Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 12/27/12
As 2012 closes, the general who commanded the U.S.-led coalition that liberated Kuwait and the Persian Gulf from Saddam Hussein’s wrath, died Thursday night at age 78. Norman Schwarkopf was considered bigger than life, yet also related well to young soldiers, serving him well during highly successful Desert Storm operations early in 1991. During the war, he implemented the idea of The Great Wheel, which led to the capture of 3,000 Iraqi tanks, 1,400 armored carriers and 2,200 artillery pieces in just four days, hastening the collapse of  Iraq’s Republican Guard. Initial casualty estimates for Desert Storm were more than 30,000, but as anyone alive then like myself recalls, there were only roughly 100. This was due to Schwarzkopf’s operational genius and innovative approach, including the resurrection of mounted warfare through the Arabian Desert. Earlier in life, Schwarzkopf, the son of a two-star general and founder of the New Jersey State Police, also graduated from West Point, where he played football. He later earned a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering and furthered his education at the U.S. Army War College in Pennsylvania.  Schwarzkopf later taught missile engineering at West Point. As a youngster, “Stormin’ Norman” lived in Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Iran, the latter serving him well some four decades later in the Gulf. Schwarzkopf was a much-decorated Lieutenant Colonel who volunteered for two combat tours in Vietnam, most remembered for rescuing his battalion from minefields in 1970.  He earned three Silver Stars for valor, a Purple Heart and three Distinguished Service Medals. As the U.S. military rose from its post-Vietnam nadir, Schwarzkopf was promoted to general in 1978.  He served Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada) in 1983 and was also named commander of U.S. Central Command five years later. The New Jersey native retired with four stars. Interestingly but appropriately,  88-year-old former Pres. George HW Bush — who was president during Desert Storm and is himself currently ailing – released a statement on the passing of Herbert N. Schwarzkopf Jr.: “Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation. A distinguished member of that Long Gray Line hailing from West Point, General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized 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 — and a dear friend.  Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife Brenda and his wonderful family.” Indeed.  Rest in peace, sir. The post “Stormin’ Norman” Schwarzkopf Dead at 78 appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
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