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The Night Stalkers

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  981 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
From the authors of the bestselling In the Company of Heroes come the thrilling, never-before-heard stories of the Army's elite aviation unit, the most daring and professional helicopter crews in the world.

In his first book, Michael Durant told his harrowing tale of being shot down in his Blackhawk over Mogadishu and held captive by a Somali warlord. It was a remarkable
Hardcover, 335 pages
Published December 28th 2006 by Putnam Adult (first published 2006)
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Sep 13, 2012 Jerome rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book reads more like a biography of the men and women in the 160th SOAR rather than an operational history of the unit. The book cover flap says "never-before-heard stories" and "Top-Secret Missions of the US Army's SOAR" but so far, the book hasn't lived up to the claims.

A big annoyance is how the authors include a one to ten page biographical background of every person introduced. These biographical "flashbacks" throw off the pace of the book. The book starts in Grenada, jumps back to Iran
Nathan Shutter
Nov 02, 2015 Nathan Shutter rated it it was amazing
Recently I have just read the novel “Night Stalkers” by Michael J. Durant and Steven Hartov. It was a great novel, but it wasn’t much of a novel as much more it was a collection of biographies. These biographies were all of a elite group of super militiamen and women. They are part of a group known as the Night Stalkers or more officially known as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). This high ranking group of men and women are known for flying fairly close to the ground an ...more
Sal Bo
Mar 01, 2017 Sal Bo rated it it was amazing
very interesting,, if you want to know about combat missions,, great reading
May 12, 2010 Ice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
Until 1980, Special Forces (Delta, SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets) relied on ad hoc transportation from other units to get to every operation. That led to disaster in 1980, when the failed Iranian hostage rescue left hulks of five helicopters in the Iranian desert. The U.S. Army decided to do it right the next time, resulting in the creation of SOAR, the Special Operations Aviation Regiment, a highly trained, aggressive unit of helicopter pilots and crew. Durant (In the Company of Heroes) and coau ...more
Feb 05, 2017 Stacy rated it liked it
Shelves: military
While I enjoyed each of the stories within this book, I found the overall format a little jarring. Since each chapter was about a completely different op or group of people, each chapter was like starting a whole new book. In addition, within each chapter, the story would jump from one group of people to another. This all made it somewhat difficult to get into the flow of each story and to get to know or feel for the individuals. However, it was still worth reading to learn the amazing skill and ...more
Fabio Laporta
Jan 06, 2013 Fabio Laporta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military
This is a really intense book of the US Army's 160th squadron, better known as The Night Stalkers. This group of Special Pilots used to not be very well known but in the last few years they and their missions started to be famous and they officially became super stars after the recent raid against Osama Bin Laden.
The Night Stalkers deserve a book like this one, a really outstanding biography of what they had done in the past. The author starts from the creation of the SOARa in the 1970s and he g
Scottsdale Public Library
US Navy SEALs and SEAL TEAM 6 are currently the super-stars of the media and are rightly deserved too. Special Operations teams seldom work alone and one of the crucial elements that took part in the recent Osama Bin Laden raid was the US Army’s 160th SOAR(Airborne) or The Night Stalkers.
The Night Stalkers: Top Secret Missions of the U.S. Army's Special Operations Aviation Regiment is truly an outstanding book that chronicles the creation of the 160th SOAR(Airborne) from the 1970s to early 2003
Roger Burk
Aug 12, 2012 Roger Burk rated it really liked it
The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne), AKA Night Stalkers, is is an Army helicopter unit specializing in long-distance and low-altitude flight, covert operations, raids, infiltrations and exfiltrations, and so forth. This book is a breathless, worshipful, admiring account of the unit from their creation as a temporary covert task force in the aftermath of the failed Iranian hostage rescue in 1980, through Grenada, Panama, the Iran-Iraq War, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Mis ...more
Stephen Kennedy
The story of Task Force 160 or as they call themselves the Night Stalkers. This is the squadron of US Army Aviators that fly the helicopters that carry Special Forces into their missions around the world. The book goes through a history of the creation of the Task Force and then recounts some stories of some of their pilots and crew through various missions.
There is a story that covers the events in Mogadishu Somalia that was made famouns by Mark Bowen's Blawkhawk Down. In fact one of the autho
Mar 03, 2013 Dustin rated it really liked it
This was another great military aviation collection. If I have any gripe, it's that I know there are probably hundreds more stories involving the Night Stalkers, and the missions they participated in. Given the nature of their job, though, it's obvious that those stories may be told years later, if at all. I was grateful that the stories that were able to be told were published. I love reading about the single minded dedication of the pilots and soldiers. Especially when it involves the crazier ...more
Sep 10, 2011 Craig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: military, historical
This is a fantastic book about the creation of the elite military helicopter pilots that work with special forces ground crews.
The stories are amazing. Each story is recounted with detail; yet remaining distant enough to avoid being gruesome.
The book is filled with detailed stories from people who were clearly there. I felt like I was there with them.
The book really made me even more impressed by the skill of these pilots. And the bravery that they display. And the luck that is often the differe
Dec 27, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing
What can I say? I love this book and find it to be an incredibly interesting read. It is fast paced and full of incredible stories of the soldiers of the 160th SOAR. It's only downfall is that it may be a bit too technical for the average layperson to understand. Being in the military, it was easy for me to follow along but it could easily confuse others who don't have an understanding of Army Aviation.
Apr 23, 2008 Eric rated it it was amazing
An excellent piece of non-fiction written by a former Night Stalker pilot (Michael J. Durant, who also happens to be the pilot that was shot down and captured -and later freed- in Somalia, an incident depicted in "Black Hawk Down").

Superbly well-written, balances the focus between the individual men and the particular missions, with enough technical detail to thrill combat aviation readers.

Oct 08, 2009 Chad rated it it was amazing
I listened to this on Audible and loved it! Mike Durant who was shot down and captured in Somalia, (In the Company of Heroes) writes another excellent book shedding light on the 160th SOAR Night Stalkers. Includes a number of spec ops missions during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80's, invading Panama to capture Noriega, and a heart-wrenching mountaintop battle after being shot down in Afghanistan. Fantastic book that commands respect for those who sacrifice so much for their country.
Michael York
Apr 12, 2011 Michael York rated it it was amazing
Unbelievable real world story telling. The authors did a fantastic job telling the story of these unsung heroes, from their inception to now (well, what is declassified). This is a roller-coaster ride that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat; absolutely impossible to put down.

This is a must read for those interested in the history of special operations.
Jun 05, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
This book doesn't read like a novel, but it is still extremely engaging. it takes you through the different missions that the 160th SOAR unit is involved in, from Grenada to Somalia. Each chapter is a different set of characters but the book accomplishes its objective of familiarizing you with the most elite group of pilots on the planet.
Aug 26, 2011 Don rated it liked it
Wow! If the entire book had been written at the level of the description of the battle at Takur Ghar, this would easily have been a five star read. There are enough people, places, time frames, aviation history, and military acronyms to satisfy most flying-action geeks - especially rotor heads. But the story telling is rarely linear and character appearances often get a little confusing.
Mar 07, 2008 Garbacik rated it really liked it
This was an extraordinarily difficult book for me to read. The detailed accounts of the deaths of these brave and dedicated men brought me to tears several times. This book reinforces my belief that war should be the course of last resort - not a method of political expediency. I grieve for the fallen, and their families.
Jan 01, 2008 Colby rated it it was ok
After reading Durant's personal account of his experience in Mogadishu ("In the Company of Heroes"), I was eager to pick up his new one about this history of his unit, the Army's elite covert ops air division.

While the book was had some fascinating tales about the units founding and operations, it was often overly technical making the otherwise gripping stories quite dry.

Dec 21, 2011 Patrick rated it liked it
A fast and enjoyable read. Mike Durant gives a bit of a history of the relatively unknown 160th SOAR.

It mostly is a collection of different stories, at least that's how it felt to me, about the until and their exploits up to and after Black Hawk Down.

In the end: A quick read, some new details about the Nightstalkers, and a few good chapters about their ops in the War on Terror
George Sterling
Dec 05, 2016 George Sterling rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
I totally loved this book it was action packed and full of information about the men and the operations that they engaged in. I liked how it explained the how and why the unit was started. This is one of the best military books that I have ever read.
Jul 11, 2012 Dflaum rated it really liked it
Very good book about the history behind the 160th. A good read if you want to learn about the wild tales of special operations helicopter pilots. Provides an interesting perspective on my conflicts the united states has entered over the past few decades.
Dec 26, 2013 Ken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read!
Now I have to go back and re-read some related books.
Blackhawk Down and SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper
Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan
Michael Taylor
An absorbing book looking at a part of the U.S. military that shuns media attention, but is among the first called in many uses of military force around the globe. Military history fans will especially find the book valuable.
Aug 03, 2011 Ernie rated it it was amazing
Fantastic non-fiction book about army helicopter pilots and their real stories that run from the news reels of the 70's to present day. Excellent for anyone that is interested in special ops, military planning, and the dedicated men that protect us.
Jun 19, 2013 Troy rated it it was amazing
This is a very stunning book it is exceptionally written and a must read.It is very gripping and inspiring just keeps you on the edge.The author dose not pull any punches till's it like it is of great men and there bravery.
Dec 03, 2008 Dave rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Wow! What an awesome book. It's nice to gain knowlegde (as much as they will allow) about out special forces. The 160th SOAR is the best aviation unit in the world. Although I'm not ex-miltary I found it easy to follow. Some of the missions will pull on your "heart strings".
Brian Arsenault
Dec 20, 2012 Brian Arsenault rated it it was amazing
A fantastic story of the members of the 160th aviation regiment of the US Army. The author did a great job capturing the lives of those that formed the unit and have made it into the elite flying squadron that they are today.
Sep 21, 2011 Keith rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, a look into the origins and development of the 160th SOAR. Durant skillfully tells the story in a way that is both simple and captivating. The book is an easy read and should be of interest to anyone who relishes modern military history.
Ed Heichel
Jan 10, 2013 Ed Heichel rated it really liked it
Well written and action packed. A little repetitive towards the end, as this is a collection of various fight stories and not a continuous narrative, but still very good.
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