Black Knights: On the Bloody Road to Baghdad

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9780007174386: Black Knights: On the Bloody Road to Baghdad

The riveting ‘Band of Brothers’ tale of a young British journalist embedded in a US tank corps known as the Black Knights as they spearheaded the push into Baghdad in spring 2003.

Black Knights is an extraordinarily vivid, gripping and moving fly-on-the-wall account of what frontline combat action meant in the first major war of the twenty-first century. Written by a young journalist who was the only British daily newspaper reporter to be embedded with the US military during the operation in Iraq, this book unflinchingly describes the modern face of battle, and the young soldiers who fought in it.

The tank and infantry company known as the 'Black Knights' was the first unit in the US Third Infantry Division to engage in combat when, twelve hours after crossing the Kuwait border, it helped seize Tallil airfield. Eight hundred miles and almost a month later, it headed a column that fought its way through Republican Guard units on the outskirts of Baghdad and led the advance from the west into the centre of Saddam Hussein's capital.

By the time the first statues of Saddam were toppled in Baghdad, the soldiers had been through a terrifying baptism of fire – and had inflicted terrible casualties on the Iraqis. How did the troops – many of them under the age of twenty, some of whom had only recently acquired US citizenship – cope with fear and injury? How did they react to the killing? How were they changed by war? What, finally, was the impact on the people of Baghdad?

Oliver Poole shared the soldiers' food, living space and dangers, becoming their confidant and a sounding-board for all their hopes and fears. He has written a remarkably frank and revealing narrative – testimony as much to his own courage and writing skills as to the bravery and professionalism of the combatants.

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Product Description:

280 pages. Book and Jacket appear to have hardly been read and are both in Fine condition throughout.

Review:

'The best reporter's book on the war so far – and it deserves to be one of the books of the whole Iraq crisis. The eyewitness accounts of the fighting, the terrible guilt of the soldiers and bystanders at the killing of civilians, the overwhelming confusion, the continuous questioning of why they are there are exhilarating and chilling…from his embedded experience, Oliver Poole gives the clearest account of what the fighting was like, and the problems encountered then, which have now become the problem of full-scale guerrilla war. Poole's eye and pen are sharpened by being a lonely Brit among the American legions' Robert Fox, Evening Standard
'Poole's reportage has an edgy adrenaline-fired freshness…This is an exhilarating, honest, often scary account of modern war as close-up spectator' Peter Millar, Sunday Times
'[Poole's] account of the baptism of fire endured by a US tank company is starkly horrific in places. It is also witty, often laugh-out-loud funny, and spiced with some wonderfully colourful pen-portraits' Soldier magazine
'This extraordinary account of the spectacle and emotion of warfare rings with authenticity. Oliver Poole has dramatically captured the face of modern battle' Patrick Bishop, author of Fighter Boys

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