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The Iran-Iraq War, Volume 3

The Iran-Iraq War, Volume 3 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review July 2018 Title The Iran-Iraq War, Volume 3
Author E.R. Hooton, Tom Cooper, Farzin Nadimi Publisher Helion
Published 2018 ISBN 9781911512448
Format 80 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $35.00


Helion continues its multi-part study of The Iran-Iraq War with Volume 3: Iraq Triumphs – ninth installment in the publisher's superb "Middle East@War" series, available in North America from Casemate.

Authors competently chronicle all major combat from late-1986 to mid-1987 – including strategy and tactics, personnel and weapons, and weather and terrain.

On the ground, Iraq had fought Iranian counterattacks to a virtual standstill. In the air, years of bitter combat and international sanctions had seriously depleted Iranian air assets. And both nations teetered on the tip of exhaustion.

As with previous volumes, maps and tables help readers chart actions and participating units. Dozens of rare color and B&W photos illustrate encounters. And 15 profiles by co-author Cooper and Peter Penev – three aircraft and 12 armored vehicles – comprise a colorful "camouflage and markings" collection.

The level of detail remains, at times, astonishing. Want to know what combatants typically consumed at mealtimes? It's here. Or the extent of Iraq's Iranian war booty? Ditto.

Authors also address common myths and misconceptions. Systematic nocturnal Pasdaran encirclement and infiltration of Iraqi fortifications, for instance, sometimes preceded so-called Iranian "human wave" assaults. These "attacks from within" would then drench defenders with massive amounts of automatic weapons fire in advance of mass Basij thrusts.

Coverage concludes with operations in the conflict's southern theater – actions that ultimately confirmed "no chance of an Iranian victory". The war ended in July 1988 – "virtually where it had begun".

Errata and addenda to the first two volumes kick things off. An abbreviations-cum-glossary helps navigate the narrative. Annotations accompany each chapter. And a robust selected bibliography of primary, secondary, and government sources ties things up.

Helion has immeasurably enriched popular annals of warfare with its terrific "@ War" titles. And this one is no exception. I eagerly await Volume 4's survey of The Iran-Iraq War's "Forgotten Fronts".

Roundly recommended!

My sincere thanks to Casemate Publishing for this review sample!