In The News

Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf passes away

Gulf War general Norman Schwarzkopf passes away

GENERAL Norman Schwarzkopf, who commanded coalition forces during the first Gulf War, has passed away. He was 78.

Known as Stormin’ Norman, the General had retired within months of his forces driving Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi troops out of Kuwait in 1991.

The General was already a highly decorated officer when he was placed in charge of the US-led forces in the Gulf conflict, having seen service in Vietnam and Grenada.

During Operation Desert Storm, the General famously taunted the Iraqi dictator, telling reporters: “As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational art, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he’s a great military man — I want you to known that.”

The Allied victory in 1991 was not without its critics. Some people criticised the General for what they believed were weak ceasefire terms which had allowed Saddam to remain in power. 

But General Schwarzkopf had proved himself to be a brilliant strategist and military tactician and was hailed a hero by the American people. Attempts were even made to encourage him to stand for office, but he rejected all approaches, preferring to live in quiet retirement in Florida.

Tributes were led by former President George Bush Snr., who had been in office at the time of the first Gulf conflict. In a statement, Mr. Bush said the General had been “a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation”.

The statement continued: “A distinguished member of that Long Grey Line hailing from West Point, General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomised the ‘duty, service, country’ creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man.”

To view footage of General Schwarzkopf briefing the media during the Gulf conflict, click here.

To see the General deliver his acceptance speech after being inducted into The New Jersey Hall of Fame, in 2008, click here.

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