Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad

Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad

4.9 13
by David Zucchino

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In one of the boldest gambles in modern military history, just three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of 5 million people and, in three bloddy days of combat ended the Iraqi war. Thunder Run is the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad-one of the most decisive battle


In one of the boldest gambles in modern military history, just three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of 5 million people and, in three bloddy days of combat ended the Iraqi war. Thunder Run is the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad-one of the most decisive battle in American combat history-by the Spartan Brigade, the Second Brigade of the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized).
More than just a rendering of a single battle, Thunder Run is a candid account of how soldiers respond under fire and stress and how human frailties are magnified in a war zone.

Editorial Reviews

Phillip Carter
Zucchino paints a vivid picture of the battle by stitching together the narratives of soldiers, officers, generals and Iraqis whom he interviewed during and after the war. As a result, his book goes far beyond the "first draft of history" that he filed from Baghdad in April 2003.
The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Even a very short, victorious shooting war against a disorganized, dispirited, vastly outnumbered and underequipped enemy is hell. That is the central message that Los Angeles Times correspondent Zucchino brings home startlingly well in this riveting account of the American military's lightning capture of Baghdad in April 2003. Zucchino (The Myth of the Welfare Queen) is an experienced, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, and he shows off his reportorial skills in this reconstruction of the "lightning armored strike" in Iraq that the military refers to as a "thunder run." The narrative focuses on the men who commanded and battled in the tank battles as the Americans fought their way to Iraq's capital city. It is often not a pretty picture, nor one for the faint of heart, because Zucchino unhesitatingly and graphically describes the violent and grisly fates that befell hundreds, if not thousands, of Iraqi Republican Guard troops and fedayeen militiamen, their Syrian allies (at the border) and the unfortunate civilians who were killed or wounded by the deadly high-tech American armored vehicles and their well-trained crews. He also does not shy away from intimately describing the deaths and injuries of American troops. The Americans who fought their way into Baghdad engaged in, according to Zucchino's account, a vicious, if short-lived, war. While the Americans overwhelmed the Iraqis on the road to Baghdad, U.S. troops faced periodic stiff resistance; rocket-propelled grenades caused death and destruction among the crews in the Bradley fighting vehicles. Zucchino tells his story primarily from the American troops' point of view, but does include a section describing the experiences of a Baath Party militia leader and some Republican Guard officers in this high-quality example of in-depth and evocative war reporting. First serial to Men's Journal. Agent, Angela Brophy for Sterling Lord Literistic. (May 18) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A journalist's-eye view of the brigade that led the assault on Baghdad. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Meet the Author

David Zucchino, a national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, was embedded with the Second Brigade during the Iraqi war and has covered wars in more than a dozen nations. A four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, he was awarded the 1989 Pulitzer for feature writing for his dispatches from apartheid South Africa. He shared, with his Los Angeles Times colleagues, Overseas Press Club awards in 2001 for reporting on Al Qaeda terrorist cells in Europe and in 2002 for coverage of Afghanistan. He is also the author of Myth of the Welfare Queen and editor of The Philadelphia Enquirer "Black Hawk Down" and "Killing Pablo" newspaper serials that became the best-selling books.

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Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want to find out what it was really like to be part of the tank run into Bagdad, if you want to better understand our current situation a year later, pick up a copy of Thunder Run. This book pulls no punches. You will see the fight through the eyes of those who fought the battle. You will know how it feels to be a tank gunner. You will know how an Iraqui general felt when he believed 'Bagdad Bob's' broadcasts- until he went to have a look at the Bagdad Airport, and found it FULL of US tanks. You will ride along with the supply convoy driving up to the tanks holding the 3 key junctions of the highways into Bagdad. Those unarmored trucks loaded with fuel and ammunition, were knowingly driven into the middle of the firefight. This book left me exhausted, and in absolute awe of the US soldier, and of the desperate determination of the Iraquis.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Being a tankers wife I wqs warned no tto read this. I keep reading and its an excellent book. Really shows what our guys went through..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I spend a few nights reading this book. I really enjoyed the detail that it had. It was like it was there from the pictures the words drew.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jbel More than 1 year ago
This book is in line with such as Blackhawk Down and Band of Brothers, a history of the battle to take Baghdad from the Iraqi Army. The story follows a concise timeline as it presents the Spartan Brigades drive into Baghdad and the reason for changing the original planned operation. The only issues I have with this book are its lack of images, since without, it doesn't allow you to picture the people involved in the Operation. Other than that, this is a fair and accurate account as far as I can tell of the operation.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book my husband is in it. Sgt.Kevin P. Johnson. Myself and several of my friends as well as my daughters friends have also bought and read the book.They to also rate it as outstanding.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While not as engrossing as Mark Bowden's work, THUNDER RUN has one incredible advantage over all other books about the 2003 invasion I've read thus far: It is incredibly objective. While never undercutting the American soldiers or their remarkable achievements, Zucchino does a wonderful job of featuring sympathetic figures on both sides of the conflict, underscoring how truly horrible war is for everyone involved in the fighting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read several of the march to Bagdad books and this one by far is the best. If you like to hear the gory details and know what really was going this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thunder Run is so well written and engaging it is hard to tell that it is not a novel. The challenges overcome by the everyday heros in the US ARMY are powerful, yet very personal. Each soldier is revealed as an individual, introduced with their personal relationships back home, and each story is compelling. I was extremely happy with the point of view portrayed and the detail of the action as it rolls out. Reading into the conclusion, one can imagine that the same stories are being generated even today. We can only hope the history of this conflict can be captured and shared for the future with equal clarity and personality. History should always be captured with such spirit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I spent six months in iraq. I know what it was like. I was a mortar gunner with 1/64th armor during the three days it took to secure Baghdad. I recomend this to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of the best books of modern warfare! It equals if not exceeds the drama of Black Hawk Down. My mouth dropped open a few times reading of the actions some of the soldiers undertook during combat. Incredible, this book grabs you from the very start and makes it very hard to put down. No political opinions are expressed. It is combat up close and personal. I for one thought the Thunder Runs were cake walks. This book tells just how ill-informed the world was of the U.S. Army¿s Battle for Baghdad. I can¿t recommend this book enough. It is OUTSTANDING!!!