was just a better writer. Clancy has teamed up with the General that was in charge of the ground war in the Gulf War.
The book is basically three parts, the first section talks about the Generals career in the Army, the Army's 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 ground war. The final section deals with the ground war both the stand-alone part and as a joint effort with the air war.
The author does not give you an action packed, inside the tank 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 attack plan creation 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. A good compliment to this book is "The Commanders" by Woodward; it deals more with the U.S. politics involved in setting up the coalition and the interaction between the main U.S. players.
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