BULL'S EYE Hardcover – Mar 3 1992
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From Library Journal
Adams, the defense correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, has written a fascinating and readable book. He takes an in-depth look at the life of Gerald Bull, the brilliant Canadian-born artillery scientist and weapons designer who was instrumental in the development of South Africa's G5 howitzer; he also was the inventor of the "supergun" that he tried to smuggle into Iraq. Adams traces the development of Bull's professional career, his early involvement with the CIA, and his later freelancing that led him to offer his services to Saddam Hussein. The author also delves into possible motives and an array of suspects behind the March 1990 assassination of Bull in his apartment in Belgium. This book reads like a thrilling spy novel and is highly recommended for public libraries.
- Nader Entessar, Spring Hill Coll., Mobile, Ala.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A stranger-than-fiction briefing on the lawless career of an eminent, if erratic, artillery scientist whose violent death at 62 in 1990 rocked the armament trade's shadowy world. Drawing on information from family, friends, business associates, and his own contacts, plus documentary sources, London journalist Adams (Engines of War, 1990, etc.) compiles a detailed dossier on Gerald Bull. A naturalized American citizen born in Canada, the precocious Bull earned a Ph.D. in aerodynamics at Toronto University. As the youngest tenured member of McGill's engineering faculty, he headed HARP (High Altitude Research Project), a binational inquiry into the possibility of using long- barreled guns rather than rockets to launch satellites. Embittered when government funding ended the program, Bull formed Space Research Corp. and began peddling his ballistics expertise in offshore markets. South Africa (then an international pariah because of apartheid) quickly became an SRC client. This illicit commercial relationship (facilitated by Israel and the CIA) put the inventive genius in violation of US embargo law, and he served time in a Club Fed. Once out of prison, Bull moved a new SRC operation to Brussels, where he toiled in relative obscurity for mainland China. In time, his ordnance talents attracted the attention of Saddam Hussein. Bull furnished Baghdad with a wealth of innovative projectiles and howitzers; at the time of his murder, he was working on a supergun that, in theory, could bombard objectives thousands of miles down range and/or boost spacecraft with reconnaissance capabilities into earth orbits. Adams makes a fine job of accounting for the character quirks and socioeconomic forces that turned an enthusiastic, essentially apolitical boffin into a cynical supplier of advanced weapons systems--and into the target of assassins. Having reviewed such circumstantial evidence as is available, moreover, he concludes that the hit men who killed Bull at the door of his Brussels apartment most likely were Israelis. An engrossing tale of geopolitical intrigue and treachery. (Photos--16 pp.--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Instead of portraying Bull as a 2-dimensional figure the author really made him, if not a sympathetic character then certainly an understandable one. A Canadian patriot, Bull found himself and his work increasingly marginalized. Even after the success of the HARP Project, a joint U.S.-Canadian project which sent a gun-launched projectile higher than any had ever gone before, Bull found himself out of place, a genius when it came to guns but living in a world where guided missiles seemed poised to take over the battlefield.
His imprisonment for breaking South African sanctions after designing guns and shells for them made him more interested in money than in political niceties. With the Iran-Iraq War going on no one seemed to have as much money to throw around as Saddam did and so his company went to work for Saddam, helping extend the range of his Scud missiles and coming up with a design for the biggest gun in the world.
This is a great book. It reads like a novel but it all really happened.
produced by the U.S. Army. The State Dept approved the sale. The CIA helped facilitate the deal and then all govt agencies ducked out when the investigation began. A Senate Committee verified the above statements.
When he began building a satellite launch system for the Iraqis, the Israeli Mossad killed Dr Bull.
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