We wrote at the time about "The Battle of Curly, Larry, and Moe." Now Trent Telenko directs our attention to an L.A. Times Magazine piece that reconstructs the pivotal battle of Operation Iraqi Freedom - one the Americans almost didn't win (login: laexaminer / laexaminer). The biggest factor in their success? Surprisingly, it may have been Iraq's infamous Information Minister:
"Nine hundred and seventy-five men invading a city of 5 million sounded audacious, or worse, to the U.S. troops assigned the mission outside Baghdad last April 6. Ten years earlier, in Mogadishu, outnumbered American soldiers had been trapped and killed by Somali street fighters. Now some U.S. commanders, convinced the odds were far better in Iraq, scrapped the original plan for taking Baghdad with a steady siege and instead ordered a single bold thrust into the city. The battle that followed became the climax of the war and rewrote American military doctrine on urban warfare. Back home, Americans learned of the victory in sketchy reports that focused on the outcome—a column of armored vehicles had raced into the city and seized Saddam Hussein's palaces and ministries. What the public didn't know was how close the U.S. forces came to experiencing another Mogadishu. Military units were surrounded, waging desperate fights at three critical interchanges. If any of those fell, the Americans would have been cut off from critical supplies and ammunition...."L’audace, l’audace, toujours l’audace." This time, it was the right call. Read David Zucchino's "The Thunder Run" in full, and you'll find a true story that few fictional thrillers could match. UPDATE: See also Gizmag's May 3, 2005 article "Heavy Metal - A Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad"