I wrote the following form published reports about Col. Newell at the Battle for Fallujah. This is a sidebar to yesterday's post.
The Battle for Fallujah, November 2004
The battle for Fallujah in November 2004 was the biggest operation in Iraq since the fall of Baghdad at the beginning of the war, an assault on the city that had turned into Iraq’s nastiest nest of insurgents.
Commanding the lead battalion of the Germany-based Task Force 2-2 was then Lt. Col. Peter Newell. He said the battle for Fallujah was, "as pure a fight of good vs. evil as we will probably face in our lifetime."
Newell said he never doubted his troops would win the battle “It was [over] before the fight started,” he said. “It was just a matter of how long it was going to take.”
The 550 soldiers of Task Force 2-2 fought for 12 days in Fallujah, killing 330 insurgents and foreign fighters including the No. 2 man in the Jordanian-born militant Abu Musabal-Zarqawi terrorist organization.
Nine men earned Silver Stars for valor. Five of them — including Newell’s and his three company commanders’ — were for bravery at Fallujah. Newell’s 2nd Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment earned a Presidential Unit Citation, the Army’s highest unit honor.
Lt. Col. Newell’s Silver Star Citation:
Newell deployed a 550-soldier mechanized task force on 72 hours’ notice to Fallujah in November 2004, leading a continuous 12-day attack in the heavily fortified Askari district. His forces overwhelmed resistance in the first 14 hours, ultimately killing 330 enemy fighters, capturing 48 others, destroying 38 weapons caches, two roadside- bomb factories and one car-bomb factory while becoming the first battalion in the division to achieve its objective.
On Nov. 12, Newell was caught in an ambush following an 11-hour night attack. Narrowly escaping enemy fire, he left his tracked vehicle and personally assisted in the evacuation of a mortally wounded officer.
From published reports in The Stars and Stripes and The Rolling Stone.
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