On that day, 200 soldiers of America's 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Divisions were air-dropped into Afghanistan's Shahikot valley to support the Coalition forces' toppling of the Taliban regime. But what was initially considered to be a straightforward procedure to eliminate a disparate hostile force soon turned into a hard-pitched battle against a resilient foe. The combination of strategic miscalculations from high command and a chronic shortage of infantry, artillery and close air support meant the troops were stranded in a brutal high-altitude combat zone with no means of support or escape. Worse still, their defeat would wreck the standing of Coalition forces in Afghanistan. Sean Naylor's eyewitness account chronicles their furious firefight over hostile terrain to reveal how a failure in army intelligence came frighteningly close to provoking an all-out bloodbath and a military disaster.