Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers - the Marine Corps' Battlefor Freedom in Afghanistan

( 12 )

Overview

In late June 2005, media sources recounted the tragic story of nineteen U.S. special operations personnel who died at the hands of insurgent / terrorist leader Ahmad Shah- and the lone survivor of Shah's ambush-deep in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan. The harrowing events of Operation Red Wings marked an important-yet widely misreported-chapter in the Global War on Terror, the full details of which the public burned to learn.

Victory Point reveals the complete, as-yet ...

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Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers - the Marine Corps' Battlefor Freedom in Afghanistan

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Overview

In late June 2005, media sources recounted the tragic story of nineteen U.S. special operations personnel who died at the hands of insurgent / terrorist leader Ahmad Shah- and the lone survivor of Shah's ambush-deep in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan. The harrowing events of Operation Red Wings marked an important-yet widely misreported-chapter in the Global War on Terror, the full details of which the public burned to learn.

Victory Point reveals the complete, as-yet untold, story of Operation Red Wings (often mis-referenced as "Operation Redwing"), and the follow-on mission, Operation Whalers. Together, these two U.S. Marine Corps operations (that in the case of Red Wings utilized Navy SEALs for its opening phase) unfurl not as a mission gone terribly wrong, but of a complex and difficult campaign that ultimately saw the demise of Ahmad Shan and his small army of barbarous fighters.

Due to the valor, courage, and commitment of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment in the summer of 2005, Afghanistan was able to hold free elections that Fall. Here is the inspiring true account of heroism, duty, and brotherhood between Marines fighting the War on Terror.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425232590
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 188,248
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Writer / Photographer Ed Darack has covered the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment since their pre-Afghan mountain warfare training in the spring of 2005 and has stayed with them through their subsequent deployment to Afghanistan and tour in Iraq’s Anbar province. He is the author of numerous articles on military issues for such publications as Smithsonian Air and Space, the Marine Corps Gazette, and Proceedings of the Naval Institute Press, among others. Darack continues to write articles on a broad spectrum of subjects and is the author of three previous books. His photography has been used by National Geographic, Outside Magazine, The Sunday London Times, the BBC, Time, ABC, NBC, IBM, Volkswagen, and Bank of America, among many other editorial and corporate clients.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Author's Note xv

1 Welcome to Afghanistan 1

2 The Battalion 28

3 Synergy of Success 48

4 Into the Hindu Kush 63

5 Red Wings Takes Flight 95

6 Ambush 124

7 Storm of Chaos 142

8 Redoubled Efforts 172

9 Whalers Unleashed 191

10 Armageddon, Denied 205

11 One Ridge Distant, A World Apart 229

12 Star Wars 249

13 Kinetic Exfil 263

14 Victory Point 277

Afterword 281

Acknowledgments 285

Appendix I Primary Weapon Systems 287

Appendix II Interviewees 297

References 299

Index 303

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    Victory Point will sweep you into the arcane world of Afghanistan's beautiful yet austere Hindu Kush Mountains, a place ruled by a mix of ancient tribalism and Islam. This recounting of two historic military operations in the ongoing war against terror is written with the riveting passion usually found in first class works of fiction. You will experience fear, laugh at jarhead humor, cry for our lost warriors, and cheer for grunts, Warthogs, and amazing feats of flying by Shock Army and Dustoff aviators. Exhausted from hiking nearly vertical terrain in 120 degree temperatures while carrying 130 pounds of gear each, the grunts of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines crushed a ruthless Islamic fundamentalist. This is the true story of men whose resolve to win surpassed the most punishing environment imaginable and an evil enemy who had all the advantages. Read the entire book and let Ed Darack educate you. From the first forays into the seemingly impassable Hindu Kush Mountains by Alexander the Great in 330 BC to the Soviets of the 1980's, the peoples of this region have been invaded time after time experiencing some of the most gruesome and widespread acts of inhumanity in history. Your gut will churn as you read about the widow and her child who were doused in gasoline and burnt alive by the Soviets, and your heart will soar with pride as one Marine enlists the help of Americans back home to build and supply a girl's school. Victory Point is the real story of our military and how this war is being fought. It tells about the mistakes, the chance happenings, the value of human intelligence, the plans that get pushed aside making operations more dangerous, and the gut feelings that turn out to be true. You will learn why Marines persevere when all others fail.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Great read!

    I would highly reccomend this as a companion to "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Lutrell. Victory Point documents the overall operation to eliminate a Taliban force, interwoven into the Pashtun tribal clan, high in the brutal environment of the Hindu Kush mountain range that dominates the northern border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Another meaningless line on a map, that tries to divide countries along political boundaries that is predated by the tribal culture that existed long before someone even thought to divide and label this area. This story will leave you with a respect for this new generation of Marines and comfort you in the knowledge that, though politicians and thier motives may frustrate us, the young men and women of this nation's fighting force continue to demonstrate that we will defend our freedom and security. You can run but you will find no safe refuge from the United States Marines.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2011

    Extremely well researched, very detailed, a real page turner

    Received as a Christmas gift, and just finished reading this. This is one of three books that covers Operation Red Wings, and the only book to discuss the following operation, Operation Whalers. Of the three on Red Wings, this is by far the best researched. Victory Point goes into great detail about the history of Afghanistan, the history of the Marine Corps and why Marines excel in grueling terrain. The book then gives a detailed account of how Red Wings developed, who developed it, and why. While there is a lot of detail, the book moves along, and gives gripping account after gripping account of ground battle, through numerous interviews of those who were there. The real focus of the book is Operation Whalers, which resulted in the destruction of the enemy cell, led by Ahmad Shah. It just gets better as you get farther into the book. My only complaint is that it could have been longer, and the author could have given more insight into some of the other squads during Whalers, as this was a large operation with a number of units spread out throughout the combat zone.

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  • Posted December 24, 2011

    Riveting, absolutely riveting, and extremely informative

    An incredible, fast-paced book that is filled with thoroughly researched information on Operation Red Wings and Operation Whalers. There is a lot of nonsense out there about Red Wings, and little information at all on Whalers (until this book), but Victory Point clearly paints an honest, accurate picture of these events. Highly recommended for: Anyone interested in current conflicts, war, and in particular the Marine Corps, and special operations. As well, a ton of info on Afghanistan and the current situation there.

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