The U.S. Invasion of Grenada

Legacy of a Flawed Victory


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About the Book

In the fall of 1983, arguably the coldest year of the decades-long Cold War, the world’s greatest superpower invaded Grenada, a Marxist-led Caribbean nation the size of Atlanta. Why and how this unlikely one-week war was waged was shrouded in secrecy at the time—and has remained so ever since.
This book is an overdue reconsideration of Operation Urgent Fury, based on historical evidence that only recently has been revealed in declassified documents, oral history interviews and memoir accounts. This chronological narrative emphasizes the human dimension of a sudden crisis now regarded as the greatest foreign policy challenge of President Ronald Reagan’s first term. Because the American intervention was hastily drafted, many snafus and accidents marked the chaotic initial days of the operation. Inevitably it fell to individual soldiers, aviators and sailors to perform heroic acts to make up for faulty intelligence, inadequate communication or poor coordination. This work recounts their inspiring, underreported stories in filling out a more complete portrait of Operation Urgent Fury. The final chapter recounts the invasion’s aftereffects, especially the unexpected role it played in Congressional reform of the military for future combat in the Middle East.

About the Author(s)

Philip Kukielski is a career journalist who worked as a writer and, later, a managing editor of the Providence Journal in Rhode Island over the course of four decades. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Philip Kukielski
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 264
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, maps, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7879-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3832-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 7
1. 39 Hours to “Go” 9
2. Everyone Goes Late 40
3. Nine Chalks to Chaos 54
4. SEALs Besieged 69
5. Rangers Seize Salines 78
6. Rescuing the Rescuers 93
7. Rescuing the Students 107
8. The Enemy Is Us 115
9. The Enemy Is the Media 134
10. The Enemy Is Cuba 144
11. The Route to Intervention 160
12. Securing the Victory 187
Chapter Notes 223
Bibliography 243
Index 249

Book Reviews & Awards

“This is a terrific book. I thought I knew a lot about the Grenada operation, but I can’t tell you how much I learned from it. Actually, I can. I learned a lot. …impressive…fascinating…outstanding…details are chilling…This is really a tour de force—it will become the seminal work on Operation Urgent Fury, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone interested not only in the Grenada operation but to those interested in coming to grips with the Reagan Presidency.”—Stephen F. Knott, Naval War College, Newport, RI