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Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight against All Oddsby Rusty Bradley
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account by an unparalleled warrior, the only active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces soldier ever permitted to write, publish, and promote a book with full Army and Special Operations support.
Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come.
Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley's Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley's small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters--from whom they seized an impossible victory.
Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan's infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike--the shaky medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon's hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade--each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism.
An insider's account of the Afghan war by a Special Forces commander, published with the support of the Army and Special Operations, traces the against-all-odds Operation Medusa victory in the fight for Sperwan Ghar in the vital Southern region. 35,000 first printing.
About the Author
Major Rusty Bradley was wounded during the Battle of Sperwan Ghar in command of a Special Forces A-team, on his third combat tour as a Special Forces team leader. A native of North Carolina, he graduated from Mars Hill College and enlisted in the Army in 1993, serving as an infantryman for six years before earning his commission from Officer Candidate School in 1999.
Kevin Maurer has been embedded as a reporter with the U.S. Special Forces and 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan and Iraq more than a dozen times in the last five years.
Table of Contents
First contact — That sewer smell — Picking a fight — Welcome back — Bingo red one — Operation Medusa — Rat lines — A cat-and-mouse game — The red sands — The notebook — The voice of an angel and death — "Shoot into the bushes, daddy!" — Black on ammo — Seven two-thousand-pounders — Put your mouthpiece in — Friends for life — "These jokers just don't give up!" — Holding on at all costs — Today is not your day — A world of hurt — The dragon's back — Firebase Sperwan Ghar.
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History and Social Science » Military » Afghan War (2001-)