The 3rd Infantry Division's Twenty-One Day Assault on Baghdad
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Published:March 31, 2013
By Jim Lacey (Author)

Over time the impression has grown that the 2003 invasion of Iraq met with little resistance and that, with few exceptions, the Iraqi army simply melted away. As this book clearly shows, nothing could be further from the truth. In its drive to capture Baghdad, the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division was in nearly constant combat for twenty-one days. While Americans were watching Saddam's statue being torn down on TV, a brigade of the 3rd ID was on the verge of being overrun by Iraqi Republican Guard units trying to escape north. Told to hold two bridges in his sector, a brigade commander had to blow up one of them because he did not have the combat power to hold it. The company commander holding the other bridge was so hard pressed that he called on the artillery to fire their final protective fires a command made only when a unit is in mortal danger and one that had not been given since Vietnam. Every one of the division's armored vehicles was hit by rockets some taking more than a dozen hits and the fighting was so fierce at times that entire battalions ran out of ammunition. Nevertheless, when the fighting was finally over, the 3rd ID had destroyed two Iraqi Regular Army divisions and three divisions of the much vaunted Republican Guard. Takedown tells the little-known story of what happened to the 3rd ID during its struggle to win Baghdad, a campaign that some call one of the most vicious in American military history. To offer this firsthand account, Jim Lacey, a former Time magazine reporter embedded with the 1st Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division, draws on extensive interviews that he conducted with the American soldiers involved as well as access to personal papers and war memoirs. This story is also enriched through his extensive use of interview transcripts of senior Iraqi army officers along with their personal written recollections. From the Kuwaiti border to the streets of Baghdad, these dramatic eyewitness descriptions of what went on give readers an accurate look at the brutal engagements in which the division fought for its life. In making use of such a wealth of primary source material, Lacey has succeeded in writing a fast paced narrative of the conflict, backed up by verifiable facts, that shows how modern wars are really fought.

List Price: $29.95
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Product Details
  • Subject: Iraq War
  • Hardback : 288 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (March 31, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 1591144582
  • ISBN-13: 9781591144588
  • Product Dimensions: 6 X 9 in
  • Shipping Weight: 16.16 oz

Jim Lacey is a retired U.S. Army infantry officer who works as a military analyst for the Institute for Defense Analyses. He is coauthor of The Iraqi Perspectives Report: Saddam's Senior Leadership on Operation Iraqi Freedom from the Official U.S. Joint Forces Command Report, published by the Naval Institute Press in 2006, and editor of the book Fresh from the Fight, a collection of essays on the war in Iraq.

During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Lacey worked for Time magazine as an embedded journalist and was with the 101st Airborne Division during the march to Baghdad. He has been published in more than a dozen major magazines and has written numerous articles and editorials on international and military affairs in many of the nation's leading newspapers. He lives in northern Virginia.

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Customer Reviews

4 Reviews
Average Customer Reviews
4.75 Stars
Blitzing Baghdad
Tuesday, May 8, 2007
By: Jonathan Foreman, New York Post, May 6, 2007
"The book's great virtue is how it details just how fierce that fighting could be, with tank commanders (including Perkins himself) actually firing their pistols at swarming fedayeen attackers in scenes straight out of the Russian front. The book also provides a valuable service at a time of public naivet? about Middle Eastern warfare, by documenting the massive extent of Iraqi violations of the laws of war. ...I couldn't put "Takedown" down. Lacey clarifies the shape of a campaign that was confusing in the extreme if you were on the ground. And it powerfully illustrates just how impressive - how professional, brave and compassionate - these American soldiers were and are. "
Friday, April 27, 2007
By: WarChronicle Bookshelf
Jim Lacey has written a magnificent battle narrative to put beside David Zucchino's "Thunder Run." Few combat historians are able to achieve a narrative balance between the big picture of brigades and battalions and the actions of small units. Lacey has done that and delivers a history that finally tells just how the war in Iraq was won. Most highly recommended. http://warchronicle.com/iraq/historiantales/takedown.htm
Lessons We Forgot We Learned
Monday, April 23, 2007
By: David Axe, www.warisboring.com
To read David Axe's review: http://warisboring.com/?p=158
A Military Marvel's Race to Baghdad
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
By: Daniel Ford, Wall Street Journal
Read Daniel Ford's review here: http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB117650211010069575-lMyQjAxMDE3NzE2NzUxMDcyWj.html


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