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Desert Warriors: Iranian Army Aviation at War

Desert Warriors: Iranian Army Aviation at War Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2018 Title Desert Warriors: Iranian Army Aviation at War
Author Babak Taghvaee Publisher Helion
Published 2017 ISBN 9781910777565
Format 132 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $59.95


With over 800 helicopters and aircraft, it ranked as the world's third most powerful army aviation force in 1979. Now, after decades of struggles and sanctions, purges and privations, it has recently suffered "significant decline … in combat capability".

It's Iranian Army Aviation. And Babak Taghvaee recounts its combat record in Harpia's lavishly illustrated Desert Warriors: Iranian Army Aviation at War – available in North America from Casemate.

Coverage chronologically courses through the whole terrific tale. From its founding through the 1979 Islamic Revolution and Iran-Iraq War to today, the author charts equipment, personnel, actions, procurement, strategy, and tactics – all in astonishing detail.

Author Taghvaee clearly enjoyed exceptional access to official Iranian sources. Text details IRIAA "missions and roles during 97 major operations in the war with Iraq" – as well as recent, truly illuminating specifics on the Islamic Republic's helicopter fleet status and domestic upgrade efforts.

The account also abounds in absorbing anecdotes. Air-to-air actions between Iranian and Iraqi helicopters, for instance, proved especially intriguing.

At least 250 rare color and B&W photos season the study. Maps help chart actions. And informative tables, extended captions, selected bibliography, and abbreviations glossary augment the effort.

Looking for colorful model projects? The author's superb color profiles sample the sweep of IRIAA warpaint.

Iran remains a major factor in Middle East conflict and politics. And Desert Warriors expertly illumines a critical element in the Islamic Republic's capabilities.

Grab this superb study.

My sincere thanks to Casemate Publishing for this review sample!