This book is a fascinating critical examination of the characteristics and development of the armed forces in Iran, their role under the Shah and their re-creation in the war against Iraq as the fighting forces of Islam. The author examines the contradictory accounts, including the Shah's own Answer to History, as well as newly available accounts by highly placed ex-officials, and interviews with exiled army officers. He examines in detail the apparent shift of allegiance within the forces from the Shah to Imam and the ways in which this was accomplished. Major Iranian offensives, changing strategies from human wave assault to the Tankers War, and the delicate balance between the regular Army and the Revolutionary Guards, are also extensively examined. The book concludes with an analysis of the potential role of the armed forces in a succession crisis.