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Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad

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4.06  ·  Rating Details  ·  466 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
In one of the boldest gambles in modern military history, just three battalions and fewer than a thousand men launched a violent thrust of tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles into the heart of a city of 5 million people and, in three bloddy days of combat ended the Iraqi war. Thunder Run is the story of the surprise assault on Baghdad-one of the most decisive battle in Ame ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 29th 2004 by Grove Press (first published March 22nd 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Mike
Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad is a 5 Star combat classic that brings home the noise, fear, sweat, grime, adrenaline-pumping thrills and sleep-deprived exhaustion of the race to capture Baghdad in the Iraq war. Mr. Zucchino provides a narrative as compelling and readable as his friend Mark Bowden’s tale of Mogadishu, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Zucchino doesn’t waste much time on set-up, he gets you right into the battle, starting at the edge of Baghdad, 2 weeks a ...more
Jonathan
Feb 18, 2012 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
An unflinching look at modern armored combat. The author has a knack for conveying the confusion and chaos of the battles as they unfolded. The writing style is brisk and keeps the reader on their toes and gives one a sense of the chaos while reading, a miniscule taste of the firefights if you will. While the book does concentrate on the US armored forces the author takes the time to share some of the Iraqi side of things as well as some of the journalists side. On par with the book 'Black Hawk ...more
Hugh Henry
Oct 29, 2007 Hugh Henry rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any fan of combat
Shelves: war-on-terror
Here is the minute-by-minute description of the armored offensive to capture Baghdad that the 3rd Infantry Division executed in March 2003. The best book about one campaign since Black Hawk Down, Thunder Run wastes few pages with setting the scene, prefering instead to dive into the maelstrom of the armored offensive that was not supposed to be possible. Ever since the Soviet campaigns in Afghanistan and Grozny, military scientists had counseled against using tanks in urban terrain. As I can att ...more
Terri
This book lacked a certain magic in the writing that would have guaranteed it 5 stars from me, but it is still a great book and I give it 4.
Thunder Run is a straight talking, no nonsense, in your face retelling of the Thunder Run into Baghdad. The details are richly retold and you nearly feel like you are there (which is the power of a good book).
If there is one thing this book gave me that most other books on the wars in the Middle East haven't, it is the shrapnel casualty rate. Thunder Run tr
...more
Chrissy
Dec 13, 2011 Chrissy rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
This book was an enjoyable read covering, as the name implies, the two thunder runs into the city of Baghdad by the Army's 3rd Infantry Division. The strong point of this book in my opinion was that it integrated viewpoints of a large number of troops in that battle along with alternative viewpoints of some Iraqi military members and some of the American soldiers' family members back home. I felt the author did a pretty good job not bogging the reader down or confusing them despite the mixture o ...more
Yulia
Jul 24, 2012 Yulia rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Yulia by: Spencer Willardson
Shelves: non-fiction
This book was very personal to me. As a wife of a soldier who actually was with the Tusker battalion at the time and went with them on the second Thunder Run and who didn't want to talk about his war experiences for nearly 9 years, I very much appreciate this book that helped me to better understand what my husband and his fellow soldiers went through. I love the style of Zucchino’s writing. I like that the book is written from many different viewpoints not just the US soldiers but also their fa ...more
James Korsmo
Thunder Run is an account of a pivotal armor incursion into the heart of Baghdad during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The book was written in 2004, and doesn't really step back and judge the overall merits of the war, but that isn't his purpose. Zucchino was an embedded reporter with the Spartan Brigade of tanks and personnel carriers. They were (much to their surprise) tasked with a bold charge straight up the central highway into the heart of Baghdad, and two days later, were then sent right into ...more
Roger Burk
Jan 08, 2011 Roger Burk rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I wanted to find out how the decision was made to ignore doctrine and send columns of tanks through Baghdad. It didn't directly answer the question because it is written mainly from the point of view of the companies that executed that decision--which surprised them as much as anyone. They had destroyed Saddam's armored forces on the way to the capital and expected some rest while the infantry cleared the city. No such luck.

I surmise that the decision came about because
...more
Lucas
Mar 09, 2009 Lucas rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, history, military
The central problem of this book is a dramatic one: the battles are completely one-sided. The Iraqis were completely ill-equipped to defend against tanks and die by the hundreds for every U.S. casualty. I think the overwhelming success was completely lost on whoever was in charge of the occupation that followed the invasion, and they replaced practically invincible heavy armor for Humvees. Half the time I was trying to think of inexpensive defenses (swarms of rc or autonomous landmines on wheels ...more
Paul
Feb 14, 2013 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For most of us, our memories of the two gulf wars are represented by little more than smartbomb camera footage. The awesome power that the USA was able to deploy in Iraq was overwhelming - to the defenders, as well as the global audience. There seemed no doubt that military might would win a clear victory. In this frontline account of the armoured column entering Baghdad, the author brings us a much more harrowing tail of personal bravery, fear and loss.

It rapidly becomes clear how far the US wa
...more
Jason
Aug 25, 2008 Jason rated it it was amazing
A great book in the tradition of "Black Hawk Down", Thunder Run is a story of the young men and women we send as the sharp end of America's spear in the world. It's how we took Baghdad and the horror and pathos of war. It's got triumph, as US tanks roll into a enemy capital for the first time since the Korean War, and it has tragedy, as we see young men lose their lives too damn soon, and a news crew pay the price for getting way too close to the story. (When you read Mr. Zucchino's description ...more
Joshua Bishop
Dec 07, 2015 Joshua Bishop rated it it was amazing
Thunder Run is a very detailed, graphic, dark narrative of a military operation in Baghdad.

This book details Bradleys and tanks fighting into the city of Baghdad, the struggle of surviving the long fight, and the deaths of American soldier during the 3 days of fighting.
David Johnson
Apr 19, 2015 David Johnson rated it it was amazing
Great read to keep you on the edge of your seat. Another Black Hawk Down.
Lisa
Jun 20, 2012 Lisa added it
An actual account of what happened when U.S. forces went into the city of Baghdad and tore down Saddam Hussein's statue. True accounts based on the article in L.A. Times. It's amazingly detailed - and for this subject it should be, however for my personal taste it was a very difficult read. I'm sure mostly because it seemed chaotic, hard to follow, and terminology I don't understand. However, if you want the truth of what happened that day and what lead up to the event - this if for you.
Spencer Willardson
Feb 27, 2012 Spencer Willardson rated it it was amazing
This is a great book about war. Zucchino really captured the feel, the frenzy, the adrenaline, and the eventual conflicted feelings of those events in April 2003. I had heard good things about the book, but couldn't bring myself to read it until nearly nine years after the events had taken place. It was a powerful book and one I recommend to anyone who wants to understand why we thought Iraq was won in April 2003 - and those that want to understand why it really wasn't.
Sue
Aug 07, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it
embedded account of the strike on Baghdad in 2003. Much different than what we were told at the time. author has way of introducing you to the soldiers on the ground in a very personal way. If they are killed or wounded the descriptions are vivid and graphic and because you have some personal knowledge of the young man or woman it becomes a loss to the reader. Good book to read to have a reality check on what wars are really like second by second.
JW
Jul 21, 2008 JW rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
If you like this kind of book, this is a good one.

It's written by a reporter embedded with an army tank unit. The title pretty much gives the rest away.

Like most of these books that I've read, there are a lot of people to keep track of, from commanders to grunts and there was no picture section for reference, probably because most of these people have been sent back to Iraq. But that's just the nature of the genre.
Gerald
Oct 16, 2009 Gerald rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Up close and amazingly detailed story of one of the most dramatic battles of the Iraq War -- the tank charge from the airport to the Green Zone. This would make a fantastic movie -- where is Hollywood when you need them?
Jeffrey
Jan 02, 2013 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, nonfiction
True story of the battle of Baghdad. Manages to be exciting without being war porn.

Does a very good job of humanizing the soldiers that fought in the battle.
Shane
Sep 18, 2012 Shane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting look into the lives and personal reactions of the men and women who served in the American armed forces during the beginning of the 2nd Gulf War.
Krista Burich
Mar 21, 2008 Krista Burich rated it liked it
I read this because my friends are interviewed in it and its a story about when they first went into Baghdad. It was full of action, very similar to Black Hawk Down
Dipra Lahiri
Dec 27, 2015 Dipra Lahiri rated it really liked it
Shelves: war, 2015
A must read account of one of the greatest armoured corps attacks in history including the strategies and decision making of the key commanders on the ground.
Collin
May 26, 2012 Collin rated it liked it
Features my roommate in Beast Barracks, Dave Perkins, who was the Brigade Commander who got into Baghdad first.
Tyler Bray
Apr 27, 2013 Tyler Bray rated it really liked it
Was very good, I always appreciate when a military history book focuses on the narratives of the men.
Joseph Pittera
Jun 04, 2012 Joseph Pittera rated it it was amazing
This book puts you into combat with United States forces as they marched their way into Baghdad.
Lee
Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad by David Zucchino (2004)
Aaron
Jan 07, 2010 Aaron rated it it was amazing
very gripping true story of the thrust into baghdad during the 2nd gulf war.
Chris
May 11, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
This book stressed me out so bad but it was great reporting.
Barbara
Jun 05, 2010 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only 50 pages in but it's an exceptional account.
Emily
Nov 19, 2008 Emily rated it it was amazing
Roger is in this book.
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