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Old 06-04-2008   #1
jcustis
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Default Book recommends about the Iran-Iraq War?

I'm compiling a list of reads for an upcoming deployment, and am looking for a recommended book that covers the Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988. I'm particularly interested in the operational/tactical moves made during the ebb and flow of the front lines, and less concerned about the peripheral issues of the Tanker War that ensued.

Any suggestions out there?
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Old 06-04-2008   #2
Jedburgh
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Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War by Stephen Pelletiere and Douglas Johnson, originally published by SSI in '91. An earlier draft version, published by the USMC as FMFRP 3-203, is available online at FAS.

A decent companion volume is Ronald Bergquist's The Role of Airpower in the Iran-Iraq War published right at the end of the war in '88. The link is to a pdf version, or you can get a hard copy through Amazon.

If you really want exhaustive detail, then try Cordesman and Wagner's 647 page The Lessons Of Modern War Volume II: The Iran-Iraq War
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Old 06-04-2008   #3
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I cannot personally vouch for these, but these titles are in the endnotes to Chapter 7 of Pollack's "The Persian Puzzle."

The Lessons of Modern War, vol. 2, The Iran-Iraq War (Cordesman and Wagner)
The Longest War: The Iran-Iraq Military Conflict (Hiro)

Update: This from the endnotes to "Eternal Iran" by Rubin and Clawson...

The Cordesman/Wagner piece is identified as "the definitive study", but they point out an "excellent short summary by Karsh The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-1988 and state the Hiro's book, above, "is inconsistent, mixing solid research and significant errors." Lastly they state that "Iraqi military performance during the war - though not the war as a whole - is analyzed in Kennth Pollack, Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991."

Last edited by Schmedlap; 06-04-2008 at 02:42 AM. Reason: Additions
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Old 06-04-2008   #4
Norfolk
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Offhand, FMFRP 3-203 Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War, Volume I, USMC, 1990 (sorry, just noticed that Jedburgh posted it too,) is more or less along the lines of what you may be looking for. I have, or at least used to have, some other docs on the subject, but I'll have to dig to find them, if I even still have them. There's also NTC Handbook 91-100 The Iraqi Army: Organization and Tactics, but it completely skips actual battles, and simply deals with doctrine and TO&E's. There's also this CGSC Thesis which is rather interesting, Tactical Evolution in the Iraqi Army: The Abadan Island and Fish Lake Campaigns of the Iran-Iraq War.

Also try:

The Iraqi Way of War: An Operational Assessment

Saddam Hussein's First War: An Assessment of Iraqi Operational Art in the Iran-IraqWar

Operational Art: The Missing Link in the Iran-Iraq War

I think there was a CNA paper several years ago about some of this stuff.
This is also useful, even if it is from the other side:

The Evolution of Iranian Warfighting during the Iran-Iraq War: When Dismounted Light Infantry Made the Difference (originally published in Infantry Magazine)

Try and see if you can get a hold of DDB-2600-61 23-90, Iraqi Ground and Air Force Doctrine, Tactics, and Operations, DIA, 1990.
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Old 06-04-2008   #5
SteveMetz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War by Stephen Pelletiere and Douglas Johnson, originally published by SSI in '91. An earlier draft version, published by the USMC as FMFRP 3-203, is available online at FAS.

A decent companion volume is Ronald Bergquist's The Role of Airpower in the Iran-Iraq War published right at the end of the war in '88. The link is to a pdf version, or you can get a hard copy through Amazon.

If you really want exhaustive detail, then try Cordesman and Wagner's 647 page The Lessons Of Modern War Volume II: The Iran-Iraq War
If you're interested in the Johnson--Pelletiere monograph, don't buy it from Amazon! It makes us nuts that used book dealers take free publications and sell them. If you want it, I'll see if I can find one laying around SSI. If not, I'll loan you mine.
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Old 06-04-2008   #6
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Splendid references gentlemen. I actually prefer smaller articles that focus the topic, and will look to the Cordesman book (for the actual deploy) after I have digested these gems over the next few weeks.
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Old 06-15-2008   #7
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All were excellent recommendations. The articles dealing with the beginning of the war and one of the latter phases, as well as the Fish Lake material, was excellent and just what I was seeking. On to the Cordesman book.
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Old 02-01-2013   #8
davidbfpo
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There is a newly published book 'The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives' edited by Nigel Ashton and Bryan Gibson; pub. Routledge, 2012. It has no reviews on Amazon.com or the UK Amazon site, perhaps the US$115 helps to explain:http://www.amazon.com/Iran-Iraq-War-...l+Perspectives
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