General Norman Schwarzkopf: fra Vietnam til Gulfkrigen

Norman Schwarzkopf 1988 (Bilde: RUSSELL ROEDERER)

Norman Schwarzkopf 1988 (Bilde: RUSSELL ROEDERER)

Den amerikanske generalen Norman Schwarzkopf døde i går 27. desember 2012. I Norge er han mest kjent som øverstkommanderende for de amerikanske styrkene i «Operasjon ørkenstorm» i Kuwait 1991. Operasjonen – «Desert Storm» på engelsk – var godkjent av FNs sikkerhetsråd. Koalisjonsstyrkene mistet 482 soldater i krigen, mens over 20.000 irakere ble drept.
Det er lite kjent at Schwarzkopf lærte krigskunsten i Vietnam, hos daværende oberst Ngo Quang Truong i den sørvietnamesiske hæren. I sine memoarer «It Doesn’t Take A Hero» (1992) beskrev Schwarzkopf hvordan en ykmyk amerikansk major med beundring observerte oberst Truongs ledelse av operasjonen:

The Ia Drang Valley campaign was a landmark for me, because it introduced me to the most brilliant tactical commander I’d ever known.

Colonel Ngo Quang Truong was General Dong’s chief of staff. He did not look like my idea of a military genius: only five feet seven, in his midforties, very skinny, with hunched shoulders and a head that seemed too big for his body. His face was pinched and intense, not at all handsome, and there was always a cigarette hanging from his lips. Yet he was revered by his officers and troops – and feared by those North Vietnamese commanders who knew of his ability. Any time a particularly tricky combat operation came up, Dong put him in command. …

We had landed to the north, and Truong ordered the battalions to cross the Ia Drang and take up positions along the Chu Prong Mountains, which formed a series of steep ridges to the south. It was fascinating to watch him operate. As we marched, he would stop to study the map, and every once in a while he’d indicate a position on the map and say, «I want you to fire artillery here.» I was skeptical at first, but called in the barrages; when we reached the areas we found bodies. Simply by visualizing the terrain and drawing on his experience fighting the enemy for fifteen years, Truong showed an uncanny ability to predict what they were going to do…

Les resten av historien i «Tribute to a Brilliant Commander«.

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Filed under Militærhistorie, USAs engasjement

One response to “General Norman Schwarzkopf: fra Vietnam til Gulfkrigen

  1. Tilbaketråkk: Gode minner om Sør-Vietnams fallskjermsoldater | Vietnamkrigen

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