What the Thunder Said


By every principle of war, every shred of military logic, logistics support to Canada’s Task Force Orion in Afghanistan should have collapsed in July 2006. There are few countries that offer a greater challenge to logistics than Afghanistan, and yet Canadian soldiers lived through an enormous test on this deadly international stage - a monumental accomplishment. Canadian combat operations were widespread across southern Afghanistan in 2006, and logistics soldiers worked in quiet desperation to keep the battle group moving. Only now is it appreciated how precarious the logistics operations of Task Force Orion in Kandahar really were.

What the Thunder Said is an honest, raw recollection of incidents and impressions of Canadian warfighting from a logistics perspective. It offers solid insight into the history of military logistics in Canada and explores in some detail the dramatic erosion of a once-proud corner of the army from the perspective of a battalion commander.


Conrad brings to the book a raw storytelling talent and an introspection yet unseen in the canon. Passages in the book soar to the sublime. Conrad has done us all an inestimable service by putting his tory on paper, and for that alone his book is worth reading.

Quill & Quire

...a clear-headed and well-written account of the important role logistics play in any army and the challenges faced by support battalions as the role of the Canadian Forces changed from peacekeeping to war-fighting in the new millennium. There is much in this collection of interest to politicians, military commanders and historians, but what makes it interesting for the general reader is the human touch.

Winnipeg Free Press

[What the Thunder Said] is remarkably frank...its great value is it urges the Canadian Forces to think harder about logistics.

Legion Magazine

A fine narrative look at the war in Afghanistan.

About the Authors

John Conrad

Posted by Dundurn Guest on August 18, 2015
John Conrad photo

John Conrad

John Conrad has served thirty-four years in the Canadian Army. A bestselling author and colonel in the Army Reserve, he has authored a number of books and articles on Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan, including What the Thunder Said, a Military Book of the Month club selection in 2009. Colonel Conrad currently resides near Cooking Lake, Alberta.