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Ambush Alley: The Most Extraordinary Battle of the Iraq War

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  364 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
March 23, 2003: U.S. Marines from the Task Force Tarawa are caught up in one of the most unexpected battles of the Iraq War. What started off as a routine maneuver to secure two key bridges in the town of Nasiriyah in southern Iraq degenerated into a nightmarish twenty-four-hour urban clash in which eighteen young Marines lost their lives and more than thirty-five others w ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 26th 2006 by Presidio Press (first published August 30th 2005)
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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 14, 2011 Chrissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
I was completely unimpressed with the first half of the book, but the second half of the book is what made it good. The first half seemed to repeatedly bang me over the head with trivial matters that should have been briefly noted instead of being the focal point. The book did give context as to the some of the marines themselves but failed to really describe the context of this particular battle to the overall operation itself. During the second half of the book, starting with the A-10 situatio ...more
'Aussie Rick'
This book provides the reader with a gripping and fast-paced account of the Battle for Nasiriyah that took place in Iraq on March 23, 2003 when U.S. Marines from Task Force Tarawa try to secure two vital bridges in the town.

After a few mishaps that takes the battalion command by surprise the men soon get bogged down in heavy and uncompromising street fighting with Iraqi forces. Using first-hand accounts of the men on the ground this is an excellent combat narrative that highlights the 'fog of wa
Wow, what a monumental and catastrophic screw up. This is a terrific book and I recommend it to all. Very shocking, very real, very well done.
Tim Pritchard gives you the battle for Nasiriyah like you would never expect to get it. From many different angles and from many different viewpoints.
You have to read this book. No matter your taste in books, you owe it to these men to read their story.
I thought this was a powerful book; it is about the fight to take two bridges at Nasiriyah by units from the USMC. I thought it was well-written and the author did a great job relating the emotions the young Marines were going through in their first battle as well as the overall fog-of-war that the news media seems to enjoy talking about. It was a harsh, bitter battle that introduced the young Marines into the hard truths of war, as nothing went according to plan and what the Marines experienced ...more
Aug 01, 2012 Jim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book. It was hard to put down because of all the action, but I had to take breaks because of the intensity. In March 2003 Marine Task Force Tarawa was to secure two bridges in the town Nasiriyah, clearing a route for the assault on Baghdad. There was to be little resistance and almost no fighting. Uh huh. The first bridge was taken easily, but soon after several tanks and AAVs got stuck in mud pits. Now the marines had to set up defensive positions instead of cruising through to ...more
May 16, 2012 Anthony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, 2012reads
If you wish to read a book that presents itself more as a novel than an explanation and layout of a military operation than pick-up Ambush Alley. Ignoring the obvious fictional feel of the book I still found the reading intersting militarily. Involving three mechanized units Alpha, Bravo and Charlie of the Marine contigency who are given the task of seizing two strategic bridges located in Nasirayh, Irag. The Marines are left to believe the Iraq's will meet the soldiers with gratitude and very l ...more
May 06, 2012 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Expecting to roll through Al Nasiriyah on the way to Baghdad, being welcomed by open armed Iraqis, the US Marines' plans went awry before they had reached the first bridge to the South of the city.

The night before the planned manouver, an army convoy had made a wrong turn and stirred up a hornet's nest in the town. An oft used maxim is that "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" and this book demonstrates this perfectly.

Lack of communication, military intelligence and proper planning a
Sep 07, 2014 Digit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to pretend to know what the experince of battle feels like, however if I was to assume then I think this book does a brilliant job of capturing the ebb and flow perfectly.

The authors style may not be to everyone's enjoyment as it does move quickly, however I think its perfect for representing the confusion experienced that day. As close to immersing the reader into the chaotic state as you could expect from a book that recounts the 'fog of war'.

For fans of Black Hawk Down, this is
Sep 15, 2012 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book overall. It is engaging and tense at times.
As an "old Corps" marine I found the aspects of the technology available
to be far beyond what I experienced 'way back when'. But the technology as
revealed in this book is a double edged sword that brings about much destruction
to those wielding this tool as to those who are the intended targets.

This book reminded me of the book, "Blackhawk Down".

I think this book is worth reading if you are interested in Marine Corps history and
as well t
May 27, 2013 Jenette rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war-stories
I've read a number of books on Task Force Tarawa, all of which I enjoyed. Unfortunately this one didn't quite reach my expectations. Something about the way it was written made it difficult for me to truly feel for the men involved. Throughout my reading I felt very detached from events whereas in the previous books I've read I've felt my heart pounding in places, and a desperate need to see whether the men whose lives I was reading about came out unscathed. A little disappointing but still wort ...more
Oct 31, 2010 Darren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a good book with an eye-opening, if not somewhat alarming, look at the most costly battle (for Marines) of the Iraq War. The book isn't written particularly well, and feels disjointed at times, but this partially reflects the completely chaotic nature of the battle. There is no glossing over the harsh realities of war here, and how even the most ferocious, highly trained fighting force in the world can get into a lot of trouble. Could have done without the language though..
A fascinating book on a single day that lost many good Marine's lives. From communication and intelligence SNAFUs to the blue on blue engagement, nothing is held back in this gripping commentary on one of the worst days in recent Marine history.

Why this event hasn't received more publicity and oversight is beyond me but it is something that should be read and talked about and studied in war college. Recommended.
Tragic, haunting, harrowing. A must read, at the least to honor those who went through this experience. We'll never fully grasp what this experience was really like for these brave men but Tim Pritchard does an amazing job putting us on the front lines with these marines through his words. Not for the faint hearted but war never is, is it? It was hard to put this book down.
Rich Taylor
Aug 28, 2007 Rich Taylor rated it it was ok
Shelves: militaryhistory
This book describes a debacle of a battle during the invasion of Iraq. The battle described and the mistakes, as well as the impressive actions of some individuals are certainly fascinating, unfortunately the style of the writing is awful. There is no objective analysis, merely a poor attempt at describing personal exploits of the soldiers - and of course no input from the Iraqi side of things.
Dec 08, 2012 Kecia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome account of one of the first battles in Iraq. This book read more like a novel than non-fiction. It makes me wonder if some of the details were slightly embellished. Great book for military buffs.
Tin Wee
Nov 24, 2011 Tin Wee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was inspired to read this after reading Fiasco. This is an inspiring and gripping tale of how the Marines blundered into a situation, suffered several setbacks (friendly fire ala Hamburger Hill), and bounced back to win the day. Recommended.
Mar 03, 2009 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoy small unit combat stories, you will love this book. You get all the detail -- from the weapons used by the men, their food and life, as well details about their attempts at communication. Tim Pritchard tells the story and illustrates Clauzawitz's fog of war.
Oct 26, 2009 Sean rated it it was amazing
Very riveting and gripping book. This brings the Iraq War to level of a war not just insurgents taking pot shots. It was real full-fledged combat and the men that took part should be respected and those who died should be remembered.
Oct 08, 2007 Cimuchowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
Mud stopped our tanks. Friendly fire was unfortunate. The victory was ours.
Nov 18, 2012 Saul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book had me holding my breath hehehehe
Nick Rivera
Nick Rivera rated it it was amazing
Sep 17, 2016
Laurie Daniel
Laurie Daniel rated it really liked it
May 15, 2017
Edward rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2012
Ryan rated it it was amazing
Jun 08, 2012
Michael rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2011
Aladdin  Elaasar
Aladdin Elaasar rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2009
Jim Goldston
Jim Goldston rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2016
Paul Liddle
Paul Liddle rated it it was amazing
Sep 25, 2016
Faldo Maldini
Faldo Maldini rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2015
Barry rated it really liked it
Apr 13, 2017
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