What exactly is the controversy?
Several scenes in the book are too similar to another book, an Iraq War memoir called House to House
, which led to accusations of plagiarism. This quote is from a review on Amazon that sums it up.
Originally Posted by Amazon Review
Flesh and Iron
"He had done it to deny the father a chance to see his children one last time. The men he lost in Lauzon and all the good soldiers killed under his command had not been given the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones...The last Baeder saw of the dying man...utterly despondent as he tried to find his children through the thickening smoke. Baeder had denied him the last chance to say goodbye. For some reason, Baeder felt a thrill of joy. It was something he had not wanted to become.They had made him this way."
House To House
"...but also to deny their father a chance to say good-bye. My brothers who died in the field got no such opportunity to say good-bye to those they loved, and I will afford none to this man... Their father, utterly despondent..as the white smoke filled the air around him... I robbed him of his final earthly joy. I delighted as I watched his life ebb away..What have I become?"
The central units in both books are also known as 'the Ramrods'. Sergeant Major Pulver from Flesh and Iron, seems copied from Sergeant Major Faulkenberg in House To House - Faulkenberg gives up a superior technology rifle for a lesser one to help another soldier (p.62 Bellavia) and Pulver does too (p.275 Zou), their physical descriptions are near identical (p.211 of Zou and p.163 Bellavia). Depictions of a wounded soldier are also near identical in both books, complete with references to their lives being changed and rolling onto their stomachs (p.306 Zou). Insurgents mimic the voices of the US Army (p.205 Bellavia) and the insurgents do the same to the Imperial Guard (p.222 Zou).
Black Library never responded to the accusations, nor did Henry Zou, so nobody is sure if it was intentional or accidental. I chose to ignore it.