An Iraq War veteran’s firsthand account of surviving a deadly insurgent ambush against the 1st Cavalry Division—and battling through the aftermath. It was known as Black Sunday—April 4, 2004, when units of America’s 1st Cavalry Division saw their routine deployment turn into a harrowing and costly fight. Enraged, motivated, and well-armed insurgents crammed the alleys, streets, and buildings of Sadr City. In that fight, a surging mob of militants ambushed one small unit of the Black Knight battalion. The heroic rescue attempt proved fatal for many of the determined soldiers who braved the gauntlet. Cav veteran Matt Fisk—who fought through Black Sunday and survived—gives a gut-level, over-the-rifle-sights view of a short, violent period when one of the safest places in the war zone suddenly turned into a cauldron of death and destruction, leaving eight US troops dead and dozens wounded—only the beginning of a lengthy siege aimed at defeating the Mahdi Army. Fisk’s rugged deployment with colorful and courageous fellow soldiers would result in some serious problems when he returned home, testing his coping skills. He turned to the VA for help—and wound up with the same frustration that plagues so many of today’s returning combat veterans. It’s all here in Black Knights, Dark Days—and it’s all brutally honest.
“A gripping, astonishing insider’s account of the April 4, 2004, ambush of a First Cavalry Platoon in Sadr City that changed the course of the Iraq War. With great candor and skill, Matt Fisk interweaves the chaos and adrenaline of modern combat with the continuing battles with PTSD at home. An intense, vivid, deeply personal portrait of men at war that is up there with the very best books of the genre.” —Mikko Alanne, screenwriter and producer, The Long Road Home, The 33