Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Guest Review: Red Platoon

Summary: “‘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 U.S. 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 14-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost 8 men their lives. 

Red Platoon is the riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counter-attack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions. -- Dutton

I'd like to welcome back my dad to Booking Mama. His latest review is for the book RED PLATOON: A TRUE STORY OF AMERICAN VALOR by Clinton Romesha. Here are his thoughts:

In RED PLATOON, author and Metal of Honor recipient, Staff Sergeant Clinton Romesha gives a first-hand account of the brutal attack on combat outpost Keating, the most remote outpost in Afghanistan near the Pakistan border.

In 2009, the American Army’s Black Knight Troop was sent to Keating to close down the base that was set up only three years earlier. By then, the military realized that the outpost was extremely dangerous because the Taliban enemy held the high ground and rendered the location nearly impossible to defend. On October 3, 2009, only three days before the outpost dismantling was to begin, the Taliban launched a horrific attack by an estimated 300 personnel against an outpost manpower that included 50 Americans and an Afghani military force of about 30. In the ensuing 13 hour battle, 27 American soldiers were wounded and 8 lost their lives. An estimated 150 Taliban were killed in the American victory that was aided by tremendous air support. Additionally 3 Afghani soldiers perished but sadly 15 went AWOL during the battle. The one thing that touched me more than any other was the intensive effort that the survivors, some seriously wounded, made to recover the bodies of the fallen soldiers before the Taliban could take them for propaganda purposes.

In RED PLATOON, Romesha outlines the personal histories and personalities of the key members of his platoon before describing the details of the battle. This allows the reader to see these soldiers as real people who are engaged in a life and death battle.

Romesha’s account definitely captures the dangers that our armed forces are exposed to in the various military actions throughout the Middle East. His story gives the reader a close-up view of war that we don’t fully grasp in reading the daily newspaper accounts or watching TV news.

This detailed first-hand account will place RED PLATOON alongside LONE SURVIVOR by Marcus Luttrell and AMERICAN SNIPER by Chris Kyle as excellent accounts of how our military performs when placed in harm’s way.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book and to Booking Pap Pap for his review.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I've read a military book or two but generally they're not my genre. I do know someone who'd probably like this one, though.