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First Fights in Fallujah (Hardback)

Marines During Operation Vigilant Resolve, in Iraq, April 2004

Military > By Century > 20th Century Military > Post-WWII Warfare > Gulf & Iraq Wars

By David E Kelly
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 344
Illustrations: B/W and colour photographs
ISBN: 9781636243184
Published: 15th May 2023



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In March 2004, the unprovoked ambush, killing and desecration of the bodies of American civilian security contractors in Fallujah, Iraq, caused the National Command Authorities in Washington, DC. to demand that the newly arrived Marine Expeditionary Force there take action against the perpetrators and other insurgent forces. Planned Stability and Support Operations were cast aside as insurgent fighters dared the Marines to enter Fallujah.

Marine infantrymen, tankers, helicopter crews, and amphibious vehicle drivers all pitched into high-intensity battles and firefights during the first fights of Fallujah in April 2004. Across the board cooperation and innovation marked these fighting Marines in combined arms fights that no one expected. Marines fought in the streets, conducted house-to-house searches, cleared buildings of enemy, and used tank main guns in direct support of urban environment operations. Helicopter crews supported operations on the ground with rockets and machine-gun fire, and Amtrac Marines transported forces to face enemy RPG and machine-gun fire. Marines from infantry squad members to a battalion commander were interviewed by Marine Corps field historians within days or weeks of the events at nearby combat outposts and camps.

This book combines these interview notes and the words of the men themselves to create a unique narrative of Marines in this combat.

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About David E Kelly

Lieutenant Colonel David E. Kelly received his commission in 1971, and served as an infantry officer with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 4th Marines with an Amphibious Readiness Group (ARG) off the coast of Vietnam in 1972–73. Prior to retirement from the Reserves in 1999 he was Operations Officer for the Marine Field History Detachment. He volunteered to return to active duty to deploy to Iraq in 2004 as senior Field Historian in order to conduct interviews with Marines and Navy personnel at all levels in Iraq. He is a retired high school teacher living in Springfield, Pennsylvania.

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