Our View: ‘Stormin’ Norman’
Posted: December 29, 2012
Say this for our battle leaders in World War II, they were larger than life. Everybody knew their names — Eisenhower (or “Ike”), MacArthur, Halsey (or “Bull”), Bradley, Patton (or “Ol’ Blood and Guts”), Nimitz, even “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell.
Thereafter, in combat far-flung, not so much — that is, until one H. Norman Schwarzkopf came along. This burly bear of a man who led U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf War of 1991 was a throwback, a general who captured the public’s fancy and denied forgetfulness. He even boasted one of those classic nicknames — “Stormin’ Norman.”
His, though, was an abbreviated conflict, six weeks of bombing followed by a lightning-quick 96-hour ground assault that chased Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait and back to Baghdad. Who knows what might have transpired — then and, more importantly, in the future — had the general’s troops pursued and treed their quarry. That’s for historians to ponder.
One thing’s for sure, though: That campaign made Norman Schwarzkopf, made him a national hero of the ticker-tape parade variety. Though he would retire to Tampa shortly after the Gulf War ended, his place in the military pantheon had been secured.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf died Thursday at the age of 78. Rest assured, as this old warrior rests in peace, he will never be forgotten.