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Winner, 2004 General Wallace M. Greene Award—
an annual award given by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation for the best nonfiction book on the Marine Corps
Winner, The 2004 Colby Award—
from the William E. Colby Military Writers's Symposium which "recognizes a first work of fiction or nonfiction which has made a major contribution to the understanding of intelligence operations, military history, or international affairs."
With unprecedented access and previously unreported detail, The March Up is the first-hand account of the 22-day march to Baghdad.
With over a half century of military and combat experience between them, bestselling author F. J. “Bing” West and Major General Ray L. Smith, USMC (Ret.), combine expert military analysis with dramatic battlefield reporting gleaned from unprecedented access.
With this access to three-star generals in the command centers and to privates in the field, the authors reveal how the strategic plan played out in battle, showing what went well and what failed, and detailing power struggles for military and political control never reported. Unlike embedded journalists confined to a single unit, West and Smith acquired a captured yellow SUV and joined with whatever unit was leading the assault every day of the fight.
From the shaky beginning of U.S. operations in southern Iraq to the capture of U.S. prisoners, the misreported 'fierce Iraqi resistance,' and the aggressive assaults that led to a quick and decisive victory, no one reporting on the war in Iraq had the unique battlefield clearance and insight afforded the authors of this account. The result is a report of what really happened from the heart of the action unlike anything you’ll read anywhere else.
The result is destined to become the definitive account of ground warfare in Iraq.
“Smith and West deliver a balanced and unblinking account that will certainly become one of the standard texts on the second Gulf War….As a result, this book is a sort of microscope-telescope hybrid, moving seamlessly through many levels: Here is the division commander's view of the fight, the regiment commander's view, the battalion commander's view, the company commander's view -- and the corporal's view, slugging it out on the ground at the head of a fire team….The March Up should be required reading for everyone serving in the armed forces -- and for anyone exercising policy influence over the institution they serve.”
--Washington Post Book World
"It is one thing to know about Marines. It is another to know the sting of battle. To tell the true story of combat up close and personal, the authors must be there on the scene with the Marines in action ... That is exactly what the reader gets in The March Up.... An excellent look at Marine combat at its best in the 21st century."
--Marine Corps Gazette
“This is the face of war as only those who have fought it can describe it.”
--Senator John McCain
“This book will stand as the definitive account about the nature of ground combat as we enter the 21st century. A gripping and honest account of war as told by two distinguished veterans.”
--James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of Central Intelligence
“An important and unflinching chronicle of contemporary warfare. Regardless of one’s position on the war in Iraq—on any war—The March Up speaks with authority and legitimacy and cuts to the very bone to reveal the experience of the modern fighting infantryman.”
--General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.), former Commander in Chief, Central Command