12 Strong Based On True Story

Title: 12 Strong: A Gripping Tale Based on True Events


“12 Strong,” directed by Nicolai Fuglsig, is a thrilling war film that brings to life an extraordinary true story of bravery and heroism. Released in 2018, the movie recounts the incredible journey of a U.S. Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan just weeks after the devastating 9/11 attacks. Inspired by the non-fiction book “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton, this action-packed film provides an insight into the untold events that unfolded during the early stages of the War in Afghanistan. In this article, we will delve into the captivating true story behind “12 Strong” and explore seven interesting facts that further enrich the narrative.

7 Interesting Facts about “12 Strong:”

1. The Horse Soldiers’ mission:
The film follows the story of the Horse Soldiers, an elite group of 12 U.S. Army Green Berets who embarked on a mission to aid local Afghan allies in their fight against the Taliban. These soldiers joined forces with General Abdul Rashid Dostum, a Northern Alliance warlord, to capture the strategic city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

2. The real-life heroes:
The film pays homage to the real-life heroes who were part of the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 595 (ODA 595). The group, led by Captain Mitch Nelson, played by Chris Hemsworth in the movie, was the first U.S. military unit to enter Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

3. The unconventional mode of transport:
Due to the rugged terrain and lack of infrastructure, the Horse Soldiers had to adapt and utilize an unconventional mode of transportation – horses. They trained themselves and their Afghan counterparts to ride and fight on horseback, just as their ancestors did centuries ago.

4. The immense challenges faced:
The Horse Soldiers faced a myriad of challenges during their mission, such as cultural differences, language barriers, and harsh weather conditions. They had to rely on their ingenuity and resourcefulness to overcome these obstacles and achieve their objectives.

5. The significance of Mazar-i-Sharif:
Mazar-i-Sharif, the city targeted by the Horse Soldiers, held immense strategic importance. Capturing this city would sever the Taliban’s supply lines and pave the way for the eventual liberation of Afghanistan.

6. The portrayal of General Abdul Rashid Dostum:
General Dostum, played by Navid Negahban, is a crucial character in the film. He is a real-life warlord who fought against the Taliban and played a pivotal role in the success of the Horse Soldiers’ mission.

7. The impact of their mission:
The success of the Horse Soldiers’ mission marked a turning point in the early stages of the War in Afghanistan. Their bravery and determination set the stage for future military operations and showcased the resilience of the U.S. armed forces.

15 Common Questions about “12 Strong:”

1. Is “12 Strong” based on a true story?
Yes, the movie is based on the true events chronicled in the book “Horse Soldiers” by Doug Stanton.

2. Are the characters in the film real people?
Yes, the main characters in the film are based on real-life military personnel who were part of the Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha 595.

3. Did the Horse Soldiers really ride horses into battle?
Yes, due to the challenging terrain, the Horse Soldiers had to rely on horses as their primary mode of transportation during the mission.

4. How accurate is the film in portraying the events?
While the movie takes creative liberties for dramatic effect, it remains remarkably faithful to the true story.

5. Were there really only 12 soldiers involved in the mission?
No, the term “12 Strong” refers to the 12 members of ODA 595. However, they were supported by other military personnel and Afghan allies.

6. How long did the mission last?
The mission lasted for approximately three weeks, from October to November 2001.

7. Did the Horse Soldiers face opposition from the Afghan locals?
Initially, there were some reservations and skepticism among the Afghan locals about the Horse Soldiers. However, they quickly earned the respect and trust of their allies through their bravery and commitment.

8. Was their mission successful?
Yes, the Horse Soldiers’ mission was a resounding success. They captured Mazar-i-Sharif, dealt a significant blow to the Taliban, and helped pave the way for the liberation of Afghanistan.

9. Were there casualties among the Horse Soldiers?
Yes, during their mission, several members of the Horse Soldiers were injured, and one soldier lost his life.

10. What impact did the Horse Soldiers’ mission have on future military operations?
The success of their mission set a precedent for unconventional warfare tactics and showcased the importance of working with local allies in future operations.

11. How did the film depict the cultural differences between the Horse Soldiers and the Afghan locals?
The film highlights the initial cultural differences and language barriers faced by the Horse Soldiers, but it also showcases their ability to adapt and learn from their Afghan counterparts.

12. Were there any real-life collaborations between the U.S. military and Afghan warlords?
Yes, the U.S. military strategically collaborated with certain Afghan warlords, including General Abdul Rashid Dostum, to overthrow the Taliban.

13. Did any of the Horse Soldiers receive accolades for their bravery?
Yes, several members of the Horse Soldiers were awarded the Silver Star for their exceptional bravery during the mission.

14. Did the Horse Soldiers continue to serve in Afghanistan after their mission?
Many of the Horse Soldiers continued to serve in Afghanistan and played vital roles in subsequent military operations.

15. How did the Horse Soldiers’ mission impact the War in Afghanistan in the long run?
Their successful mission set the stage for further military operations and helped weaken the Taliban’s hold on Afghanistan, contributing to the eventual liberation of the country.


“12 Strong” is a gripping film that brings to light the remarkable true story of the Horse Soldiers. Their bravery, resourcefulness, and unwavering commitment to their mission serve as an inspiration and a testament to the resilience of the U.S. armed forces. Through its captivating storytelling and accurate portrayal of events, the movie successfully pays tribute to these unsung heroes and sheds light on a lesser-known chapter of the War in Afghanistan.

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