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Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War
     

Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

4.4 17
by Tim Pritchard
 

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March 23, 2003: U.S. Marines from the Task Force Tarawa are caught up in one of the most unexpected battles of the Iraq War. What started off as a routine maneuver to secure two key bridges in the town of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq degenerated into a nightmarish twenty-four-hour urban clash in which eighteen young Marines lost their lives and more than thirty-five

Overview

March 23, 2003: U.S. Marines from the Task Force Tarawa are caught up in one of the most unexpected battles of the Iraq War. What started off as a routine maneuver to secure two key bridges in the town of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq degenerated into a nightmarish twenty-four-hour urban clash in which eighteen young Marines lost their lives and more than thirty-five others were wounded. It was the single heaviest loss suffered by the U.S. military during the initial combat phase of the war.

On that fateful day, Marines came across the burned-out remains of a U.S. Army convoy that had been ambushed by Saddam Hussein’s forces outside Nasiriyah. In an attempt to rescue the missing soldiers and seize the bridges before the Iraqis could destroy them, the Marines decided to advance their attack on the city by twenty-four hours. What happened next is a gripping and gruesome tale of military blunders, tragedy, and heroism.

Huge M1 tanks leading the attack were rendered ineffective when they became mired in an open sewer. Then a company of Marines took a wrong turn and ended up on a deadly stretch of road where their armored personal carriers were hit by devastating rocket-propelled grenade fire. USAF planes called in for fire support play their own part in the unfolding cataclysm when they accidentally strafed the vehicles. The attempt to rescue the dead and dying stranded in “ambush alley” only drew more Marines into the slaughter.

This was not a battle of modern technology, but a brutal close-quarter urban knife fight that tested the Marines’ resolve and training to the limit. At the heart of the drama were the fifty or so young Marines, most of whom had never been to war, who were embroiled in a battle of epic proportions from which neither their commanders nor the technological might of the U.S. military could save them.

With a novelist’s gift for pace and tension, Tim Pritchard brilliantly captures the chaos, panic, and courage of the fight for Nasiriyah, bringing back in full force the day that a perfunctory task turned into a battle for survival.

"Ambush Alley" is a gut-wrenching account of unadulterated terror that's hard to read yet impossible to put down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who was embedded with US troops during the initial stages of the American-led invasion of Iraq, paints a compelling picture of one of the costliest battles of the Iraq war that will at turns anger, horrify, and sadden, regardless of one's political views."
--The Boston Globe

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Pritchard’s excellently reported narrative details the bloodiest American military operation of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the fight for Nasiriyah. Impossible to put down, it is a gripping account of SNAFUs, chaos, and heroism in a savage fight between U.S. Marines and Iraqi forces in the heart of a densely populated city, with several hundred thousand civilians caught in the crossfire. Ambush Alley offers a disturbing view into the down-and-dirty level of warfare which at the time was largely hidden from the American public.”
–Evan Wright, bestselling author of Generation Kill

“Tim Pritchard writes about men in war like very few dare to try. By the tenth or so page into his book you are no longer simply observing the action from your couch potato ass, you are with the young Marines, riding along with them in the back of an AMTRAK troop transport, sensing the ‘feel’ of combat, taking indiscriminate RPG rounds, and fired on by misdirected, fearsome A-10 ground attack jets. Ambush Alley truly takes you into the crucible of battle. It gives a new meaning to ‘kicking ass’ and true sensitivity to the term ‘fear factor.’ ”
–Richard Marcinko, bestselling author of Rogue Warrior

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780891418818
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/26/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
328
Sales rank:
738,873
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Tim Pritchard is a London-based journalist and filmmaker who has made several award-winning documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, PBS, and the Discovery Channel. This is his first book.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Ambush Alley 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Byeeee
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book tookme sometime to read.as I was.a soldier over there on the second rotation.Memories of how fast it happenes when a fight starts and describes inbitter detail a hellous battle fought on the PUSH toBaghdad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for anyone interested in the Iraq conflict. Its hard to comprehend the difficulty our troops must deal with.
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Hardin_1B_Metz More than 1 year ago
This book is great. The intensity levels of the book are just out of the roof. The description about the war breaks down all the little details. How the tanks were shipped to Iraq, how they built the tanks from scratch, what they had to go through to be in the Marines, everything. The book itself is very gorish, and has some profanity. The main points are when the soldiers that are fighting for our freedom are being attacked by many different directions by what they call "HaJii's." They are rolling down the streets in a M111 Abraham's Tank when the HaJii's fire mortyrs at them. They easily take down the band of small-armed Iraqi troops. The book starts out about telling the reader about what he went through to be able to go to Iraq to fight in the war against terrorism. The soldiers are constantly on the move, without ever having any space to move around the tank. They're packed in tight, without having any leg room, or anywhere to sleep. The constant stench was un-bearable. They would constantly complain about the smell, and how they would always have to stop every few hours or so for a pit stop, to refuel the tanks, "stop 'nd go," etc. The war on terrorism is still going on, but the fighting has almost completely come to a stop. The book ends with Private First Class Casey Robinson digging "fighting holes," and would have to go back to Camp Lejeune to see the dead soldiers' families. He dreaded going back to the camp, to see all the crying mothers, the sorrowed, the mournful families that had risked their kin to fight for our freedom. The book is very good, and I would recommend it to any reader that can take some gore, and some profanity.