Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan

Version: Abridged
Author: Doug Stanton
Narrator: Dennis Boutsikaris
Genres: History, North America, Asia, Military
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Published In: May 2009
# of Units: 6 CDs
Length: 7 hours
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From the New York Times-bestselling author of In Harm's Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory.

Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy across mountainous terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential if they were to defeat the Taliban.

The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators, and overjoyed Afghans thronged the streets. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed. Dangerously outnumbered, they fought for their lives in the city's immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the effort to defeat the Taliban might be doomed.

As the Americans struggled to hold the fortress, they faced some of the most intense urban warfare of our time. But until now the full story of the Horse Soldiers has never been told. Doug Stanton received unprecedented cooperation from the U.S. Army's Special Forces soldiers and Special Operations helicopter pilots, as well as access to voluminous after-battle reports. In addition, he interviewed more than one hundred participants and walked every inch of the climactic battleground.

This exciting story is filled with unforgettable characters: brave Special Forces soldiers, tough CIA operatives, cunning Afghan warlords, anxious stateside soldiers' wives who do not know where their husbands have gone, and humble Afghan boys spying on the Taliban.

Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton's account of America's quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic. The Horse Soldiers combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople and avoid civilian casualties proved a valuable lesson for America's ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.

Horse Soldiers is a big-hearted and thrilling read, with an epic story that reaches not just across the cold mountains of Afghanistan but into the homes of small-town America, and confirms Doug Stanton as one of our country's preeminent storytellers.

Reviews (7)

Written by Frank J. on January 13th, 2019

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A very good read, compelling and in depth

Written by Damien M. on July 2nd, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

very good book but was also very dragged out,

Written by Anonymous on June 7th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

We send our troops in to do the impossible they do then our leaders blow it up Our men were winning the hearts and minds of the people we let them down Book of honor and sacrifice a great read

Written by Rori T on March 15th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Great story that should be read, narrator great changing his voice for the different people speaking. I would get lost in the story, also on the road. As I would be play while playing driving.

Written by Anonymous on January 5th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

great story, but was dragged on for the span of time the operation lasted


Written by Michael Y on January 1st, 2018

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Great untold story of the impact of a few brave men and the military muscle of America. A little slow moving but a must read if you want to understand what really happened in Afghanistan.

Horse Soldiers

Written by TVVesselsJr from Petaluma, CA on January 21st, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Want to know where all that money goes to and what is being done by our silent service men? Read and learn. Not the fastest paced adventure you'll ever read but it has its moments and a good voice too.

Author Details

Author Details

Stanton, Doug

Doug Stanton is the author of the New York Times bestseller In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. A former contributing editor at Esquire, Sports Afield, and Outside, Stanton is now a contributing editor at Men's Journal and has written extensively on travel, sport, entertainment, and history, during which time he nearly drowned in Cape Horn waters, survived a mugging by jungle revolutionaries, played basketball with George Clooney, and took an acting lesson from Harrison Ford.

Stanton lives in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan