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We Were Soldiers Once...and Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam Hardcover – Oct 20 1992

4.6 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1 edition (Oct. 20 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679411585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679411581
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 216 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

In the first significant engagement between American troops and the Viet Cong, 450 U.S. soldiers found themselves surrounded and outnumbered by their enemy. This book tells the story of how they battled between October 23 and November 26, 1965. Its prose is gritty, not artful, delivering a powerful punch of here-and-now descriptions that could only have been written by people actually on the scene. In fact, they were: Harold Moore commanded the men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, who did most of the fighting, and Joseph Galloway was the only reporter present throughout the battle's 34 harrowing days. We Were Soldiers Once... combines their memories with more than 100 in-depth interviews with survivors on both sides. The Battle of Ia Drang also highlights a technological advance that would play an enormous role in the rest of the war: this was perhaps the first place where helicopter-based, air-mobile operations demonstrated their combat potential. At bottom, however, this is a tale of heroes and heroism, some acts writ large, others probably forgotten but for this telling. It was a bestseller when first published, and remains one of the better books available on combat during the Vietnam War. --John J. Miller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

On Nov. 14, 1965, the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Moore and accompanied by UPI reporter Galloway, helicoptered into Vietnam's remote Ia Drang Valley and found itself surrounded by a numerically superior force of North Vietnamese regulars. Moore and Galloway here offer a detailed account, based on interviews with participants and on their own recollections, of what happened during the four-day battle. Much more than a conventional battle study, the book is a frank record of the emotional reactions of the GIs to the terror and horror of this violent and bloody encounter. Both sides claimed victory, the U.S. calling it a validation of the newly developed doctrine of airmobile warfare. Supplemented with maps, the memoir is a vivid re-creation of the first major ground battle of the Vietnam War. Photos.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Like many, I suppose, I decided to try the book after I had seen the movie. The film had blown me away, and I wanted to find out the whole story, without the Hollywood details. Interestingly enough, some of the things that I had dismissed about the movie as pure Hollywood turned out to be true. (I have come to the conclusion that Sergeant Major Plumley might actually be God, as many of the troops suspected. :)) Nevertheless, there were a number of differences, inevitably, so it was good to get the bigger picture that a book can provide. The book also discusses military actions after the battle at Ia Drang, which also make for a compelling story. Moore and Galloway are scrupulous in their collection of multiple firsthand accounts, which greatly add to the narrative. This book is a collection of many stories, guided by Moore and Galloway, and is an outstanding read.
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Format: Hardcover
American soldiers in Vietnam were similar to American soldiers in wars prior and since. They fought with dedication, loyalty and skill. They were motivated, well led and informed. They knew for what they were fighting and why and recognized the importance of their contribution and sacrifice. Yet the popular mythology is very different.
General Moore and correspondent Galloway have made an invaluable contribution to the truth by publishing this most unusual joint memoir - how often do soldiers and journalists team up? Together they have produced one of the classic battle books of all times. Though written in a self-deprecating manner it is impossible to read this excellent book and not be completely in awe of the leadership abilities and dedication of then Lieutenant Colonel Hal Moore.
Moore took his new battalion - then an experimental airmobile unit - into what turned out to be an incredibly one-sided battle against seasoned, tough North Vietnamese regular forces. The Americans won that battle due in part to their supporting air and artillery but mostly on the shoulders of the soldiers and their leaders, from Colonel Moore all the way down to the squad and fire teams.
We Were Soldiers goes a long way to restoring the rightful pride that Americans ought to feel about our soldiers in Vietnam. This is a book that belongs on every American's shelf and is one that you will want to go back to and contemplate from time to time. It is an absolute must read.
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Format: Hardcover
Perhaps a new modern classic on warfare, certainly one of the definitive books written about the Vietnam War. Moore has given us both a military history of the battle of Ia Drang and a intensely personal story of those who served there. It reads like a book written by a military man. You will not find the beautiful prose of a William Manchester or Bruce Catton, but heart stopping action that will leave you breathless.
In this book you will see both the competence and courage of the ordinary grunt, and the incompetence and mistakes of their commanders. This was not a strategic battle planned out in the corridors of the Pentagon, but, like the Battle of Gettysburg, it just happened. Thus, we have an unfolding of an unplanned battle that changed the course of the war.
Moore refuses to vilify the enemy. Like any good solider, he has respect for the men who opposed him. They are portrayed as men of courage, insight and dedication. If you only had opportunity to read one chapter, read chapter 20: Death in the Tall Grass. It tells of the story members of the 2nd Battalion surrounded in a field of grass, the terror of that fight is unmatched.
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Format: Hardcover
For those who enjoy military history, or want to read a few of the most significant books on the Vietnam war, this book is a must. While newcomers to the topic should start with a more general history of the war, such as Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam," this book, along with Neil Sheehan's "A Bright and Shining Lie," will always be one of the classics on this war. The book vividly tells the story of two very bloody battles in the Ia Drang valley, Pleiku province, in 1965: at Landing Zone (LZ) X-ray and, a few days later, at LZ Albany. Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, commander at LZ X-Ray (then a Lt. Col.), and reporter Joe Galloway, who lived through the horror of that battle, aptly describe the chaos of battle in the war's first major encounter between U.S. troops and the North Vietnamese regular army. The authors recount oral recollections of survivors. The book also describes the background of the war, the preparation of the 7th Cav as a new type of unit--air mobile by helicopter--and the mismanagement of the Johnson administration in so many ways: the loss of experienced personnel by the one-year assignment practice, the six month limit on battalion and brigade commanders, and allowing the enemy sanctuary in Cambodia. One of the strongest points of the book is its strong and moving sense of the cost of war to individuals and families: Hal Moore, besides being a top-knotch commander, is a true human being who felt deeply the loss of each of his men, over the years visiting their families and weeping at the graves of his fallen soldiers. This book is a battle history which does not glorify war, but shows it for the bloody, heart-wrenching chaos it is.Read more ›
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