Lions of Kandahar - Rusty Bradley & Kevin Maurer

Lions of Kandahar

By Rusty Bradley & Kevin Maurer

  • Release Date: 2011-06-28
  • Genre: Military
Score: 4.5
From 987 Ratings


Includes a new Afterword by the authors

One of the most critical battles of the Afghan War is now revealed as never before. Lions of Kandahar is an inside account from the unique perspective of an active-duty U.S. Army Special Forces commander, an unparalled warrior with multiple deployments to the theater who has only recently returned from combat there.

Southern Afghanistan was slipping away. That was clear to then-Captain Rusty Bradley as he began his third tour of duty there in 2006. The Taliban and their allies were infiltrating everywhere, poised to reclaim Kandahar Province, their strategically vital onetime capital. To stop them, the NATO coalition launched Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in its history. The battlefield was the Panjwayi Valley, a densely packed warren of walled compounds that doubled neatly as enemy bunkers, lush orchards, and towering marijuana stands, all laced with treacherous irrigation ditches. A mass exodus of civilians heralded the carnage to come.

Dispatched as a diversionary force in support of the main coalition attack, Bradley’s Special Forces A-team and two others, along with their longtime Afghan Army allies, watched from across the valley as the NATO force was quickly engulfed in a vicious counterattack. Key to relieving it and calling in effective air strikes was possession of a modest patch of high ground called Sperwan Ghar. Bradley’s small detachment assaulted the hill and, in the midst of a savage and unforgettable firefight, soon learned they were facing nearly a thousand seasoned fighters—from whom they seized an impossible victory.

Now Bradley recounts the whole remarkable story as it actually happened. The blistering trek across Afghanistan’s infamous Red Desert. The eerie traces of the elusive Taliban. The close relations with the Afghan people and army, a primary mission focus. Sperwan Ghar itself: unremitting waves of fire from machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades; a targeted truck turned into an inferno; the death trap of a cut-off compound. Most important: the men, Americans and Afghans alike—the “shaky” medic with nerves of steel and a surgeon’s hands in battle; the tireless sergeant who seems to be everywhere at once; the soft-spoken intelligence officer with laser-sharp insight; the diminutive Afghan commander with a Goliath-sized heart; the cool maverick who risks all to rescue a grievously wounded comrade—each unique, all indelible in their everyday exercise of extraordinary heroism.

Praise for Lions of Kandahar
“A raw and authentic war story about untamed Green Berets in action.”—Dalton Fury, New York Times bestselling author of Kill Bin Laden
“A powerful and gripping account of a battle that helped shape the war in Afghanistan . . . With crisp writing and page-turning action, Lions of Kandahar is one of the best books written about the conflict.”—Mitch Weiss, Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative journalist and co-author of Tiger Force: A True Story of Men and War
“One of the most important documents to emerge from the war in Afghanistan.”The Seattle Times
“Powerful . . . a riveting account of a strategic battle that doesn’t glorify war or focus on heroic deeds . . . Make room on your military bookshelf for Lions of Kandahar.”San Antonio Express-News
“Bradley takes the reader into battle.”—Time

From the Trade Paperback edition.


  • Lions of Kandahar

    By Odinist
    Gripping first hand account. It is the only book I continue to reread and at a novel / non-fiction tomb a week that says it all. Very little else really compares. At 58 I can no longer wish to grow up to come close to Maj. Bradley as a man, a leader, a husband and a patriot. Perhaps In the next life. Richard W Coviello Jr. Lackawaxen PA
  • Lions of Kandahar

    By RudyMRP
    This work of history Describes in harrowing detail where good prevails over evil because some have courage to place themselves, despite seemingly insurmountable odds, in between evil men and the Liberty all should be blessed to have. Not reading this book fuels ignorance.
  • Amazing book about amazing heros

    By ericandi
    I finished this book in two days. I couldn't put it down. This books proves how successful we were in Afghanistan when our troops were supported up the chain by their leaders. If we had not been distracted by the Iraq war and had our current president not pulled out before the job was done, we could have finished the job with mainly special forces, afghan forces, and supported by our conventional forced and overwhelming air power.
  • Solid read

    By Raven2034
    Great first hand account of one of the most important battles in Afghanistan!!
  • An amazing read!!

    By RR Smoove
    I literally could not stop reading this book. One of the best books I have read. It's not that it is an amazing account of combat operation, but the flow of the story so well each page literally leaves you wanting to turn the page to follow the story line. Page by page pulling you deeper into the story. This book should have been turned into a movie a long time ago!!!
  • Riveting Account

    By GripRigga
    What a great story, extremely well written! I felt like I was there and could almost feel the heat, dirt, sweat and blood, the exhaustion of prolonged battle.....even the crack of incoming rounds and they RPG bursts seemed close. The overall sense of danger was more than palpable. I read this on my iPhone and could hardly put it down and when I was forced to, I couldn't wait to get back to it. Thank you Sir for a great account which made me understand the challenges we face in places like this so much better. More importantly thank you for your service and that of the men under your command, especially those who paid so dearly. Excellent book!
  • GREAT READ!!!!!

    By john's tech
    Loved every page. Worth every penny spent.
  • Extremely compelling and a must read by every American, soldier or Not!

    By Sillicacher
    I heard about this book from my Mom who saw the interview with the author on CNN, I believe. I am a voracious reader and can finish a book in a matter of hours. However, this book was so well written, I forced myself to read it in three days, vs 3 hours. I wanted to really absorb what we don't get from the media, (for the record I hate the media). I came to know through this book what our SF and soldiers are up against in this war. I commend the determination of the men and women who go out each day and fight this war, knowing fully what they are up against. You all are heros in my book. Everyone of you deserve a Medal of Honor! Even more compelling to me is the frustration that our soldiers face when having to "retake" ground they had fought for over and over again. That is determination. The mental strain knowing what they have done will not be sustained. That is so draining in every way.
  • Lions of Kandahar

    By Bdilch
    It's great to be an American! Awesome book about true American heroes. I will read this again. We need more like these men. USAF pilot.
  • Action packed

    By Snow Beast
    Couldn't put this book down. This is for the commander and infantryman who needs to know what fighting is all about. From decision making to leadership. This is a must read for Marine officers/ leaders. This book gives you details and how to fight when the cards are against you and the deck is deep and filled with wild cards. Semper Fidelis.