The March Up

Title: The March Up: Taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division
Published by: Bantam
Release Date: October 12, 2004
Authors: Bing West and Major General Ray Smith (ret)
ISBN13: 978-0553382693
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Granted extraordinary access across the battlefield, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Bing West and retired MajGen Ray Smith, traveled with 18 Marine units, seeing combat on 16 days.

In this book, two combat veterans describe the modern battlefield.

Bing West was a member of the Marine recon team which ambushed a North Vietnamese battalion and initiated the behind-the-lines campaign called Operation Stingray. He is the author of The Village and The Pepperdogs.

Major General Ray Smith has commanded Marines on battlefields around the world, receiving thirteen medals for valor, including three Purple Hearts and the Navy Cross.

This book is a description of modern ground combat – who these young infantrymen are, how they fight and how they are led, from three-star generals to tough corporals clearing the trench lines.


“This book will stand as the definitive account about the nature of ground combat as we enter the 21st Century.”
— James Schlesinger, former Secretary of Defense and former Director of CIA

“This is the face of war as only those who have fought it can describe it.”
— Senator John McCain

“A picture of what life and death on the front line were like.”
— Sir John Keegan, author of The Face of War

“Cuts to the very bone to reveal the experience of the modern fighting infantryman.”
— General Anthony Zinni, former Commander in Chief, Central Command

“Makes the readers hear, see and feel the fighting.”
— Leatherneck Magazine

“You will not put it down…a winner for students of warfare.”
— Marine Corps Gazette

“…rigorously honest…a balanced and unblinking account that will certainly become one of the standard texts on the second Gulf War…Required reading for everyone serving in the armed forces — and for anyone exercising policy influence over the institution they serve.”
— Washington Post Book World, September 14, 2003

“What a brilliantly fought campaign, and what a wonderful account of it.“
— The Wall St. Journal, September 11, 2003

“As one Marine put it…”they want to die, and we want to kill them.” The March Up, like The Anabasis, is destined to be a classic.”
— National Review, September 17, 2003