Contingency Operations Series
CMH Pub 55-2, Cloth; CMH Pub 55-2-1, Paper
2010; 677 pages, illustrations, bibliography, guide to abbreviations, map symbols, index
Edgar F. Raines Jr.'s The Rucksack War: U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983, the second volume in the U.S. Army Center of Military History's Contingency Operations Series, provides an account of how Army logistics affected ground operations during the Grenada intervention and, in turn, how combat influenced logistical performance. Noteworthy is the book's emphasis on the role of individuals and of the decisions they made based on the necessarily incomplete and sometimes misleading information available at the time. The narrative ranges through all levels of war-from the meetings of the National Security Council, where the president grappled with the question of whether to intervene in the wake of a bloody coup, to the jungles of Grenada, where a sergeant in combat coped successfully with a Cuban ambush despite a lack of hand grenades. Raines is careful to place Army logistical planning and operations in a joint context as well as grounding them in the Army's post-Vietnam reform of logistical organization and doctrine. In addition to furnishing a fascinating account of a complex operation, The Rucksack War identifies many issues that may well influence the conduct of U.S. forces in future short-notice contingency operations.
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