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MILITARY - IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN > WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

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message 201: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Yes, sad. :(


message 202: by Kristi (last edited Mar 15, 2011 07:41PM) (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "Tasha,
Care packages for dogs? Seriously? Is there a website address for that? How does one go about sending a care package for a military dog?

The refuge where we got one of our dogs is a refuge ..."


Sorry I missed this question! These guys are my fav to talk about, I don't know how I missed it! Pararescue men are medics that jump, swim, hike behind enemy lines carrying 100 lb aide bags with all the med. Gear they use, to go rescue downed pilots or special operators or anyone else that needs rescuing. They have the training of (I believe) paramedics plus trauma and emergency medicine as well as special tactics and SERE (and prob a ton of other stuff like the SEALs). They are expected to be able to provide medical care to their patients under fire, in trucks, helicopters or anywhere else they may find a victim, as well as in transit in such vehicles. I think that it is SOP to have a PJ (pararescue jumper) fly on most spec ops missions, and with all Night Stalker flights, just in case. They are the only part of the military that are primarily out there to help people instead of kill people...their motto is "That Others May Live". Pretty awesome if you ask me!

Paratroopers are soldiers who can parachute....that's it. Although they do get to jump out of planes, so that's cool too.


message 203: by Terri (last edited Mar 15, 2011 07:48PM) (new)

Terri Ah finally! :-) Thanks for answering my question, (which for those who don't know was basically, 'what is the difference between a parajumper and a paratrooper).

And so Pararescue is what you are hoping to get into isn't it? Or was it non military Rescue?


message 204: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 16, 2011 05:46AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2684 comments Mod
As to war dogs:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/wo...

The entire series is terrific and important to watch. This video is just about the dogs.


message 205: by Tom (new)

Tom André wrote: "As to war dogs:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/wo...

The entire series is terrific and important to watch. This video is just about the dogs."


Thanks André, I have seen some of the series - trying to get to the rest. I have also been enjoying the 'At War' blog when I get the time. Here is a short item on afgan dogs:

http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/0...


message 206: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "And so Pararescue is what you are hoping to get into isn't it? Or was it non military Rescue? "

I am interested in Search and Rescue, Non-Military. I signed up this year, but had to withdraw due to money constraints, since it's a volunteer position I have to pay for all my gear. My ultimate dream is to become a Wilderness EMT, Learn how to fly helicopters and work for either the National Parks Service, or as a Flight for Life pilot. But for now I'm a CAD Drafter, drawing big structural plans for buildings...

BTW...Women are excluded from Pararescue. I actually agree with this exclusion on the part of the Military, I know I could carry a 100lb ruck, but probably not the 100lb ruck plus a downed pilot, or a wounded soldier. But I have very deep respect for the PJ's, and they inspire me to be my best every day.


message 207: by Terri (new)

Terri Ah, I thought it was something. I remember ages ago you mentioning your Rescue goal to me.
Good luck with your dreams. That is a great dream to have. :-)

Also, I too am no 'woman hear me roar' type person. There are, sorry ladies, some jobs we just cannot do as well as men. A 100lb pack would be no trouble for me either, I carry that weight quite regularly on my back or in my arms, but like you Kristi, I wouldn't be able to carry a man as well.


message 208: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)


message 209: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I'm in agreement with Terri and Kristi. I think men and women each have gender strengths and weaknesses. To me, that is not a "problem", it's just the way it is...period. :)


message 210: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) I agree, but I also LOVE that women can now be fighter pilots and Apache Pilots...these are things that women can do and can excel at. I think it's a tough thing for the military, having to decide what women are and aren't allowed to do.


message 211: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I agree, I think women can do MANY, MANY things once thought only to be a man's job. I do support women's rights and strongly support women doing things once considered (and unfounded) to be only something men could do. I am definitely a feminist but recognize certain limitations...both from men AND women. I'm hoping that makes sense. :)


message 212: by Tasha (new)

Tasha btw, a woman pilot is tough...very cool.


message 213: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) I think that feminism has to also take a balanced approach. There are just things that women can't do. Not that anyone is putting a limitation on women, either men or women. Just because we WANT to be equal, doesn't mean we are, there are definetly things that women excel at, and things that men do, as well as thing only women can do and things that only men can do. I think it's about balance and being realistic, instead of demanding that women do all that men do. Maybe I'm not understanding what you said Tasha...


message 214: by Tasha (new)

Tasha You actually are understanding me, I just seem not to be able to convey my thoughts well. I know you understand what I'm saying because what you just said in the above post, I completely agree with. :)


message 215: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) lol...Oh ok, good. I was afraid I was gonna offend you.


message 216: by Terri (new)

Terri Holy crap!

Kristi, I watched the second episode of Surviving the Cut last night and it was the one on Pararescue.
I was exhausted just watching those guys get through their extended training.

Of 26 only 14 made it through the gruelling course and now they start 2 years of training to be a PJ.
So in the book your read,
The Night Stalkers by Michael J. DurantMichael J. Durant
Were PJ's featured?


message 217: by Kristi (last edited Mar 17, 2011 03:27PM) (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "Holy crap!

Kristi, I watched the second episode of Surviving the Cut last night and it was the one on Pararescue.
I was exhausted just watching those guys get through their extended training..."


No, not at all. It covers the history of the Army's 160th SOAR (Special Operations Aviation Regiment), also known as the Night Stalkers, and then goes through time all the way up to the battle of Roberts Ridge (Afganistan), telling stories of some of their battles and some of their pilots. They are the amazing pilots who fly the Spec Ops guys around at night in blacked out Helicopters. They truly are amazing pilots who will fly anywhere in extreme danger and mostly only at night. This book had me sobbing at parts, and laughing out loud at other parts...Very good book!

They have a great Mottos too:

"Death waits n the Dark" and "Night Stalkers Don't Quit (NSDQ)"

If you have read Black Hawk Down all the pilots that were flying in Mogadishu were Night Stalkers, and Michael Durant was one of the pilots who was shot down. Another good read!


For more info on the Night Stakers check out the Wiki...160th SOAR


Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden by Mark Bowden Mark Bowden


The Night Stalkers by Michael J. Durant by Michael J. Durant


Also, The PJ's usually haave a 90% DOR rate...just sayin'. The SEALs ar at about 80%. The physical part of being a PJ is just the beginning, then they have 2 years of medical training and other special schools that they have to make it through. Tough to become a PJ.


message 218: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) For those who enjoy accounts covering Special Forces operations here is one book that has picked up some decent reviews; "The Only Thing Worth Dying For" by Eric Blehm.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For by Eric Blehm by Eric Blehm
Reviews:
"The early, relatively heroic days of the conflict in Afghanistan are memorialized in this engrossing if glamorized war saga. Blehm (The Last Season, a B&N Discover Award winner) follows the exploits of Capt. Jason Amerine's Special Forces team Alpha 574, which choppered into Afghanistan in November 2001 to help future Afghan president Hamid Karzai organize anti-Taliban insurgents in the south. The team's mission—to turn chaotic and perpetually stoned Pashtun tribesmen into effective soldiers—seems impossible and, ultimately, proved unnecessary. Indeed, according to Blehm's account, the Green Berets' worst enemies were other Americans: meddling CIA honchos and army brass, a do-nothing Marine officer, and the air force spotter who mistakenly called in an air strike on 574's position, with ghastly results. The author overplays the comradely bond between Karzai and Amerine, who come off as a latter-day Washington and Lafayette, but doesn't quite succeed in wringing a military epic out of what was essentially a turkey shoot. Still, Blehm's warts-and-all account of the U.S. military machine in action is full of tension, color, and real pathos." - Publishers Weekly

"Through careful reporting and crisp narrative pacing, Eric Blehm has given us a thrilling, forgotten drama from the opening chapter of the war in Afghanistan. The Only Thing Worth Dying For will become an enduring classic of this extraordinary theater, where so much hangs in the balance." - Hampton Sides, (bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and Blood and Thunder)

"The Only Thing Worth Dying For is not only brilliant, it’s the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan." - Former Congressman Charlie Wilson

"Blehm provides powerful and unflinching insight into a real-life mission that ended in tragedy but left an indelible mark on history. From the comic moments to the bleakest hour, it’s a testament to how a small team of well-trained men can shape a nation’s destiny." - Stephen Grey, (award-winning author of Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA's Torture Program and Operation Snakebite: The Story of an Afghan Desert Siege)


message 219: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2684 comments Mod
'Aussie Rick' wrote: "For those who enjoy accounts covering Special Forces operations here is one book that has picked up some decent reviews; "The Only Thing Worth Dying For" by Eric Blehm.

[bookcover:The Only Thing..."


Rick, a terrific read! All the more because over the months we've come to see quite another face of mr. Karzai...


message 220: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 20, 2011 10:52AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2684 comments Mod
André wrote: "Dead Men Risen The Welsh Guards in Afghanistan by Toby HarndenDead Men Risen: The Welsh Guards in Afghanistan by Toby Harnden"

Rick, this one is very good. The writing is good (sometimes verrrry detailed). Toby HArden gets close to his men and shows many of them from all kinds of different perspectives. He also does a good job in explaining the Afghan background, the territory, etc. All in all a good book.
There is just one small thing in his writing that gets on my nerves from time to time. As I said before, Mr. Harden sometimes uses cliches to describe a situation. Instead of giving more information, using a cliche as an add just doesn't do it for me.
(f.e. after an IED explosion blows up their vehicle the soldiers inside experience the most horrifying situation - and there is of course also a sense of smell: blood, explosives etc., which Harden describes - but then he adds: "the smell of death". I think it too much. I just don't like such cliched remarks on top of what we all already know. To me it feels like a triple underlining - and it pulls me away from the storyline - but that's my taste.)


message 221: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Andre, thanks for those posts, I am looking forward to getting my copy of "Dead Men Risen" soon I hope. Ah, the 'smell of death', seems to pop up in a lot of books now-a-days!

Dead Men Risen The Welsh Guards in Afghanistan by Toby Harnden by Toby Harnden


message 222: by Terri (last edited Mar 22, 2011 04:20PM) (new)

Terri Death does indeed have a smell though. Fresh death, old death.
It must be hard to translate that smell to the reader in words. I can handle an over use of the term 'smell of death' as it is easier to tell us that than describe the minutiae of death. :-)
Just sayin'. *smilie face*


message 223: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) I've only read one book on Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan by Malcolm MacPherson by Malcolm MacPherson. Quite enjoyable, minute-by-minute account of another snafu yet full with heroics.


message 224: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 23, 2011 05:48AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2684 comments Mod
Terri wrote: "Death does indeed have a smell though. Fresh death, old death.
It must be hard to translate that smell to the reader in words..."


I know, Terri. What I don't like if the writer already describes all the horrors in about 5 to 10 sentences, then adding The Smell of Death on top is just cheap and for me destroys everything that came before.
Also he doesn't mean it literally, because , truth be told, it usually takes a while for the other smells (explosives and such) to evaporate.


message 225: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Silvana wrote: "I've only read one book on Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan by Malcolm MacPherson by Malcolm MacPherson. Quite enjoyable..."

I put this one on my list. Thanks :)


message 226: by Kristi (last edited Mar 23, 2011 07:59AM) (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Silvana wrote: "I've only read one book on Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan by Malcolm MacPherson by Malcolm MacPherson. Quite enjoyable..."

Everytime I read a book about this I cry...it's so sad! Probably because the first time I read about Roberts Ridge was in None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism. But still, just like in The Good Soldiers everytime I read about our soldiers being killed or injured, it makes me very sad and thankful for their service.

The Good Soldiers by David Finkel by David Finkel David Finkel

None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael Hirsh by Michael Hirsh


message 227: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Kirsti, I have None Braver on my list already. I think you must have mentioned it before and I put it on my list. After you convo with Terri about Pararescuemen, i really want to read something about them.

None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael Hirsh by Michael Hirsh


message 228: by Kristi (last edited Mar 23, 2011 08:16AM) (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) I would REALLY recommend that book if you want to know more about what they do and who they are...a really great look at PJs and how and why they do their job. If you want I'll read it with you, I LOVE that book and would love to read it again!

Right now I'm listening to Shooter: The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper and I am loving it. Jack is such a character, and an amazing sniper (or so he says), I'm loving his inovative thinking and he professionalism. Another good read about Afganistan and our soldiers.

Shooter The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper by Jack Coughlin by Jack Coughlin

With more than sixty confirmed kills, Jack Coughlin is the Marine Corps' top-ranked sniper. Shooter is his harrowing first-person account of a sniper's life on and off the modern battlefield Gunnery Sgt. Jack Coughlin is a divorced father of two with an Ivy League background who grew up in the wealthy Boston suburb of Waltham. He had thirty-six kills in Iraq-thirteen in a twenty-four hour period during Operation Iraqi Freedom-and has one of the most successful records of any sniper on active duty. Now, after twenty years behind the scope of a long-range precision rifle, Coughlin has written a highly personal story about his deadly craft, taking readers deep inside an invisible society that is off-limits to outsiders. This is not a heroic battlefield memoir, but the careful study of an exceptional man who must keep his sanity while carrying forward one of the deadliest legacies in the U.S. military today.

He also has some fiction books out, they look promising as well...


message 229: by Tasha (new)

Tasha I put Shooter on my list too! It sounds fascinating. I'll let you know when I'm getting ready to read None Braver. Maybe we can get some other people to join in on that one too. :) I have other things lining up right now but I'm definitely going to put that one on a priority.

Shooter The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper by Jack Coughlin by Jack Coughlin by

None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael HirshMichael Hirsh


message 230: by Terri (new)

Terri I checked my library and I can get Shooter, but I can't get None Braver. That means I wouldn't be able to join you, Tasha, in reading None Braver. :-(

Shooter The Autobiography of the Top-Ranked Marine Sniper by Jack CoughlinJack Coughlin
None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael HirshMichael Hirsh


message 231: by Terri (new)

Terri Silvana wrote: "I've only read one book on Afghanistan, Roberts Ridge A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan by Malcolm MacPherson by Malcolm MacPherson. Quite enjoyable..."

I will look to see if I can get this one, Silvana, it looks good.


message 232: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) My pleasure, everyone :)

One of the interesting parts of Roberts Ridge is that it makes me want to know more about forward air controllers.


message 233: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "That means I wouldn't be able to join you, Tasha, in reading None Braver. :-(

[bookcover:Shooter: The Autobiography of the ..."


You don't want to join me too??? :( I'm so sad now...


message 234: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 24, 2011 09:27AM) (new)

Bentley | 35313 comments Mod
Folks, right now I have a thread set up on Black Hearts; if you are thinking of other future buddy reads; please contact me and I will let you know the ground rules. We need a beginning and end date (we like to give a minimum of a month) for a thread; but it is OK to moderate other books at the same time. We need the same direction on each and every buddy thread that Terri has set up with the assistance of Aussi Rick. When you are ready to decide, let me know. I have not heard from anyone about the next buddy read. Let me know when you decide and/or whether there will be two different books being moderated by different folks. It is good to build consensus so that you know who will be joining you ahead of the thread set up; even if it is only one buddy that you are sure of (smile).


Black Hearts One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death by Jim FrederickJim Frederick


message 235: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Bentley, It looks like Tasha and I are thinking about reading None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism, but since we have no idea when we want to read it we hadn't contacted you. I will let you know when I have more info...does that work ok?

None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael Hirsh by Michael Hirsh


message 236: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35313 comments Mod
Sure Kristi...I can send you some guidelines on how to approach it after I set up the thread. Terri is an excellent guide and knows the ropes after I told her what to do. Is Terri going to set up a different thread on another book. Terri, let me know so we can keep these in sync. Let me know the start and end date and just make it for a four week duration (starting always on a Monday) and ending on a Sunday when you send me your dates. You might want to give me a heads up soon so that you can set up your summary; how you want to conduct your read with guidelines and post helpful guidelines for spoilers like Terri did. Just remember that every buddy read has to have the same recipe of ingredients and you cannot go wrong. You can always look at how Terri set up One Bullet for example after I got the thread up for her. Terri, you have done a great job.


message 237: by Tasha (last edited Mar 24, 2011 01:31PM) (new)

Tasha Yes, I agree, Terri does a great job! :) I've really enjoyed these buddy reads!

Bentley, yes, Kristi and I haven't really talked about a date, we kind of just talked about both reading it...sometime. :) that being said, once she and I get a better idea of when, we can definitely let you know and get it started up as a group read. I think there may already be something brewing after Black Hearts, so maybe after the next BR? I'll check with both Terri and Kristi.

Black Hearts One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death by Jim Frederick by Jim Frederick


message 238: by Terri (new)

Terri Kristi wrote: "

You don't want to join me too??? :( I'm so sad no..."


Oh crap. Mate, I feel so bad now. :-) lol. I completely missed that you were going to read it too. I am such a dope. :-)

Amendment to Msg 230:
'That means I wouldn't be able to join you Tasha and Kristi'

All fixed. hehe.


message 239: by Terri (last edited Mar 25, 2011 02:01AM) (new)

Terri Thanks Bentley for having trust in me and for the vote of confidence, and thankyou Tasha too. :-)

I don't really have a buddy read worked out in the coming month.

Tasha and I are going to read Apache;
Apache by Ed MacyEd Macy
Everyone but Tasha and I have read this book it seems, so it will most likely only be a private read.
Unless....Silvana, if you're out there? You may want to jump on this with us? If you do we'll make an official buddy read of it? I hear Apache is an awesome read.

After Apache, Tasha and I are going to read Kill or Capture;
Kill or Capture by Matthew Alexander Matthew AlexanderMatthew Alexander

Anyone want to join us on that?
It probably isn't a great official buddy read though, because it isn't a very big book. It should be a quick read and we could make our comments here on the Afghanistan thread (as that his the war it is based in).


message 240: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "Kristi wrote: "

You don't want to join me too??? :( I'm so sad no..."

Oh crap. Mate, I feel so bad now. :-) lol. I completely missed that you were going to read it too. I am such a dope. :-)

Ame..."


lol...I was just kidding, but thanks for the amendment!! Bummed that you can't join us tho!


message 241: by Kristi (last edited Mar 24, 2011 03:44PM) (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "Thanks Bentley for having trust in me and for the vote of confidence, and thankyou Tasha too. :-)

I don't really have a buddy read worked out in the coming month. I am going to read 100 Missions N..."


Terri, I'd love to read Apache and Kill or Capture with you (and everyone else)! Crazy busy in April, so I'll have to give you a definite answer when you post when you are going to start these.

Tasha, maybe in May we can do
None Braver U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism by Michael Hirsh by Michael Hirsh




Apache by Ed Macy by Ed Macy

Kill or Capture by Matthew Alexander by ] Matthew Alexander [author:Matthew Alexander|552372


message 242: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 24, 2011 06:07PM) (new)

Bentley | 35313 comments Mod
Terri let us try to put these titles with some dates: I am helping you out below.

I would prefer for all of these books to be discussed on their own threads so others can join in and in the Buddy Read section.

Also, I would prefer to keep the Afghanisan thread clean for other kinds of discussions and not cluttered up with buddy reads.

That is why we have the Buddy Reads section.

Terri, if you do not mind setting them up as you have done and posting the guidelines and keeping them going; that would help your small group. Aussie Rick, I need to depend upon you as well.

I think you are all getting ahead of yourself with the schedule. So let me help.

Let us set up first 100 Missions North beginning March 28th for a month. Terri you will be in charge of specifics on that one. After I set up the thread; you know the drill, summary, guidelines, your post about spoilers and how to proceed etc. The thread will be open and you can proceed from there.

I will also set up a thread for Apache beginning April 11th. Same drill Terri as One Bullet, etc.

Let us start Kill and Capture on April 25th. Same drill Terri.

Then: Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom - May 9th. Same drill Terri, Aussie Rick you are backing Terri up on this one.

Then: Russia: A Journey to the Heart of a Land and Its People - this will begin - June 6th - Same instructions as Millenium Terri.

Then: The Road Gets Better From Here - beginning June 27th. Same instructions as Millenium.

Terri, all of these will have a four week duration; however, I will keep the threads open so you can finish up at your leisure. However, remember all have to follow the rules and guidelines here on The History Book Club and all have to have the other necessary segments: Kickoff thread I set up, then you do a complete summary, then guidelines and how you want the read to unfold, then the rules and your notes about spoilers and how to handle them and then you just have to do everything that you have already done. Posts by readers must be responded to for all of the above books by Terri and Aussie Rick.

Kristi and Tasha, the above guidelines are for you too. I set up all threads and once I OK the schedule, everyone is good to go as you have done already and have done spectacularly well.

You have a good cohesive small group which you should be proud off. I am going to add all of you as friends so that you can communicate with me and I with you via PM so that we can get all of this organized. Kristi and Tasha, I will work on your requests next.

Bentley

PS: Everyone who has ever posted on this thread has been sent a friend invite by me. This is not because I need additional friends (lol); but because it makes it very easy for each and every one of you to converse with me off of this thread via PM; otherwise you are up against my private profile. I can help all of you privately, easily and more efficiently that way and that is the best way to get a buddy read set up fast and to know what everyone's responsibilities are moving forward. Terri and Aussie Rick have done a good job thus far; but in your excitement which really is a good thing...things are backing up a bit and someone needs to break the logjam and that person is me. So feel free to ask for my help at any time.


message 243: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Thanks Bentley for fixing these all up (Buddy Reads) and reminding us to keep the posts specific to the thread, much appreciated.


message 244: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Mar 24, 2011 11:02PM) (new)

Bentley | 35313 comments Mod
You are welcome Aussie Rick. Any discussions related to upcoming buddy reads or books folks would like to discuss in terms of finding out interest etc. as well as negotiating time, dates, preliminary books and folks who are interested should be initially discussed on the Buddy Reads discussion thread set up for that purpose specifically. Here is the link:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...

We really need to refocus this thread and free up the thread for discussion related specifically to Afghanistan, the war in Afghanistan (past, present or future), etc. Many of the books discussed have subject matter and/or location focus; but the discussion of book selection for buddy reads and any ancillary off topic discussions should be moved to the above thread.

I will be doing some housecleaning on this thread soon.

Note: When folks start discussing other books for buddy reads; just suggest that you take the discussion to the buddy read thread dedicated to that purpose and the link above.


message 245: by Terri (last edited Mar 25, 2011 02:05AM) (new)

Terri Kristi wrote: "Terri, I'd love to read Apache and Kill or Capture with you (and everyone else)! Crazy busy in April, so I'll have to give you a definite answer when you post when you are going to start these. "

Bad news, Kristi. :-( We are going to read Apache and Kill or Capture in April. What a shame!!!
More here....

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/5...

Apache by Ed MacyEd Macy
Kill or Capture by Matthew Alexander Matthew Alexander


message 246: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (KristiColeman) Terri wrote: "Kristi wrote: "Terri, I'd love to read Apache and Kill or Capture with you (and everyone else)! Crazy busy in April, so I'll have to give you a definite answer when you post when you are going to s..."

That's ok, I'll still try to fit them in.


message 247: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I just picked this book up this morning from my PO Box and it looks very good so far with what I have seen flicking through the pages; "Dead Men Risen" by Toby Harden.

Dead Men Risen The Welsh Guards in Afghanistan by Toby Harnden by Toby Harnden
Description:
This is the tale of the Welsh Guards in Helmand in 2009. Underequipped and overstretched, guardsmen from the coal mining valleys and slate quarry villages of Wales found themselves in Helmand in some of the most intense fighting by British troops for more than a generation. They were confronted by a Taliban enemy they seldom saw, facing the constant threat of Improvised Explosive Devices and ambush. Leading them into battle was Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, destined for the highest ranks. He was a passionate believer in the war but was dismayed by how it was being conducted.

Dead Men Risen will unnerve politicians and generals alike. In chilling detail, Toby Harnden reveals how and why Thorneloe was killed by an IED during Operation Panther's Claw. Harnden, who had known Thorneloe since they met in Northern Ireland in 1996, was on the ground in Helmand with the Welsh Guards. He draws on a trove of military documents, including many by Thorneloe, the first British battalion commander to die in action since the Falklands war of 1982. Major Sean Birchall left behind an unvarnished account of the shortcomings of the Afghan forces that represent Nato's exit strategy. Lieutenant Mark Evison wrote a diary that raises questions from beyond the grave. It was more than half a century since a British battalion had lost officers at these three key levels of leadership. By the time the fighting was over, almost no rank had been spared.

A visceral and timeless account of men at war, Dead Men Risen conveys what it is like to be a soldier who has to kill, face paralysing fear and watch comrades perish in agony. Given unprecedented access to the Welsh Guards, Harnden conducted more than 300 interviews in Afghanistan, England and Wales. The searing heat of the poppy fields and mud compounds of Helmand to the dreaded knock on the door back home, the reader is transported there. Harnden weaves the experiences of the guardsmen and their loved ones into an unsparing narrative that sits alongside a piercing analysis of military strategy. No other book about modern conflict succeeds on so many levels. Dead Men Risen is essential for anyone who wants to learn the reality of Britain's war in Afghanistan.

Review:
Operating from a remote patrol base in Helmand, two British snipers were responsible for killing 75 Taliban fighters in just 40 days. In one remarkable feat of marksmanship, two insurgents were dispatched with a single bullet.
The arrival at the newly-established Patrol Base Shamal Storrai (Pashto for “North Star”) in late August 2009 of Serjeant Tom Potter and Rifleman Mark Osmond marked the start of an astonishing episode in the history of British Army sniping.
Within 40 days, the two marksmen from 4 Rifles, part of the Welsh Guards Battle group, had achieved 75 confirmed kills with 31 attributed to Potter and 44 to Osmond. Each kill was chalked up as a little stick man on the beam above the firing position in their camouflaged sangar beside the base gate – a stick man with no head denoting a target eliminated with a shot to the skull.
Osmond, 25, was an engaging, fast-talking enthusiast, eager to display his encyclopedic knowledge of every specification and capability of his equipment. He had stubbornly remained a rifleman because he feared that being promoted might lead to his being taken away from sniping, a job he loved and lived for. Potter, 30, was more laid back, projecting a calm professionalism and quiet confidence in the value of what he did.
Potter had notched up seven confirmed kills in Bara in 2007 and 2008 while Osmond’s total was 23. Both were members of the Green Jackets team that won the 2006 British Army Sniper Championships.
On one occasion they killed eight Taliban in two hours, ‘I wasn’t comfortable with it at first,’ said Osmond, ‘you start wondering is it really necessary?’ But the reaction of the locals soon persuaded him. ‘We had people coming up to us afterwards, not scared to talk to us. They felt they were being protected’.
Most of the kills were at a range of 1,200 metres using the 7.62 mm L96 sniper rifle.
The snipers used suppressors, reducing the sound of the muzzle blast. Although a ballistic crack could be heard, it was almost impossible to work out where the shot was coming from. With the bullet travelling at three times the speed of sound, a victim was unlikely to hear anything before he died.
Walkie-talkie messages revealed that the Taliban thought they were being hit from helicopters. The longest-range shot taken was when Potter killed an insurgent at 1,430 metres away. But the most celebrated shot of their tour was by Osmond at a range of just 196 metres.
On September 12th, a known Taliban commander appeared on the back of a motorcycle with a passenger riding pillion. There was a British patrol in the village of Gorup-e Shesh Kalay and under the rules of engagement, the walkie-talkie the Taliban pair were carrying was designated a hostile act. As they drove off, Osmond fired warning shots with his pistol and then picked up his L96, the same weapon – serial number 0166 – he had used in Iraq and on the butt of which he had written, ‘I love u 0166’.
Taking deliberate aim, he fired a single shot. The bike tumbled and both men fell onto the road and lay there motionless. When the British patrol returned, they checked the men and confirmed they were both dead, with large holes through their heads.
The 7.62 mm bullet Osmond had fired had passed through the heads of both men. He had achieved the rare feat of ‘one shot, two kills’ known in the sniping business as ‘a Quigley’. The term comes from the 1990 film Quigley Down Under in which the hero, played by Tom Selleck, uses an old Sharps rifle to devastating effect.
Potter and Osmond’s working day would begin around 7 am and end a dozen or so hours later at last light. Up to about 900 metres, they would aim at an insurgent’s head, beyond that at the chest.
Often, Potter would take one side of a compound and Osmond the other. Any insurgent moving from one side to the other was liable to be shot by the second sniper if the first had not already got him. Each used the scopes on the rifles to spot for the other man, identifying targets with nicknames to do with their appearance.
A fighter wearing light blue was dubbed ‘the Virgin Mary’ and one clad in what looked like sackcloth was referred to as ‘Hesco man’, after the colour of the base’s Hesco barriers. Both the Virgin Mary and Hesco man were killed.
Others were given a nickname because of their activities, like Hashish man, a Taliban who doubled up as a drug dealer. Occasionally, insurgents got posthumous monikers. If one target presented himself, both snipers aimed at him simultaneously in a coordinated shoot.
“Everybody you hit they drop in a different way,’ says Potter. ‘We did a co-ord shoot on to the one bloke and he just looked like he just fell through a trap door. So we called him Trapdoor Man.”
Major Mark Gidlow-Jackson, their company commander, describes Potter and Osmond as the “epitome of the thinking riflemen” that his regiment sought to produce. “They know the consequences of what they’re doing and they are very measured men. They are both highly dedicated to the art of sniping. They’re both quiet, softly spoken, utterly charming, two of the nicest men in the company, if the most dangerous.” - The Telegraph
Serjeant Potter and Rifleman Osmond are identified by pseudonyms for security reasons.


message 248: by Phil (new)

Phil Wolf | 10 comments 'Aussie Rick' wrote: "I just picked this book up this morning from my PO Box and it looks very good so far with what I have seen flicking through the pages; "Dead Men Risen" by Toby Harden.

[bookcover:Dead Men Risen:..."


They've been fighting in this country for so long. I wonder if our bombs and missiles are turning up any remains from the wars in the 19th Century? Heck, didn't Alexander The Great march through Afghanistan?


message 249: by Terri (new)

Terri Phil wrote: "Heck, didn't Alexander The Great march through Afghanistan? ."
He sure did, amoungst other ancient armies. I always wonder what precious archaeology is/has been lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.


message 250: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2684 comments Mod
Quite a few Western archeological teams are working there trying to find out as much as they can. The biggest problem they face (even worse than the Taliban) are the mine fields left by the Russians...


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