In an action-packed narrative Oliver Poole describes how he became embedded in a US tank and infantry company known as the Black Knights - the first unit in the Third Infantry Division to engage in combat when, 12 hours after crossing the Kuwait border, it helped seize an airfield in the outskirts of Nasiriyah. His company was at the head of a column that fought its way through Republican Guard units on the day the American army reached the outskirts of Baghdad, and finally led the advance from the west into the centre of Saddam Hussein's capital. By the time the author first met the soldiers he was assigned to, they had been training for nine months in Kuwait to make them one of the most prepared desert-warfare units in the world. Their one overriding desire was to escape the sand and dust and go back to their families. They all knew the only way to do that was by going home via Baghdad. had been through a terrifying baptism of fire - and had inflicted terrible casualties on the Iraqis. How did they - many of them under the age of 20, 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 was the impact on the people of Baghdad? Oliver Poole has written a fly-on-the-wall account of what frontline combat action meant in the first major war of the 21st century.
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