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Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq    by Dick Camp order for
Operation Phantom Fury
by Dick Camp
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2009 (2009)

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

In November, 2004, a joint U.S. and Iraqui force launched an attack against an insurgent stronghold located in the once peaceful city of Fallujah. The mission was to dislodge and eliminate some of the area's most hardcore insurgents. As so often happens in Iraq, the best-laid plans are seldom executed without a hitch. Operation Phantom Fury was no exception.

Dick Camp describes this significant battle and its shortcomings in a gripping narrative entitled Operation Phantom Fury: The Assault and Capture of Fallujah, Iraq.

Instigated by the deaths of four Blackwater security employees in an ambush in the city, the first attempt to pacify Fallujah (Operation Vigilant Resolve) ended in a stalemate with the insurgents still in control of the area.

On November 7th a second attack was launched, led by U.S. Marines. In the days and weeks that followed, bloody street-by-street and house-by-house combat finally dislodged the entrenched insurgents. The coalition forces did finally emerge victorious but at a cost of over 600 casualties. It was one of the bloodiest battles in the Iraq War.

In retrospect, military experts claim Operation Phantom Fury was the heaviest urban combat operation the U.S. Marines had been involved in since the 1968 Battle of Hu City in Vietnam.

Based on interviews with dozens of combatants, Dick Camp's gripping narrative explains how a battle for a key city in Iraq was fought and how such a crucial operation looks from positions of command and from the thick of the fight. One hundred color photos and ten maps will help the reader visualize the battle as the Marines reclaimed Fallujah one street and building at a time.

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