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Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan Paperback – May 11, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. In this absolutely riveting account, full of horror and raw courage, journalist Stanton (In Harm's Way) recreates the miseries and triumphs of specially trained mounted U.S. soldiers, deployed in the war-ravaged Afghanistan mountains to fight alongside the Northern Alliance-thousands of rag-tag Afghans who fought themselves to exhaustion or death-against the Taliban. The U.S. contingent, almost to a man, had never ridden horses-especially not these "shaggy and thin-legged, and short... descendents of the beasts Genghis Khan had ridden out of Uzbekistan"-but that was not the only obstacle: rattling helicopters, outdated maps, questionable air support and insufficient food also played their parts. Stanton brings each soldier and situation to vivid life: "Bennett suddenly belted out: 'It just keeps getting better and better!' Here they were, living on fried sheep and filtered ditchwater...calling in ops-guided bombs on bunkers built of mud and wood scrap, surrounded by Taliban fighters." In less than three months, this handful of troops secured a city in which a fort had been taken over by Taliban prisoners, a tangle of firefights and mayhem that became a seminal battle and, in Stanton's prose, a considerable epic: "Dead and dying men and wounded horses had littered the courtyard, a twitching choir that brayed and moaned in the rough, knee-high grass." --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
“A fascinating account…This is not just a battle story—it’s also about the home front. An important book.” –The Today Show
“A thrilling action ride of a book.” –Bruce Barcott, cover of The New York Times Book Review
Top Customer Reviews
The book title refers to the fact that our US SF needed to mount horses in order to stay with the Northern Alliance tribesmen they were helping to drive out the Taliban. Many of them had never before been on a horse. Really tough duty, especially on makeshift wooden saddles. The SF people are introduced by name, and you are given their bios, leading to the reader becoming intimate with all of them. A most interesting approach to telling the story.
I highly recommend this book.
If I was still teaching current history this would be on the reading list, and I know it would be well received. I will be surprised to not see this book become a movie, its tale is gripping and fascinating. The men in this story will make you proud of our service men, their bravery, courage and at the same time you will be intrigued and awed by the skill and methods of our modern military.
As one who grew up in the army and have always been near those whose hearts and souls are given to protect us - this is a stunning account that reaches the best of a story teller's writing, except this is true and will make those who read it, aware of, and thankful for the skill and bravery that is written of in this book .
In the end it is also the harrowing tale of how a small group of American Special Forces and the CIA working with Afghan soldiers managed to defeat the Taliban in one of the world's remotest battlefields.
It's not a book about politics. Stanton sets out to tell what happened, how it happened and who it happened to. He does this with startling attention to detail and a an objective overview of U.S. Military actions.
At one point American bombers can't seem to hit a target whether the bombs are guided by Global Positioning System coordinates or LASERs. Near the end of the book they drop a bomb on some of their own men.
But it is Stanton's ability to weave a story that brings the book alive and takes readers to places they would rather not be to hear things they would rather not hear and to see things they would rather not see and to smell things they would rather not smell.
The story is told in a narrative fashion sometimes switching between Afghan battle and a spouse battling her emotions about whether her husband will come back home. And, although this switching back and forth fills in interesting background, it's a technique more akin to screen writing than book writing. It makes it harder for readers to keep track of what's happening to whom.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is certainly an Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan. It's not just because of their heroism which is superb. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Denise-Marie
I finished this book today, 9/11/16, 15 years after the Twin Towers fell. It chronicles the heartbreaking and amazing story of the days following the attack and the brave SF men... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Debra A. Carlin
I've always loved this book for the writing and kind of crazy-but-true story it tells.
One of favorite books to gift people who read and what something "new or... Read more
As with Stanton's other terrific book, In Harm's Way, I am again impressed with the way he weaves a story and takes the reader along for the ride. I just love his stuff. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. HUGHES
If you want to know what our Special Forces members face during their assignments overseas; this is the book to read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by N. Kenyon
I thoroughly enjoyed this book about a war I never knew existed. Very well written & hard to put down. A must read for all war enthusiast!Published 2 months ago by Eric Wade
If you want to read an amazing true story and to learn some history about how our country responded to 911 as well as the heroes who went to war for us then this book is a must!Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent book about the first boots on the ground after 9/11!Published 4 months ago by James L Naughton