Book Reviews: Emotive Account of Iraq Conflict; Black Knights on the Bloody Road to Baghdad. Published by HarperCollins. Pounds 17.99

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID McCOY

ALMOST a soon as the final shot was fired in the Iraqi war, books on the conflict began to appear.

Black Knights On the Bloody Road to Baghdad is one of them, the riveting 'Band of Brothers' tale of a young British journalist embedded in a US tank company, known as the Black Knights, as they spearheaded the push into Baghdad in spring, 2003.

Oliver Poole was the only British daily newspaper reporter to be embedded with the US army during the operation in Iraq and, in this book, he unflinchingly describes the modern face of battle, and the young soldiers who fought in it.

By the time the first statues of Saddam were toppled in Baghdad, the soldiers had been through a terrifying baptism of fire - and had inflicted terrible casualties on the Iraqis.

How did the troops - many of them under the age of 20, the majority of whom had never been outside the United States before - cope with fear and injury? How did they react to the killing? How were they changed by war? What, finally, was the impact on the people of Baghdad? …