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.
Meet the Author
L. Scott Lingamfelter was raised in Richmond, Virginia, where he attended public and parochial schools. He then attended the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington Virginia, where he earned a B.A. in History in 1973. After graduating from VMI as a Distinguished Military Graduate (DMG), he was commissioned in the Regular Army of the United States and began a career as a Field Artilleryman and a Middle East Foreign Area Officer (FAO). In 1979, the United States Army awarded him a full academic scholarship to the University of Virginia (UVa), where he earned a Master of Arts in Government and Foreign Affairs in 1981 (Comparative Governments of the Middle East and Soviet Foreign Policy). After many assignments around the world, including Germany, South Korea, Israel, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Iraq in both war and peace, he rose to the rank of Colonel. Having served in numerous combat units, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), as a Political Military Officer in the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (Department of State), and as a senior advisor on Special Access Programs (SAP) to the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff of the Army, and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, he concluded his military career in the Army as Military Assistant to the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has witnessed the Middle East conflict “up close and personally”, not only as a military observer, but as a combat artilleryman with the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm. In that war, he served as second in command in the Division Artillery and helped plan and execute the largest field artillery assault on enemy forces since World War II. During the 1993 crisis with North Korea, Colonel Lingamfelter was one of the architects of the complex and detailed system that the US would use to defeat North Korean artillery systems threatening South Korea. Colonel Lingamfelter and the former Shelley Glick of Bridgewater, Virginia have been married for the past 40 years. They have three children and four grandchildren and are active members of All Saints Anglican Church in Woodbridge, Virginia.