Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army

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Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army

by Christie Blatchford

Doubleday Canada | October 28, 2008 | Trade Paperback

Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army is rated 4.6842 out of 5 by 19.
Long before she made her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was already one of Canada’s most respected and eagerly read journalists. Her vivid prose, her unmistakable voice, her ability to connect emotionally with her subjects and readers, her hard-won and hard-nosed skills as a reporter–these had already established her as a household name. But with her many reports from Afghanistan, and in dozens of interviews with the returned members of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and others back at home, she found the subject she was born to tackle. Her reporting of the conflict and her deeply empathetic observations of the men and women who wear the maple leaf are words for the ages, fit to stand alongside the nation’s best writing on war.

It is a testament to Christie Blatchford’s skills and integrity that along with the admiration of her readers, she won the respect and trust of the soldiers. They share breathtakingly honest accounts of their desire to serve, their willingness to confront fear and danger in the battlefield, their loyalty towards each other and the heartbreak occasioned by the loss of one of their own. Grounded in insights gained over the course of three trips to Afghanistan in 2006, and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews not only with the servicemen and -women with whom she shared so much, but with their commanders and family members as well, Christie Blatchford creates a detailed, complex and deeply affecting picture of military life in the twenty-first century.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.98 × 5.99 × 0.89 in

Published: October 28, 2008

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385664672

ISBN - 13: 9780385664677

Found in: Social and Cultural Studies

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from the more you read the more you feel what each soldiers feelings are and what they went through I am a member of the Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps and know a few soldiers myself some retired and some still in service but this book brings tears to my eyes for every story in this book. Just the thought of what these soldiers went through Makes you more aware of the sacrifice,loyalty,and valor every soldier undertakes while in intense combat everyday for 6 months, but the strongest feelings you will get out of this book is when someone has to be the person to tell their family that a loved one is dead or going into detail on the feelings of fellow soldiers who have to hold in their feelings until the right time. the fact of the matter is, is that there is no other book that will explain what happens in the eye of every soldier over there. there is nothing you can say to describe this book the way a soldier can. that's what makes this book a piece of art.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A "must read" to help understand the sacrifice of the soldier This is an incredibly well written book that gives anyone an inside view of the life - and death - of the soldiers who commit their lives to the defense of freedom. "War is the ultimate failure of politicians; and the ultimate sacrifice of the soldier". I don't advocate war; however, once we have sent our soldiers to "do their duty", I believe that we must support them fully. As much as I believe that, this book brings home the reality of war where our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers die doing their duty. Doing what they believe in. This book brings home the full level of commitment, sacrifice, and pain that is felt in the loss of every soldier. The tragedy, the waste, and the sadness that accompanies every death in combat. I teared up more than once reading this book and, although I wish that we never had to send our troops anywhere but ceremonial parades, I recommend this book as a must read for anyone who wants a better understanding of why we are there; and the cost that we are paying.
Date published: 2013-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Amazing Read!! I actually read this book while my brother was in Afghanistan serving in the military...which wasnt the smartest thing to do..But what this book did was open my eyes to the real dangers the soldiers go through....I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the realism of the mission.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have no words to describe this book Wow! I haven't ever been moved to tears by a book, before this. It was a phenomenal account of what our soldiers are living through in Afghanistan. Honest, frankly unpleasant to read, it was quite compelling and hard to put down, although I could only read a chapter or two before I did have to close the book. Thank you very much to all those that have suffered so many losses for us.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BUY THIS BOOK Unfortunately, not sure why, there are not many books written about, or by, Canadian soldiers in combat like there are for the Brits and the Yanks. I've read some good ones like "Shake Hands With The Devil" and "The Sharpe End" (Two other must reads!), but that was about it until the deployment in Afghanistan. This book in particular is a good read because it opens a window into the realities of combat and what we're trying to accomplish over there. It brings to life some of the news clips that we see on TV. The soldiers you get to know throughout your journey make me proud just thinking about them again. They are there doing their job and doing it well. And all of the family they have back home, hats off to you as well! She has written and organised the book in a way that really succeeds on all fronts to portray the above concepts. Also as Don Cherry mentions, one tough broad!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Emotional pendulum There is little information reported in the news about what our troops are doing in Afghanistan aside from body counts. I was incredibly impressed that someone would put themselves in harms way to get the story out and explain how and why these people died. This book swings you like a pendulum from the emotional distress of dealing with the lost of a loved one to the adrenaline of combat and then back again. I don't believe I have personally met anyone who has died in combat, but on at least four counts where there is only one degree of separation. This book really hit home. I found it shocking that I knew two people mentioned in the text. It made the book much more personal and a reminder that this is not fiction. I think a lot of other military members would also be suprised how closely connected we are after reading this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! A reaaly great book. Christie tells it how it is! What it is like over there for our soldiers and it's a good book to read and shows us why we have to support our troops! As a Soldier that's going over there in Aug I loved this book!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read for all Canadians When I read that Christie Blatchford had written about my cousin's son who served in Afghanistan I had to read this book. No words can describe the book. It is fantastic. Every member of Parliament should be reading a copy of this book so they all know what our troops and their families are going through. Thank you to each and every member of our Armed Forces for the job that you do on our behalf. And a special thank you to Christie Blatchford for writing the book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A worthwhile book to read I read this book because I am interested in front line soldier's experiences in combat. Normally, I read about past conflicts because that's all there is available. This book is timely enough to be about a war that is ongoing. I did not know that the author was going to focus on deaths of individual soldiers, however, this added to the humanity of the book. It reminds us of the true human cost of going to war.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read I bought this book because my son's photo is in it, not really sure if it was one I wanted to read or could read. I am glad I did. This was one of the hardest book I have read and also one of the best books I have read. As a "military mom" whose son was there for 8 months in 2006, reading about his fallen comrades and friends was extremely difficult. It's written through the eyes and words of our soldiers and is not sugarcoated. You will laugh at parts of this book and you will grieve with the families of the fallen. I have always been of the opinion that it takes a special person to become a soldier and this books underscores that belief and makes me even prouder if possible that my son is one.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Difficult read but worth it. This was a difficult read. These are fifteen hard days, mainly, where Canadian troops die. And we don't just see it from Ms. Blatchford's perspective in Afghanistan (which she did embedded and hard - she is braver than most of us) but also in Canada. We hear about the families. Their last moments with their children and spouses. How they heard the news of their deaths. And that is really hard - you will weep as you read this book. But she paints a realistic portrait of the soldiers through the eyes of their buddies and comrades - not the one dimensional "he's a hero" of the news reports. Yes, they are heroes but they are a lot more. It was sort of disjointed. She but the days in order that she decided she wanted to put them in the book - not chronilogically - so sometimes you already knew what was going to happen. But it is an important read. Read this with the Rory Stewart book and all Canadians would have a better idea about what is going on in Afghanistan.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning This book takes you on a journey of the heart. You will smile, cry, and be saddened. So well written you just want to reach out to the families and men and protect them from any further pain. It is a true testament to what the Canadian troops and their families live with on a regular babsis. Very well written a must for anyone who thinks they know about the troops. I would encourage everyone to read this book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thumbs up from my brother-in-law! I bought this is a gift for a very hard to buy for person and it turned out that he is a avid reader of Christie Blatchford's newspaper articles. So, I am told this is a fantastic read; I may have to borrow it from him!
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Way it is for Canadian Troops Just finished Fifteen Days by Christie Blatchford and wow what a book. Christie was in theatre with the Canadian Regiment PPCLI for a big part of 2006 and the book deals with that period. She was right out there on convoy with the troops and saw some of the worst scenes of War. She slept in the dust with them and ate the dry rations - all without overtime or any days off. These soldiers are dedicated beyond most Canadians and the bonds between them, between there families are far greater than any sports team I have ever seen. The details in this book are happening right now and is current history in the making. A great read for those who want to know about the Canadian Military and the war in Afghanistan.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought provoking I found that the thing that frustrated me about this book was also the thing that balanced it at times. Ms Blatchford would go for a chapter or two into the realities of theatre. The next chapter or two would deal with the human cost factor as the personnel in the rear guard would go about their painful tasks of comforting and working with the bereaved. Little, often poignant details were personally what stayed with me. Despite the fact that the book seemed a bit disjointed at times, Ms Blatchford is blunt and at the same time....gentle. I think it might have added to this work if Ms Blatchford had included some words from soldiers who might have been introspective and unsure about their role in this mission. Perhaps these people did surface from time to time but their stories are not included here. Ms Blatchford also has a salty humor and what to my mind comes across as a pretty astute assesor of the human condition, however fragile. I would definitely recomend this compassionate and gritty book.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read! With "Fifteen Days" Blatchford masterfully brings the War in Afghanistan home to the millions of Canadians who have no concept of what it means to be a soldier, or to be the family member of a soldier deployed in combat. Blatchford vividly, and often with a refreshing but emotionally charged bluntness describes the lives of the soldiers deployed in Kandahar and of their families at home. It is an emotional roller coaster, combining the dry humour and wit that only a soldier in combat posses, with the overwhelming sense of loss and trauma that wartime inevitably brings to friends and family of our fallen and injured. This is absolutely a must read, and one of the most important books of the year.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eye opening I loved this book. The lives of these soldiers will touch you. The Canadian forces need to be respected and appreciated. Take the journey, you will not be disappointed for the experience. For a subject I would not usually wander into, I am glad I did.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible A must read for every Canadian. A close, honest and up front look of the pain and pride of our Canadian men and women fighting for peace. A real page turner, anyone that has ever questioned why we are there should read this book and stand up and salute these incredible people. I thank you.
Date published: 2013-10-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Important An important and emotional addition to the discussion of Afghanistan. I dare you to read it and not cry.
Date published: 2013-10-29

– More About This Product –

Fifteen Days: Stories Of Bravery, Friendship, Life And Death From Inside The New Canadian Army

by Christie Blatchford

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 416 pages, 8.98 × 5.99 × 0.89 in

Published: October 28, 2008

Publisher: Doubleday Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385664672

ISBN - 13: 9780385664677

Read from the Book

3 August 2006 – “Blackest day of my life. Four perfect men lost, seven others injured. . . . The day will be marked by acts of heroism– some witnessed, some described to me. I will have to tell the story someday, when I can do so without choking up.” –from Ian Hope to Christie Blatchford Saturday 8/5/2006 1:40 ­p.m. By July 2006, Task Force Orion was a killing machine. Named for the conspicuous constellation of stars known as the Hunter, Orion was the Canadian battle group made up of the soldiers of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton; a company from the 2nd Battalion and a battery of gunners from 1st Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, both based in Shilo, Manitoba; and combat engineers. Even into the early spring, the soldiers of Roto 1, as the seven­month tour in Kandahar Province was called, had confronted many tests that tax a soldier’s resolve and ingenuity. But they had yet to face full­fledged combat. The troops were being blown up regularly, killed and maimed by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) planted by an enemy who went unseen and largely uncaught. They met endless groups of village elders, and older Afghan men who appointed themselves elders, in countless shuras, or consultations. Most of these were peaceful, if occasionally galling, because the soldiers suspected, and in a few cases damn well knew, that some of the same men laying bombs by night or with certain knowled
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From the Publisher

Long before she made her first trip to Afghanistan as an embedded reporter for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford was already one of Canada’s most respected and eagerly read journalists. Her vivid prose, her unmistakable voice, her ability to connect emotionally with her subjects and readers, her hard-won and hard-nosed skills as a reporter–these had already established her as a household name. But with her many reports from Afghanistan, and in dozens of interviews with the returned members of the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry and others back at home, she found the subject she was born to tackle. Her reporting of the conflict and her deeply empathetic observations of the men and women who wear the maple leaf are words for the ages, fit to stand alongside the nation’s best writing on war.

It is a testament to Christie Blatchford’s skills and integrity that along with the admiration of her readers, she won the respect and trust of the soldiers. They share breathtakingly honest accounts of their desire to serve, their willingness to confront fear and danger in the battlefield, their loyalty towards each other and the heartbreak occasioned by the loss of one of their own. Grounded in insights gained over the course of three trips to Afghanistan in 2006, and drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews not only with the servicemen and -women with whom she shared so much, but with their commanders and family members as well, Christie Blatchford creates a detailed, complex and deeply affecting picture of military life in the twenty-first century.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Christie Blatchford has been a high-profile Canadian journalist for over 25 years, with columns covering sports, lifestyle, current affairs, and crime. She started working for The Globe and Mail in 1972 while still studying at Ryerson, and has since worked for the Toronto Star, the Toronto Sun and the National Post. She returned to The Globe and Mail in 2002. She is a winner of the National Newspaper Award for column writing.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“Blatchford has the rare ability to make her descriptions of combat, particularly those involving loss of life and serious injury, almost embarrassing to the reader. You feel that you are eavesdropping on very private matters. Her extensive research and her own recollections as she was caught up in the thick of some of the heaviest fighting are compelling, gut-wrenching and, unfortunately, real. . . . She walked the walk. . . . Blatchford’s hundreds of hours of interviews in Canada have produced a rare, intimate look at how individual families coped with an early-morning knock on the door, and the presence of a unit officer and a padre with devastating news, or having a vehicle chase down a father out for a jog with a request that he get in and return home because ‘the Army is at your house.’. . . As someone who has been to Afghanistan visiting our troops a couple of times, I learned more about the performance of our soldiers from reading Blatchford’s book then [sic] I did from being on the ground for short stays. . . . I’ve never felt prouder of being Canadian then when I’ve had the pleasure of commanding, or, in the case of Afghanistan, observing Canadian soldiers performing their duties abroad. Fifteen Days reinforced that pride even more. Bravo Zulu, Christie Blatchford.” — Major-General Lewis MacKenzie (ret’d) in The Globe and Mail “ Her work, at its best, tends to reflect life’s mirror. There is dea
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