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 warfare. 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 within which eighteen younger Marines misplaced their lives and greater than thirty-five others have been wounded. It was once the only heaviest loss suffered by way of the U.S. army throughout the preliminary strive against part of the war.On that fateful day, Marines came upon the burned-out continues to be of a U.S. military convoy that were ambushed by way of Saddam Hussein’s forces outdoor Nasiriyah. In an try and rescue the lacking infantrymen and grab the bridges earlier than the Iraqis may well ruin them, the Marines made up our minds to enhance their assault at the urban through twenty-four hours. What occurred subsequent is a gripping and grotesque story of army mistakes, tragedy, and heroism.Huge M1 tanks prime the assault have been rendered useless after they grew to become mired in an open sewer. Then an organization of Marines took a improper flip and ended up on a dangerous stretch of street the place their armored own vendors have been hit by means of devastating rocket-propelled grenade hearth. USAF planes referred to as in for fireplace help play their very own half within the unfolding cataclysm after they by chance strafed the autos. The try to rescue the useless and demise stranded in “ambush alley” simply drew extra Marines into the slaughter.This used to be no longer a conflict of contemporary know-how, yet a brutal close-quarter city knife struggle that proven the Marines’ get to the bottom of and coaching to the restrict. on the center of the drama have been the fifty or so younger Marines, such a lot of whom had by no means been to conflict, 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 possibly store them.With a novelist’s present 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 job became a conflict for survival."Ambush Alley" is a gut-wrenching account of unadulterated terror that is demanding to learn but very unlikely to place down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who used to be embedded with US troops throughout the preliminary phases of the American-led invasion of Iraq, paints a compelling photo of 1 of the most costly battles of the Iraq conflict that would 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
Military on the move. It was quiet. We are still several klicks south of the city. We are well south of anywhere we might make contact. ” He tried to drum it into his marines. Nevertheless, he wasn’t convinced that they would see any action that day. They had spent weeks discussing a plan to seize the bridges at Nasiriyah, but a few days ago that plan had lost priority. The order he had been given was to get to the interchange of Routes 7 and 8, well south of Nasiriyah, and occupy blocking positions to isolate the city.
Those nasty reservists don’t know what the hell they are talking about. Part of him understood why they were so freaked. Peeples and Dyer had one-tenth of all the tanks available to the Marine Corps in Iraq. If 80 percent are deadlined, that’s cause for pause. It took several weeks before he convinced the battalion staff that he did know what he was talking about. Only then did they pull together to help him get the tanks up and running. Navy engineers had managed to machine some of the parts on ship, like firing pins and bustle rack extensions, to carry even more gear.
Military in its push toward Baghdad. 5 kilometers to the north, over a narrower waterway, the Saddam Canal. That bridge led directly to a highway that took a northeastern route all the way to Baghdad. Grabowski and 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines had been given the mission of capturing the two bridges. That would open up a route for the Marines to enter Baghdad, some three hundred kilometers to the north. The mission was straightforward. But there was one major difficulty: how to get from the southern bridge to the northern bridge.