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Hardcover Heavy Metal: A Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad Book

ISBN: 1574888560

ISBN13: 9781574888560

Heavy Metal: A Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad

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Book Overview

During the Iraq War, coauthor Capt. Jason Conroy commanded Charlie Company, which was part of Task Force 1-64, 2d Brigade Combat Team, part of the U.S. Army's 3d Infantry Division. A tank unit equipped with mammoth M1A1 Abrams tanks, Conroy's company was literally at the tip of the U.S. Army's spear and one of the first elements into Baghdad. Veteran journalist Ron Martz was embedded in Charlie Company. Together, from the unique perspective of an...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Combat experience in a very readable form

I remember that some of the most powerful pictures I have seen of the Iraq war in 2003 was an Ambrams tank riding along a road in Baghdad with a camera on top and in every street it crossed there was a T-72 destroyed, almost beyond recognition. I was very impressed by this scene and some days later I read that USAF strikes were responsible for that carnage. Although that news was an anticlimax as I had initially supposed that the US tanks had done the damage, I accepted that and felt impressed by the accuracy of modern aerial bombs and missiles. The enigma was revealed finally when I read Jason Conroy's excellent book "Heavy Metal" where I found out that a sole armored company of the 2nd BCT (3rd ID) did all that execution in Baghdad's streets, in an area called Mahmudiyah, within very few minutes and in a fight which resembled a gunfight in a telephone booth. The author has written a marvelous account of his company's war (14 Abrams tanks) from the months leading to the operation "Iraqi Freedom" to the actual battles with the enemy, and his writing style is very factual and right to the point. Conroy gives many details about the kind of personnel that crewed the Abrams tanks, their training and doctrine, the confusion of battles, the attrocious weather in western Iraqi desert, the plight of the Iraqi civilians, the two daring "Thunder Runs" inside Baghdad on April 5 and 7 and the controversial matter of the looting of the Iraqi National Museum. I found extremely interesting the efforts that Conroy's men did in order to save the badly hit tank "Cojone, Eh?" during the first Thunder Run (that particular vehicle was seen destroyed in Iraqi TV with Iraqis triumphantly dancing on it) as well as the description of the first two months after the end of the campaign in Baghdad and Fallujah. This is a highly recommended book for everyone who wants to see how reality does not follow any script and how real battles are full of surprises even in an era of satellite communications and super-accurate weapons.

FIRE! ... On the way! ...

Button-up and go cross-border into Iraq with Charlie Company. Martz and Conroy take you on one hell of an emotional ride. Simply put, this is a writing collaboration by two pro's - Martz, the embedded reporter and former Marine, with 20 plus years reporting from the world's hot spots and shooting wars for the AJC and Capt. Conroy, a 21st century Army Company Commander and the quintessential modern tank unit leader. From Invasion to culmination of "Thunder Run's" 1 and 2 and the occupation of Baghdad, it's a true page turner. You will experience how the personnel of Charlie Company overcome re-supply of beans and bullets, relentless close quarter enemy engagements, equipment failures, bad Intel, weather of near biblical proportions and the taking of their first casualties. They deal with the stark reality of 21st century mechanized warfare where the main objective remains to kill people and break things, but they now do it with far greater velocity and precision. On the other hand you are reminded that modern armor tactics in open country or urban street to street has changed very little since Generals Guderian, Rommel, and Patton first employed them 60 plus years ago. Heavy Metal should be required study in all our service academies, military war colleges and civilian think tanks - it's that damn good!

Rivoting!!! Hits you like an M1A1!!

Once I began reading, I couldn't put this book down. Ron Martz has written a gripping account of Charlie Company's drive from Kuwait through the battlefield to be the first armored company in the Heart of Baghdad. A story of professional and heroic warriors who overcame a determined enemy, mechanical malfunctions, supply shortages, environmental nightmares and fear to become the "Tip of the Spear" and etch their place in history. A must read for anyone who wants to know what 21st century armored warfare is really like.

Interesting, Weld Told, and Insightful

In the Iraq war the Army tried to do better than they had done in Viet Nam by imbedding reporters with the troops to live with the, see the fighting directly and perhaps present a more balanced view than can be seen from the bar back at the hotel. Still, the stories that make it to television are a long way from the stories you get when the books finally become available. This is the first book that I've found that come from the pointy end of the stick. Charlie Company was there where the action was from beginning to after the end of the war. The tasks that they performed illustrate how varied training is useful. What you really find in combat is not what you expected, and the ability to be flexible to handle any situation is of paramount importance. The second point of this book is the pride we should all feel in how our young men handled themselves in a very nasty situation. Regardless of our feelings towards the war, our young men did good. Finally the actions of Charlie Company and the rest of the after action reports need to be carefully examined. It's sad, but this is almost certainly not the last time that we will put such young men in harms way. What did we do right, what went wrong, how can intelligence be improved, and what really killed Red Two?

No clearer picture...

My company commander, CPT Jason Conroy, and our embedded reporter Ron Martz have put together an outstanding narrative of the Iraq War from the point of view of the soldier. This is so much more interesting to me than another book written by some general. If you want to know what it was really like serving as a tanker in combat, read this book. I was one of the Cobras during the war and this book really tells it like it happened. A great read!
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