[Download kindle] Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in AfghanistanAuthor Doug Stanton – Circuitwiringdiagram.co

The inspiration for the major motion pictureStrong from Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael ShannonFrom 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 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar i Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the countryThe bone weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrownThen the action took a wholly unexpected turn During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would be POWs Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city s immense fortress, Qala i Janghi, or the House of War At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomedDeeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton s account of the Americans quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty first century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan


10 thoughts on “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    The movie 12 Strong to be released January 19th, 2018 my birthday is based on this book I asked for a few Americans, said General Abdul Rashid Dostum they brought with them the courage of a whole army The Famous Horse Soldiers of Afghanistan.Dostum was ruling Northern Afghanistan when the Taliban captured Masar i Sharif in 1998 and blew up the ancient Buddhas that had watched over the town for centuriesWhat man had the right to write the future by blowing up the pastThe The movie 12 Strong to be released January 19th, 2018 my birthday is based on this book I asked for a few Americans, said General Abdul Rashid Dostum they brought with them the courage of a whole army The Famous Horse Soldiers of Afghanistan.Dostum was ruling Northern Afghanistan when the Taliban captured Masar i Sharif in 1998 and blew up the ancient Buddhas that had watched over the town for centuriesWhat man had the right to write the future by blowing up the pastThe Taliban wanted a pure state, a return to a brand of Islam that is true to their interpreted beliefs of the Koran So Dostum, an advocate of educating women and awestern approach to life, spent the next three years trying to push back the tide of radical Talibanism Then 9 11happened.I was in Spencer, Iowa in a McDonalds when I happened to glance up at the TV suspended in the corner of the room and saw the burning tower I was processing that image just as the second plane flew into the twin of the first Everything stopped for a few seconds as my mind tried to comprehend what I was seeing I was a helpless child.To Dostum and the other General s propping up the Northern Alliance, outgunned by the Soviet tanks and hardware of the Taliban, it was a blessing They whispered to each otherthe Americans are coming American Special Forces grew beards to better fit with the culture.We sent twelve special forces soldiers They landed in Afghanistan in October of 2001 Support people were brought over, pilots and crews that had to assemble helicopters within 48 hours because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was already on the phone screaming for results He had the press so far up his ass he was in need of something to tell them, to assure the American people that something was being done Before leaving the states the special forces guys bought up all the batteries, gloves, and blankets they could find They, like the rest of the armed forces, was unprepared for war with no time to get prepared It reminds me of the cold fury I felt when I realized so many of our soldiers were being sent to Afghanistan and Iraq without proper equipment I remember stories of small communities raising money quickly to add armor to humvees so their children who were riding to war for us would have adequate protection I remember a president when asked what the American public could do to help suggested that we should just go shopping Shopping That s all you got.We needed to be involved We wanted to be involved We remembered another president saying Don t Ask What Your Country Can Do For You, But Ask What You Can Do for Your Country We were asking and you told usto goshopping The special forces brought 21st century technology to a war being fought on a 19th century scale The Northern Alliance attacked tanks, planes, and rocket launchers from horseback Insanityand the Americans were suddenly thrust back into the classroom trying to remember what they had studied on the battlefield tactics of Civil War generals J.E.B Stuart and John The Gray Ghost Mosby Colonel John S Mosby The Gray Ghost.They had to learn to ride horses, not tame plodding horses, but stallions that when not busy riding into battle were viciously fighting each other It boggles the mind to think of our special forces riding horses to a hilltop overlooking a battle involving horses riding against tanks while calling down bombs from the heavens Smart bombs that were targeted by sophisticated technology that would allow them to drop from 20,000 feet and land on a specific coordinate on the ground or to follow a laser locked on as a beacon after a truck racing along the desert floor It boggled the minds of the Northern Alliance and the Taliban It was magic, powerful magic I am the kit fox,I live in uncertainty.If there is anything difficult,If there is anything dangerous to do,That is mine Sioux warrior s song It is so ironic that this group called themselves Taliban, meaning seekers of knowledge, when their mandate was to send Afghanistan back to the stone age The opposite of learning, evolving, creating a safertolerant societyTheirs was the perfect world Since taking control of Kabul in 1996, the Taliban had banned music, kite flying, photography, movies, and even perfume Husbands were ordered to paint their house windows black so no one could see the women inside, and the women themselves were forbidden to leave their homes unaccompanied by a male relative Women were to be as pliant as cattle, silent as stone As many as 100,000 girls were ordered not to attend school Literacy rates among the total population dropped as low as 5 percent Denied proper obstetrical care, one out of three mothers died in childbirth The life expectancy for men dropped to forty two years Suicide rates among women soared as they were driven mad by privation Oh yeah and theybroke down doors, smashed TV s, tore paintings from the walls, and dragged men into the street and shot them They broke into hospitals and slit the throats of Hazara patients They raped Hazara women who ate handfuls of rat poison in the aftermath, preferring death to the shame of their violation They urged residents to convert on the spot from the Shia version of Islam to the Sunni brand, practiced by the Talibanand they brought back something that should have been left in the gladiatorial coliseums of ancient romeThe Taliban executed women in the soccer stadium for sleeping with men who weren t their husbands They cut off the hands of robbers White coated doctors would anesthetize them on the warm grass on the soccer pitch and do the operation in front of thousands of cheering people We can t forget about Al Qaeda the militant Islamic organization founded by Osama Bin Laden The Taliban were even scared of them Made up of disenfranchised men from neighboring countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Uzbekistan They hate women They hate America They live to die gloriously They would not be taken alive The changing alliances in the book are confusing to the Americans Captured Taliban troops were given a choice, to either join the Northern Alliance or go home and not fight any Many of them are men who were subjugated into fighting for the Taliban and were happy to join the Northern Alliance, I guess, until they were captured again and then would fight for the Taliban This all leads up to the first defining moment in the American involvement in Afghanistan Google Map of Qala i JanghiThe Battle at Mazar i SharifHundreds of Taliban soldiers have surrendered to the Horse Soldiers and the Northern Alliance They are penned up in an old fort called Qala i Janghi which in English means the House of War The Taliban are not searched as is customary among Afghans as it is considered an insult to do so In their midst is a young American named John Walker Lindh, a man now serving twenty years in an American prison There are huge containers in the fort filled with captured Taliban weapons Two CIA operatives are sorting through the prisoners trying to find the ones they think will be useful for intel The prisoners revolt, pulling grenades and weapons from their clothing One of the CIA operatives, Mike Spann is killed, becoming the first American casualty of the Afghanistan War Doug Stanton goes on to write about the desperate struggle to gain back control of the city that the special forces fought so hard to liberate The Americans realize that if they lose control it will take months of bloodshed to win back the city Stanton interviewed hundreds of people to write this book and it shows He knows every nuance of the battle and explains it to us in vivid detail He tells us what the wives of these men were thinking and the gut wrenching stress of knowing nothing, but able to imagine the worst He brings us background from the Afghans who were so excited about the Americans coming to free them from this tyranny The most amazing part for me was the melding of American technology and Afghan battlefield tactics and the ability of a handful of special forces men to turn the tide of a war is simply astounding And let s not forget about the horses, the brave and crazy horses, and the men who rode them Wars, as the earlier military thinker Carl von Clausewitz pointed out, are not fought to kill people they are fought to effect political change They are violent, expensive, and represent one of the universe s great rifts in the social contract To study peace, then, is, de facto, to study war Any political and social movement, of any stripe, that does not grasp the degree to which these opposites are actually twins is fruitless If you wish to seeof my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. Terri Terri says:

    Fantastic Utterly fantastic Books like this rarely come along the books that should exceed the 5 star Goodreads rating system To me, Horse Soldiers, by far and away, is one of those books.The story in itself is astounding That a group of Special Forces guys would be dropped into Afghanistan with the express intention of assisting the Northern Alliance by calling in bombs on targets So yes, that story in itself is fascinating, and inspirational, but you then have to add into the equation t Fantastic Utterly fantastic Books like this rarely come along the books that should exceed the 5 star Goodreads rating system To me, Horse Soldiers, by far and away, is one of those books.The story in itself is astounding That a group of Special Forces guys would be dropped into Afghanistan with the express intention of assisting the Northern Alliance by calling in bombs on targets So yes, that story in itself is fascinating, and inspirational, but you then have to add into the equation the fact that they do this on horseback, in a hostile and brutal landscape, and that there is an author here, a true story teller, who can weave wonderful magic I honestly have never read anything quite like it.Doug Stanton layers his story in an incredibly brilliant way He doesn t just tell the tale, he gives you a 360 degree view of the lead up and the orchestration and the finale He puts you in the head of the wives, the Nightstalker pilots, the Chinook door gunners, the local Afghanis, the Northern Alliance generals, commanders, dogs bodies, the medics, the horses yes, the horses , the Special Forces guys, their lives, their thoughts, their idiosyncrasies He takes you along on the Nightstalker flights, the journey from pre 9 11, to 9 11, to post 9 11, to Uzbekistan and Pakistan, he takes you along with hundreds of horseman as they ride in waves at the line of Taliban gunfire and missile and tank fire He glues it all together and wraps you in it until you turn that last page and close the book This is not a book I will forget in a hurry


  3. Carmaletta Hilton Carmaletta Hilton says:

    This book was a difficult read At times, I felt like I was trudging through a high school or college text book with the information piling on top of me until I couldn t breathe Other times, however, I felt like I was in the middle of a story with a real narrative that pulled me along Obviously, the narrative parts were easier to read, but at the same time, they gave me pause and made me stop I found myself actually reading it like this was a story, some kind of historical fiction, which led This book was a difficult read At times, I felt like I was trudging through a high school or college text book with the information piling on top of me until I couldn t breathe Other times, however, I felt like I was in the middle of a story with a real narrative that pulled me along Obviously, the narrative parts were easier to read, but at the same time, they gave me pause and made me stop I found myself actually reading it like this was a story, some kind of historical fiction, which led me to look at the people involved as characters that I needed to feel one way or the other about, that I needed to understand, instead of the real people were involved This became a problem when someone did or said something I didn t agree with, or as in the case of Mike Spann, the way in which the author presented his backstory made me think a little less of him I had to put my feelings about these characters decisions aside and remember that I am not really here to judge these people, I m not even reading this book to judge them I m reading simply to find out what happened.I was forced to think about a lot of things as I read Horse Soldiers, but the main one actually kind of made me feel guilty about reading the book I have always believed that we don t need to know everything and that there are some things that we don t need to know As I read about how these Special Forces men lived in secret and had no desire to be heroes, I wondered how much we force these people to sacrifice by what the media like to call America s need to know As I read about the way the media rained down on everyone involved, from the men in Afghanistan to the families back at home, I became evenupset People s lives could be in danger by revealing not only these identities, but also where these people live The fear that some of these soldiers expressed over their identities getting out made me feel bad about reading this book and I had to put it down Then, in a few minutes, I was actually kind of angry because while they did seem to have this fear of being found out, they also spoke freely with the author of the book, thus giving away that anonymity that they so valued I was able to push those thoughts away because this is something they participated in, something that is meant to be read.Overall, I found the book interesting, and what those men did in Afghanistan was absolutely amazing I was leaning toward 3.5 enough, at first, to push it to a 4, but I settled at three because of the epilogue which felt pretty judgmental to me and because, in the end, it was a pretty difficult read There were so many people involved, many of them often introduced only once or twice, that I couldn t keep them all straight, even though it was clear that I was supposed to readily remember who had done what and with whom Despite that, Mr Stanton did put forth a story that intrigued me and I will probably pick up his other book, In Harm s Way


  4. Glen Glen says:

    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.An excellent, exciting account of the special forces soldiers who invaded Afghanistan, riding horses to victory I m not at all surprised they made this into a movie.


  5. Alden Mackie Alden Mackie says:

    This book could have been covering the most interesting story ever told, held the secret to life itself and it wouldn t mean a thing It was horribly written 100 pages into the book and the main characters still haven t stepped foot on Afghanistan soil There is so much mundane detail about every single person introduced in the story whether or not they are an important person to the plot or not that it bogs down over and over again Every time the book seems to be picking up another person g This book could have been covering the most interesting story ever told, held the secret to life itself and it wouldn t mean a thing It was horribly written 100 pages into the book and the main characters still haven t stepped foot on Afghanistan soil There is so much mundane detail about every single person introduced in the story whether or not they are an important person to the plot or not that it bogs down over and over again Every time the book seems to be picking up another person gets introduced and they, their spouse, and anyone else the author could think of get a page or two dedicated to providing useless background information


  6. Mike Mike says:

    Hah he Dostum chortled into the radio, talking to the Taliban soldiers The Americans think so little of you they have sent a woman to kill you I will call her the Angel of Death The Taliban were apoplectic This occurs near Konduz after an AC 130 Spectre gunship with a female crewmember is overheard on the radio I loved that psychological warfare.Ok, this is an important book on the start of the Afghan campaign Amazing inventiveness, courage and endurance by the SOF teams called Hah he Dostum chortled into the radio, talking to the Taliban soldiers The Americans think so little of you they have sent a woman to kill you I will call her the Angel of Death The Taliban were apoplectic This occurs near Konduz after an AC 130 Spectre gunship with a female crewmember is overheard on the radio I loved that psychological warfare.Ok, this is an important book on the start of the Afghan campaign Amazing inventiveness, courage and endurance by the SOF teams called on to deploy incountry What was thought to takethan a year to achieve happens in a few weeks, as the Taliban crumble in the face of overwhelming 21st Century precision weapons Having our folks on the ground was key to making it a success This book covers the period from 9 11 to deployment prep, deployment into country and the battle up through the fight at the Qala i Janghi fort outside Mazar i Sharif Stanton nails the terror of night flying, the multiple viewpoints and confusion of adhoc operations and firefights, the effectiveness and speed of the wives intel networks they often know stuff before anyone else.I did not care for the parts devoted to John Walker Lindh, the traitorous American Taliban did nothing for the story I wantedon the fight from the first battle to reaching Mazar I did not appreciate the dismissiveness and almost contempt for the air force and naval air playersbut then I am a little prejudiced there It would have been so muchinteresting to dump the Lindh stuff and add in the airpower players perspectives There were limited number of pilots and aircrew there in the beginning, should have been able to add their view of the battles The one major flaw in the story was a lack of discussion on criticism or lessons learned One glaring area was the lack of SOF members who could speak Dari or Pashtu Russian is used where possible In Jawbreaker Jawbreaker The Attack on Bin Laden and Al Qaeda A Personal Account by the CIA s Key Field Commander, covering the Agency side of this story, Gary Berntsen highlights communication problems extensively This should have been discussed here.In the end, I moved it from 3 Stars to 4 stars because the soldiers tell a courageous story of sacrifice and honor It is an inspiring story of courage


  7. Spencer Spencer says:

    This was a fascinating book that left me with two takeaway points 1 Afghanistan is one of the most incredibly complex, dangerous, nuanced, barren, afflicted, difficult places on earth It is hard for Americans, who live with such far reaching freedom and ridiculous affluence, to even imagine that a place like this exists Unless, of course, you are one of the brave and dedicated members of our armed forces like those in this book who have spent time fighting there 2 The best way to fight This was a fascinating book that left me with two takeaway points 1 Afghanistan is one of the most incredibly complex, dangerous, nuanced, barren, afflicted, difficult places on earth It is hard for Americans, who live with such far reaching freedom and ridiculous affluence, to even imagine that a place like this exists Unless, of course, you are one of the brave and dedicated members of our armed forces like those in this book who have spent time fighting there 2 The best way to fight for freedom in cultures so completely unlike our own like Afghanistan is to do so along side the local people, instead of in place of the locals This book tells the amazing story of how some US Special Forces did exactly that Just after 9 11, a very small group of these specially trained soldiers joined the Northern Alliance fighters in Northern Afghanistan and beat back the Taliban from that region They were successful in doing this by forging alliances with the local leaders of anti Taliban militias and working alongside them including, by waging war via horsebackhence the name of the book The confluence of the Americans technology and the primitive nature of the Afghani warfare was, in the words of one of the US soldiers, like the Jetsons meeting the Flinstones But, amazingly, they were successful Overall, very fascinating and enjoyable book I would highly recommend it


  8. Natalie Natalie says:

    These men who truly did accomplish something extraordinary, their families, the backdrop of current events, and the way time waits for no one are all presented with great respect and care In the midst of it all, and in the aftermath we ve just lived through, babies are born, men die, soldiers once victorious are re deployed and face danger again and again while their families wait, men ready themselves to fight another day, others attempt to gather enough money or power or support to make their These men who truly did accomplish something extraordinary, their families, the backdrop of current events, and the way time waits for no one are all presented with great respect and care In the midst of it all, and in the aftermath we ve just lived through, babies are born, men die, soldiers once victorious are re deployed and face danger again and again while their families wait, men ready themselves to fight another day, others attempt to gather enough money or power or support to make their way or mark upon the land and those they live and die among Four stars because the author doesn t try to fictionalize to make this account of war in Afghanistanreadable Instead he demands of the reader a full awareness that they are reading about their contemporaries Not five because not well edited, Not five because the story of the day to day aspects of what it means to go to war on horseback is left untold we don t know how the men learned to control their mounts or how their mounts were selected, or if they cared for their own mounts, if their horses survived, whether the US soldiers assumed the care of their own mounts, whether they were shod, or into whose care the horses went after the soldiers reached the city or went home Did the horses too return to future battles til they were dead


  9. Mrs. Elaine Mrs. Elaine says:

    I finally finished this This is not my first military history but I always find they make for very slow reads All of the names, acronyms, and dates get muddled if I read them to quickly.Mr Stanton managed to write a fairly entertaining book I enjoyed learning a few tidbits regarding the soldiers personal lives By the end I felt like I was familiar with each mans individual personality which made for a very lively read There were a few slow parts but by the time the soldiers touched downnin I finally finished this This is not my first military history but I always find they make for very slow reads All of the names, acronyms, and dates get muddled if I read them to quickly.Mr Stanton managed to write a fairly entertaining book I enjoyed learning a few tidbits regarding the soldiers personal lives By the end I felt like I was familiar with each mans individual personality which made for a very lively read There were a few slow parts but by the time the soldiers touched downnin Afghanistan the periods of action where frequent To be honest the harrowing description of flying into Afghanistan from Uzbekistan had me anxiously biting my fingernail I believe the author also exceeded in giving the reader a clear view of the Afghan peoples mindset and culture Afghan males anyway Other then the occasional mention of the soldiers wives females are largely absent from this book but since the soldiers had little to no delaings with Afghan women in makes sense The parts involving the commanders Dotsum and Atta surprised me greatly I wasn t expecting to actually like these people I thought at best the SF soldiers would tolerate them Seeing the soldiers become a real part of the Afghan Army was wonderful It really elevated the book beyond a military history It gave this particular book a biographical element and touch s of real humanity.Before reading this book I had never even heard of the American Horse Soldiers which is just a shame I was a junior in high school driving to first period when I first heard about the Twin Towers I thought I was listening to a commercial for a movie Two years later my brother finished his time in a Marine Corp bootcamp in San Diego I missed a week of school in December to see him graduate By 2007 my brother had served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan He was wounded twice and received two purple hearts I had put off reading this book for years Despite devouring all the memoirs I could find regarding the Spec Forces in Vietnam and WWll I was very reluctant to read any books regarding the war in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9 11 Reading them would cause the same anxiety I had felt during my brothers deployment So here I am, almost 10 yrs after my brothers retirement once a Marine always a Marine , when I decided I would give this book a go I am so glad that I did My brother had given me his copy and it had been sitting on my shelf for at least 4 yrs What these men, these America Horse Soldiers, accomplished was amazing Highly recommend this to any and all


  10. Westminster Library Westminster Library says:

    Doug Stanton s well researched book on the extraordinary adventure of US Soldiers and their fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan is remarkable Due to the highly sensitive nature of the story, it took quite some time before it was declassified by the US government This story shows the power of the human spirit, the power of endurance and perseverance, the power of freeing an oppressed people, the power of fighting for justice and winning against the odds At times I could not put the book d Doug Stanton s well researched book on the extraordinary adventure of US Soldiers and their fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan is remarkable Due to the highly sensitive nature of the story, it took quite some time before it was declassified by the US government This story shows the power of the human spirit, the power of endurance and perseverance, the power of freeing an oppressed people, the power of fighting for justice and winning against the odds At times I could not put the book down and just couldn t believe what I was reading I perused the photos and reread sections to fully appreciate the complexity of the situation and I was actually bummed when I finished the book I wanted to knowabout each of the men who fought so valiantly Like the struggle they fought, they and their families will always sacrifice for our country and never be fully acknowledged They are true heroes.Find Horse Soldiers at the Westminster Public Library