The NVA came at Murray’s men by the score: in a whirlwind of violence, hard on the heels of mortars that mushroomed across the knoll, throwing hot, sharp steel in every direction; within lanes, marked by tracers of Soviet-made machine guns and small arms that chain-sawed every bush, sapling, and blade of grass to stubble; in platoon formation, firing from the hip; in squads, firing and maneuvering their three-man fire teams; singly, men orphaned by the Marines’ return fire but still on their feet and attacking. The NVA kept coming at the Marines in a flood, like water from a burst dam, flowing around the strong positions, threatening to carry away the weak, and then trying to come together on the far side, attempting to isolate and surround small clumps of resistance—and they nearly succeeded. Had it not been for the outstanding courage of the individual Marines and their close air support, the entire company would most likely have been butchered on the knoll.
—from The Road of 10,000 Pains
Praise for Road of 10,000 Pains
Road of 10,000 Pains has the first and only accurate description of Foxtrot Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine’s combat operation on 21 April 1967 that evolved into Operation Union. Otto Lehrack vividly captures the intensity and close combat during the initial fight as well as the determination of individual Marines to continue to fight against vastly superior NVA forces.
—Maj. Gen. (ret.) Gene Deegan, CO, F/2/1
Just when you thought no more could be said about the Marine’s Vietnam War, author and oral historian Otto Lehrack, once again, breaks new ground about the high-intensity ground combat in I Corps.
—Charles D. Melson, Chief Historian, U.S. Marine Corps
A first-class contribution to Vietnam literature by someone who appreciates combat from the ground level. Based upon extensive research and personal knowledge, Road of 10,000 Pains is combat history at its best, a testimony to the raw courage of U.S. Marines. This is a must-read for everyone interested in small-unit actions in Vietnam.
—Dr. Alexander S. Cochran, Vietnam veteran and historian,
former Horner Chair of Military Theory, Marine Corps University
Que Son Valley was a strategic campaign and watershed event of the Vietnam War. Today, however, it’s relatively unknown and forgotten. But those Marines who fought its brutal battles remember Que Son. They remember the sacrifices and the scars of war, but so do they remember the camaraderie and friendships. Author Otto Lehrack’s account of the Que Son Valley campaign is a testament to those Marines who courageously committed themselves to one another and to “The Valley.”
—Maj. Gen. (ret.) John H. Admire,
former Commanding General, 1st Marine Division