'Strike from the Sea' is the first book to tell the story of the Iraq War, and several other conflicts in the Middle East between 1949 and 2003, specifically from the point of view of the Royal Navy and US Navy.
It features front line combat stories, many of them from people speaking for the first time about their experiences, as well as analysis of the events and the background to them.
Among those interviewed for the book are: The man who commanded the British commandos that spearheaded the Coalition offensive during the Iraq War, Major General Jim Dutton RMs; The Commanding Officer of a nuclear-powered attack submarine that fired cruise missiles on targets in Baghdad; Naval pilots who braved Iraqi gunfire during daring missions; The commander of British naval forces in the 1991 Gulf War; A Falklands War veteran Sea Harrier ace who later sent former-Special Forces operatives onto oil tankers to save the ships from Exocet strikes at the height of the Iran-Iraq War.
Others who give their views on naval warfare in the Middle East in 'Strike from the Sea' include: First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West, the overall commander of the Royal Navy during the Iraq War; The COs of US Navy carriers, aircrew who flew air strikes together with other sailors and marines who carried the war to the heart of the Saddam regime between 1991 and 2003; Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, who commanded the global movements of British naval forces in the 2003 conflict; Naval officers and ordinary sailors from both US and UK fleets who saw front line service during conflicts in the Gulf between 1949 and 2003; The COs of HMS Ark Royal and HMS Ocean, which braved Iraqi missiles in the northern Gulf during the Iraq War; A British officer who served in a US Navy destroyer that fired Tomahawk missiles on regime targets in Iraq last year.
The book includes combat reports filed by US Navy and US Marine Corps personnel during the fighting as well as Pentagon news briefings and after-action studies.
'Strike from the Sea' draws upon the author's own experiences of naval warfare in the Middle East, including time spent in, or with: A US Navy super-carrieroff Libya in 1990; a mine-hunter and frigate in minefields off Kuwait in 1991; warships enforcing the naval embargo against Saddam between 1990 and 1999; Royal Marines helping to draw a line in the sand against further Iraqi aggression in 1992; A carrier launching Combat Air Patrols during the undeclared war against Saddam of the late 1990s; Commando forces and warships training for war in the Gulf in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the USA. More than 130 photographs, most of them in colour, and a number published for the first time, are contained in 'Strike from the Sea', to make it the most comprehensive pictorial record of Anglo-US naval warfare in the Gulf yet published.
Author: Iain Ballantyne
Title: Strike from the Sea: The Royal Navy & United States Navy at War in the Middle East 1949-2003
First Published by: Leo Cooper Ltd
Date: 16 January 2004