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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Thunder" is right, June 9, 2004
This review is from: Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad (Hardcover)
The engagements described in this book will be studied from now on in military colleges around the world. Over the years, many experts in military strategy have condenmed US military strategy as being too direct and lacking in creativity. As this book shows, somebody was listening to this criticism: the taking of Baghdad was brilliant.
Prior to these battle, US doctrine was that tanks could not be effective in an urban environment: there was no room to maneuver and tanks were too imprecise a weapon to use amongst hordes of civilians. Someone (and the book doesn't say whose idea the Thunder Runs were) decided to change that doctrine. Rather than the direct approach, laying seige to the city, the planners decided to bypass the defenders and simply thrust into the heart of the city. Once everyone could see US troops in the middle of the city, the psychological blow had been struck and the US was considered victorious without actually engaging in any set battles. Thousands of Iraqi civilians and soldiers were spared by this unprecidented move.
In the history of warfare, I doubt there are any other examples of so few (only 1,000 troops were involved in the Thunder Runs) taking a so large a city defended by so many, so quickly, with so little loss of life. Some Americans were killed and Iraqi soldiers were killed by the hundreds, but this result pales in comparison to what might have happend had the city been taken block by block, the "direct" way.
Zucchino deserves great praise for bringing the story to light, but even more praise for telling the tale so selflessly. His personality and opinions simply never show up in the narrative. There are no politics in the book at all, other than a few comments from the soldiers themselves.
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Location: Austin, Tx USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 164,040