No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan

( 16 )

Overview

It seemed like an impossible mission right from the start.

A Special Forces team planned to land in an enemy-held valley, scale a steep mountain in Afghanistan to surprise and capture a terrorist leader.

But before they found the target, the target found them...

The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought for hours, huddled on a...

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No Way Out: A Story of Valor in the Mountains of Afghanistan

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Overview

It seemed like an impossible mission right from the start.

A Special Forces team planned to land in an enemy-held valley, scale a steep mountain in Afghanistan to surprise and capture a terrorist leader.

But before they found the target, the target found them...

The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought for hours, huddled on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive.

When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars- the Army's third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam.

Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers' mettle but serves as a cautionary tale: Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Weiss and Maurer (coauthor, Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds)—who in the past five years has embedded six times with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan—detail the team's ill-fated 2008 mission in eastern Afghanistan's Shok Valley, a place "isolated and surrounded by a wall of mountains." The soldiers had been tasked to capture Haji Ghafour, a high-ranking commander of an extreme militant group. Through interviews with the men involved, the authors provide captivating individual perspectives on the undertaking. Captain Kyle Walton believed the assignment was flawed from the beginning; the authors write that "Not only did the basic tactical plan of attacking up a mountain not work, but it was unclear how they would evacuate casualties." Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding—who had joined the army just months before 9/11 for "a job where you can ‘lay down your head at night and be proud of it'"—would ultimately lose part of his leg. It was his first and last deployment with Special Forces. Like many of the men in his unit (also profiled in the book) Walding would be honored with a Silver Star. In this compelling, multi-dimensional account, Weiss and Maurer remind us of the extraordinary risks soldiers take and the sacrifices they make every day both for their country, and for each other. B&W Photos & maps. (Mar.)
Ames Alexander
Take a post-9/11 version of Black Hawk Down, put it in the hands of two gifted writers like Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer and here’s what you get: an adrenaline-fueled narrative that will forever enhance your appreciation of U.S. Special Forces. What’s it like to fight an ill-conceived mission against well-trained insurgents who command the high ground? What’s it like to lower colleagues with life-threatening bullet wounds down an Afghan cliff? With meticulous reporting and powerful writing, Weiss and Maurer put us there. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to know how modern battles are fought – and how they should be.
Maj. Gen. Michael Repass
It was simultaneously fascinating and disturbing, and an adrenaline rush to hear it first-hand from the operator's perspective... They are fiercely loyal to each other and our nation, and offer the enemy no quarter when the bullets start flying. You have captured all these with your words. Combat vets will read it and "get it" right away. Americans who have no connection with such men of valor ought to read it to understand what intense combat can be like.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425253403
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 12/31/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 267,133
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mitch Weiss is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press. In 2003, he was assigned to an investigative series that uncovered the longest string of atrocities carried out by a U.S. fighting unit in the Vietnam War. In recognition of the series "Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths," which led to an investigation by the Pentagon, he was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Weiss currently works for the AP on investigative projects, and an investigative series he wrote about corrupt real estate appraisers won several national awards in 2009. He also was part of a team of AP reporters that won a George Polk award in 2010 for their coverage of the BP oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

Kevin Maurer has covered special operations forces for eight years. He has been embedded with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan six times in the last five years and spent ten weeks with a team of Green Berets in Afghanistan in 2010. He has embedded with American soldiers in Iraq, east Africa and Haiti. The author of four books, he co-wrote a memoir of a Korean War veteran and a book about the 2006 Battle of Sperwan Ghar.

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Table of Contents

Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 3336

Captain Kyle M. Walton

Master Sergeant Scott Ford

Staff Sergeant Luis Morales

Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding

Staff Sergeant Dillon Behr

Staff Sergeant Ronald J. Shurer

Specialist Michael D. Carter

Staff Sergeant Seth E. Howard

Staff Sergeant David J. Sanders

Staff Sergeant Matthew O. Williams

Staff Sergeant Zachary Rhyner

Sergeant First Class Karl Wurzbach

Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 3312

Master Sergeant Jim Lodyga

Staff Sergeant Eric Martin

Staff Sergeant Nick McGarry

Sergeant First Class Sergio Martinez

Staff Sergeant Dan Plants

Special Forces Commanders

Brigadier General Joe Votel

Colonel Christopher Haas

Lieutenant Colonel Lynn Ashley

Major Timothy Fletcher

Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddnin or HIG

Haji Ghafour

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

Kashmir Khan

Afghan Interpreters (TERPS)

Edris "CK" Khan

Blade

Bouya

Mustafa

Max

Noodles

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 16 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 26, 2012

    This book will inspire you and really make you mad. Our Special

    This book will inspire you and really make you mad. Our Special Forces, and many other special operations units, are supreme Warriors. These soldiers willingly put themselves in harm's way to try to make this world a safer place, one bad guy or group of bad guys at a time. Unfortunately, they are sometimes victims of poor leadership above them. When our military commanders put politics and personal gain above the mission and the men, Operation Commando Wrath happens. Every single man in the 3 ODA units involved and the military aviators who risked their lives to get them out of that valley is a hero. These men fought and sacrificed because they were ordered to, eventhough they knew the plan and intel was flawed. Their objections were ignored by their commanders. Those same commanders and those above them used the media to tell the world about the great success of this operation conducted by the combined forces of the U.S. Special Forces and the Afghan Special Forces. This story, well researched and well written, tells the real story as lived and fought by the men on the mountain. I am proud of the men who fought and ashamed of those that made the plan and forced it down the throats of these good soldiers. As is usually the case, our soldiers come out on top in spite of the pencil pushers and political climbers above them!!!

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    This is a story of brotherhood - of one day for one team of ODA

    This is a story of brotherhood - of one day for one team of ODA 3336 in 2008. Filled with grit and determination. If you were wondering about the young men who will be leaders of tomorrow, this will begin to answer the question. The authors have drawn in a bit about how these brave and daring young men established their moral foundation from their families, experiences and SF training woven through each individual's story. Having followed this story in and out of the newspapers since it occured April 6, 2008, reading the story in continuity was a ride. The YouTube videos of the bombing are terrifying to know the commander was calling the fire power down on to their position. The Congressional Record is bland compared to this description of the battle. This book takes one to each position and each soldier's thoughts as they try to stay alive in the face of overwhelming numbers of HIG (another 'tribe' of the Afghan terrorist groups). Many military books are a good read once - but I have already read this twice!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    FIRST

    SkyDelta20

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    Highly recommended

    It is very difficult to tell the story of men in action. What occurs is beyond the normal scope of most civilians and some military who have not "seen the elephant". In addition, each event is different from another. Given the same personnel, the response may be different on another day. The authors did an excellent job. I am fortunate enough to have met one man's mom and understand where he got some of his fortitude. Having served, prior service, I recommend this book to all military personnel and those civilians to want to grasp what it is to do your duty in the face of adversity and the "s**t hits the fan".

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    NEVER GIVE UP!

    Great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Couldn't finish it.

    I've read a few books on the war in Afghanistan and this was the weakest. Just a choppy read from the viewpoint of the individual members of the team and a lot of repetition. I found myself saying.. yea you already said that. I lost interest.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    true and sad but good to mc

    Mc

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2012

    Another best seller by M Weiss!

    Another best seller by M Weiss!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Excellent

    To many garratroopers comanding very skilled troops that survived due to their own skills and training. Very good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    ?

    This book showed up under the more like this tab as by the author ofLions of Kandahar so I wonder if the book is related to the previous one or if it is about a different SF ODA Team? If the book is as well written and moving as the previius work, I will be buying it on its release date in March!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 23, 2012

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    Posted December 7, 2012

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    Posted July 3, 2013

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    Posted May 22, 2014

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    Posted January 23, 2013

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    Posted May 6, 2012

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