Battleship Marine-A Combat History of the USS Wisconsin in Desert Storm
Kent S Ralston
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Battleship Marine recounts the decisive role the USS Wisconsin, a World War Two era battleship, played during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. There is very little historical information available on the Naval actions in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. This first hand account by the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment on the Wisconsin helps to fill a part of the historical record. It provides an eye witness account of the ships deployment from Norfolk, Virginia. Her entrance into the Persian Gulf as the first Navy capital ship on station to defend against a possible Iraqi advance into Saudi Arabia. The long arduous days training and preparing for war and finally the coalition assault on the Iraqi forces. The Wisconsin played a pivotal naval role by directing Tomahawk strikes against key targets and later by conducting shore bombardment with her 16 inch guns against Iraqi targets in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The presence of the Wisconsin along with Marine Expeditionary Brigades in the Gulf lead Hussein to heavily fortify the Kuwaiti Coast and orient many of his forces toward the Gulf. This diversion allowed the Coalition Forces on land to conduct a deep flanking movement against the Iraqi right flank that forced the Iraqis into a panicked retreat which led to a decisive victory of the US and her allies.