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Related page: Take Down: The 3rd Infantry Division's Twenty-One Day Assault on Baghdad

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“After the adrenaline had drained away and they were suddenly at rest, some of them sought out the chaplains and poured out their emotions. They had been fighting and moving and killing for day after day, and suddenly it had all been shut down. They wanted—they needed—to sort through it all. Some soldiers confessed that they had not comprehended precisely what would be asked of them while in pursuit of the enemy. They had not doubted that they would win the war, but they had not fully realized what it would take to prevail. It was not that they felt guilty; they felt overwhelmed and somehow incomplete. A few of them realized that they had embraced the thrill of the fight, and this discovery troubled them deeply. But most of all, the men from the Second Brigade felt an ineffable loss of purity. They had been part of a unique moment in modern military history. They had captured something seductive and elusive, and they did not know how to get it back.”

—David Zucchino, Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad, New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2004.

On April 6, 2003, David Zucchino accompanied the Second Brigade (the Spartan Brigade) of the Third Infantry Division (Mechanized) as that unit thrust into Baghdad.

The bloody fighting lasted three days. When it was over, so too was the combat phase of the war in Iraq. Zucchino's account is unforgettable, vivid, and very moving. Highly recommended.