From Jim Frederick comes an unflinching account of the Black Heart Brigade’s tragic descent in the Iraq War.
Black Hearts 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 United States 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. Download and start listening now!