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H. Norman Schwarzkopf

(b. 1934)


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(1935– )

US general, who became internationally known as overall commander of the victorious US-led alliance against Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991.

Son of the police chief Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, who was in charge of the investigation into the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932, he was given the first name ‘H’ as his father disliked the family name ‘Herbert’. The junior Schwarzkopf won a reputation at school and subsequently in the army for his intelligence (he was credited with an IQ of 170) and his unpredictable temper, which earned him the nicknames ‘The Bear’ and ‘Stormin’ Norman'. In contrast to his ebullient and sometimes controversial behaviour as a soldier, he also became known for his love of music, ballet, and amateur magic and for his concern to protect the lives of the men under his command. During the Vietnam War he won two Purple Hearts and three Silver Stars (for courage in battle). When the crisis in the Gulf erupted in 1990, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, Schwarzkopf proved a major success both as a military strategist and as a popular and forceful leader who could handle relations with his own and foreign troops, as well as with the world's press, with consummate ease. After the triumphant liberation of Kuwait in 1991, with minimal loss of life to allied troops, he returned home to a hero's welcome. He also received an honorary knighthood from Elizabeth II.

Subjects: Warfare and Defence — History.


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