At dawn on March 2, 2002, America's first major battle of the 21st century began. Over 200 soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Division flew into Afghanistan's Shah-i-Kotvalley - and into the mouth of a buzz saw. They were about to pay a bloody price for strategic, high-level miscalculations that underestimated the enemy's strength and willingness to fight.
Now, award-winning journalist Sean Naylor, an eyewitness to the battle, details the failures of military intelligence and planning and vividly portrays the astonishing heroism of these young, untested US soldiers. Denied the extra support with which they trained, these troops nevertheless proved their worth in brutal combat and prevented an American military disaster.
©2005 Sean Naylor (P)2007 AudioGO Ltd.
50% story 50% after Action Report. well written and extremely well narrated. this book tells the story of operation Anaconda in a very detail-oriented way. it gives the account of the Warriors on the ground taking fire to the generals far removed and everyone in between, exposing the listener to the complex reality that is Modern Combat. if you're looking for a book purely about firefights this may not be for you but if you want to hear the in depth history behind the battle you will find this book to be fascinating. because this book was written in 2004 new information has become available and I highly recommend reading Pete Blaber; The Mission, The Men, and Me (2008) and Malcolm MacPherson; Roberts Ridge (2005) which fills in the holes on TF 11, AFO, TF Green, and TF blue.
Very detailed. I recommend, prior to listening, a primer with maps of the area and being familiar with the command structure and names of officers at colonel level and higher.
This will allow you to focus on and understand the small unit tactics, team work and events which are truly the most inspirational part of this book.
Audiobooks help me hold on to the few wits I have left.
Incredibly boring narration/reading. This might be okay to read, though it really needs a lot of editing. Every aspect has to be explored in ridiculous detail as it assumes the reader/listener has no prior knowledge of history, the military or even the distinction between Army and Navy. I'm only in to Chapter 9 and am abandoning the book as not worth the tortuous time to wait and see if it ever gets better.
No. This book is trying to be everything at once, and succeeds only in being very boring. The writer simply has no ability to tell a story. Instead he substitutes tons of little bits of trivia and name-dropping and detailed explanation of the difference between Army and Navy special operators. There may actually be a pony in this pile somewhere, but I'm not willing to dig through the pile to see if there is.
No change of pace or tone whether describing a hot insertion or background history, or fuel consumption logistics.
Not that I can find. It's much too detailed and scattered for someone that's not already a military history fan. At the same time it goes into details and history bits that assume the reader has no prior knowledge of anything.
Good editing and a different narrator cold probably save this, but it's too late now. Sure wish I could preview bits of audio books here the way you can for music on iTunes store.
Impressive research and analysis of "chain of command" and "on the ground" reality in modern warfare with advanced technology and weaponry. Bravery and confusion in battle are expertly detailed so that you feel like you are there. Excellent history of American efforts in the war in Afghanistan.
Not a story about people like Band of Brothers, etc. if that is what you seek there are other books. If you are looking at how decisions are made, staff operations, all bound by political constraints then this is your book. Excellent audiobook.
I enjoyed the fact that the author immersed the reader in the tactics and strategy and kept a clear coherent view of the battle.
Sean Naylor's account of Operation Anaconda will go down as one of the great books detailing the war in Afghanistan after 9/11. This work is an essential case study on the fog and friction of war, the clumsiness of the military bureaucracy, and the impact of leaders' egos on making sound decisions. "Not a Good Day to Die" is gripping, inspiring, and, gut-wrenching.
With all that praise, it is unfortunate that I can't give it five stars. While the narrator cannot be described as monotone, he has a very predictable, even flat, range of inflection. The story is strong enough to mostly overcome the rather static narration, but I still found it distracting at times. I highly recommend listening to a sample before buying.
All that being said, this is a fascinating story. Whether you listen to or read this book, it is a notable and worthwhile facet of post-9/11 military history.
Really helps the reader understand the early years of Afghanistan. The paradox is that it was both the US Military at its finest and also its worst simultaneously. Naylor is an excellent writer. I enjoyed this as much or more than Relentless Strike, which is also a must read. It would help to have a map while you listen. I did not and still managed to follow the story, but a map would make it better.
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