“Dash to Baghdad Stunned Iraqi Defenders”

The Associated Press has an excellent summary of the tactics employed in the Americans’ dash to Baghdad:
“In just four days, four Army brigades would sprint 50 miles and four U.S. Marine brigades nearly 100 miles to the gates of Baghdad, setting the stage for this week’s assaults inside the capital.
“The stunning advance, at a cost of fewer than 10 U.S. combat deaths, would silence complaints by television generals, and even some officers in the field, that the war was being mismanaged. It would also provoke another kind of talk.
“‘The U.S. advance on Baghdad is something that military historians and academics will pore over in great detail for many years to come,’ British Air Marshal Brian Burridge said Monday. ‘They will examine the dexterity, the audacity and the sheer brilliance of how the U.S. put their plan into effect.’
“Instead of getting bogged down in pitched battles for cities along the road to Baghdad, U.S. forces raced directly to their main objective, pausing to fight only when given the chance to exact a heavy toll on the Iraqis.
“The speed of the assault and the intensity of the accompanying air campaign gave Iraqi units little opportunity to retreat and regroup; the U.S. advance quickly gobbled up the Iraqi rear.”

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