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 during which eighteen younger Marines misplaced their lives and greater than thirty-five others have been wounded. It used to be the one heaviest loss suffered through the U.S. army in the course of the preliminary wrestle part of the war.On that fateful day, Marines stumbled on the burned-out continues to be of a U.S. military convoy that have been ambushed by way of Saddam Hussein’s forces open air Nasiriyah. In an try and rescue the lacking infantrymen and grab the bridges prior to the Iraqis may well spoil them, the Marines determined to boost their assault at the urban by means of twenty-four hours. What occurred subsequent is a gripping and grotesque story of army errors, tragedy, and heroism.Huge M1 tanks major the assault have been rendered useless after they grew to become mired in an open sewer. Then a firm of Marines took a mistaken flip and ended up on a perilous stretch of highway the place their armored own companies have been hit by way of devastating rocket-propelled grenade hearth. USAF planes referred to as in for hearth aid play their very own half within the unfolding cataclysm once they by accident strafed the cars. The try to rescue the useless and demise stranded in “ambush alley” in simple terms drew extra Marines into the slaughter.This was once now not a conflict of recent expertise, yet a brutal close-quarter city knife struggle that confirmed 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 struggle, 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 store them.With a novelist’s reward for velocity 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 not easy to learn but most unlikely to place down. London-based journalist and filmmaker Tim Pritchard, who was once embedded with US troops throughout the preliminary phases of the American-led invasion of Iraq, paints a compelling photograph of 1 of the most expensive 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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Additional info for Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War
His hearing wasn’t good enough, though, and he failed his physical. He went back to Camp Lejeune and worked his way through the ranks. For over twenty-five years his life had been with the Marines. He’d humped hundred-pound packs up and down hills, ridden through steaming jungles, floated on hot, sweaty ships in the Pacific and the Caribbean, and fired millions of rounds from M16 rifles and M60 machine guns. Although he’d been sent to Haiti in 1994, during the unpredictable weeks before the chaos that took Jean-Bertrand Aristide back to power, he had never really tasted combat.
Tuggle would take over if he got hit or couldn’t communicate. Grabowski reached for the radio handset of the PRC-119, the Marines’ basic tactical radio. “Panzer 6, this is Timberwolf 6. ” He wanted a situation report from the tank company up ahead. Grabowski monitored two nets. He used the battalion tactical network 1 to communicate with his company commanders. To speak to the regimental commander and staff, he used regimental tac net 1. There was also a battalion tac 2, which was for nonurgent logistics and administrative purposes, but he hardly ever used it.
As the day went on, they were caught up in the chaos and uncertainty of combat, what has been called “the fog of war,” fighting for their lives against an enemy that they hadn’t anticipated and didn’t recognize. This is the story of what happened to that group of ordinary young men on the battlefield that day. It was a day that changed them forever. And a day that revealed some of the reasons for the confusion and chaos that still reigns in Iraq. I THE ROAD TO NASIRIYAH MARCH 23, 2003 0600–1230 Hours 1 Private First Class Casey Robinson readjusted his lanky body, trying to squeeze his wide, swimmer’s shoulders into any gap that he could find.
Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War by Tim Pritchard