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Thunder Run: The US 3rd Infantry Division’s Drive to Baghdad

by Robert W. Burik and Eric B. Olson, SFC, US Army, with illustrations by Hubert Cance

Concord Publications 7514, ISBN 962-361-112-9.

These days, nearly everyone owns a device for capturing images, be it a conventional film camera, or a newer digital camera (or telephone). Combat troops are no exception. Therefore it is a surprise to me that we don’t have more books such as the one I am about to review, which certainly exists as a result of nearly everyone having a camera.

This book presents several pages of text spread throughout (which, because of that, seems to be a bit disjointed) describing the initial drive to Baghdad and its immediate aftermath. The photos and descriptions are presented by participants, which gives this book an immediacy not often seen. This is accompanied by an outstanding selection of 197 color photographs of almost uniformly excellent quality; however, some came from “lo-rez” digital files, so are not as detailed as one would wish. All are well-captioned and describe the following equipment: M1A1 Abrams MBT, M2A2 Bradley IFV, M6 Bradley Linebacker, M9 ACE, M60 AVLB, M88A1 ARV, M109A6 Paladin, M113 variants, HMMWV variants, MLRS, Patriot Air-Defense system and various trucks. There is also a single page spread with 1/35th scale profiles (M1A1 and M2A2), as well as four color plates depicting two M1A1s, an M2A2 and an M6 Bradley Linebacker, all nicely done by Hubert Cance.

There are a number of photographs that were obviously taken during or immediately following actual combat. Thus there are a number of photographs showing troops and vehicles in combat situations, plus more than a few destroyed Iraqi tanks, as well as casualties and prisoners. Of particular note are several photographs depicting the unusual effect that an RPG warhead has on an Abrams MBT. For instance, all the penetrations shown are really quite tiny, and in some cases there is virtually no other damage to the area surrounding the impact. Modelers should take note.

So, overall, this is a fine effort and certainly timely. Vehicle and figure modelers will have quite a bit of information on which to base their next project, while students of warfare will appreciate the fine photos and text.


Frank De Sisto

Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.

Concord Publications are available from retail and mail order shops. For details see their web site at: www.concordpublications.com.