Author: Mike Guardia

ISBN: 978-1-61200-292-7

Mike Guardia, author of The Fires of Babylon, has penned numerous other military history books (American Guerilla-Finalist for Army Historical Foundations Writing Award, Bronze Medal Book Award from the Military Writers Society of America, and A Main Selection for the Military Book Club; Shadow Commander-Bronze Medal Book Award from the Military Writers Society of America; Hal Moore-Finalist from the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, gold Medal Book Award from the Military Writers Society of America and A “Top 10” slot for Non-Fiction Book of 2013; Hal Moore on Leadership; It’s Snowing in Hawaii a children’s book; US Army And Marine Corps MRAPS, Junkers ju 87 STUKA; Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft Guns Of The Soviet Union; Bradley Vs. BMP) and has been guest speaker on Good Morning Texas, Inside Track, Liberty Watch Radio.

Captain Guardia spent six years on active duty as an Armor Officer for the US Army. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from University of Houston in American History. Guardia currently resides in MN. He is available for book signings and speaking engagements. To learn more about this impressive young officer please visit his website.

The Fires of Babylon opens by introducing the reader to the men who tell the story of this battle firsthand and how Guardia came to write about it. Guardia said “…I had always held a particular fascination with the events of the Gulf War. America’s victory in that conflict had underscored the remarkable transformation that its Army had undergone during the post-Vietnam era. It was also the first war fought predominately by a generation of post-Baby Boomers.” (2015, p.13)

Throughout this book there are quotes from the men fighting this war which Mike Guardia obtained via numerous interviews. The stories they tell range from lighthearted banter and pranks to preparation for the impending war and progress into their various contacts with the Iraqi people, both good and bad, as well as, the gruesome aftermath from a war fought at the ground level. These stories enlighten the reader and provide keen insight into military tactical and strategic planning as these brave men train, deploy, and fight for freedom around the globe.

Iraq, at this time, had the fourth largest Army in the world and was supported by the Soviets. Saddam Hussein had been given an ultimatum from the United States which he had decided to shirk probably assuming that America would not attack. He was wrong to assume this would be the case. However, well equipped and prepared he believed his troops to be he was sadly mistaken. His troops were entirely unprepared for the war they were about to embark upon. Their tanks were under-armored and his men’s loyalty divided at best.

Initially the heat of the day and cold of the night in the desert were an adjustment for our men coming out of Germany where they had been stationed to prepare for this deployment. Luckily, our troops had trained well and were completely ready to overtake the Iraqi soldiers in the reclaiming of Kuwait. Unlike the Soviet tanks, ours were new and incredibly well armored. They also came with an array of armaments. These troops had rehearsed desert battleground tactics and maneuvers, desert survival, injury prevention and remediation, in preparation for this war while they awaited orders in Germany prior to deploying to the Persian Gulf.

Once in country our troops went about painting their tanks, Humvees, and other vehicles in a desert theme to give them greater cover from our enemy. As fate would have it the war would ramp up with the paint still drying. As our troops advanced across this unforgivable desert terrain many of Saddam’s men came out in the open with arms in the air to surrender. Others did not give up so easily, but would soon be humbled.

While I am no fan of war I did find this book extremely interesting. I enjoyed learning about our troops and about military planning whether for wartime or peace. Thank you Mr. Guardia for a well-researched and well-written book about Operation Desert Shield into Desert Storm.