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The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines Paperback – October 12, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (October 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553382691
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553382693
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,178 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Smith and West deliver a balanced and unblinking account that will certainly become one of the standard texts on the second Gulf War….As a result, this book is a sort of microscope-telescope hybrid, moving seamlessly through many levels: Here is the division commander's view of the fight, the regiment commander's view, the battalion commander's view, the company commander's view—and the corporal's view, slugging it out on the ground at the head of a fire team….The March Up should be required reading for everyone serving in the armed forces—and for anyone exercising policy influence over the institution they serve.”—Washington Post Book World

"It is one thing to know about Marines. It is another to know the sting of battle. To tell the true story of combat up close and personal, the authors must be there on the scene with the Marines in action ... That is exactly what the reader gets in The March Up.... An excellent look at Marine combat at its best in the 21st century."—Marine Corps Gazette

“This is the face of war as only those who have fought it can describe it.”—Senator John McCain

“This book will stand as the definitive account about the nature of ground combat as we enter the 21st century. A gripping and honest account of war as told by two distinguished veterans.”—James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of Central Intelligence

“An important and unflinching chronicle of contemporary warfare. Regardless of one’s position on the war in Iraq—on any war—The March Up speaks with authority and legitimacy and cuts to the very bone to reveal the experience of the modern fighting infantryman.” —General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, Central Command


From the Hardcover edition.

From the Inside Flap

WITH UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS AND PREVIOUSLY UNREPORTED DETAIL, HERE IS A FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE 22-DAY MARCH TO BAGHDAD THAT TAKES YOU BEHIND THE SCENES AND TO THE FRONT LINE….

No one reporting on the war in Iraq had the unique battlefield clearance afforded the authors of this dramatic eyewitness account. Unlike embedded journalists confined to a single unit, West and Smith acquired a captured yellow SUV and joined with whatever unit was leading the assault every day of the fight. The result is a report of what really happened from the heart of the action unlike anything you'll read anywhere else.

"While we will move swiftly and aggressively against those who resist, we will treat all others with decency, demonstrating chivalry and soldierly compassion for people who have endured a lifetime under Saddam's oppression."—Major General J.N. Mattis, 1st Marine Division, Commanding

Here is the story that can be told only by those who actually witnessed the action of the famed 1st Marine Division's march on Baghdad, from the shaky beginning of U.S. operations in southern Iraq to the capture of U.S. prisoners, the misreported "fierce Iraqi resistance," and the aggressive assaults that led to a quick and decisive victory.

With over a half century of military and combat experience between them, bestselling author F. J. "Bing" West and Major General Ray L. Smith, USMC (Ret.), combine expert military analysis with dramatic battlefield reporting. They bring the reader on a march that ended in victory—but was shadowed by second-guessing, unexpected reversals, and the threat of catastrophe.

With access to three-star generals in the command centers and to privates in the field, the authors reveal how the strategic plan played out in battle, showing what went well and what failed, and detailing power struggles for military and political control never reported. The result is destined to become the definitive account of ground warfare in Iraq.

From the Hardcover edition.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dan J on October 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
The is was a very good and informative book about the 1st Marine Division during the Iraq War. The authors, Bing West and Major General Ray L. Smith, traveled with the division during their campaign that began at the Kuwaiti border and ended with them in the heart of Baghdad itself.

The book starts out with the battle to take the Az Zubayr pumping station (dubbed the "Crown Jewel") near the Kuwait border to prevent a repeat of what Saddam did in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. After that it details the advance of the three RCTs and the critical battles they faced at places like An Nasiriyah. Finally, after crossing the Tigris and linking up just North of Al Kut, RCTs 1,5, and 7 struck towards Baghdad. And as you all know Baghdad fell on April 9th with Saddam's statue being torn down and the rest is history.

Now for the criticisms of the book. While this was very informative and had some good details of the action, there were parts of the book that were quite boring. I think this comes from the fact that the authors include themselves too much in the book and mostly only detail the fighting they actually saw. But overall it was worth the read and I would recommend it to anybody who wants to know more about the Iraq War.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By LiLKidneys on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a no nonsense account of the first weeks of OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM in March 2003. The authors are former Marines, and their affection for and sense of brotherhood with the young Marines they are writing about is evident on every page. But there's no hero worship. Plenty of mistakes are recorded. What sets this book apart from the celebratory or critical media accounts of the war is its down to earth style. No ten dollar words or literary fanciness, just straightforward and often humorous relating of this compelling story. A fascinating glimpse into what military service in a modern war is about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David W. Nicholas on October 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is another account of the Iraq war from the ground, written from the perspective of the front-line troops. F.J. "Bing" West and Ray Smith are both former Marines who served in Viet Nam. West went into the civilian side of government and was an Assistant Secretary of Defense; Smith wound up commanding the 2nd Marine Division after commanding troops in combat in Grenada and Beirut. West has, in his spare time, made something of a career as a writer: the book's told in the first person, and it's his voice speaking. As a result of their careers, have pretty much unparalleled access to the inner workings of the Marines as they moved North from Kuwait to Baghdad, and while they don't reveal anything they shouldn't, they do show you how the war was fought and how the campaign, anyway, was won.

I enjoyed this book a great deal. The authors apparently have some personal opinions about the war, what was to be done about suicide bombings and that sort of thing; they manage to keep such opinions out of the book. The result is an account of the campaign that ranks with Rick Atkinson's book "In the Company of Soldiers" which follows the army's 101st Airborne,, and does essentially the same thing. This is a very good book, and I expect it'll be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the war.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Orville on March 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
We in Australia don't hear very much about the US Marines in action in Iraq or Afghanistan. But this book (and Bing West's other book No True Glory) changes all of that. We are taken onto the front line and given a first hand account of the action. A fast-moving, authoritative and sometimes humorous story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ray B on January 1, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account of the invasion of Iraq from the line of departure to the taking of Baghdad from the Marine perspective. While I disagree with the authors about the reasons for attacking Iraq (I don't think we should have) Bing West and Ray Smith have the ability to provide the Regimental Combat Team and Divisional perspective of the war and, more important to me, the perspective of the enlisted Marines and field grade officers who actually did the fighting, killing and dying. I was particularly impressed with their acknowledgement of those Marines who gave their lives. I remember the TV pundits (retired colonels and generals) who questioned a number of aspects of the effort. It was very informative to read the comments of someone who was there, on the ground. Thanks.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Martin on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
It's good to read something by those involved, instead of those with a political agenda.
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