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Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan

Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan

Escrito por Sean Parnell y John Bruning

Narrado por Ray Porter


Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan

Escrito por Sean Parnell y John Bruning

Narrado por Ray Porter

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (101 valoraciones)
Longitud:
10 horas
Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9780062205582
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descripción

In combat, men measure up. Or don't. There are no second chances.

In this vivid account of the U.S. Army's legendary 10th Mountain Division's heroic stand in the mountains of Afghanistan, Captain Sean Parnell shares an action-packed and highly emotional true story of triumph, tragedy, and the extraordinary bonds forged in battle.

At twenty-four years of age, U.S. Army Ranger Sean Parnell was named commander of a forty-man elite infantry platoon—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws—and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. Parnell and his men assumed they would be facing a ragtag bunch of civilians, but in May 2006 what started out as a routine patrol through the lower mountains of the Hindu Kush became a brutal ambush. Barely surviving the attack, Parnell's men now realized that they faced the most professional and seasoned force of light infantry the U.S. Army had encountered since the end of World War II.

What followed was sixteen months of close combat, over the course of which the platoon became Parnell's family: from Staff Sergeant Greg Greeson, the wise, chain-smoking veteran who never lost his cool; to Specialist Robert Pinholt, a buttoned-down conservative with the heart of a warrior and the mind of an economist; to Staff Sergeant Phil Baldwin, the platoon's voice of calm and reason, a man who sacrificed everything following the events of 9/11—career, home, financial stability—to serve his country. But the cost of battle was high for these men: Over 80 percent were wounded in action, putting their casualty rate among the highest since Gettysburg, and not all of them made it home.

A searing and unforgettable story of friendship in battle, Outlaw Platoon brings to life the intensity and raw emotion of those sixteen months, showing how the fight reshaped the lives of Parnell and his men and how the love and faith they found in one another ultimately kept them alive.

Editorial:
Publicado:
Feb 28, 2012
ISBN:
9780062205582
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Sobre el autor

Sean Parnell is a former U.S. Army airborne ranger who served in the legendary 10th Mountain Division for six years, retiring as a captain. He received two Bronze Stars (one for valor) and the Purple Heart. He is a passionate supporter of America's military and is currently serving as an ambassador for the Boot Campaign, a national veteran's charity. He lives with his three children in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


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4.7
101 valoraciones / 20 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (4/5)
    Another John Bruning high-adrenalin war book, nearly as good as House to House, but this time in Afghanistan. Bruning's style is the same, an emphasis on slow motion combat with gory details; values of honor and loyalty; overwhelming American firepower mowing down countless "pajamas". Some of the scenes are extraordinarily grotesque, the worst is the 'Village of the Damned' with the 6 year old boy. While House to House was about a single large battle in Iraq, this one covers endless patrolling engagements over the course of a tour of duty. For what it is, probably the best of its type this close to the events, but still waiting for something that isn't as stereotypical and visceral, a book with more ideas and fewer bullets. Indeed, Afghanistan will be "won" with ideas, not bullets. The writing style and pacing translate well to audio.
  • (5/5)
    Deployed to Afghanistan in 2006, Parnell and his platoon would spend over a year at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Bermel, a remote outpost in eastern Afghanistan, mere kilometers from the Afghan-Pakistan border. The description of their area of operations paints a desolate picture of a rugged, mountainous landscape, untouched by time. Jagged cliffs and mountain ranges serve as both obstacles and enemy hideouts as Parnell and The Outlaws sortie out from FOB Bermel to try and staunch the flow of enemy personnel and materiel coming in from Pakistan. Far from the ragtag bunch of farmers and militia he had been led to believe, the enemy that they came up against (both local and foreign) was cunning, tactically proficient, well-equipped, experienced, and completely ruthless. Over the course of their deployment, The Outlaws become engaged in several firefights. Thanks to the very descriptive and clear writing, it is very easy for the reader to get a good grasp of the geography of the battles. Parnell takes the time to put things into context, and as a result, the book has a very immersive feel to it. I could easily imagine myself riding in a humvee with Parnell and trying to endure the ungodly summer heat or the sheer terror of being caught in an ambush. Parnell discusses his thoughts and decision-making processes at length throughout the book and also tells us a great deal about the various personalities in the platoon and their idiosyncrasies. Again, the reader can sympathize with him as he struggles to make decisions and be a competent platoon leader. The constant banter between Parnell and his men serves to highlight the diversity of the group as well as provide some humor to an otherwise morbid story.One thing I appreciated about Outlaw Platoon is the raw honesty of it. Parnell pulls no punches when it comes to describing the things he saw. Much like David Finkel’s The Good Soldiers, Outlaw Platoon is graphically violent. Blood is spilled, limbs are mangled by machine guns and grenades, and bodies are completely blown apart by bombs and missiles dropped from aircraft. One particularly harrowing chapter doesn’t even involve combat. The Outlaws come across a remote village where the children have been brutally tortured, mutilated, and raped by the enemy as a warning to not support the coalition. Parnell’s description of such imagery doesn’t require any dramatization or tabloid sensationalism, the horror speaks for itself.Parnell struggles with reconciling the differences between his humanity and the requirements of surviving as a soldier. When it’s all said and done, and Parnell is safely back home after his tour, he puts into words what many of us cannot and simply concludes that his life has been changed forever, and there is no going back to the way things were before. Although Parnell had planned to make a career out of the Army, he ended up being medically retired at the rank of Captain due to the traumatic brain injuries he sustained in battle.All in all, I’d give Outlaw Platoon a 5 out of 5. It is probably one of the best war memoirs I’ve read thus far. I’d put it up there with other modern war memoirs such as Nathaniel Fick’s One Bullet Away. The writing is clear, honest, and gives the reader a great deal of insight into Parnell’s mindset and experiences. While the battles the platoon fought will probably never go down in the annals of military history as the greatest, largest, or most decisive of battles ever won, Parnell shares with us his small portion of the war in Afghanistan. Outlaw Platoon is both touching and horrifying; filled with emotion and vivid imagery. It is not a book about foreign policy or strategy, but rather a look at the men of 3rd platoon 2/87 inf. 10 Mountain Division who fought in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan in 2006.
  • (5/5)
    If you expect books on contemporary US military history to be all gung ho and righteous posturing, this book will be a stunning surprise.

    Sean Parnell has achieved in this diary something very rarely experienced in military diaries and histories from any era.
    With humble eloquence and intelligent self-reflection, he takes us inside the mind and life of a platoon leader during deployment in one of the most hazardous conflict zones in recent history.
    We get the privilege of sharing in what is unspoken at the time: the doubts, the bonds of brotherly love, the daily psychological battle that all front line soldiers must face but few ever speak of.

    The book brims with insight that civilians and those off the front line would otherwise find impossible to imagine. In a refreshing turn for the genre, it is illuminating to see so much detailed coverage of the non-combat aspects of the mission.
    An early passage tells of a first meeting with a local Afghan leader and we experience the clash of cultures at first hand, and the vast gulf of life experience that leaves Sean feeling way out of his depth despite all the 21st century training and equipment.

    One cannot read this book without finding a deep respect for the men of the platoon.
    There is humour, adrenaline-filled exhilaration, but also intense despair and sadness.
    With grit and loyalty, and the moral courage of their leaders, it is clear they served with honour despite the circumstances into which they were thrown.

    For any soldiers reading this book, I imagine it must inspire a desire to live up to such high standards.
    For civilians, I challenge you not to be thinking: Is there not more we can do
    to make the world a better place, so that in this day and age we no longer need such sacrifice?
  • (3/5)


    A very revealing look at what the war in Afghanistan is really like (or was). By turns revealing, gripping, enraging and saddening, it's a poignant chronicle of young men in a difficult place.

    Unfortunately, at times the writer (the book is a collaboration between Sean Parnell [the soldier] and John R. Bruning [the writer]) attempts to get too literary, and it interferes with the narrative. Fortunately, it happens infrequently, and the book's grittiest passages read more authentically for it.

    One caution; these are grunts in a war, so don't expect a lot of high-zoot philosophy or thoughtful examinations of the larger geopolitical landscape -- this is the real, unprettified thing.

    Overall, the book isn't a masterpiece, but it does hold its own among the flood of war memoirs.
  • (4/5)
    As an attempt to get into the lives and the minds of the young men fighting the war in Afghanistan, this book works fairly well. These are the stories of very young men -- I want to call them boys, but truly can't. What makes a man face death and his overwhelming fear? Lt. Parnell concludes it's love - and sees that his job, as the leader of the platoon, is to make sure the chemistry is right to support the love of these men for one another. In the end, though, it's futile. They can win individual battles against the Afghan and Taliban but there is an unending supply of new enemy soldiers, well equipped and just as determined to win. You have to wonder about the sense in conducting such a war, and in the judgment of men who refuse medical care when fluid from your brain is leaking out from your ears and nose... I found this interesting, both in terms of the description of the situation on the forward lines in Afghanistan and in the way it let us see how men become and remain warriors.
  • (5/5)
    Outstanding
  • (4/5)
    Excellent book. Very brave man. Makes you wonder what we are fighting for.
  • (5/5)
    A top-notch book on infantry operations in the Afghan War. Very intense, harrowing and very human.
  • (5/5)
    It took the reader on a powerful emotional journey.
  • (4/5)
    Perceptions of self and others in the horror of war. A bit much machismo, but understandable in a series of unreal situations. A bit like "The thirteenth valley" a Vietnam story.
  • (4/5)
    If you like the military memoire style book then you should read Outlaw Platoon. Great story and great narration.
  • (5/5)
    Very well written, very well narrated, inspirational in helping us who have never experienced war understand how much we owe to those who take on the toughest jobs both on the battlefield and back at home.
  • (5/5)
    Really well written with lots of heart and guts. Thanks
  • (5/5)
    Perhaps the most impactful book I have ever read on the personal courage and horrible cost of war.
  • (5/5)
    Great story. Wort the lions ten, Thank you brave brothers
  • (4/5)
    A well structured and balanced insight into those who served in Afghanistan.
  • (5/5)
    Best book I've heard in a long time, listen in
  • (5/5)
    A tale of courage,love of country and brotherhood of arms amongst the harsh reality of the war in Afghanistan.
  • (4/5)
    Great reading.
  • (4/5)
    Outlaw platoon is the story of today's buffalo soldiers, engaged in futile and costly battles on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Commanding a platoon of Humvee-borne infantry from the 10th Mountain Division, 2LT Parnell experiences the typical journey of an enthusiastic and patriotic young man absorbed into a bureaucratic machine. He seems to slowly realize the futility of his mission but can still not acknowledge that his and his men's sacrifice is in vain. Even the comradeship shows marked boundaries. He describes some truly atrocious and anti-social behaviors allowed for by the.mismanaged and underled US military. Abandoned by politics in an unwinnable war, the buffalo soldiers carry on.The vignettes of infantry firefights are well-crafted. Supplied and trained in Pakistan, the Afghan fighters are more than a match for the US soldiers. As the Afghans can select their battles in difficult terrain, the soldiers in the Humvees are in an uncomfortable position. Parnell's platoon quickly takes large casualties. Inflicting punishment on the Afghans offers little compensation as the region isn't short in supplying angry young men. The millions spent in killing a few hundred Taliban should have been used to rebuild bridges or improve US education. Pounding the Afghan mountains with America's arsenal only helps fill the coffers of the arms dealers and their lobbyists. The book could be easily turned into an updated remake of the movie Platoon.