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Publisher's 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
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about First Casualty

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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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Excellent well paced interesting story

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

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  • MaddoggMurphy
  • 04-12-22

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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  • Fasting For Fitness
  • 04-11-22

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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  • A.B
  • 03-23-22

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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  • Danowookie
  • 02-03-22

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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  • Richard Steer
  • 01-26-22

Highly recommended

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

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  • SANDY ZALSTEIN
  • 02-08-22

Essential history

Along with the Looming Tower and Directorate S, this beautiful written and comprehensively researched memoir and account of the people, places, events and consequences of opening days in the GWOT is deserving of being essential reading god anyone trying to know and understand this period of our history .

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-22

Excellent read

Listened to Toby on both Jack Carr’s and Andy Stumpf’s podcasts. Prompted me to buy the audiobook. Highly recommended. It’s a tough story but one definitely worth the telling. In the aftermath of Allied forces leaving Afghanistan, this takes us back to the beginning of the campaign.

For anyone interested in Afghanistan, this is a must read.

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  • Allan dowman
  • 01-20-22

excellent book

a great incite into the first months of the afghanistan war, well worth the time to read.