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Paperback Horse Soldiers : The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U. S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan Book

ISBN: 1416580522

ISBN13: 9781416580522

Horse Soldiers : The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U. S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan

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Book Overview

The inspiration for the major motion picture 12 Strong from Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon. From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm's Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory. Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This is an important book about Afghanistan

Doug Stanton, New York Times bestselling author of In Harm's Way wrote this spellbinding history of the early American war efforts in Afghanistan. The book reads like a well-written novel. When the terrorists struck New York and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the United States was not prepared for a retaliatory war or even adequate preventive measures to protect US citizens. President Bush declared war on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan the next day, on September 12. But the military had no contingency plan for war in Afghanistan, and certainly did not have soldiers who knew how to fight a war riding on horses, the way the Afghans fought, or even men or women that spoke the Afghan language. One would think that the US could draw a strategy from the Russian experience, but this was not possible because the Russians failed. The Russians had fought in Afghanistan for ten years, from 1979. They introduced a fighting force of a half million men into the country, and lost fifty thousand of them. In fact, historians write that their defeat was one of the causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The US was involved in the Russian war. The Americans backed the anti-Soviet forces called the mujahideen. The US turned a blind eye to their extremist religious views and supplied them with sophisticated weapons. But then the Taliban rose from the ranks of the mujahideen, well armed and well trained, as an enemy of the US and of civilization. The Taliban, who followed an extreme version of the Sunni religion, were religious zealots determined to turn back civilization to the fourteenth century, to an ancient generally imagined time that they considered the golden age, when people were ruled by the stringent dictates of Islamic law. The name Taliban is ironically built on the Arabic talib, meaning "student" or "seeker of knowledge." These seekers of knowledge felt a religious obligation to slit the throats of non-believers, castrate them and leave their bodies to rot in the road. They insisted that husbands paint their windows black so that no one could see the women within. They forbid women from leaving their homes without a male family escort. These seekers of knowledge forbid over 100,000 girls to attend school and the literacy rate in the country slipped precipitously to only five percent. Women, in short, were to be as pliant as cattle and as silent as stone, a thing, barely human. The initial US reaction was to bomb the Taliban enclaves, but the bombs generally hit nothing, and the Taliban laughed at America. The US only began to have an effect upon the Taliban when they sent a unit of twelve Special Forces soldiers to fight against them in Afghanistan itself. The Taliban's enemy was a group of Afghans called the Northern Alliance. The mission of the twelve was to join with and fight with the Northern Alliance against the Taliban. The Special Forces was founded in 1952. Its soldiers were trained in guerrilla warfare. They wore a cap with an insignia of a

Good Book - Great Detail of the Initial U.S. Push Into Afganistan

Enjoyed this book - the author gets really detailed on the events and paints a vivid picture of the battle on the ground. Amazing how real he made the Northern Alliance and Taliban soliders, could see both groups as actual human beings fighting for their causes. Worth reading for a good story and to understand the truth behind what went on in that country just a few short years ago.

Thoughtful with insight to where we are now in the South Asia theater of conflict.

I thought "Horse Soldiers" was well done in terms of historical content. The author also was able to use what he learned to give readers a solid place to stand in viewing future events in the South Asian conflict. This guy can write. Reads like an adventure novel. I would recommend without reservation.

Excitement personified

Mr Stanton has created a fascinating narrative of the exploits of the US Special Forces in what was prewar Afghanistan. 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.

a stunning account - The Charge of the 9/11 Brigade

I was given this book by a friend, so I looked at it and immediately - sat down, started reading and finished it almost one sitting. Horse Soldiers is the impressive story of the US Special Forces team sent into Afghanistan after 9/11 to capture Mazar-I-Sharif. So the first action against terrorists of the 21st century winds up conducted on horse back, more accurately a cavalry charge much like Mosby's raiders during the Civil War. There is action, pathos and even a bit of humor as a group of Special Forces men who had only, for the most part ridden horses in summer camp ride into battle. There was so much that was captivating, I found myself stopping to read passages out loud to my husband. 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 .
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