During their 2009 OP HERRICK tour, The Black Watch’s role was to raid into Taliban insurgent heartlands, rather than ‘hold ground’, like other battle groups. Accountable directly to Regional Command South and with all Coalition helicopter forces available, the Battlegroup was dubbed the ‘flying squad’ by the media as it took the fight to the Taliban with aggressive aviation assaults in both Helmand and Kandahar Provinces.
The book charts the experiences of the Battlegroup from its training, deployment, its thirteen operations including raids into the Sangin Valley, the Battlegroup’s one wave assault at the start of Op PANTHER’S CLAW and Battle Group fighting patrols in Kandahar Province, an area known as the ‘heart of darkness’. It then reflects on the group's losses and home coming. The book is written by the young men of the Battlegroup who were individually and collectively asked to do extraordinary things in the face of a highly experienced and ruthless insurgent; they were not found wanting.
With the use of photographs, stories and letters, the book explores the paradox of combat and the boredom of waiting; the calm of camp life and the chaos of battle. The book exposes the humor, the grief, the hardship and the camaraderie experienced by our soldiers on the front line of modern warfare.
Representing the UK in coalition operations across Southern Afghanistan, the Battlegroup’s reputation was characterized by humanity and restraint in combat, complemented by ruthless ferocity when required.