By Tim Pritchard
March 23, 2003: U.S. Marines from the duty strength Tarawa are stuck up in a single of the main unforeseen battles of the Iraq battle. What started out as a regimen maneuver to safe key bridges within the city of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq degenerated right into a nightmarish twenty-four-hour city conflict during which eighteen younger Marines misplaced their lives and greater than thirty-five others have been wounded. It was once the only heaviest loss suffered via the U.S. army in the course of the preliminary wrestle part of the war.On that fateful day, Marines stumbled on the burned-out is still of a U.S. military convoy that have been ambushed via Saddam Hussein’s forces outdoors Nasiriyah. In an try and rescue the lacking infantrymen and grab the bridges earlier than the Iraqis might damage them, the Marines determined to boost their assault at the urban through twenty-four hours. What occurred subsequent is a gripping and grotesque story of army error, tragedy, and heroism.Huge M1 tanks major the assault have been rendered useless after they turned mired in an open sewer. Then a firm of Marines took a flawed flip and ended up on a dangerous stretch of street the place their armored own vendors have been hit through devastating rocket-propelled grenade hearth. USAF planes referred to as in for fireplace help play their very own half within the unfolding cataclysm once they by chance strafed the cars. The try to rescue the useless and death stranded in “ambush alley” in simple terms drew extra Marines into the slaughter.This used to be no longer a conflict of recent expertise, yet a brutal close-quarter city knife struggle that validated the Marines’ unravel and coaching to the restrict. on the middle of the drama have been the fifty or so younger Marines, such a lot of whom had by no means been to struggle, who have been embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions from which neither their commanders nor the technological could of the U.S. army may shop them.With a novelist’s reward for velocity and pressure, Tim Pritchard brilliantly captures the chaos, panic, and braveness of the struggle for Nasiriyah, bringing again in complete strength the day perfunctory activity became a conflict for survival."Ambush Alley" is a gut-wrenching account of unadulterated terror that is difficult to learn but most unlikely to place down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who used to be embedded with US troops throughout the preliminary levels of the American-led invasion of Iraq, paints a compelling photograph of 1 of the most costly battles of the Iraq warfare that might at turns anger, horrify, and sadden, despite one's political views." --The Boston Globe
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Additional info for Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War
At the head of the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines column a company of M1A1 Abrams tanks from the 8th Tank Battalion out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, was pushing forward toward Nasiriyah. The tank crews were reservists, part-time marines who left their civilian lives for one weekend a month and two weeks every summer to train as marines. They had been activated on Friday, January 10, 2003, assigned to 1/2 Marines, and within seventy-two hours they had packed, left Kentucky, arrived at Camp Lejeune, embarked on ship, and were on their way to Iraq.
The Abrams’ main gun would have demolished the buildings, but there were Iraqi civilians milling around. We can’t just shoot anyone up. 50-cal machine guns and the Mark 19 grenade launcher. This was not how he imagined they would be fighting. He was expecting to be confronted by men in army uniforms. All he could see were black-robed Iraqis running from one building into another. A fresh burst of machine-gun rounds smacked into the sides of the CAAT vehicles from the direction of the building that the black-robed men had run into.
Half the boy’s arm was missing. Immediately, the amount of incoming fire diminished substantially. Captain Dyer scanned the horizon for more targets. Up ahead he saw a truck heading toward them. His gunner called out the range requesting permission to shoot. There’s something odd about that truck. S. Army truck. In one of their intel briefings, Dyer had been warned that irregular forces were likely to gather American equipment and uniforms either to commit atrocities against the local population and blame it on the Americans or to use it as a ruse to get close to them.
Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War by Tim Pritchard