NEW YORK (AP) _ Bantam Books says it will publish the memoirs of Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, the commander of allied forces in the Persian Gulf War.

Schwarzkopf will begin writing after he retires from the Army in August and the book, as yet untitled, will be published in hardcover in the fall of 1992, according to an announcement made by Bantam on Sunday.

Schwarzkopf's agent said five publishers had made offers, but neither he nor Bantam would divulge terms of the deal, which includes both domestic and international rights.

''We regard our agreements as totally confidential,'' said Bantam's president and publisher, Linda Grey.

Industry sources have estimated the value of Schwarzkopf's autobiography at upwards of $4 million. But they've also said some publishers dropped out well below that figure, on the theory that the general's popularity might fade.

Schwarzkopf's agent, Marvin Josephson, said eight or nine publishing houses originally were involved in discussions about the book and ''some were concerned about where the interest would be a year or two years from now.''

Five companies were invited to bid on the book and had raised their offers after meeting personally with Schwarzkopf, Josephson said in a telephone interview.

''I think that interest in him as a person is going to grow rather than diminish. He is perceived not just as a military man,'' Josephson said. ''People are interested in the man behind the general.''

He noted that another of his clients, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, ''has been out of office since January 1977, and the interest is still there. I believe the same will apply to Gen. Schwarzkopf.''

Bantam's announcement quoted the 56-year-old general as saying, ''I very much look forward to the opportunity to tell the in-depth story of Operation Desert Shield-Storm as I lived it, and to reflect on the emotions, the people and the events which led to our victory.''

In the statement, Ms. Grey compared the Schwarzkopf biography to those of automobile executive Lee Iacocca and aerospace pioneer Gen. Chuck Yeager, which the company also published.

She said it would cover not only the gulf war but Schwarzkopf's life and ''the values and ideals which have motivated him,'' and his views on ''America's position as a superpower in the coming years.''

No collaborator has yet been chosen.