Strike from the Sea

Strike from the Sea

Strike from the Sea

The Royal Navy & United States Navy at War in the Middle East

The Arabian Gulf has been a major flash point for over 50 years.

In ‘Strike from the Sea’ Iain Ballantyne examines the role of the US Navy and Royal Navy in this troubled area – and further afield – from the 1940s to the 21st Century.

He places experiences of sailors and marines at the core of a dynamic narrative that ranges across many key events. These include the Abadan Crisis of the 1950s, the Suez Crisis in 1956 and a 1961 Iraqi threat to invade Kuwait. We also learn of the ill-fated Eagle’s Claw mission to rescue the Tehran hostages, experience the Tanker War of the 1980s and clashes between the US Navy and Colonel Gaddafi’s forces. Warships and tankers are hit by sea-skimming missiles or hit mines, while terrorist attacks in Europe lead to air strikes.

The story increases in scale and complexity after Saddam Hussein’s blitzkrieg into Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent operations to contain the Iraqi dictator’s forces and eject them from Kuwait. The vast land, sea and air offensive to liberate the tiny, oil-rich emirate results in poisoned seas, booby-trapped ports and skies thick with black smoke.

The tale moves into its final phase with the international community’s ill-fated attempt to contain the so-called Beast of Baghdad. It diverts for operations against Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan (in the aftermath of 9-11) before culminating in the controversial 2003 invasion of Iraq.

‘Strike from the Sea’ is also a study in the decline of the Royal Navy in the Middle East and its handover to the US Navy as the primary peace-keeper (and enforcer).

Partly based on Iain Ballantyne’s own reports from front line naval units, at sea and ashore during operations East of Suez (1990 – 2001), ‘Strike from the Sea’ seeks to convey the perspective of men and women seeking to endure and prevail during difficult and complex missions.

Iain’s desire is to one day revisit this topic via a supplementary work. It would provide a different, less optimistic perspective on recent events that reflects with bitter hindsight on the need to sometimes temper an urge to strike from the sea with a more patient and less kinetic approach.

Strike from the SeaAmazon

Pen & Sword Maritime
256 pages

ISBN: 9781844150595
Published: 16 January 2004


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