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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Canadian Army
The Canadian army is very small - many organizations claim to be like a "family" but the Canadian Army is a family. In the larger world there may be 6 degrees of separation but in the Canadian Army there may be only two. So every loss is a wound for all. Every loss is indeed the death of a brother.

This remarkable book is a revelation of what it may mean to be...
Published on Nov. 5 2007 by Robert Paterson

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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not so accurate
this is a great book for canadians to read to see what we face over there but .... not all of her stories are accurate ... christie only talked to certain soldiers to write this book ... and some of her descriptions of what happened to us on certain days , are not accurate at all .... "OUTSIDE THE WIRE " is a much more in depth and more accurate book from all angles and...
Published on Dec 31 2007 by jim duggan


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not so accurate, Dec 31 2007
this is a great book for canadians to read to see what we face over there but .... not all of her stories are accurate ... christie only talked to certain soldiers to write this book ... and some of her descriptions of what happened to us on certain days , are not accurate at all .... "OUTSIDE THE WIRE " is a much more in depth and more accurate book from all angles and is actually wrote by the soldiers and not by a reporter ..... it is published by random house and can be bought on here or in any book store accross the country .
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Canadian Army, Nov. 5 2007
The Canadian army is very small - many organizations claim to be like a "family" but the Canadian Army is a family. In the larger world there may be 6 degrees of separation but in the Canadian Army there may be only two. So every loss is a wound for all. Every loss is indeed the death of a brother.

This remarkable book is a revelation of what it may mean to be part of a true Band of Brothers - a world where the most senior general lends a master corporal his own wedding ring so that he can ask his girl to marry him - a world where the entire platoon comes to the home of a fallen comrade and spends a week in the community celebrating his life - a world where a 40 plus year old widow enlists so that she can continue to be part of the family - a world where Colonels weep for their men.

The book also causes the reader to think more deeply about war and soldiers. It is politically correct to feel that all war and everything about it is bad. But we discover, that for all its terror and for all the losses, for a soldier war is what he lives for. It is when he also discovers whether he is any good at his life's work. We discover how good our soldiers are. Surprisingly, for we always think the less of ourselves, in Afghanistan, we are considered the heavy weights who punch well above our weight.

We discover that while war exhausts a person more than any other activity, it also makes him more alive.

We discover that PTSD is much more prevalent in peacekeeping than in the kind of situation that we find in Afghanistan. In peacekeeping the kit was awful and the impotence high - imagine simply witnessing atrocity? But in Afghanistan our soldiers can take the initiative and they are very well equipped and have rules of engagement that make sense.

We discover a new kind of woman soldier - who are at home in this strange world, as is of course the "Blatch", and who are no longer seen as odd.

We discover how the families of our soldiers have been integrated into the mission and we see how the worst of all news is given and how the families are supported when what they all fear the most occurs.

This is not the civil service in green that was the sadness of our forces for many years. Implicit throughout the book is that someone really knows that he is doing. I think that someone might be called Rick Hillier.

We discover how great our local field leadership is too which also says something more about General Hillier -

Brig- Genl Dave Fraser to LTC Ian Hope, in radio orders given at 11.30pm on July 17 "You need to recapture Nawa and Garmser by 1600 hours.

Hope to Fraser: "Roger that. Recapture Nawa and Garmser by 1600 hours."

Fraser: "Any questions?"

Hope: "Just one: Where are Nawa and Garmser?'

Not only do we routinely pull off tough missions, but the Cols take all the risks that their men do - they lead by example. They also tend to do the really terrible things like personally extract the burnt and mutilated bodies of their dead so that the buddies in the platoon would not have to remember their friend like that. There is all this bull in the public service about "Servant Leadership". Here you see it for real at all levels from the LTC down to the Master Corporal.

We discover the central frustration of the mission. That we have to go back again and again and take the same ground because the ANP, the police, cannot hold it - we learn how complex this work is.

But most of all, we learn how fortunate we are to have those wonderful people wearing our uniform.

It is a mystery to me how, in a nation, so cut off from the reality of war, that we can once again have the kind of army that we had in 1917. A pathfinder Army.

A small army that can think and adapt. A small army that is lead by men and women of an integrity and skill that put our business and public organizations to shame. A small army largely made up from men and women from small town Canada who have that can do attitude that used to be the hallmark of Canadians.

Who else could tell this story but "Blatch"? A woman who acknowledges that she knows of only two soldiers who swear more than she. A woman who shares the hardships, the joys, the terrors, the losses and the fun. A woman who loves her boys and who is loved back.

She writes with such a love and a passion - I could not put the book down except when my eyes were so full of tears that I could no longer see.

It is exciting, it's very funny, it's very sad. But in the end it is heroic. Not in a little boy's view of heroic but in the most mythic sense of people who live for each other in undertaking a very hard task.

At the end of the book, "Blatch" goes back to see everyone to see how they are.

"Eight months later, Hope (LTC Ian Hope) answers my email form an airport lounge somewhere. I wrote back to tell him of one of the stories - bawdy and funny, loving and sad, always brutally honest - I'd heard from the troops.

You must miss them so xxxxxxx much," I said. " I can hardly bear to write about them sometimes. I find them so beautiful."

"You understand what I miss," he wrote back. "I am Odysseus."

This is a wonderful book about wonderful people written by a wonderful person - who has by the way a wonderful dog but that is another story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Stories, Oct. 3 2013
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This review is from: Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (Paperback)
Loved everything about the book as it portrays a raw and honest look at the conditions in Afghanistan and of the many Canadian soldiers who fought in this War, and the poignant stories of those who lost their lives in the process.
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5.0 out of 5 stars should be required reading for all young Canadians, Sept. 4 2013
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this is a well written inspiring book that all Canadians should read. It gave me a special insight to what our soldiers faced every day in service overseas, especially in Afghanistan. where I didn't really understand exactly what they were facing. it also gives the reader a feeling of the dedication that actually exists in our army. for one, I am proud of our soldiers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, Sept. 1 2013
By 
B. Gray (Vancouver Island, BC Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (Paperback)
I have a friend with 2 sons on active duty - 2 tours each in Afghaniston. This well written book gives me a sobering & frightening look into what they went through.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As real as it gets., March 8 2013
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Christie Blatchford writes this gripping story of a group of extraordinary soldiers caught up in an incredibly complex war. This isn't the linear battlefields of France or Germany, this is modern day Afghanistan and the enemy is around every mud-wall, across every wadi and in every poppy-field. You will not be able to put this book down!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must-Read" for Canadians everywhere, Dec 1 2012
This review is from: Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army (Paperback)
I had the great good fortune to be at a book launch where Warrant Officer Willie MacDonald introduced Christie Blatchford, and afterwards had the chance to talk with him at length about the book. I know, or have met, a number of other troops who served in Afghanistan. Every one had read the book; every one thought it was an excellent sample of the experiences of our troops. It is not, as one reviewer has said, as comprehensive a book as some others written about the Afghanistan conflict, but it is without a doubt a riveting account of some of the lives, and deaths, of those who we send "to the sharp end" - to do difficult and dangerous jobs on our behalf.

More to the point, this book is a long-overdue wake-up call that the historic task of our small, highly professional, highly trained armed forces is to fight wars, when necessary to kill, and sadly to die. "Peacekeeping", sometimes cited as the "traditional" task of Canadian troops, was a political smokescreen invented to whitewash stripping the armed forces of funding, equipment, and personnel. It also denies the historic role and great sacrifices of the many Canadians lost in past conflicts. "Fifteen Days" reminds us that every volunteer serving in our armed forces has signed a blank cheque saying, "Payable To The People Of Canada - One Life", and that our troops go where they are sent.

This book is not a comprehensive account of the experiences of Canadian troops in Afghanistan, but it is a book that every Canadian should read, if only to understand a small part of what is demanded of those who our politicians send off into harm's way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not so harsh...given the circumstances..., Jan. 14 2008
By 
Amazon Customer (Balgonie, SK, Canada) - See all my reviews
I wasn't there and won't be. The warfare that I trained for, was to be in Europe fighting the Soviets. Having experienced the camaraderie of units within the forces, I feel for the young men and women on tour in Kandahar. The book brings forward compelling descriptions of the combat, fellowship, frustration, fearlessness and professionalism of our Canadians. Christie may not have gotten to talk to every soldier over there but I'm certain that she would have wanted to if it weren't for being paralyzed in fear in the back of a LAV. Maybe it isn't what some would have said or would have wanted to be told but for the 'folks' back home it brings the war to the doorstep. I'm proud to be a Canadian, but I'm even prouder after reading about the soldiering by these brave young men and women. I highly recommend the book. I truthfully couldn't put it down until I had finished it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blatchford gives readers the troops' perspectives., Jan. 15 2008
By 
Amy (Mississauga, ON Canada) - See all my reviews
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Fifteen Days is not a history textbook, nor, do I expect, was it ever meant to be, as some reviewers have suggested in their criticisms of the book's accuracy. Instead, Christie Blatchford gives us her perspective, and the perspectives of some of the Canadian soldiers she spent time with over the course of her three trips to Afghanistan in 2006.

The physical and psychological stress, violence, and devastation that these soldiers experienced during active combat in Afghanistan, mainly in the volatile Panjwaii district, are vividly described in Blatchford's writing. She captures combat in a very realistic, albeit, sometimes chaotic way, mimicking the chaos and catrastrophe of battle. Many of the soldiers' stories trigger outrage, pride, admiration, and sorrow. The soldiers whose stories are presented become very familiar to the reader; their personalities, strengths, and, in some cases, weaknesses, are apparent on every page of this book.

As Blatchford's title suggests, this is a book about soldiers' stories from the frontline, and on that level the book is successful. Readers will gain a better insight into many of the situations the Canadian troops are up against every time they venture out into Panjwaii and the surrounding districts in Afghanistan. [Amy MacDougall]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!, Dec 15 2007
By 
Roberto De Lisi "Robert D." (Montreal, Canada) - See all my reviews
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Reveals the reality of the war in Afghanistan, what the troops are actually facing everyday. Finally a book about the soldiers and not the politics behind the operation in Afghanistan!! I Highly recommend this book to all, especially to soldiers deploying in the near future!
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Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death from Inside the New Canadian Army
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