Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan Cover Image
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days

Staff Reviews

Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton celebrates the courage and action of the special forces troops who were dropped into Afghanistan to fight side by side with the Afghans riding into battle on horseback.  No matter if you support the war or not, we should all support the young men and women who have served their country bravely.  This is an amazing story of brave soldiers, taught to fight in a modern world, now riding side by side with the Warlords of Afghanistan to defeat their common enemy, the hideous Taliban. They rode out on horses to call down precision strikes from high flying planes.  Occasionally being blown to kingdom come by friendly fire (what an odd term). Fighting alongside were men who had almost nothing but a fierce desire to rid their country of the plague called Taliban. It is a story of bravery, self sacrifice, and dedication.


— Deon Stonehouse


The inspiration for the major motion picture 12 Strong from Jerry Bruckheimer, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon.

From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory.

Horse Soldiers is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country.

The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrown.

Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn. During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton’s account of the Americans’ quest to liberate an oppressed people touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan.

About the Author

Doug Stanton is the author of the New York Times bestsellers In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors and Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan, which is the basis for a Jerry Bruckheimer–produced movie by the same name, starring Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon, to be released by Warner Bros. in 2018. He attended Hampshire College and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Time, The Washington Post, Men’s Journal, The Daily Beast, Newsweek, Esquire, and Outside, where he has been a contributing editor. Stanton is a founder of the National Writers Series, a year-round book festival, and lives in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, with his wife, Anne Stanton, and their three children, John, Katherine, and Will.

Praise For…

“A fascinating account…This is not just a battle story—it’s also about the home front. An important book.” –The Today Show

“A thrilling action ride of a book.” –Bruce Barcott, cover of The New York Times Book Review
Product Details
ISBN: 9781416580522
ISBN-10: 1416580522
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: May 11th, 2010
Pages: 432
Language: English