|Title:||Stryker: The Siege of Sadr City||Format and Length:||Trade Paperback / 450 Pages|
|Author:||Sgt. Konrad R.K. Ludwig, Ret.||ISBN (Paperback):||978-0-9853398-0-7|
|Publisher:||Roland-Kjos Publishing||ISBN (eBook):||978-0-9853398-1-4|
|Genre:||Military Nonfiction||ASIN (Kindle):||B00EZW0HUM|
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In the Spring of 2008, Coalition troops responded in-force to what quickly became one of the largest, bloodiest and most influential battles of the Iraq war. For nearly three months they fought for control over Baghdad against the ruthless insurgent militia of the Ja’Ish Al-Mahdi, leaving thousands dead and whole neighborhoods in ruin. Due to the unmatched ferocity of this battle and the danger to everyone involved, however, few reporters dared to cover the story – and what happened in those streets was soon forgotten by the world.
Sgt. Ludwig’s gripping narrative offers an unfiltered view of the final Battle for Sadr City, as seen through his eyes from behind the wrath of a machine gun. Still a young idealistic boy, he enlists with a high-impact urban-assault Stryker unit known as “Bull Company,” and comes face-to-face with his own oblivion. Up against the full might of the Ja’Ish AL-Mahdi, they embark on a one-way mission deep behind enemy lines, to capture a well-guarded militia stronghold and defend their ground “for as long as it takes.”
This is the story of what really happened in the late years of Operation Iraqi Freedom;
The story our media neglected to tell.
This is an exceptional book.
It is one of only two on the Iraq War that I recommended to people. The other is John Crawford’s “The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell.”
Sergeant Ludwig captures what so few people understand about the realities of war–and what an infantry soldier is and is not. A timeless story of men in close combat that few have told as eloquently has he.
I was quite moved. And, as with any great book, it puts the reader in a place.
I am the co-author of the RAND report “The 2008 Battle of Sadr City: Reimagining Urban Combat.” Sergeant Ludwig’s book is an invaluable complement to our study for the grunt’s eye view of this crucial battle in Operation Iraqi Freedom.Colonel David E. Johnson, Ph.D. (U.S. Army, retired),
Senior Political Scientist at the RAND Corporation
(co-author of The 2008 Battle of Sadr City: Reimagining Urban Combat)
“This is not a book for the faint of heart, or for those who believe our army’s mission in Iraq was to nation-build. Konrad brings the reader into the world of combat, where he and his brothers roared down streets teeming with men anxious to kill them. When you read what a grunt actually does, how he must think, and the miserable, soggy, bloody, exhausting actions he must take, regardless of the circumstances – then you will understand why generals who haven’t endured such combat should be very, very careful about lowering the standards of the combat arms. When you read Konrad, you have a hard time to keep from sweating, and at times vomiting. He brings back to all of us grunts memories we prefer to bury deep, smells we wish never to sniff again, and bodies we’d prefer not to have squashed, except that is what we do. Simply amazing. You read these anodyne tributes to sage generals who skillfully and diplomatically turned around the mess in Baghdad by shrewd planning and forbearance, then you read Stryker and say: Were the soldiers and the generals on the same planet? Or did the senior command and the press invent a narrative of protecting the population and delivering economic projects in order to keep domestic public support? Whatever the rationale at the top, here is a true war diary that tells you what urban combat amidst a hostile populace is actually like.”- Francis J. “Bing” West,
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense
“I have been studying the Battle of Sadr City at work and decided that my efforts would be enriched by using a first person source rather than depending on official reports… I found that once I started reading, the author’s writing style proved to be so refreshing and vibrant that I had a difficult time putting it down at night when it came time to getting ready for the next days early am commute into Washington DC. It is well done, revealing, and authentic. The author made it a point to explain that he did research the available records to ensure as few mistakes as possible crept into his book. I think he did a fine job… Ludwig’s insights on leadership and camaraderie in battle were especially illuminating. Highly recommended. It will have a prominent place on my OIF reference shelf.”- LTC Mark J. Reardon
Senior Military Historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military Research
“What makes Stryker an interesting project is that it sits at the intersection of memoir and journalism. Sgt. Konrad Ludwig doesn’t just document his own experiences but takes the time to interview his fellow soldiers in order to tell the full story. What makes Stryker good is that despite the seriousness of the situation Sgt. Ludwig is such a natural, engaging writer that even in the most difficult parts I kept reading.”- Desa Philadelphia
Former Correspondent at Time Magazine
“Like so many other sons, mine was also in the siege of Sadr City. That deployment was by far the worse he would ever see, It changed my son forever. My son lost brothers during the siege of Sadr City, and even though he had physically survived it, he had lost himself too. This book is for those who were not there, to bring light to what really happened, a memorial for the sons we lost, and support for those that came home.” - Deanna Reid (Military Spouse and Family Rights Advocate)
“…I can say with certainty that this book is extremely accurate. Everything, from the dialogue of infantryman to the objective recount of specific missions, is written concisely and in such a way to transport the reader directly into the action. This is a must read…” - Michael Lopes (Amazon Review)
“This book is intense, visceral, compelling. For anyone wanting to know what guys went through over there without the filter and agenda of news media or politicians, start with this book. Ludwig’s assessment is unvarnished and sobering. He aims a sharp lens at his enemies, his comrades and superiors, and in the most revealing sometimes frightening ways, at himself. It may be, as the author notes in his dedication, that this book is “not for mothers”. But I can say that as the father of one who serves, I highly recommend it. People should read this book to know what it is we ask of these young men and women.” - John Harrison (Amazon Review)
“A great book. I have always been extremely proud of my son and his service in Iraq, but this book allowed a glimpse into what these young heroes actually endured: the hardships, the ups and downs, the hell and the absurdity of combat that no one could understand unless they shared these kids experiences. I laughed out loud, and cried too. A must read.” - MikeO (Amazon Review)
“I had the privilege of serving with the Author in combat. Reading this book made me ‘re-live’ the experiences we encountered together and helped bring back memories that I had forgotten, and am glad to remember again. I highly suggest reading this book if you support our nations armed forces or need a dose of realism. Non media-biased and straight to the point!” - Brian Pfister (Amazon Review)
“Sgt Ludwig provides a narrative that seamlessly weaves the greater scope of military action into a raw, beautiful, touching first person account. There is simply no way to give this book justice in a few sentences, but modern military nonfiction has added an excellent resource to the genre. … This book is unfiltered, graphic, and no-bulls***. … The author does an admirable job of staying true to his life and the lives of those with whom he served. … Anyone who reads this will come out far ahead in the end, touched and changed by this book and its truths.” – Corin Porter (Amazon)
“As a Mom whose son served in Sadr City during this time, I wanted to better understand the events that took place. Although Konrad’s dedication states “This is not intended for Mothers”, we may be the ones who need to read it the most” - PeggieMac (Barnes & Noble Review)