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We Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
We Were Soldiers Once and Young Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam Author:Harold G. Moore, Joseph L. Galloway In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the la Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was chopped to pieces. Together, these even... more »ts constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. Told by the commander of the battalion and the only journalist on the ground through the fighting, this is the devastating, yet inspiring, story of those soldiers who sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up.« less
I've served a combat tour in Vietnam in the same "AO" that this takes place and learned to depend on the ability of our forces to airlift everything from reinforcements to fuel and water.
This saga was really interesting to me to see how recent the advent of the air cavalry was and how it effected the battle. I witnessed it firsthand and enjoyed reading it even more.
In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was chopped to pieces. Together, these actions at landing zones X-Ray and Albany constitute one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War.
The Americans faces what seemed to be certain destruction. How these men perservered-sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up-makes a vivid portrait of war at its most inspiring and devastating. General Moore and Joe Galloway, the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting, have interviewed hundreds of men who fought there, including the North Vietnamese commanders. The result is a story of unparalleled human interest.
We Were Soldiers Once...and Young also brings the war back home with unforgettable stories of those who lost family members to combat. This devastating accout rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man's most heroic and horrendous endeavor.
In terms of books on battles/war, this book is one of the best I have ever read. I believe that, rather than being written by a historian who may over-romanticize events, it was written by the commander on the ground. Adding to that is the fact that there are a lot of first-hand accounts by the soldiers involved. This story is told honestly and up-close and you feel like you are there with the men as they fight for their lives. If this genre is an interest to you, this is a book you have to read.
After seeing the motion picture of this story, I knew I had to read the book. I was not disappointed. In my opinion. Vietnam is a war we must remember. This story, about so many heroic soldiers and their bravery and sacrifices is one that is hard to forget.