12 Strong - Doug Stanton

12 Strong

By Doug Stanton

  • Release Date: 2009-05-05
  • Genre: Military
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 358 Ratings)


“A thrilling action ride of a book” (The New York Times Book Review)—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong 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 army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, 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 entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

“A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses 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 proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” (USA TODAY).


  • Great book!

    By ericandi
    Awesome book. Don’t waste your time on the movie. From the previews I can tell that the movie is almost completely fabricated and nothing like the amazing true story told in this book. Hollywood once again took a great non-fiction book and totally turned it into a fictional movie that has only marginal similarities to reality.
  • Horse soldiers

    By Bayraker
    A must read in order to know what our service people are dealing with
  • Awesome

    By TacoGrease
    Why the story of the Horse Soldiers has not become a multi part HBO series like Generation Kill or Band of Brothers is beyond me. The story, in it of itself brilliant, has been incredibly well researched and reconstructed by Stanton. My only complaint is the focus on the Western media leading up to and following the capture of Mazar-i-Sharif (when Green Berets, British SBS commandos, and Northern Alliance Afghans are fighting for their lives, why would anyone care about some reporter trying to get into the city? Bloody stupid...). Other than that, as I said, fantastic book, one that will likely always be on my book shelf.
  • Amazing

    By Texasreiguy
    Well written... Best OEF Afghanistan book I've read so far..
  • Horse Soldiers

    By Poetessmom
    This is my first book read on any of the wars in Afghanistan. The author made it easy to understand despite the many players in this story. He never lost track of the humanity of the characters whether they were American or Alliance soldiers. And he put a face to the evils of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. That evil is so thorough and overwhelming that he helped me partner emotionally with the need to eradicate this scourge from the earth. If our soldiers question what they were a part of or what they had to do in the war, let them suffer emotionally no longer. Some things are not redeemable. Some people are not redeemable. God loves all people but some will never choose that narrow path of right and good that redeems us. It is unfortunate that good, patriotic men have to become instruments of right and justice. The author showed me that our great soldiers deserve the rest and peace of mind of jobs well done.
  • Must read for Amy military intrested

    By spaz man
    Showed lots of detail kept you on the edge was supported by fact and as you go through the bibliography you can see that it is truly 100% fact
  • Americans Assist Those In Need

    By tbw427
    This tells about what America is all about! A fantastic account about our soldiers and what they do to help liberate others who can't do it themselves. I've always been proud to be an American but after reading this account I'm even prouder. Special thanks to our SF soldiers who overcame huge odds in order to help the Northern Alliance stifle the reign of the Taliban.
  • Great Book

    By PETEaggie
    I read this book when it first came out and really liked it. Gives you a good look into how we got into the war following 9/11.