• Hammerhead Six

  • How Green Berets Waged an Unconventional War Against the Taliban to Win in Afghanistan's Deadly Pech Valley
  • By: Ronald Fry, Tad Tuleja - contributor
  • Narrated by: Ronald Fry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (1,410 ratings)

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Hammerhead Six

By: Ronald Fry,Tad Tuleja - contributor
Narrated by: Ronald Fry
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Publisher's Summary

Two years before the action in Lone Survivor, a team of Green Berets conducted a very different successful mission in Afghanistan's notorious Pech Valley. Led by Captain Ronald Fry, Hammerhead Six applied the principles of unconventional warfare to "win hearts and minds" and fight against the terrorist insurgency.

In 2003, the Special Forces soldiers entered an area later called "the most dangerous place in Afghanistan". Here, where the line between civilians and armed zealots was indistinct, they illustrated the Afghan proverb "I destroy my enemy by making him my friend." Fry recounts how they were seen as welcome guests rather than invaders. Soon after their deployment ended, the Pech Valley reverted to turmoil. Their success was never replicated.

Hammerhead Six finally reveals how cultural respect and hard work (and the occasional machine-gun burst) were more than a match for the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

©2016 Ronald Fry (P)2016 Hachette Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Hammerhead Six

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A compelling read from start to finish

What did you love best about Hammerhead Six?

Great on so many levels. As an interesting, inside look at special forces activities in in a remote and dangerous part of Afghanistan - everything I expected. As an opportunity to understand the mind of the commander as he is forced to make tough decisions on a daily basis in sitations that were uprecedented and not in the training manual - perfect. I have listened to a book every two to three weeks for the past five years and and would put this book in my top 10 for holding my interest to the degree that I never liked having to pause and always looked forward to pressing play.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hammerhead Six?

One thing I didn't expect from this book was to feel emotion for the soldiers or the Afghan people - as in happiness, anger, frustration or even the tear-jerk kind of emotion. I found this throughout the book and particularly during two interaction; one of them extremely heart-wrenching. I don't want to spoil anything by providing details.

What does Ronald Fry bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

For a biographical style non-fiction, I always prefer to listen to the writer tell their own story - if they do a decent job with the narration. Ron was excellent at narration and sounded just like the military officer I subconsciously expected to hear.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, If I could I would have listened to it straight through. It took me four days, with each day looking forward to the next opportunity to listen.

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not Just Another War Story

This is not another war story, this is a human story. It tells the story of how a team of special forces went into one of the most dangerous places in the world and "killed" the enemies with kindness. Now of course they still has to defend themselves with guns, but the main objective was to win over the people, so that no matter what their enemies said about them, they would be above reproach. I have struggled to figure out what a Christian's role in war should be. To me this is the clearest example I have seen of what that role should be. I feel like Ron and his team embraced the concept of the Sermon on the mount. Love your enemies and through this they will know that you are His disciples. Ron and his team put a value on each life, even the enemies. Instead of turning away suspected enemies from getting medical help, they gave them medical help in hopes that they would bring back the good news that the Americans were here to help. It's one thing to say you are here to help, it's another to prove it through action. Yes there may be times for more aggressive tactics, but if we fought our wars with this as an example, the world would be a lot better off.

8 people found this helpful

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This Will Renew Your Faith in Sanity

This was quite simply one of the best audio books I've ever listened to. Being read by the author makes it even better. Really renews my faith in mankind in these days of seemingly insane politicians and military planners. Listen to this audio book. You will not be sorry.

7 people found this helpful

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Amazing story!

I've listened to over 100 audible books. This is tops on my list. This story is not about how to win a war, but in how to connect with people and their community.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent Story

Great Book!!! One of the best stories about the war in Afghanistan. I listened to the book in 1 day while I was at work.
Sam

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Fantastic!

Absolutely Fantastic! Of the many, many, many afghanistan war memoirs i've read/ listened to, this was among the best.

Thank you Ron, for everything you, your team and your family sacrificed for us!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Good story, I wonder if it's true.

Well narrated.
The story was almost unbelievable.
I would look for other books from this author he he also narrates.
Normal I avoid author narrated books.

3 people found this helpful

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A Terrific Twist on the Typical "War" Story!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, I would definitely recommend this to any military-literature fan. I have read countless titles about the exploits of elite military units from WWII to Afghanistan, and this was the rare glimpse into how an unconventional war SHOULD be fought and won.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hammerhead Six?

The crisis brought on by the collateral damage that occurred toward the end of the story. I don't want to ruin it by saying much more.

Have you listened to any of Ronald Fry’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't. He could slow down his speech to make it more enjoyable to listen to. At the beginning of the story he seems rushed in an attempt to not appear lethargic. No need. Toward the end, his pace slows slightly and listening is much easier.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No idea. It is broken up into various situations and events, so it is easy to listen to one chapter, break away to do something else (like when you are listening while driving and you arrive at your destination) and when you pick back up again, it is a different chapter about a different subject.

Any additional comments?

If you like reading stories like "No Easy Day" and "House to House", etc. then read this one too. It will give you a different and balancing perspective on the capabilities of U.S. Special Forces and what they can achieve if that is actually the mission they are assigned.

2 people found this helpful

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Not impressed

I was impressed by the great review score, but I'm telling you, this book is a drag. It's also annoying that they keep slipping in religious indoctrination. There are a great many books on the American war in Afghanistan that are better stories and better written.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Book

What made the experience of listening to Hammerhead Six the most enjoyable?

It was great to here how a group of Green Berets when in country and WORKED with the locals to provide a working relationship and safe haven to live in.

What did you like best about this story?

What they accomplished in there time in country. The Special forces did a great job

2 people found this helpful

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  • Manny
  • 10-24-21

genuinely enlightening

i always like books narrated by the author, the story always seems more authentic and genuine.
when i started this book i was expecting another story of intense fighting and sacrifice, but what i got was so much more. as an ex army nco i truly beleive this book should become a standard text for anyone of rank in any military ground force. the author's selfless leadership style, respect for his subordinates and willingness to fully understand the local culture in which he he operates, is both brilliant and humbling to listen to. if only we had more Ronald Fry's in this world....

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laurence
  • 09-06-16

There is another way

One of the very best books I have read. Having read what the Red Bearded Commander managed to accomplish through care and protection over against gung-ho bravado it was not surprising that the follow up tours were more of the usual bullets, collateral damage and resentment, that's what the politicians want, it pays the bills. Awesome accomplishments from the professionals though and what they achieved. Brilliantly written with humility.

1 person found this helpful

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  • LLS
  • 04-04-22

Riveting story and a naunced perspective

A riveting narrative that was easy to digest and fascinating. Not a typical infantry account but a nuanced interpretation of how to most effectively use special forces and conduct counter-insurgency operations intelligently.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • numonix
  • 08-16-21

Outstanding

A refreshingly unconventional story of soldiering with an emphasis on cultural deference and understanding that offers up an alternative vision for how the most recent war in Afghanistan might have been 'fought' and 'won'. Well written and very well-read. It took me a chapter or two to get into but is well worth the credit.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Martin Scoley
  • 02-15-19

Enlightened Approach

Interesting and informative insight into how an unconventional war could be and should be undertaken. The most important aspect is understanding the ordinary people just want to live in peace but when pushed into a corner will, if they are given the opportunity, come out fighting. It's such a waste of lives, time and money when the hearts and minds approach is shunned by the body count merchants. After the experiences of Vietnam and Irag it saddens me that the military leaders in the United States refuse to learn.

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  • Guy
  • 03-19-16

great insight into a war with in a war

It kept me on the edge of my seat. loved every minute of this book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-31-22

An incredible and at times heartbreaking listen

An honest and transparent account of how effective unconventional warfare can be. Captain Fry’s narration made the audio experience all that more personal.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Brady orr
  • 12-29-17

Definitely worth a read.

Not another shoot em up story, but so much better at the same time. The world needs more people like these guys.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 10-27-16

A rare insight

A truly inspiring and touching insight into a world of men and traditions shadowed by the backdrop of war.