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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. ArmyÆs 3d Infantry Division. A tank unit equipped with mammoth M1A1 Abrams tanks, ConroyÆs company was literally at the tip of the U.S. ArmyÆs 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 armor unit that was in nearly continuous combat for four straight weeks, Conroy and Martz tell the unvarnished story of what went right and what went deadly wrong in Iraq. Conroy and his soldiers were able to overcome supply shortages, intelligence failures, and miserable weather to battle their way into downtown Baghdad, a place where they were told they would never have to fight. Heavy Metal evaluates the ArmyÆs performance, including its use of tactics that were developed during the war but for which the soldiers had never trained.

Through the exciting personal stories of the young troopers of Charlie Company - who experienced a very different war from what was seen back home on TV - Heavy Metal tells us much about the qualities of todayÆs American soldier, about twenty-first-century desert and urban warfare, and about how the Army should prepare to fight future wars.

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