Images of U.S. Marines assaulting Pacific beaches in World War II have survived and stereotyped the service's roles and personnel for more than fifty years. Now, this exciting and disarmingly frank firsthand account of Marines sweeping over sands of a different sort in fast armored vehicles retires popular legends and recasts the Corps as the thoroughly modern and professional fighting force it was in Desert Storm.
Battling the savage desert environment, an unknown enemy brandishing threats of nuclear, gas, and biological attacks, and a host of technological and tactical snafus, Alpha Company of the 1st Light Armored Infantry Battalion pushed forward at the"tip of the spear" past burning oil fields, hundreds of Iraqi tanks and vehicles, and heartrending friendly casualties to help liberate Kuwait City and drive the Iraqis back to Baghdad. Section leader and vehicle commander G. J. Michaels's vivid and personal chronicle gives the reader a first-ever look inside the Light Armored Vehicle Battalion (LAV), its multifaceted seven-man crew, modern combat reconnaissance and infantry support operations, and leadership challenges posed by problems with technology, communications, personnel, tactics, and the chain of command.
Michaels draws on his thirteen years of LAV experience to examine lessons learned from the war as well as its controversies, including the confusion over use of the LAV as both recon scout and infantry support and the lack of effective identification/friend-or-foe systems. Not since Vietnam has there been a more revealing and rewarding account of what it's like to endure and prevail in ground combat at the platoon and company level. His description of the infamous attack at Az-Zabr, in which eleven Marines were killed by friendly fire and accidents, is painful yet unforgettable, ensuring this book a place among modern military classics.
Selected for the Marine Commandant's Reading List when first published in hardcover, this book offers a vivid, firsthand account of Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War.
Gregory J. Michaels enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1984. After serving in the Gulf War, he became an instructor in the LAV Leaders course at Camp Pendleton. He is now a master sergeant with the Recruiting Command in Indiana. The hardcover of Tip of the Spear (978-155750-599-6) was published by the Naval Institute Press in 1998.