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

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

by Ed Darack

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Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers - the Marine Corps' Battle for Freedom in Afghanistan by Ed Darack

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101032480
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/07/2009
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 476,850
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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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Victory Point: Operations Red Wings and Whalers - The Marine Corps' Battle for Freedom in Afghanistan 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
mtldrinst More than 1 year ago
A MUST-READ if you want to understand the complexities of fighting a counter insurgency using SOF and conventional forces. This is a tale of selfless devotion to duty by both the Marines and their SOF counterparts. This story reveals "the ground truth" and instead of a chest beating competition you get the facts as they happened from the grunts who were there. In the end it's a story of a SOF tragedy and the Marines who cleaned up the mess.
senated More than 1 year ago
Victory Point is a book that should clarify a number of issues to most Americans, while contributing to their understanding of the worth of America's involvement in Afghanistan. The beginning of the book chronicles the history, and philosiphical changes to the Afghan government that has led to the chaoas and istability of the region. The U.S. Marines, on the contrary, do not suffer from any confusion about their role or mission. The idividual and collective courage demonstrated by the Marines depicted in this book is a testement to their training and patriotism. I'm not one who normally sells the "stars and stripes" for no reason, but any American who reads this book and doubts the legitimacy of the United States mission in Afghanistan or the dedication of our military serving in the region, needs to read this book to understand why our country has made this worthwhile investment
ChrisW44 More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most inspiring books I have read in awhile. It should be read by all who do not fully understand The War on Terrorism. Ed Darack begins by giving an in depth look at the often overlooked history of Afghanistan and the USMC. It is in these chapters that the reader is able to broaden their views of both sides and subsequently allows the reader to submerse themselves into the harrowing story of the Marines in the Korengal Valley. The book is meticulously thought out, methodically told and fully executed in a respectable, honorable manner. The only two ways one could get a better understanding of these operations is if they were there in person or had the privlige of speaking in person to those who were. This book is a must read for anyone who either wants to join the Marine Corps or needs to gain a clear accurate view of modern day Afghanistan that is unpolished by todays media outlets. Victory Point is not only entertaining and inspiring like a well played action movie, It also gives a proper face to the new age of American War.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My son in law was in Operation Whalers, he said it was something he won't forget. One of his buddies got seriously wounded. My son in law has been to Afghanistan twice now, serving our country. I keep him & the other Military people in prayer everyday.
willyMW More than 1 year ago
well being there and living it and actually being in the book i thought it was good. and nothing was "over exagerated" the spirit of the marines was outta this world. these men are the best men i would ever meet in my life.
JBarrer More than 1 year ago
A great story about an exceptional group of Marines. It gives the reader a true sense of what it takes to be a Marine and a true account of the difficulties of modern day warfare. The author was very detailed and thorough in his research and accuracy of events. This should be required reading for all those that admire our service men and women and the great acts of courage they do for our freedom. A great read and a great title!
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Aaron85705 More than 1 year ago
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.
worldhistxplorer More than 1 year ago
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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DD314 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really well done research on Afghanistan history and Marine's history. Definitely written from the platoon commander/platoon sergeant perspective. Worth reading, since we're going to be in Afghanistan for a very long time!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was in Fox Co. during operation whalers and remember things a little different from what is said in the book. The book is deffinetly wrote from an officers perspective. I would like to hear an enlisted account of operation whalers and compare the differences. I guess I just thought that there were a lot of exagerations which is expected. I guess I should write my own version lol.