Fallujah. Few names conjure up as many images of blood, sacrifice, and valor as does this ancient city in Al Anbar province 40 miles west of Baghdad. This sprawling concrete jungle was the scene of two major US combat operations in 2004. The first was Operation Vigilant Resolve, an aborted effort that April by US Marines intent on punishing the city’s insurgents. The second, Operation Phantom Fury, was launched seven months later. Richard Lowry’s New Dawn: The Battles for Fallujah is the first comprehensive history of this fighting.
Also known as the Second Battle for Fallujah, Operation Phantom Fury was a protracted house-to-house and street-to-street combat that began on November 7 and continued unabated for seven bloody and exhausting weeks. It was the largest fight of operation Iraqi Freedom and the heaviest urban combat since the Battle of Hue City, Vietnam, in 1968. Death and redemption were found everywhere, from narrow streets to courtyards, kitchens, bedrooms, and rooftops. By the time the fighting ended, more than 1,400 insurgents were dead, compared to 95 Americans (and another 1,000 wounded).
Lowry (Marines in the Garden of Eden) spent years researching and writing his new campaign history. In addition to archival research, New Dawn is based upon the personal recollections of nearly 200 soldiers and marines who participated in the battles for Fallujah, from the commanding generals who planned the operations to the privates who kicked in the doors. The result is a gripping, pause-resisting narrative of individual sacrifice and valor that also documents the battles for future military historians.
The struggle against a determined enemy at the crossroads of civilization is the story of American kids who grew up down the block from you only to fly halfway around the world to fight in the largest battle of the war. New Dawn is about their courage, their sacrifice, and their commitment to freedom. And it is a story you will never forget.
“In New Dawn, Richard Lowry presents not just a brilliant account of the battle for Fallujah, but also a useful overview of the history, economics, and culture of the region. Lowry shows what’s great about the US military: skilled and powerful but also humanitarian and ultimately peace-seeking. Lowry’s book is a must-listen for anyone interested in how we won in Iraq.” (Newt Gingrich, best-selling author and former speaker of the House of Representatives)