The only comprehensive, firsthand account of the fourteen-hour firefight at the Battle of Keating by Medal of Honor recipient Clinton Romesha, for readers of Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden and Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
“‘It doesn't get better.’ To us, that phrase nailed one of the essential truths, maybe even the essential truth, about being stuck at an outpost whose strategic and tactical vulnerabilities were so glaringly obvious to every soldier who had ever set foot in that place that the name itself—Keating—had become a kind of backhanded joke.”
In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend.
On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing fourteen-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost eight men their lives.
Red Platoon is the riveting firsthand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counterattack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.
“A vitally important story that needs to be understood by the public, and I cannot imagine an account that does it better justice that Romesha’s.”—Sebastian Junger, journalist and author of The Perfect Storm
“Red Platoon is sure to become a classic of the genre.”—Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)|
About the Author
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Excerpted from "Red Platoon"
Copyright © 2016 Clinton Romesha.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: It Doesn't Get Better 1
Part I The Road to Nuristan
Chapter 1 Loss 17
Chapter 2 Stacked 29
Chapter 3 Keating 51
Chapter 4 Inside the Fishbowl 72
Chapter 5 Everybody Dies 87
Part II Going Cyclic
Chapter 6 "Let's Go Kill Some People" 105
Chapter 7 Heavy Contact 118
Chapter 8 Combat Kirk 130
Chapter 9 Luck 145
Chapter 10 Tunnel Vision 156
Part III Overrun
Chapter 11 The Only Gun Left in the Fight 175
Chapter 12 "Charlie in the Wire" 188
Chapter 13 The Alamo Position 201
Chapter 14 Light 'Em Up 211
Part IV Taking the Bitch Back
Chapter 15 Launch Out 229
Chapter 16 Not Gonna Make It 247
Chapter 17 Ox and Finch 261
Chapter 18 Alive! 272
Chapter 19 The Bone 283
Part V Saving Stephan Mace
Chapter 20 "Go Get It Done" 297
Chapter 21 Mustering the Dead 312
Chapter 22 Conflagration 327
Chapter 23 Farewell to Keating 344
Chapter 24 Trailing Fires 361
In Memoriam 373
Notes on Sources 375
About the Author 379
What People are Saying About This
The men of Red Platoon and their actions at COP Keating deserve to be known. Clint Romesha's story takes hold from page one and makes you feel every inch of the battle, but it is the bond between soldiers that will stick with you. Red Platoon is on my list of the best books about the Afghan war. --Kevin Maurer, bestselling co-author of No Easy Day
I read the first half of Red Platoon in one sitting and that night had such intense combat dreams that I actually thought twice about picking the book up again. In addition to being a superb soldier, Romesha is an utterly irresistible writer. I'm completely overwhelmed by what he has done with this book. The assault on Camp Keating is a vitally important story that needs to be understood by the public, and I cannot imagine an account that does it better justice that Romesha's. --Sebastian Junger, journalist and author of The Perfect Storm
A visceral, heart-pounding account of men in close-quarter combat that is simply impossible to put down. Astonishingly intimate and beautifully written. A word of advice: don't start this book if you're planning on doing anything else for the next few hours. --Scott Anderson, author of Lawrence in Arabia
Red Platoon celebrates the most crucial aspect of military operations: the team. Clinton Romesha and the men of Black Knight Troop faced harrowing conditions and a determined enemy during the Battle for COP Keating, and in the process discovered exactly who they are. This account is an important tribute to everyone who fought, and especially to the eight Americans who on that day made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. --Mark Owen, author of No Easy Day
Red Platoon exemplifies the courage and resiliency our country was founded on. Clint is a true brother and a man that I look up to. --Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor Recipient and author of Into the Fire
Rendered hour by hour and sometimes second by second, here is battle narrative the way it's supposed to be written. Gritty, plangent, and unflinching, Red Platoon is sure to become a classic of the genre. Through his courageous and no doubt painful act of remembrance, Romesha has done his comrades, indeed all of us, a great serviceleaving an epitaph that will live through the ages. --Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
Red Platoon is riveting. Like many who were in either Iraq, Afghanistan, or both, I often read books about the wars reluctantly, because it is hard to capture the essence of the experience. In my view Red Platoon is a brilliant book. Had Clint Romesha depicted the soldiers at Keating as a collection of steely-eyed warriors, their feat would have been impressive. Because he captures the reality of a collection of personalities as diverse as America itself, their courage is truly inspiring. --General Stanley McChrystal, U.S. Army, Retired
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A powerful, well-written testimony on the cost of war.
Excellent read. Fast and furious. Gripping recount of a tragic event.
Thank you all!
I couldn't put the book down. I felt like I was there with the guys fighting. My heart goes out to all the soldiers and their families. The pride I feel in the guys and their units grows with each page.
I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend.
The story of these heroes needs to be read by all Americans. It reminds us of the sacrifice made by our servicemen and the dangers they face so we don't have to.
Very good read. Amazing amount of detail.
A must read for all NCOs.
This book allowed me to understand what happens in battle and why the guys come home with PTSD. I couldn't put the book down.
A truly fascinating look at a heroic episode in our recent history. I feel privileged to have met this American hero in person and the story is truly amazing. I would encourage everyone to read this!
This novel should be read and reread by all those who decide they want become a soldier and by all civilians especially by politicians. Former Staff Sergeant writes with such clarity and passion that you can smell the powder and smoke, feel the bomb concussions and taste the dust of battle as well as feel the pain in the heart for lost comrades.
The depiction of the battle for COP Keating was amazingly descriptive. Truly brought me to the battle and gave me a better understanding of the horrors of war. Great job Ro!
Ro puts you right in the middle of this battle, and you don't leave until he does. Great book.
Two of my favorite books on warfare are "The Killer Angels" and "Gates of Fire". This one makes three. "Red Platoon" is a superb book, well written, shocking, inspiring, heartbreaking, and gripping until the very end.
100 pages or more detailing the ravages of war
Great read! the author put the background, people and the battle in a personal perspective. You can find the battle in Wiki and get the dry facts but this puts the people in it. BZ Ssgt!
A compelling and horrific account of our American military heroes. A must read for everyone.
Good book marred by cheap shot at his commander in chief .