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John W. Burdan III

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Lieutenant Colonel John W. Burdan III, USA (ret.) “is a retired Army Officer living with his wife Bridget in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A West Point graduate, Burdan was commissioned as an armor officer in 1977. He served with the 1st Infantry Division in the Gulf from May 1989 to June 1992, receiving the Bronze Star and Bronze Star with V device for his service during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Lieutenant Colonel John W. Burdan is the author of The Road to Safwan: The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

According to the book description of The Road to Safwan: The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, it “is a complete history of the 1st Infantry Division's cavalry unit fighting in Operation Desert Storm. Stephen A. Bourque and John W. Burdan III served in the 1st Infantry--Bourque in Division Headquarters, Burdan as the Operations Officer of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry. Based on extensive interviews and primary sources, Bourque and Burdan provide the most in-depth coverage to date of a battalion-level unit in the 1991 war, showing how the unit deployed, went into combat, and adapted to changing circumstances.

 

The authors describe how the officers and men moved from the routine of cold war training to leading the Big Red One in battle through the Iraqi defenses and against the Iraqi Republican Guard. The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry participated in the 1st Brigade attack on G-Day, the large tank battle for Objective Norfolk, the cutting of Basra Road, and the capture of Safwan Airfield, the site where General H. Norman Schwartzkopf conducted cease-fire negotiations with the Iraqis. The squadron's activities are placed squarely within the context of both division and corps activities, which illustrates the fog of war, the chain of command, and the uncertainty of information affecting command decisions.

 

The Road to Safwan challenges the myth that technology won the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Contrary to popular view, it was a soldier's war not much different from previous conflicts in its general nature. What was different was the quality and intensity of the unit's training, which resulted, repeatedly, in successful engagements and objectives secured. It is the story of the people, not the machines, which ultimately led this squadron to the small town of Safwan.”


The Road to Safwan: The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in the 1991 Persian Gulf War
Stephen Alan Bourque  More Info

One reader of The Road to Safwan: The 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry in the 1991 Persian Gulf War said, “For an ex-military person, the book is well written. Anyone not familiar with military nomenclature would be confused. I was with the 1-4 Cav, Alpha troop 2nd Platoon during Desert Storm. There are a few stories that could have used a bit more investigation. All that said, it was nice to relive many of the occurrences of 1990-91. I would recommend it to any 1-4 Cav'er.”

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