This harrowing true account based on stunning eyewitness testimony and painstaking research captures in dramatic detail the 17-hour battle fought by a few dozen warriors against near impossible odds to save one of their own.
©2005 Malcolm MacPherson; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Well told and frightening as well as true, this is a book that bridges the breach between the increasingly professional American military and a civilian culture possessing little knowledge or experience of the military." (Booklist)
This story is simply an accounting of events that when assembled offer a good perspective on the prominent aspects of a recent conflict. The last half hour is a good summary of the total span of the events. Do not go into this story thinking that your going to get something other than a cold hard retelling from several perspectives of how the event took place. The author likely made use of interviews that were already conducted by a War College investigator. In the end it is a first rate accounting, complete with a human perspective of the soldiers. It most certainly was presented in a balanced manner. When the same mistake is repeated, even in a combat situation, there is no way to sugar-coat the reality. But, as it is clearly mentioned, this is part of the essence of combat....chance circumstances and/or the "fog" of war. I find that with war stories, because the subject can be infused with emotional perspectives, many reviewers let this color their reading of the story, and misinterpret the story. This story is clearly as reliable as combat accounting can get. Take it for what it is, and enjoy it. Otherwise......
From someone who IS military (not someone who has "read a lot" about the military) this book was exceptional. It was hard to hear in a way, because from a hindsight perspective there were so many things that went wrong (which is what "After Action Reviews" are for), it IS tough to believe it all happened. The book separates perspectives, which I could see where someone would find that confusing from a book/story standpoint, but that separation does an exceptional job of portraying what actually happens on the real battlefield. Incomplete and missing information, poor/missing communication, and snap decisions are a part of the real battlefield. There is an element of time included in the book, which in my opinion, is invaluable to portray how quickly things can happen & go wrong (even with preparation). The personal stories of the individuals involved added a nice aspect to the book, and were honorable...but were bastardized by the narrator's decision to attempt bad accents. I would include it on a "must read" list for all in the service as well as anyone interested, not just from the fact that it is a courageous story, but by far more important, a much better depiction of how a real battlefield dynamic can develop (and unravel). I would recommend it to any/all the overly judgmental "sideline sitters" and intellectuals who like think they can criticize our military for any "on the ground" decision...but they won't read it. It does not portray our soldiers in a disrespectful manner, and at no time did I feel attacked/insulted during the book.
This book chronicles a harrowing 17 hour event on a remote Afghan hilltop. Unfortunately, the reader's performance was dreadful. His attempt at various accents throughout the book was awful and quite distracting. Another performance tragedy was awkward pronunciation of common military terms. This is one of the rare selections that does not benefit from the audiobook format and would be best left as a traditional paper book. I feel somewhat guilty leaving such a harsh review considering the event and men this book is based upon, but the reading performance made listening to the entire book a disappointing chore.
Say something about yourself!
This book, with a brilliant combination of writing and reading, conveyed (to me at least) the fog of war and confusion of battle more vividly than I've ever experienced before. So compelling, I listened to the whole thing in 2 days (a long plane and car journey helped) not bad for a 24 hour book. I ended up proud of our guys, our military capability, and out determination to leave no one behind. But also hoping we can figure out better communication devices in the near future. A great read (listen) that I heartily recommend to anyone with the stomach for it.
This is a great Book. I would recommend it to anyone. I love true stories and this is a great one. This tells you how things can go terribly wrong in a short period of time and how men pull together to survive those times. It is a must Book to listen to.
It is expertly researched and narrated skillfully
The sequence of events when the crew of the downed helicopter try to get out of the wreck under heavy enemy fire.
I have not listened to another of Joe Barrett's performances. His skillful reading of this book guarantees that I will be listening to him again
Roberts Ridge, Tragedy and Triumph in the War on Terror
An excellent book
Over a year after purchase....I still come back to this book. A very powerful and unnerving account of what it means to be on the front line and a member of the elite in war. A very fast paced account of just what can go wrong at the highest levels when needing support when you are an elite unit sent out to do what you see as your duty. For the members involved and their families, this is a very human story. A story of guys that wanted to be the best , achieved that , sometimes at great personal cost, at other times at soaring personal achievement and then found when it came to "brass tacks" that they are let down. Flaws in the technology that they depend on to work and personal hubris of command, ultimately lead to an absolute disaster that should never have been. For men that don't comprehend the meaning of "give up" or "leave them behind" , this was their ultimate challenge. One they chose to respond to with what they had at hand. On a small mountain top in the middle of nowhere. They made their mark at great cost.
The human touch of this is jarring
Audio: its easier for me to finish audio editions of books.
The account of the fist helo going down and how the medics worked on the wounded despite the incoming rounds of 7.62 and RPGs.
The account of how the one of the teams fought the physical climb up the side of a mountain before encountering resistance from the enemy.
This is the third book Ive read that describes the events of Takur Gar. This book has the most details, but the story is choppy and the narrator was nearly monotone throughout. Very good details however and if youre interested in the events of this day its a good addition.
MacPherson delivers an amazing, detailed, and painfully revealing telling of battle on Takur Ghar. His book focuses on a 17hr mission and subsequent rescue during Operation Anaconda…and quite the white knuckle ride!
The only addition to the other 5 star reviews would be stressing MacPhersons great ability to keep the story from being personal or politicized. Any fan of Mark Bowden (Blackhawk Down) will appreciate his writing style…clear, detailed, and enough back story to give the characters personality.
Lastly, it’s interesting to see the low ratings from those who can’t believe events like this do happen in todays military. Sadly, not much has changed since the failed 1980 Operation Eagle Claw…smart…but power hungry "Academy" graduates running JSOC….treating it as a career building exercise…definitely NOT the people who should direct our best warriors on the ground...!!
'Robert's Ridge' is an absolutely gripping read. The structure of the book is broken down into sections within chapters with each section describing the same events as seen through the eyes of each member of the rescue teams during events covered in the chapter. This is not confusing and instead has the effect of brilliantly describing the often fast paced events during combat that make this book a real nail-biter which you won't want to put down.
'Robert's Ridge' offers some of the best writing I've seen and suits the subject matter perfectly. If this wasn't a true story, you'd think you were reading a Tom Clancy novel! The writing also offers depth in telling the reader something of the personal histories of many of the more major characters with often touching and sometimes poignant stories about who they are. Thus, the reader is introduced to the essence of many of the people involved which serves to strengthen the powerful narrative.
Suffice to say that this title will leave you amazed at its vivid depiction of fast-paced life and death events that occurred atop this distant mountain peak in Afghanistan.
Top listen, get it!
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