On April 6th, 2003, twenty-six Green Berets, including those of Sergeant 1st Class Frank Antenori's Special Forces A-team (call sign Roughneck Nine-One), confronted a vastly superior force—one that included battle tanks and more than 150 well-trained, well-equipped, and well-commanded soldiers—at a remote crossroads near the small village of Debecka, Iraq. The rest is history…
Along the way, they endured a U.S .Navy F-14 dropping a 500-pound bomb on supporting Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, the ever-present threat of WMDs, and countless other deadly obstacles.
This is the never-before-told, unsanitized story of how one Special Forces A-team recruited and organized, trained and eventually fought—and won—a legendary conflict that will influence American military doctrine for years to come.
Former Special Forces sergeant Antenori and writer Halberstadt (War Stories of the Green Berets) grippingly recreate the valor of Antenori's Special Forces A-Team in the battle at Debecka Pass in northern Iraq on April 6, 2003. Antenori's 12-man operational team (call sign: Roughneck Nine-One), along with more than a dozen other Green Berets, fought a major engagement with an Iraqi armored task force on Highway 2, a vital artery for moving troops and supplies. Despite being outmanned and outgunned, the Special Forces closed the highway and repelled an Iraqi counterattack spearheaded by four T-55 tanks and eight armored personnel carriers. The Special Forces suffered no casualties, but dozens of their Kurdish allies were killed or wounded by an errant American air strike. The authors highlight the skill and bravery of the Special Forces without overlooking their foibles and mistakes (or failing to lambaste the pesky, on-the-scene reporters who made their job harder). Though the book's second half speeds along with the battle's details, it's preceded by an overly long, familiar prologue the selection and training of Special Forces soldiers and pre-deployment preparations. On balance, Antenori's memoir offers a gritty inside look at a Special Forces team at war.