Tanker War: America's First Conflict with Iran, 1987-88

Overview

In May 1987 the US frigate Stark, calmly sailing the waters of the Persian Gulf, was suddenly blown apart by an Exocet missile fired from a jet fighter of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. A fifth of the ship’s crew were killed and many others horribly burned or wounded. This event jumpstarted one of the most mysterious conflicts in American history: “The Tanker War,” waged against Iran for control of the Persian Gulf.

This quasi-war took place at the climax of the mammoth Iran-Iraq War, ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $54.15   
  • New (3) from $154.51   
  • Used (3) from $54.15   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 2 of 3
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$154.51
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(347)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$155.00
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(218)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 2 of 3
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

In May 1987 the US frigate Stark, calmly sailing the waters of the Persian Gulf, was suddenly blown apart by an Exocet missile fired from a jet fighter of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. A fifth of the ship’s crew were killed and many others horribly burned or wounded. This event jumpstarted one of the most mysterious conflicts in American history: “The Tanker War,” waged against Iran for control of the Persian Gulf.

This quasi-war took place at the climax of the mammoth Iran-Iraq War, during the last years of the Reagan administration. Losing on the battlefield, Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran had decided to close the Persian Gulf against shipping from Iraq’s oil-rich backers, the emirate of Kuwait. The Kuwaitis appealed for help and America sent a fleet to the Gulf, raising the Stars and Stripes over Kuwait’s commercial tankers.

The result was a free-for-all, as the Iranians laid mines throughout the narrow passage and launched attack boats against both tankers and US warships. The sixth largest ship in the world, the tanker Bridgeton, hit an Iranian mine and flooded. The US Navy fought its largest surface battle since World War II against the Ayatollah’s assault boats.

Meanwhile, US Navy Seals had arrived in the Gulf, setting up shop aboard a mobile platform from which they would sally out in fast craft to combat the Iranians. As Saddam Hussein, who had instigated the conflict, looked on, Iranian gunners fired shore-based Silkworm missiles against US ships, actions which, if made known at the time, would have required the US Congress to declare war against Iran.

In July 1988, nervous sailors aboard the cruiser USS Vincennes shot an Iranian airliner out of the sky, killing 300 civilians. This event came one month before the end of the war, and may have been the final straw to influence the Ayatollah to finally drink from his “poisoned chalice.”
In Tanker War, Lee Allen Zatarain, employing recently released Pentagon documents, firsthand interviews, and a determination to get to the truth, has revealed a conflict that few recognized at the time, but which may have presaged further battles to come.

REVIEWS

...not only an exciting work but an essential one for those wishing to understand America’s vast naval and air capability as well as its enduring vulnerability.”
—Stephen Tanner, author of Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban and The Wars of the Bushes

...an amazingly detailed look inside the U.S. Navy during the period it encountered a myriad of threats from Iranian ships, aircraft and missiles in the Persian Gulf. Given the fact that a reprise of the conflict is just beyond the horizon, this book should be essential reading for all U.S. policymakers as well as—and even more so—the current leaders of Iran."
—Samuel A. Southworth, author of U.S. Armed Forces Arsenal and U.S. Special Warfare

"…this thoroughly researched and well presented history of a relatively little known, but significant, contributor to victory is a valuable addition to US Army history"
Journal of America's Military Past, 01/2008

"...does an excellent job of describing the tension aboard US ships and helicopter/ air crews... a good read and a fast one, especially for those of us unfamiliar with the "war" in the first place."
Magweb.com 05/2008

“…a fine job of recounting a 20 year old fight that was no doubt just another round in a continuing struggle.”
Proceedings, US Naval Institute, 08/2008

“Well paced and factual… clearly understands the details of war at sea. As the United States discusses a possible conflict with Iran in the global press, the important lessons outlined…become particularly valuable.”
The Northern Mariner Spring 2008

"…one of the best reads of the year…the best and most accurate account of the events of that fateful time period…answers a lot of questions and brings up a few as all, It is one that you simply must read."
Modeling Madness, 03/2008

"…well researched… a compelling read for the armchair enthusiast and military veteran alike."
IPMS, 06/2009

"An excitingly written and very clear description of two oft forgotten but vitally important years in the relationship between Iran and the West."
Ships and Shipping, 04/2010

“…a compelling and immensely readable account of one of the least-known chapters of the U.S. Navy’s maritime combat operations… a must read for those who have a desire or a duty to understand how recent history may shape perceptions of these protagonists in the future.”
Naval War College Review, Spring 2010

“…a very well documented book on a subject we saw flash on the nightly news back in the 1980’s…an excellent book on a very little known conflict in US Naval History.
Kitmaker Newtwork, 07/2010

“Anyone thirsting for the maximum detail of the period under the spotlight will not be disappointed…packed with information…a very readable account, which sheds considerable light and insight on what the public were fed at the time.”
Royal Navy and Maritime Book Reviews, 03/2011

“…full of such head shaking revelations and is a good source of information on America’s naval readiness, its Middle East policies and its heroes and scapegoats in the not too distant past.”
The Journal of America’s Military Past

“…presents a case study of the complex relations based on oil, politics, and power. During the Reagan administration, and undeclared war was launched between America and Iran after the latter threatened shipping through the Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz. The ensuing conflict is known as the Tanker War, and Zatarain’s account is both thorough and balanced…The author’s thoroughness creates an almost first person narration of the conflict beginning with Iran’s ambush of the American frigate Stark to the errant shooting down of Iran Air Flight 655. His chronicle adopts and American perspective yet bias remains absent from his work….For readers interested in Persian Gulf affairs, America’s First Clash With Iran offers an exhaustive and impartial history of largely forgotten and overlooked situation…a well rounded discussion of the metaphorical chess match between America and Iran. Though the Tanker War ceased in 1988, these events continue to be relevant today, as America’s relationship with Middle Eastern nations remains tenuous…
Nautical Research Journal

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Ships and Shipping
An excitingly written and very clear description of two oft forgotten but vitally important years in the relationship between Iran and the West.
Naval War College Review
...a compelling and immensely readable account of one of the least-known chapters of the U.S. Navy's maritime combat operations... a must read for those who have a desire or a duty to understand how recent history may shape perceptions of these protagonists in the future.
Kitmaker Newtwork
...a very well documented book on a subject we saw flash on the nightly news back in the 1980's...an excellent book on a very little known conflict in US Naval History.
Internet Modeler
. . . an excellent book on a very little known conflict in US Naval History.
Modeling Madness
. . . one of the best reads of the year . . . the best and most accurate account of the events of that fateful time period . . . answers a lot of questions and brings up a few as all, It is one that you simply must read.
IPMS
. . . well researched . . . a compelling read for the armchair enthusiast and military veteran alike.
The Northern Mariner
Well paced and factual . . . clearly understands the details of war at sea. As the United States discusses a possible conflict with Iran in the global press, the important lessons outlined . . . become particularly valuable.
John R. Magweb.com
...does an excellent job of describing the tension aboard US ships and helicopter/ air crews... a good read and a fast one, especially for those of us unfamiliar with the "war" in the first place.
US Naval Institute Proceedings
. . . a fine job of recounting a 20 year old fight that was no doubt just another round in a continuing struggle.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932033847
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/7/2009
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)