Thunder Run is the story of the bold assault on Baghdad by the Spartan Brigade of the Third Infantry Division. With fewer than a thousand men, and facing Iraqi forces dug into bunkers and buildings, the brigade punched a hole through the heart of Baghdad with a high-speed charge to Saddam Hussein's Presidential Palace and Republican Guard headquarters. Many Iraqi soldiers fled or surrendered during the onslaught, but significant numbers stood and fought. Iraqi forces destroyed the brigade's command centre, ambushed the brigade's resupply column, and even as it appeared that the brigade was seizing control of the capital on the battle's second day, a fierce counterattack across the Tigris River trapped an American company under withering fire and forced a retreat. Many Americans believe that Baghdad was taken with a minimum of effort. But for the Spartan Brigade it was a brutal and terrifying three days of urban warfare.
David Zucchino is a foreign correspondentfor the Los Angeles Times. His work has been short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize on three occasions. Thunder Run was published by Atlantic Books in 2004.