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 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 means of the U.S. army throughout 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 have been ambushed via Saddam Hussein’s forces outdoors Nasiriyah. In an try and rescue the lacking infantrymen and grab the bridges ahead of the Iraqis may perhaps ruin them, the Marines determined to strengthen their assault at the urban by means of twenty-four hours. What occurred subsequent is a gripping and ugly story of army error, tragedy, and heroism.Huge M1 tanks major the assault have been rendered useless once they turned mired in an open sewer. Then an organization of Marines took a mistaken flip and ended up on a perilous stretch of street the place their armored own companies have been hit by way of devastating rocket-propelled grenade fireplace. USAF planes known as in for hearth help play their very own half within the unfolding cataclysm once they unintentionally strafed the autos. The try and rescue the useless and loss of life stranded in “ambush alley” in basic terms 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’ unravel and coaching to the restrict. on the middle of the drama have been the fifty or so younger Marines, so much 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 may well of the U.S. army may retailer them.With a novelist’s present for velocity and rigidity, 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 tough to learn but very unlikely to place down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who was once 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 battle 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
S. S. forces’ initial sweep into Baghdad. It was an airless, sunny afternoon as we traveled along a dirt road to our base in a former Iraqi army compound. It was eerily quiet. Suddenly, an ear-shattering explosion cracked through our vehicle and a rush of hot air and debris swept past my face. The heavily armored door of the Humvee warped inward into my legs and the vehicle lifted off the ground. ” As I dived to the floor, I looked up to see a shattered windshield and clouds of dust, reflected against the sunlight, falling slowly toward the ground.
Bringing up the rear would be Charlie Company. It would move through Alpha’s position on the Euphrates Bridge, follow Bravo Company to the east, and pass through its lines to take the second objective, the northern Saddam Canal Bridge. Then Bravo would pass through Charlie’s lines to take a third objective—a T intersection a couple of kilometers north of the Saddam Canal Bridge. It was a maneuver designed to surprise any Iraqis defending the city by avoiding Ambush Alley, the more direct, but potentially hazardous, four-lane highway connecting the bridges.
Who’ll swap it for the vegetable tortellini? ” “Fuck you, Wentzel. ” Swapping food from their MREs, meals ready to eat, was the one activity that kept the marines entertained during the endless wait for battle. Robinson had it down to an art. He thought of himself as a real chef. He would take the spaghetti from its plastic bag, mix it with the ravioli, get some jalapeño cheese, take the salsa from the Mexican burrito, cut the brown plastic MRE sleeve, and mix it all up under a flame so it was real hot.