US Marine in Iraq: Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2003
By Richard S. Lowry, Illustrated by Howard Gerrard
Osprey Warrior Series Book 106
Paperback, 64 pages, heavily illustrated
Published by Osprey Publishing July 2006
Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.1 x 9.7 inches
U.S. Marine in Iraq details the experiences of two Marine enlistees from recruitment through Boot Camp, Infantry School, mechanized combined arms training at Twentynine Palms, deployment aboard ship and eventual combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the invasion of Iraq. The story follows the Marines’ actions as part of the Second Marine Regiment through the battle of the bridge at An Nasiriya and the fight to capture Baghdad.
One section which will be of interest to wargamers is the integration of a Marine infantry battalion with Amphibious Armored Vehicles (AAV) and M1 Abrams tanks to basically transform them into mechanized infantry. There are various ways a battalion commander can structure his force around the attached assets and supporting forces to best accomplish the mission and the different options are explained. Here the armchair LCOL is given some examples of how to configure his (or her) force.
Like all Osprey Warrior books, this one is heavily illustrated and well written. It provides the reader with a brief but thorough insight into how a Marine battalion is organized and how it fights. I found the construction of the two fictitious protagonists to be unnecessary and a distraction, the narrative would have been more useful without that device. Overall though, a good book showing how Marines train and fight.