Douglas MacGregor: Warrior's Rage: The Great Tank Battle of the 73 Easting
It was the U.S. Army's largest tank battle since World War II, and it was a decisive victory for Cougar Squadron. But in the eyes of the man who led them into battle, victory was called too soon.
The 73 Easting was a north-south grid line on a military map of Iraq, running through an area of open desert. On February 26th, 1991, Macgregor along with Cougar Squadron – the 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment – took more than 50,000 soldiers of Iraq's Republican Guard Corps by surprise there, swiftly destroying the Iraqi armor brigade. But then – to the confusion even of the Iraqi prisoners of war – Cougar Squadron was ordered to halt their pursuit. The rest of the Republican Guard escaped, and returned to Saddam Hussein’s command.
With a view of the battle from the seat of his Abrams tank, Macgregor pays tribute to the soldiers, sergeants, lieutenants, and captains who fought and won at 73 Easting, showing in detail how it was done. He also bemoans the larger opportunity that was lost that day, blaming the Army chain of command and timid, risk-averse generals. It was, Macgregor declares, a failure of leadership with far-reaching consequences: walking off the battlefield in 1991 ensured the Army would have to return a decade later.
Col. Douglas Macgregor, USA (Ret.) is a decorated combat veteran with a PhD in international relations from the University of Virginia. He is also the author of Breaking the Phalanx and Transformation Under Fire and the lead partner of the Potomac League, LLC, in Reston, VA.