The Rucksack War: U.S. Army Operational Logistics in Grenada, 1983. By Edgar F. Raines, Jr. Fort Leslie J. McNair D.C.: U.S. Army Center of Military History, 2010. Maps. Tables. Diagrams. Illustrations. Photographs. Glossary.Bibliography. Index.Pp. xxviii, 649.$86.00 ($62.00 paperback)ISBN: 9780-16-084182-8
URGENT FURY was a relatively brief operation lasting only a few days on a little-known and not-too-important island. However, there was a lot of action in that short time (and inaction of the hurry-up-and-wait variety).This is a meaty work that is not for the casual reader. The subtitle is operational logistics, but the account is not narrowly limited. It is an excellent history of the total campaign that still fulfills the advertised goal.
Logistics is the stepchild among military functions, less dramatic and exciting than strategy and tactics but, nevertheless, essential. Between the four combat air outfits I commanded as a colonel was a Maintenance and Supply Group where I learned the nuts and bolts of combat service support. After the Command and General Staff College and before the Army War College, I completed four courses from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, which gave me a bread appreciation of the field. I mention these to explain my background and interest in this book's subject matter.
This is a readable account of a complex operation that identifies a number of issues and problems that have relevance today and may enter into the planning and execution of future short-notice contingency expeditions. Though there is much about mundane...