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 struggle. 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 used to be the only heaviest loss suffered by way of the U.S. army through the preliminary wrestle 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 outdoors Nasiriyah. In an try and rescue the lacking squaddies and grab the bridges sooner than the Iraqis may perhaps break them, the Marines determined to strengthen their assault at the urban via 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 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 through devastating rocket-propelled grenade hearth. USAF planes referred to as in for fireplace aid play their very own half within the unfolding cataclysm after they by accident strafed the automobiles. The try and rescue the useless and demise stranded in “ambush alley” basically drew extra Marines into the slaughter.This was once no longer a conflict of contemporary expertise, yet a brutal close-quarter city knife struggle that established 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, so much of whom had by no means been to battle, who have been embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions from which neither their commanders nor the technological may possibly of the U.S. army may well store them.With a novelist’s present for speed and stress, Tim Pritchard brilliantly captures the chaos, panic, and braveness of the struggle for Nasiriyah, bringing again in complete strength the day perfunctory activity changed into a conflict for survival."Ambush Alley" is a gut-wrenching account of unadulterated terror that is challenging to learn but very unlikely to place down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who used to be embedded with US troops in the course of the preliminary phases of the American-led invasion of Iraq, paints a compelling photograph of 1 of the most costly battles of the Iraq struggle that would at turns anger, horrify, and sadden, despite one's political views." --The Boston Globe
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Extra info for Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War
Casey Robinson saw through the ruse. He’d heard stories about people being sucked into a contract and then given shitty Navy jobs. Instead, he went next door to the Marine Corps. There the recruiter was real straight with him and sold him on Force Recon, the Marines’ elite, fast-reaction reconnaissance force. ” Right then and there, soon after his nineteenth birthday, Casey Robinson had signed up to be a grunt. But somehow, as usual, things just didn’t work out. He’d done really well during his three months at Boot Camp and was the only one to come out as a private first class.
It hadn’t yet worked. It was Dyer who had borne the brunt of the battalion’s hostility toward the reservists. He had responsibility for getting the tanks back up and running in Kuwait. They were lacking so many pieces of vital equipment that he had put in a parts request that exceeded the budget for the entire battalion. He’d watched a succession of generals and experts come down to inspect their tanks. He could tell what the battalion and regimental staff were thinking. Those nasty reservists don’t know what the hell they are talking about.
Panzer 6, this is Panzer 5. The truck is turning round. ” Dyer tried to report the sighting back to Lieutenant Colonel Grabowski at the battalion forward command post a couple of kilometers to his south. “Timberwolf, this is Panzer 5. ” He keyed out of the radio transmission so that enemy forces couldn’t track the call. He keyed back in again. “Do you know of any friendly forces between us and Nasiriyah? ” Battalion did not reply. He repeated the message. Again there was no reply. Suddenly Dyer became aware that there was so much chatter going on over the battalion net that he could not get his message through.