Black Hearts

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2011-02-01
  • Publisher: Broadway Books

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This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment--a unit known as "the Black Heart Brigade." Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country's most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon--1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion--descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality. Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes U.S. forces have committed during the Iraq War--the rape of a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost--one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives. Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the twenty-first century.

Author Biography

JIM FREDERICK is a contributing editor at Time magazine. He was previously a Time senior editor in London and, before that, the magazine’s Tokyo bureau chief. He is coauthor, with former Army Sergeant Charles Robert Jenkins, of The Reluctant Communist: My Desertion, Court-Martial, and Forty-Year Imprisonment in North Korea. He lives in New York City.

From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. xiii
Prelude: March 12, 2006p. 1
Summer 2005
˘We've Got to Get South Baghdad Under Control÷p. 11
The Kunk Gunp. 24
October 2005
˘This Is Now the Most Dangerous Place in Iraq÷p. 41
Relief in Place, Transfer of Authorityp. 51
1st Platoon at the JS Bridgep. 65
Contactp. 77
November 2005
Route Sportster and Bradley Bridgep. 93
Communication Breakdownsp. 108
The Mean Squadp. 119
˘Soldiers Are Not Stupid÷p. 125
December 2005
Nelson and Casicap. 135
˘It Is Fucking Pointless÷p. 148
Britt and Lopezp. 161
Leadership Shake-upp. 170
January 2006
Gallagherp. 185
February 2006
February 1p. 203
Fenlason Arrivesp. 223
March 2006
Back to the TCPsp. 241
The Mayor of Mullah Fayyadp. 251
The Janabisp. 258
Twenty-one Daysp. 271
April-June 2006
˘We Had Turned a Corner÷p. 285
The Alamop. 301
Dilemma and Discoveryp. 310
˘Remember That Murder of That Iraqi Family?÷p. 316
July-September 2006
The Fight Goes Onp. 333
˘This Was Life and Death Stuff÷p. 340
Epilogue: The Triangle of Death Today and Trials at Homep. 350
Postscriptp. 365
List of Charactersp. 371
Military Units and Ranksp. 375
Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. 377
Acknowledgmentsp. 379
Notesp. 385
Selected Bibliographyp. 417
Indexp. 431
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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