Heavy Metal: a Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad


Heavy Metal: a Tank Company's Battle to Baghdad is a book by Captain Jason Conroy with Ron Martz published in 2005 by Potomac Books. In Heavy Metal, Conroy and Martz provide an up-close and very personal view of the sometimes vicious fighting that took place almost from the time the unit crossed the border from Kuwait until it got to Baghdad. The book chronicles the making of Charlie Company, following it from its home base at Fort Stewart, Georgia, to training in the deserts of California and Kuwait. It provides details of fighting on the road to Baghdad, including a key battle at the holy city of Najaf, where militias and Fedayeen Saddam used suicide tactics in a fruitless effort to stop the 70-ton M1A1 Abrams tanks. Heavy Metal is Capt. Conroy's account of what went right and what went wrong in Iraq from the start of the war. It demonstrates how Conroy and his soldiers were able to overcome supply shortages, intelligence failures, and weather of Biblical ferocity in their battle for downtown Baghdad, a place they were originally told they would never take their tanks. The book tells how young soldiers were able to overcome numerous obstacles and adversities and adapt to ever-changing conditions all the while under constant enemy fire for more than a month. Just south of Baghdad, in the city of Mahmudiyah, Charlie Company engaged in a battle with Soviet-made T-72 tanks at point-blank range, a tactic that is not part of Army doctrine and something for which the young soldiers had not trained. Heavy Metal also for the first time reveals what really happened at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad; how Iraqi Special Republican Guard soldiers used the museum as a defensive position; how museum employees and others hid most of the artifacts before the fighting began; and how the number of items stolen was exaggerated by a member of the museum staff in interviews with international media in an apparent effort to discredit the American military. Through the personal accounts of the young troopers of Charlie Co., Heavy Metal tells much about the quality of today’s American soldier, about 21st-century desert and urban warfare and how the Army should prepare to fight future wars.
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