One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat.
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, laced through 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Book great narrator not so much
For me an audiobook's narrator is a make or break part of making it enjoyable. In this case one of the best wartime narratives I have ever listened to/read is almost ruined by a voice that reminds me of an actor playing a Confederate Civil War General in a grade b movie using a terrible southern accent. What's even weirder is that as the book goes on his "accent" seems to go away. The content and storyline are outstanding.
That was one hell of an audiobook and one hell of a fight. This old Infantryman is impressed.
Very good book
I listened to the book each day when I run. A very good book will get me out there when I really do not want to run. This was one of those books that would get me out there in spite of the weather. I read some comments about the narrator being not so good. I did not find this to be the case. I guess it is just preference for the voice sound. I related to the tough southern accent and I am not from the south. The story was very gripping. Knowing that our country is protected by men like these is reassuring. Makes me proud to be an American and my admiration for the special forces.