WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr, who headed coalition forces that drove Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's army out of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm, has died, former President George H.W. Bush said in a statement on Thursday.
Bush said he and his wife Barbara "mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation," according to a statement released by Bush's spokesman. The former president has been hospitalized in Houston since Thanksgiving.
"General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the 'duty, service, country' creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man - and a dear friend."
Schwarzkopf, a burly Vietnam War veteran, commanded more than 540,000 U.S. troops and 200,000 allied forces in a six-week war that routed Hussein's army from Kuwait in 1991, capping a 34-year career that led him to the Army's four-star general rank.
The hard-charging Schwarzkopf, known as Stormin' Norman, died at age 78.
Some experts said the allied plan to trick and outflank Iraqi forces with a sweeping armored movement, which ended the ground war in only 100 hours, was one of the great accomplishments in military history.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Stacey Joyce)
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