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Roberts Ridge Roberts Ridge Roberts Ridge

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,019 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Afghanistan, March 2002. In the early morning darkness on a frigid mountaintop, a U.S. soldier is stranded, alone, surrounded by fanatical al Qaeda fighters. For the man's fellow Navy SEALs, and forwaiting teams of Army Rangers, there was only one rule now: leave no one behind. In this gripping you-are-there account-based on stunning eyewitness testimony and painstaking re ...more
ebook, 350 pages
Published August 30th 2005 by Delacorte Press (first published January 1st 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Nov 28, 2011 Chrissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
This book tells you the story of one small part, a "distraction" to the main battle effort as the book itself states, of Operation Anaconda. The book is a fast-paced read that incorporates a little personal history of each military member involved woven throughout the text and battle-telling to give you a glimpse into who these men were/are which I really enjoyed. I also felt this book did a good job in capturing the emotion of the men, in particular during the medevac situations. Despite all of ...more
Aug 24, 2011 C rated it really liked it
The most poignant line in the story comes in the conclusion when a battle weary warrior eyes a group of guys trying to look "tough"; his buddy tells him, "they want to be like you," to which he bewilderingly responds, "why would anyone want to be me?"

His answer reflects the harrowing 24 hours he spent high on a mountain in Afghanistan only a few months before. A small team of Navy SEALs and quick reaction force of Army Rangers fought for their lives outnumbered and under constant direct fire in
Oct 08, 2011 Max rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Just a few short thoughts from me on this book: Overall, I enjoyed reading it, but I have read better reports on Iraq / Afghanistan from other authors.

The first half of the book unnerved me quite a bit with its descriptions of the private life of the soldiers. Don't get me wrong: I like hearing about their private life, and to see that they are normal human beings like everyone else. But the way it was done in this book was really getting on my nerves. Every time a new Person enters the story,
Mar 15, 2010 Trish rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, war, asia
I have recommended this book countless times, and each reader is similarly impressed. This book, about the Afghanistan Special Forces mission on Robert's Ridge that goes wrong, was written before Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor) could even talk about his ordeal. It is the overarching story of Luttrell's mission, and goes into detail how the mission ultimately came to disaster. While Luttrell necessarily focuses on his own experience, this book, written by a reporter, covers all the men and what t ...more
May 25, 2011 Becca-Rawr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Becca-Rawr by: Jennifer Mattis

It's not hard to see the cover of this text, read the inside flap, and have a general idea of what you're going to be reading. Yes, you still can not prepare yourself for this novel. It's an emotional ride that has as many downs as ups, and in the end you feel a deep sense of pride and pain.

MacPherson does a wonderful job with his pacing of this novel, and it really helps to drag the reader in further during times of chaos and turmoil, then slows down the scene to deliver emotional blows
Kelly Crigger
Roberts Ridge is a great story that's just not told very well. The events of Takhur Gar could easily have been the next "Blackhawk Down" but mediocre writing and lackluster prose actually separated me from the characters when I found myself wanting to bond more with them. It seems this book was rushed into production in the hopes of the public latching onto it as the first great story from the war on terrorism, but it falls well short of that pinnacle. Overall it's a story worth telling, but it ...more
Michael Flanagan
A good read on a mission gone wrong and the courage of the men stock on top of a mountain top battling the enemy and the weather. For me this book could have been so much better if it was not so busy, the author nearly pulls off bringing all the numerous story lines together bur just falls short. Still a book worth reading.
Landon Herring
Jan 09, 2017 Landon Herring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. it was really sad though.
Aug 11, 2008 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books I've ever MMCS at ODS knew this guy and my wonderful husband gave me this book for our anniversary
Dec 28, 2016 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, as I often do, I took a hard left and ended up many genres away from the magical, fictional, light-hearted world of my last read, The Golem & The Jinni. In what can only be described as polar opposite, Roberts Ridge is the story of a military fiasco in Afghanistan predicated on the sacrosanct military philosophy of “no man left behind.”

Ultimately, this book is what it would seem at first glance; battle, blood and guts, brotherhood, chaos, death, and survival. The graphic detail isn’t fo
Arda Tezcanlar
17-hour account of how a small-unit special operation went wrong. Blank details, hazy perspective of events, but good narration. Instead I advise you to read Sean Naylor's "Not A Good Day To Die."
Dawn Schupp
Jul 11, 2017 Dawn Schupp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Kathy Strehlow
Mar 20, 2017 Kathy Strehlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of military jagon, I didn't know. But what these soldiers went through was interesting.
Jordan Erlanson
Sep 21, 2011 Jordan Erlanson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book so far is about Navy SEALS getting on top of a mountain in Afghanistan, Takur Ghar. they are trying to stop Al-Qaeda forces from advancing in the war. When the helicopter is getting to the top of the mountain they are trying to find the LZ (Landing Zone) when they find it the helicopter starts to land, all of a sudden behind a rock a man comes out behind and rock with an RPG and shoots the helicopter, one of the Navy SEALS gets thrown out of helicopter and they try to rescue him but the ...more
Joshua Emil
4.5 rating

The Battle of Roberts Ridge is the most audacious C-SAR and QRF mission of the first decade of the 21st Century. It is also the testing ground for contemporary CAS sorties and ISR operations.

Moreover, this battle, in support of Operation: Anaconda, is almost equivalent to the Battle of Mogadishu (commonly known as the Black Hawk Down incident) in October of 1993. What makes them ALMOST the same are: a)Involvement of the prominent Special Operations Units and b)The challenges the QRF
This may be a really fascinating story about "courage and bravery", or whatever else the dust cover advertises, but geez, what is it with these military writers not knowing how to write?

And I'm not talking about the actual participants of the mission. That, I could excuse. After all, they really have more important things going on than having to worry about their writing style. No, MacPherson was a Newsweek correspondent, so one would think that he was getting paid to write. However, if that was
Jul 16, 2010 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alan read this a couple years ago and has been bugging me to read it ever since. It is a true story of Chinooks that got shot down in Afghanistan while inserting troops on a mountain peak. As Alan is a Chinook pilot, and flew past Roberts Ridge all the time while deployed in Afghanistan, this story was especially intriguing for him - he also met one of the guys whose hand got all but blown off. It is an incredible story. I listened to the audio - the narrator needs some pronunciation lessons (fo ...more
I've been reading a lot lately about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and this is the most boring and frustrating story I've come across. I think it's because of the way it is written (boring) and the fact that this mission was such a clusterf*** that I'm not sure why the story needed to be told. (Frustrating) It's not uplifting; it's just really really sad and upsetting that good men lost their lives as a result of a mission that should have been aborted when the head SEAL first thought of it.

This is a great book that gives you the "inside look" of the war. It does a great job of capturing the emotions of the soldiers and is full of action. The only down side was that the real action didn't start until half way through the book. It's cool to read about their normal lives , but to tell you the truth, I didn't really care.
But once the action started, one of the best books ever. It really draws you in and makes you feel close to all of the characters. When one of the characters get sho
Chuck Springer
Nov 06, 2014 Chuck Springer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a moving and detailed account of a short but intense military engagement between United States special operations forces and al Qaeda insurgents fought in March 2002, atop Takur Ghar mountain, Afghanistan. This battle proved the deadliest engagement of Operation Anaconda, in which members of US Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines lost valuable personnel.

This book is dedicated to those fine young men:
USN SEALs: PO1 Neil "Fifi" C. Roberts
I read this book along with another book about Operation Anaconda. Of the two, this is by far the better book, although its emphasis on a single set-piece battle makes its scope much smaller. For those that don't know about Robert's Ridge, it has become in many ways the Blackhawk Down of the initial Afghanistan conflict. Errors compounded by the fog of war that were only overcome with amazing heroics and sacrifice. Well worth your time. And for those that like to comment on Afghanistan policy, t ...more
Drew Lawrence
Apr 17, 2016 Drew Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, as I've had a long-standing fascination with the decade plus of conflict in the region. I have family members who have been deployed to Afghanistan and want to read different perspectives of the war. The freezing hell that these men went through, the trauma, the stress, all of it, leaves no question that we, as a country, are incredibly fortunate to have men and women who volunteer to subject themselves to these conditions. At the same time, aspects of the book furthe ...more
John Pfefferle
Jan 27, 2014 John Pfefferle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Things don't always go right, even for the best of the best.
But the best of the best continue to do their best, as long as they are able to.
I agree with other reviewers, some of our fighting men are not the best authors. However, given the choice of having the men and women the protect this country and myself of being proficient with grammar and writing, or proficient with killing those who wish to destroy me, my family, and my country, I choose the latter.
I'm saddened for the families that l
Sep 21, 2011 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though not necessarily a thriller, the true story of the fight for survival on Robert's Ridge is captivating. Carefully researched, this book brings the reader onto the battlefield and lets them see the fight for survival first hand. Throughout the saga, the author manages to capture the essence of the modern battlefield, the uses and limitations of warfare technology, and the struggles of the men who must still wage the war on the ground. Highly recommend for anyone interested in a deeper under ...more
Nov 16, 2009 kislam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, iraq-07
I read this book while in Iraq, and like many of the other books I read about soldiers serving in the War on Terror, inspired me to keep my head about me and keep a good perspective on my situation.

It is well written; there were many times I myself felt the frustration and exhaustion of fighting clueless bureaucrats in the rear, the daring of the soldiers involved, the fatigue from fighting at 14,000 feet, and the exhilaration of the rescue depicted. An outstanding story of courage, adventure, a
Elliotte Bagg
Jul 28, 2015 Elliotte Bagg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well captured recount of the fierce fighting in and around Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan. Seen through the eyes of multiple servicemen during an intense battle, this book immediately reminded me of Black Hawk Down. Like most books you might read on warfare in Afghanistan, from ancient times to modern day, the country's jagged terrain makes for extremely brutal guerrilla fighting by natives to the area! Definitely one of the more gripping books covering modern warfare, if you're into the sub ...more
Well, I guess having Spectres, Chinooks, Predators, and all those thousands of dollars worth of fancy military equipments does not mean you can win easily. Miscommunication and human error always have significant roles.

However, kudos to the Rangers and other special forces for taking the Takur Ghar peak (while suffering a total of 17 hours in agony), considering they have to fight against the people who used the surrounding mountains of Shah-i-kot as their defensive place for the last 2,000 year
Deb Hanson quinn
my husband went through the pipeline. he knew some of these guys (not these specific guys, but all who are somehow connected). All those things wives and families don't hear? it's in here. and it's just as you imagined and worse. we lost friends. I was able to read objectively, mostly, but it made me cry. THAT is an accomplishment. "Lone Survivor" didn't, nor did "American Sniper" (book OR movie) I haven't been sneak attacked like that since 4th grade and "Where the Red Fern Grows."
Oct 01, 2012 Jarrod rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-history
This book is a very easy read that I enjoyed. However, I thought the price to quality ratio was a little high therefore the four star rating. The book did well to represent the soldiers' lives prior to war and deployment and also did well to talk of their sacrifice and what it meant for those back home. It explained the faults of the mission, what really happened, the confusion that was abound and how the death of teammate affected the soldiers left to fight.
Jun 05, 2011 Abby marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I just honestly think Navy SEALS are the coolest people alive.

OW!!!! Anna just climbed on the computer chair with me and picked up the earrings I wore to church today, but had placed on the desk. I said, "Anna, please don't play with those. They go in Mommy's ears." So she stabbed me with one, straight into me ear. I think I'm going to cry. I don't even remember what I was going to say, other than the inside of my ear hurts, and I love Navy SEALS.
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Malcolm Cook MacPherson was an American national and foreign correspondent for Newsweek magazine and the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books.
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