Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces

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Georgetown University Press, 2009 - History - 400 pages

Immortal is the only single-volume English-language survey of Iran's military history. CIA analyst Steven R. Ward shows that Iran's soldiers, from the famed "Immortals" of ancient Persia to today's Revolutionary Guard, have demonstrated through the centuries that they should not be underestimated. This history also provides background on the nationalist, tribal, and religious heritages of the country to help readers better understand Iran and its security outlook.

Immortal begins with the founding of ancient Persia's empire under Cyrus the Great and continues through the Iran-Iraq War (1980--1988) and up to the present. Drawing on a wide range of sources including declassified documents, the author gives primary focus to the modern era to relate the build-up of the military under the last Shah, its collapse during the Islamic revolution, its fortunes in the Iran-Iraq War, and its rise from the ashes to help Iran become once again a major regional military power. He shows that, despite command and supply problems, Iranian soldiers demonstrate high levels of bravery and perseverance and have enjoyed surprising tactical successes even when victory has been elusive. These qualities and the Iranians' ability to impose high costs on their enemies by exploiting Iran's imposing geography bear careful consideration today by potential opponents.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

In this general survey of Persian military history, Ward takes you all the way from the classical empire of Xerxes and Darius up to the current situation with Islamic Republic of Iran. In the process ... Read full review

Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Ward, a senior intelligence analyst for the CIA, reminds us that although Iran's armed forces have not fared well in the past two centuries, they have demonstrated qualities that bear some ... Read full review


Heritage of Greatness Legacy of Loss
The Safavids and Nader Shah
The Qajar Military
From Revolution to the Great War
The Birth of the Modern Iranian Armed Forces
The World at War in Iran
The Rise ojthe Imperial Armed Forces
Irans Armed Forces in the
The IranIraq War
Irans Armed Forces in the

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About the author (2009)

Steven R. Ward is a senior CIA intelligence analyst who specializes in Iran and the Middle East. He was the CIA Visiting Professor to the US Naval Academy from 2010 to 2012, and he previously served as the deputy national intelligence officer for the Near East on the National Intelligence Council and on the staff of the National Security Council. He is a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and a retired US Army Reserve lieutenant colonel.

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