Adrian Weale

Horror in Iraq

Black Hearts: One Platoon’s Descent Into Madness in Iraq’s Triangle of Death


Macmillan 439pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

In October 2005, the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment (1/502) of the 101st Airborne Division deployed to Iraq to take their turn garrisoning the area south of Baghdad known as the ‘Triangle of Death’. This was the time when the Bush Administration’s scheme for ‘invasion lite’, followed by a self-funded reconstruction programme using Iraq’s oil revenue, was dramatically unravelling. Dangerously low Coalition troop numbers and implausible expectations of success had given armed factions in both the Shi’a and Sunni communities the time and space to organise themselves. At the same time, the Jordanian Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq’ – in reality, a vicious Sunni faction with little real connection to Osama bin Laden’s organisation – had established a campaign of atrocity targeting the Shi’a community, with the presumed intention of provoking all-out sectarian conflict.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Stuck for a gift idea for Father's Day? Subscribe to Literary Review and get a FREE copy of 'An Impeccable Spy' –… ,
    • 'Gone. All gone. The ease, the pleasure, the effortless eloquence' From May 1995, Margaret Forster's withering rev… ,
    • RT : SO excited to tell you about this event! 😆 The amazing digital colourist, will be joining w… ,
    • 'Peters was unashamed and evidently unshamable, an impostor who wholly inhabited his fabrications and who indignant… ,
    • ‘At every waking moment Barbara Hepworth was aware of herself as a woman paving the way in a man’s world’ From the… ,
    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,