Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad
Atlantic Monthly Press
, 2004 - History
- 352 pages
T"hunder Run is the story of the bold assault on Baghdad by the Spartan Brigade of the Third Infantry Division. It was one of the most decisive battles in American combat history, and the biggest armored battle involving American troops since the Vietnam War. With fewer than a thousand men, and facing Iraqi forces dug into bunkers and buildings, the brigade punched a hole through the heart of Baghdad with a high-speed charge to Saddam Hussein's Presidential Palace and Republican Guard headquarters. Many Iraqi soldiers fled or surrendered during the onslaught, but significant numbers stood and fought. Iraqi forces destroyed the brigade's command center, cutting off communications and burning a fleet of signal vehicles. The Iraqis also ambushed the brigade's resupply column, inflicting dozens of casualties and setting fuel and ammunition tankers ablaze in an attack that nearly cut off the main assault column. And even as it appeared that the brigade was seizing control of the capital on the battle's second day, a fierce counterattack across the Tigris River trapped an American company under withering fire and forced a retreat. This is more than just a book about a single battle. It's a candid account of how soldiers respond under fire and stress, and how human frailties are magnified in a war zone. Many Americans believe that Baghdad was taken with a minimum of effort. But for the Spartan Brigade it was a brutal and terrifying three days of urban warfare. The product of dozens of interviews of commanders and men from the Spartan Brigade, and with a foreword from best-selling author Mark Bowden "(Black Hawk Down, Killing Pablo), Thunder Run is a riveting firsthand account of how a singlearmored brigade of fewer than a thousand men was able to capture an Arab capital defended by one of the world's largest armies.