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Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,293 ratings  ·  55 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 for waiting 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 r ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 25th 2006 by Dell (first published January 1st 2005)
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Lone Survivor by Marcus LuttrellBlack Hawk Down by Mark BowdenNo Easy Day by Mark OwenBravo Two Zero by Andy McNabAmerican Sniper by Chris Kyle
Best Books on Special Forces Missions
8th out of 67 books — 168 voters
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153rd out of 156 books — 173 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
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
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,
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 31, 2011 Becca-Rawr rated it 5 of 5 stars
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.
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 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
Chris Ross
This is a book about the battle of Takur Ghar. I read this right after finishing Not a Good Day to Die by Sean Naylor because it was on the same subject. This book is as good as Naylor's book and in its own ways. It differs from Naylor's book in that it focuses almost exclusively on what happened on Takur Ghar and not the events that took place in the planning, build-up, and flawed execution of Operation Anaconda. It leaves out much about Task Force 11, TF Blue, the CIA personnel mentioned in Na ...more
John Pfefferle
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
Jordan Erlanson
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
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
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
Chuck Springer
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
Audrey Grant
I really wanted to love this book. I plowed through it. And it was good where it told the events of the book it's self.

The issue I have is all the technical, background. Constantly... Breaking in every few paragraphs!
Going into long descriptions of each person's history (often from birth), each piece of equipment, (how it worked, the pluses & minuses, had it been used in battle before, what previous kinds Had been that led to this...), etc.
It became a textbook.
Michael Schollmeier
No non sense!!

None of the politics you see in other books here! This book was easy to follow and made me feel like I was in the fight!!! I read the whole thing in 3 days and with my busy lifestyle that's gotta be some sort of record!
Jun 10, 2012 Yoshi added 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
Harold MacElman

I found this to be extremely well researched book. I found it worth every cent and minutes worth of time I spent reading it.
Jul 28, 2011 Dave added it
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
Greg Snow
Very interesting read concerning real American heroes. These fine men should never be forgotten.
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
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
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
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.
I certainly found it interesting, but there are much better written books concerning military events in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Jun 05, 2011 Abby marked it as to-read
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.
Kind of more of a third-person account of the battle that took place in Afghanistan, which I was not expecting. I did not like how the author switched back and forth between several people, each of which gave their own description of the battle. I guess that's a better account of the battle, but I'm more comfortable with a first-person view. More people probably also makes it more accurate.
My heart and deepest appreciation goes out to all who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces to protect and preserve our freedoms and quality of life. This true story exemplifies courage, valor, grit, and sacrifice under enemy fire and at all costs - in the most harsh terrain on a night when all that could go wrong, did go wrong - with no man left behind.
Alain Dewitt
A quick read. Very focused narrative on a tragic accident that turned into a major small arms firefight that cost the lives of seven service members. Not quite 'Black Hawk Down' (which is the gold standard of modern military histories) but a good read nevertheless.
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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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