Go Back   SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network > General Topics > Book Reviews

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30 May 2009, 18:15
18Dwife 18Dwife is offline
Just a wife
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Closer to Pineland Now
Posts: 339
Thumbs up Horse Soldiers

By Doug Stanton

I just finished it .Very good book IMPO
I cried a few times ,very emotional book ..I recommend it highly

(I searched and didn't find another post about it ..sorry if I missed it )


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 the Taliban. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators, and overjoyed Afghans thronged the streets. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed. Dangerously outnumbered, they fought for their lives. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the effort to defeat the Taliban might be doomed.

Until now the full story of the Horse Soldiers has never been told. Doug Stanton received unprecedented cooperation from the U.S. Army's Special Forces soldiers and Special Operations helicopter pilots, as well as access to voluminous after-battle reports. In addition, he interviewed more than one hundred participants and walked every inch of the climactic battleground.

Reaching across the cold mountains of Afghanistan and into the homes of small-town America, Horse Soldiers is a big-hearted and thrilling epic story from one of our preeminent storytellers.
__________________
**Special Forces - they penetrate deeper, stay longer, and carry a heavier load.**


STAY SAFE!!!!SLEEP WITH A SOLDIER
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30 May 2009, 18:41
Trip_Wire Trip_Wire is offline
Been There, Done That
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Pacific NW - Puget Sound
Posts: 1,313
I read and enjoyed the book! I concur with your report and then some!

My first thoughts were this is what I signed up to do in SF (UW) and never really got to do, for real.
__________________
"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.- T.E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30 May 2009, 19:09
NWPTrainer's Avatar
NWPTrainer NWPTrainer is offline
Ragnar Danneskjold
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Sailing the sagebrush seas in
Posts: 878
I'll third that recommend, for whatever it is worth.
__________________
"I am a fucking island of testosterone in a sea of pussies." --Sharky
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30 May 2009, 23:21
Soot's Avatar
Soot Soot is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 805
I was actually kind of disapointed with the book.

I had read Stanton's In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors a few years back and thought it was an incredible military history and very well written.

Horse Soldiers is an incredible story, and certainly one that deserves to be told, but it read as though it were rushed to publication and I believe that the story suffered baddly for it.

It was repetative, spotty, factually inacurate in a number of places (I'm speaking from the perspective of an E4 11B here, the mistakes I caught were those that it was within my grasp to catch, I can't speak to the factual accuracy of Special Forces related information), and I felt a little preachy.

I wouldn't warn anyone off of it, but I felt that Stanton and/or his editors could have done a much better job.

Last edited by Soot; 30 May 2009 at 23:24.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 31 May 2009, 00:57
18Dwife 18Dwife is offline
Just a wife
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Closer to Pineland Now
Posts: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soot View Post
I was actually kind of disapointed with the book.

I had read Stanton's In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors a few years back and thought it was an incredible military history and very well written.

Horse Soldiers is an incredible story, and certainly one that deserves to be told, but it read as though it were rushed to publication and I believe that the story suffered baddly for it.

It was repetative, spotty, factually inacurate in a number of places (I'm speaking from the perspective of an E4 11B here, the mistakes I caught were those that it was within my grasp to catch, I can't speak to the factual accuracy of Special Forces related information), and I felt a little preachy.

I wouldn't warn anyone off of it, but I felt that Stanton and/or his editors could have done a much better job.

I don't know anything about being factually inaccurate in a number of places(considering I wasn't actually there ) I just know that I could relate to so many things as a wife .
I could have wrote some of what he said .I actually had to put the book down a few times b/c it hit so close to home for me .Very emotional .It was one of the best books I have ever read .He down a wonderful job of describing certain things .
__________________
**Special Forces - they penetrate deeper, stay longer, and carry a heavier load.**


STAY SAFE!!!!SLEEP WITH A SOLDIER

Last edited by 18Dwife; 31 May 2009 at 01:01.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 22 June 2009, 23:17
Justaclerk's Avatar
Justaclerk Justaclerk is offline
Drawing my cutlass
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 7,255
Reading it now. First 12 pages had me in shock (uprising at the fort). Next chapter had me pissed off (9/11).

How could we be so blindsided/stupid like that?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 22 June 2009, 23:39
18Dwife 18Dwife is offline
Just a wife
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Closer to Pineland Now
Posts: 339
It gets better and better with every chapter
I can't wait to see who they cast for the Movie !!
__________________
**Special Forces - they penetrate deeper, stay longer, and carry a heavier load.**


STAY SAFE!!!!SLEEP WITH A SOLDIER
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 6 July 2009, 23:35
mb5417 mb5417 is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: NJ
Posts: 163
Atrocities??

I just started reading Horse Soldiers and found a statement made by the author early on in the book (2nd or third chapter) regarding Special Forces in Vietnam to be surprising. Basically he said that the officers in special Forces were worried that they would not be called on to fight in Afghanistan because of their reputation for growing their hair, dating the locals, and ignoring orders while fighting in Vietnam. He also stated that 5th group was responsible for the worst atrocities in Vietnam.

I don't believe I've ever heard that assertion made by any credible (maybe unbiased is a better term) source in all of the accounts of SF in Vietnam. It almost sounds like the author took a caricature of Special Forces created by Hollywood and the anti war crowd (such as the Winter Soldier accusations) over the last 30 or 40 years. Or maybe he interviewed John Reed (Cross Thread Points??)

Stanton doesn't attribute the assertion to anyone, so maybe it was an offhand comment from an officer worried about the perception of SF at the Pentagon, but it read like a well known fact.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 9 July 2009, 11:08
Spec Ops Planner Spec Ops Planner is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Jamaica, NY, USA
Posts: 53
mb5417,

I agree!
I'm about 1/3 through the book. It's good when he's directly quoting the
experiences of actual participants. It's terrible when he's giving background.
Just before the portion you quote, the author has the most fouled up history SF I've ever seen.

The author also has no concept of SF or SOF organization.
Like many authors, Stanton is short on research.
__________________
Joe C
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 15 July 2009, 11:43
crokee056 crokee056 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: new jersey
Posts: 22
I enjoyed the book as well but found the end of the book was rushed. The author took time to explain in detail the events leading up to the uprising at the fort but then pushed through it. I was estatic to see that the author, while writing the book about S.F., did not bash or put down the other personel involved with or assigned to the O.D.A.'s like has been done done in other books. I do not know how accurate it was since I was not there. I found it refreshing to see an author show how a small group of highly trained and dedicated men can effect the WORLD in such a positive way and for the most part telling the story of what went right and not what went wrong. Just my two cents.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 15 July 2009, 12:30
Spec Ops Planner Spec Ops Planner is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Jamaica, NY, USA
Posts: 53
crokee056,

I'm on page 230. When the author is describing the 2 ODAs operations, this book is excellent.

However, I have many of the works cited in the bibliography. For example, the USASOC study, Weapons of Choice, gives accurate details about the same subjects as Horse Soldiers. In describing the refueling during 595's infiltration, Doug Stanton states that the refueler was an AC-130 rather than an MC-130U Combat Shadow.

To many of us on SOCNET, this level of detail is secondary to the central story. However, this book is on the NYT Best Seler List. A lot of people who don't have our background knowledge are getting bad context.

I also appreciate that Stanton didn't bash other personnel.

I think Dick Couch's Sheriff of Ramadi is the best example of how to organize and write a non-fiction work like this.

The writing does seem rushed all the way through. This may be due to Stanton's publisher or editor.

If this book was longer, better organized, and better researched, it would have been a classic.

After I complete the book, I'm going to try to get in touch with Doug Stanton and give him a critique of his work. Maybe he has another book in him. I'd like to see him write a really great one.
__________________
Joe C
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 15 July 2009, 21:46
Berndernald Berndernald is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: USA / OCONUS
Posts: 49
I was speaking with my Old Man just the other day, and he happened to mention that he was reading Horse Soldiers.

Incidentally, shortly after September 2001, my Dad, along with one of his cowboy colleagues were hired to put on a two-day horse craft clinic at a park in Virginia, for three warriors on their way to Afghanistan.

The way my dad described the guys, it sounded like they were contractors, or perhaps paramilitary; I remember him saying that they weren't kids, that they were from different branches, were quiet and professional, and that they were very quick studies.

I was all excited for my Dad, thinking the Army might reinstate the Calvary and give old cowboys like him cool new jobs.

A number of months after my Dad participated in that little seminar, a big, dirty, mysterious crate (total Indiana Jones style) arrived at the family farm. One of the soldiers had shipped his [presumably retired] Afghan saddle back stateside to my Dad. How sweet is that?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16 July 2009, 08:51
Spec Ops Planner Spec Ops Planner is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Jamaica, NY, USA
Posts: 53
A very interesting story!
One of those anecdotes that pepper US SOF history.

I knew that 10th Group had training with horses and mules in Colorado.
__________________
Joe C
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16 July 2009, 11:45
Justaclerk's Avatar
Justaclerk Justaclerk is offline
Drawing my cutlass
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: South Florida
Posts: 7,255
Probably because Pike's Peak is such a bitch of a ruck march...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spec Ops Planner View Post
I knew that 10th Group had training with horses and mules in Colorado.
But what the hell do I know....
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 18 August 2009, 22:09
_4_ _4_ is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: West coast
Posts: 51
Just finished the book. Very interesting and well written. Just amazing how a handful of our warriors did what thousands of Soviets couldn't. Not saying that there isn't still a lot that needs to be done, getting off topic now.

Great read.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 19 August 2009, 00:31
Massgrunt's Avatar
Massgrunt Massgrunt is offline
Violent Social Worker
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Day shift.
Posts: 11,467
Just started it, very promising so far. I've never read a detailed account of the prisoner uprising before.
__________________
"The real problem was being able to stick it out, to sit in an office under the orders of a wee man in a dark gray suit and look out of the window and recall the bush country, the waving palms, the smell of sweat and cordite, the grunts of the men hauling jeeps over the river crossings, the copper-tasting fears just before the attack, and the wild, cruel joy of being alive afterward. To remember, and then go back to the ledgers and the commuter train, that was impossible. He knew he would eat his heart out if it ever came to that."

- "The Dogs of War" by Frederick Forsyth
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19 August 2009, 10:52
18Dwife 18Dwife is offline
Just a wife
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Closer to Pineland Now
Posts: 339
I got to meet the Author last Friday .He is a nice man
__________________
**Special Forces - they penetrate deeper, stay longer, and carry a heavier load.**


STAY SAFE!!!!SLEEP WITH A SOLDIER
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 21 August 2009, 00:00
NightLandNav NightLandNav is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Ready on the right.
Posts: 1,458
X2 Trip Wire.
__________________
-.. --- / -.-- --- ..- / .... . .- .-. / .- -. / . -.-. .... --- ..--..
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 21 August 2009, 08:19
mcdude mcdude is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: midwest
Posts: 605
the old school way prevails...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berndernald View Post

A number of months after my Dad participated in that little seminar, a big, dirty, mysterious crate (total Indiana Jones style) arrived at the family farm. One of the soldiers had shipped his [presumably retired] Afghan saddle back stateside to my Dad. How sweet is that?
Without naming names, I am pretty sure I know who that was. Interesting story, there.

I should try once again to get him on here, actually. He actually worked for me once upon a time.

Tell your dad thanks for his service. He did them a huge favor.

MD
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 21 August 2009, 15:50
sawbones sawbones is offline
Confirmed User
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: OH/AZ TRAVEL NURSE
Posts: 732
I was at work the other night commenting on reading a book on SF in Vietnam. The another RN asked which one. I told her the authors name was Stanton. She started laughing at me. I asked if she had read it, she said she probably read or had the manuscript read to her. I said its a book not a manuscript. She said the author is her father.

Im waiting on my signed copy now.
__________________
"You may be younger and faster but I will still knock you smooth the F**K OUT if you do that again"-HMCS H. (DAD)

Blunt force and penetrating trauma are very educational tools-ME :D

There's only 2 ways to change someones mind about you, setting them on fire or slapping the shit out of them-Marcus Luttrell
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Our new posting rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:23.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Socnet.com All Rights Reserved
SOCNET