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Summary

The West is in shock. Al-Qaeda has struck the US on 9/11, and thousands are dead.

Within weeks, UK Special Forces enter the fray in Afghanistan alongside the CIA's Team Alpha and US troops.

Victory is swift but fragile. Hundreds of jihadists surrender, and two operatives from Team Alpha enter Qala-i Jangi - the 'Fort of War' - to interrogate them. The prisoners revolt; one CIA man falls, and the other is trapped inside the fort. Seven members of the SBS - elite British Special Forces - volunteer for the rescue force and race into danger and the unknown.

The six-day battle that follows proves to be one of the bloodiest of the Afghanistan war as the SBS and their American comrades face an enemy determined to die in the mud citadel.

Superbly researched, First Casualty is based on unprecedented access to the CIA, SBS and US Special Forces. Orwell Prize-winning author Toby Harnden recounts the gripping story of that first battle in Afghanistan and how the haunting foretelling it contained - unreliable allies, ethnic rivalries, suicide attacks and errant bombs - was ignored, fueling the 20-year conflict to come.

©2021 Toby Harnden (P)2021 Welbeck Publishing Group

What listeners say about First Casualty

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Fantastic.

I couldn’t recommend this book enough. I’ve now listened to it and read it. The research and details in the book is fantastic.

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Leaden

I had high hopes for this given the praise it had received in reviews, yet I found it strangely underwhelming. It was slow to get moving and the characterisation didn’t work for me. The combat scenes were compelling and detailed and I listened to it in long stretches while travelling but the last section was a struggle. What particularly grated was the performer’s American accent - when the vast majority of the book is about US operators, it would have been appropriate to have a US native reading it.

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Superb!

This book is sensational! Humbling to listen to and seminal in its detail. The detail it covers on the missions is highly impressive snd the freedom of the author to cover the subject matter is second to none!

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An exemplary read (listen).

An exciting, and sometimes harrowing, journey into the early days of a bitter, two-decade, conflict. Very well written and brilliantly read, this book shines a light on, otherwise dark, operations that ensued post 9-11. A must read. Really.

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An amazing account

Mind blowing. Written like a first class novel. You have to keep reminding yourself that this shit really happened. Bravery in bucketloads. The chaos of war. Heartwarming stories. The audible performance is also first class. Well done, all involved

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an amazing story that needed to be written

great details. paints a vivid picture of the early days of GWAT . essential listening

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Enthralling and Highly Detailed Story

Just a fantastic listen. This book is full of the nuanced details and context which ground the facts and paint a picture of a moment in time and then the repercussions of that moment. Loved it.

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Highly recommended

Thoroughly researched. Superbly written amd narrated. Worth every penny of an audible credit. Buy it!

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  • JenFox
  • 24-01-22

Nonfiction that felt like fiction.

What an amazing account of the reality of Team Alpha. So well written & perfectly narrated. The author managed to capture the enormity of the battle & the intricacies of infiltration & influence of Team Alpha. He also communicated the incongruity of the reality on the ground compared to the political decisions. A brilliant audiobook!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-05-22

Excellent well paced interesting story

Narration is very good. Would highly recommend if you have an interest in this period of history.