Called “the best account of combat since Black Hawk Down” by Men’s Journal, Thunder Run is a no-holds-barred look at the sweep of Baghdad, Iraq in 2003 by U.S. armed forces. One of the boldest gambles in modern military history, the surprise attack on Baghdad by three battalions of tanks and APCs and less than 1,000 men total was the single stroke that is credited for ending the Iraqi war. The three days of fierce fighting that followed the initial attack are captured in stunning detail by Richard M. Davidson’s powerhouse narration.
©2004 David Zucchino (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC
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"Good reporting, but not a great book"
This book is competently written, but the author seems to be 'making the most' out of what he had to work with. This episode in the second Gulf War in interesting, but neither is it particularly compelling, nor particularly novel. It is not compelling because, in a reporter's effort to 'cover the event,' the story jumps from one subject to another, never hovering long enough to really become invested in the people who lived through this. There is no particular insight into either 'men and war' or 'the war itself'. It's just a competent reporting job.
One of the previous reviewers described the book as "better than Black Hawk Down" -- on the strength of which I bought the book. I don't see it myself. The Battle for Mogadishu was a far more compelling story. The battle described in Thunder Run never seemed on the verge of getting out of American control, despite the author's best attempts to inject some degree of drama. For sure it must have been terrifying for those involved, but the situation was completely different. In Baghdad the the 3rd ID had main battle tanks and Bradly fighting vehicles. They had a great deal of close air support, they had (big 120mm) mortars, they had paladin howitzers. They basically always had superior firepower and were never really in danger of loosing it. Mogadishu was completely differ (again, despite the author's attempt to draw a comparison). The rangers had only helicopter gun support, no mortars, no artillery, no CAS. They had no armor on their convoys, they were out gunned most of the time. There was a very real chance that they would lose the entire unit. Things never looked so desperate for the 3rd ID in Baghdad.
Thunder Run is probably worth a listen if you are a gulf war history buff. A far better book, IMHO, about combat soldiers in Iraq, is House to House, by David Bellavia. It's about mechanized infantry in Fallujia. It is a very powerful first person account of a far longer and, for those involved, intense period of fighting. Far more gripping, one feels far more invested in the people, and it is better narrated.
I never thought a book written in 2003 about the dash to Baghdad could be so damn riveting. No matter what type of military books you read, this one is a stunner. Starts off a bit slow, but by the time it was over I was so enthralled!
"Thunder run is an epic win!"
Yes, this is really and action packed read.
There really can't be one because you get little flashes of POV's
He did the voices really well and injected the right amount of emotion into everything.
Better than Blackhawk down.
Get this book you wont be sorry.
"Well worth the listening"
Through it had many sad parts plus many exciting vivid happenings of war it is still well worth the listening!!
I enjoyed the story I served in the Army and enjoyed the truth about what few people know.
"Gritty, Well Written, Attention Grabbing"
I found Thunder Run to be a wonderfully written book with a realistic portrayal of both the excitement and horrible reality of war. If you thought the siege of Baghdad was a cake walk based on the media's coverage I would encourage you to hear the story of the full events.
I laughed and cried during this book and the detail and narration were vivid enough to make me feel a bit of what the soldiers were feeling. (I'm sure my feelings were nothing in comparison.)
"Better them than me"
This is a fascinating story about war in the 21st century. True stories about actual people makes for gripping reading. However, the book sort of peters out, rather than concluding. No more than a superficial account of the aftermath, for either the participants or Iraq, is included. I would rather have had more discussion of the place of this battle in its historical setting. Perhaps the author believed, and it may be true, that such discussions would detract from the drama of the events. Nevertheless, a worthwhile read/listen for those interested in current history.
"A timely reminder that war is war, media be damned"
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 war machine was stretched, and how close they came to perhaps encountering their "bridge too far".
And I suspect quite unintentionally, it exposes an unsettling realisation of the degree to which religion - Christianity - plays in the minds of US troops. While no means universal, I was struck by the number of times which religion pops up in this book - or soldiers seeking guidance from Army Chaplains that "what they have to do is allowed by their god", of all the prayers that are offered to save the living or commemorate the dead. The message I took away from this is that the US - like virtually every other country that has ever gone to war - clearly exploited religion both explicitly and implicitly in order to exhort their troops to maximum effect on the battlefield. I do not think this is what the author intended, but the main thought in my head at the end of the book was the surprising similarity this realisation brings to our understanding of the people holding the line on both sides of the war.
"Not What the Press Told Us!"
Yes, It tells the real story about the Thunder Run!
That I found out waht REALLY Happened when we entered into the Iraqi Capital!
The Fight on Route 8
You Will NEVER look at a Highway Interchange the same way AGAIN!
It showed me How Little we can trust the US press and Network News companies like FOx and CNN!
Alot of action and excitement. This is just what war and combat is. Very well written and read I enjoyed, and would recomend it to anyone.
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