Not A Good Day To Die by Sean Naylor
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This Book is a good account of a battle in Afghanistan that is not sufficiently well-known: Operation Anaconda. This took place in March 2002, the late days of the initial invasion of Afghanistan when American forces were attepting to clear out the last traces of Al Qaeda from that country. Soldiers from elements of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Divison were air lifted into the Shahikot Valley, near the border with Pakistan, where Al Qaeda was attempting to set up a mountain stronghold. Snipers from 3 PPCLI took part in this operation and received Mentions in Despatches for their skill and valiant conduct, but they are not mentioned in the book.
The narrative is somewhat complex and the author has tried hard to assist the reader, but there are times when it is still hard to keep all the names and actions in memory. I think it would have helped a lot if he had given names to chapters which assist the reader in folloiwng the chronology. It has many examples of courage in the face of the enemy and fortitude in facing horrible weather in the mountains. At the same time, the screw-ups in command, control and communications are depressing and one assumes the military learned its lessons from this - but it is a hard way to do so.
Overall, it is an important book in understanding the early days of the war in Afghanistan.
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