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Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong 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 the Taliban. Outnumbered 40 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. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.
During a surrender of 600 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 doomed.
"A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda" (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton's account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with 21st-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. With "spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier's secret mission remains the US military's finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war" (USA TODAY).
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Julie-Ana on 12-31-16
I really looked forward to this book. I had wanted to pick it up in hardback, but found it here on audible and had credit. I regret downloading it because Jack Garrett did a terrible job reading . He plays it up like he's narrating some overly dramatic film trailer, which ruins the book. The story speaks for itself; just read like a normal human being.
37 of 40 people found this review helpful
By Nate on 08-31-15
Great Book! But the narrator...
What did you love best about Horse Soldiers?
Fantastic Story! Great read, check it out.
What about Jack Garrett’s performance did you like?
I hated Jack Garretts performance. He sounded like he belongs in a Michael Bay movie. His attempt at a gritty dramatic dialog reminded me of the most cliche 80's action drama. It was so stupid it actually detracted from the story; which is a bummer since the story is very well written.
Any additional comments?
I hope Jack Garrett gets trampled by the the wildebeest with strep throat that he was trying to sound like.
40 of 44 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Chaoslu on 03-15-18
Not quit as interesting as I had hoped.
I had hoped for a interesting re telling of the events after 9.11. but fund my self not very engaged in the story. The story line jumps between characters and within the timeline which can be confusing. I found myself not focusing on the story frequently. I would say the the story would have benefitted from beeing condensed and more focused. maybe cutting the first hours and alot of the what is happening back home parts. a order timeline would have helped too. Also if you dont want to hear a very very American tale of heroism you should give this a pass.
I am not saying this is a bad book, I do not regret buying it. but I would definitely call it flawed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By M. Kelly on 07-25-18
Great when it finally got started
I enjoyed this book but a whole 3rd was taken up at the beginning with soldiers domestic arrangements. Love stories about their wives etc.
When it finally got going it was riveting. As an ex Soldier I was able to relate to a lot of the story.
Worth a read but buy the abridged if you can get it.