RIP Stormin’ Norman

December 29th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

As most will have read, General died yesterday aged 78.

He was an almost larger than life presence during the first Gulf War. His briefings were global media events, and he became probably the most accomplished US General since MacArthur in Korea.

Operation Desert Storm was a masterful and justified war. The land phase lasted just 100 hours. One could almost use the phrase Veni, Vidi. Vici.

Schwarzkopf was offered after the war, the role of Chief of Staff of the Army, but he turned it down. He also declined numerous invitations to stand for political office.

Tags: ,

16 Responses to “RIP Stormin’ Norman”

  1. Dave Stringer (190 comments) says:

    That most unusual of military minds, someone who knew what his skills were and what field of endeavour they were best applied in. As a politician he would have been frustrated by the stupid games, as a battle and was strategist he was the standout of his generation. I hope they use his exploits as teaching examples in business schools as well as military academies, their rigor and simplicity would be great examples in today’s fast paced commercial world

    Indeed RIP

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Dotcom (1,386 comments) says:

    Why do we Kiwis have a tendency to idolise, worship American military and service leaders, but we only tend to ridicule our own?

    And slightly different point of view, why do we expect that our soldiers should never die in the cause of duty any more? It’s what soldiers do, isn’t it. They put their lives on the line. Sure, let’s mourn losses, but let’s not question “why are we here”,every time a soldier dies” War kills. It’s what war does.

    We should be counting the potential for death at the time of entering a conflict, not when a soldier dies.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. mikenmild (12,358 comments) says:

    I imagine in years to come we will not really be talking about the ‘First’ and ‘Second’ Gulf Wars as separate things but as two aspects of the American assault in the Middle East. It is futile to point to desert Shield/Storm as a success and the 2003 invasion as less successful.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    One thing I didn’t know about the General until recently was that his father was head of the New Jersey State Police and oversaw the investigation into the Lindbergh kidnapping.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. David Garrett (7,700 comments) says:

    The yanks have Douglas McArthur and Stormin’ Norman…we have Gen Freyberg and … Redbaiter! Ah yes, Russell can be counted on to repulse the commie hordes if push ever came to shove…even at 69…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    DG

    Bit harsh on Norm putting him in the same sentence as McArthur

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. DJP6-25 (1,389 comments) says:

    What a pity. RIP Stormin Norman.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Reid (16,699 comments) says:

    He had a genius level IQ and his execution of Desert Shield and Desert Storm from start to finish showed exactly that level of competence of both design and execution.

    Such was the rout that he inflicted the reason Bush is said to have halted combat and thus spared Saddam is because he didn’t want the media to see the miles and miles of burnt out trucks and military vehicles on the road out of Kuwait replete with the blackened skeletons of the forces inside.

    Which resulted in Gulf War II some years later so who thinks that Bush order was an accident now? Reminds one of Hitler’s order to stop the panzers from encircling Dunkirk really, doesn’t it.

    But General Schwarzkopf’s contribution had nothing to do with what happened after he’d done his job, superbly.

    Thank you General, also for your contribution’s after that episode in your productive and effective life.

    RIP sir.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. mikenmild (12,358 comments) says:

    Possibly the Iraqi soldiers and civilians incinerated wished that Stormin’ Norman was a bit less productive and effective.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    …..miles and miles of burnt out trucks and military vehicles on the road out of Kuwait replete with the blackened skeletons of the forces inside.

    Those photos were all published in National Geographic along with all the oil wells thats the Iraqi’s set alight, it was more the mamby pamby UN mandate which was only to see Iraq out of Kuwait. Norm wanted to carry on and turn Iraq “into a parking lot” , if he had many lives would have been saved

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. mikenmild (12,358 comments) says:

    Yes, they could have gone all the way to Baghdad, ‘liberated’ the whole country and all would be great there today, huh?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. David Garrett (7,700 comments) says:

    PEB: I dont know where you get that from…every report I have ever read – including today’s in the Herald – says that Norman agreed completely with George H W Bush’s decision NOT to go on to Bahgdad…for all the reasons that George W demonstrated 12 years later

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. mikenmild (12,358 comments) says:

    And that decision was a political one based on the likelihood that the American-led coalition would fall apart if the military mission went much beyond restoring the Al-Sabahs to power in Kuwait.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I can’t remember either DG but he would never disagree with this CIC in public and Bush was bound by the UN mandate

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Duxton (658 comments) says:

    “The yanks have Douglas McArthur and Stormin’ Norman…we have Gen Freyberg and … ”

    Actually, the tactics used by Freyberg during the latter phase of the North African campaign (Oct 42 – March 43) were virtually identical to those used by Schwartzkopf in 1991.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. mikenmild (12,358 comments) says:

    “The yanks have Douglas McArthur and Stormin’ Norman…we have Gen Freyberg and … ”
    And we actually have had a few other generals who faced much more difficult military tasks than leading an enormous coalition to a walkover slaughter of a numerous but low quality opponent.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote