By David Zucchino
More than simply a rendering of a unmarried conflict, Thunder Run is a candid account of ways infantrymen reply below hearth and pressure and the way human frailties are magnified in a struggle zone.
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Additional resources for Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad
It was fascinating to see the targets come up on the thermals, to watch an enemy soldier’s sweaty face glow light green against the dark green background, to see the hot exhaust from an enemy troop carrier define the milky green rectangular shape of the vehicle. Gibbons and some of the other gunners had talked the night before about the exhilaration they had felt during the Turkey Shoot, when abandoned Iraqi tanks and artillery pieces just sat there, plump and gorgeous, and the searing HEAT rounds popped the tops on the tanks, sending the turrets spinning.
There wasn’t time for a warning shot—no time to determine whether these were wayward civilians or militiamen trying to ram them. Hernandez got off a burst from the M-240. He saw a spray of blood stain the windshield and watched the passenger go down. The driver hit the brakes and the pickup spun and went into a skid. “Stop! ” Gruneisen ordered Peterson. He couldn’t stop. There wasn’t time. The pickup’s doors flew open and the driver stumbled out, smeared with blood. The tank plowed forward, flattening the pickup and crushing the driver.
He wore an Iraqi military uniform with a colonel’s gold rank on his epaulets. There was a pistol on his hip. The Bradley commander radioed Captain Hilmes. “Sir, we got an Iraqi general here,” he said, misreading the colonel’s rank. “He just crashed his car into our Bradley. ” “Capture his ass,” Hilmes ordered. Several infantrymen climbed out of the Bradley’s hull and snatched the colonel and dragged him inside. S. military interpreters, the Iraqi said he was the military quartermaster for all of Baghdad.