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We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang-The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam [Kindle Edition]

Harold G. Moore , Joseph L. Galloway
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (581 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The New York Times bestseller, hailed as a “powerful and epic story . . . the best account of infantry combat I have ever read, and the most significant book to come out of the Vietnam War” by Col. David Hackworth, author of the bestseller About Face

In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped 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 brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam.

How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2704 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (November 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009S33I68
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,619 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
521 of 522 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Company Commander at X-Ray March 20, 2001
Format:Paperback
I commanded A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cav under LTC Hal Moore at X-Ray. I lived the battle and led two aasaults. Hal Moore's book is an accurate account of the events of those two days and reflects his love for his soldiers as well as his determination to close with the enemy. As another reviewer described the book shortly after it was published it is "the best description of small unit combat since the Red badge of Courage". Having just read 71 reviews I note that some of the reviewers criticize Moore on issues of tactical considerations. Without going into a lot of detail the Hueys did well to carry 6 soldiers at the altitude of the central highlands of Vietnam. We did not have good intelligence as to where the enemy was so the operation was planned as a reconaissance in force. Not much different than hundreds of other air assaults by both Army and Marine units during the war. The book was not written to glorify war but to demonmstrate the courage and character of the American soldier.
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266 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book about great leadership, not just about war February 21, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The North Vietnamese soldier that Colonel Harold Moore's men captured in the Central Highlands of Vietnam on November 14, 1965 delivered chilling news: "There are three battalions [of Vietcong] on the mountain who very much want to kill Americans but have not been able to find any." A few hours later, those Vietnamese made contact with the 7th Cavalry --- and thus began the first battle of the Vietnam War to pit Americans directly against the Vietcong.
The killing began right away. Not the killing of Vietnamese. The killing of Americans. Five died in the first few minutes. The hills were a concert of screams and explosions. Hiding behind a termite hill, Moore thought of another man who'd led the 7th Cavalry: George Armstrong Custer. Moore promised himself that he wouldn't let this battle --- Ia Drang --- repeat the sorry history of Little Bighorn.
We Were Soldiers Once...and Young is the story of how close Moore and his men came to being slaughtered like Custer's troops. The numbers are spine-chilling: In four days of fighting --- with the enemy sometimes as close as 75 feet to the American line --- 234 Americans died. In this remarkable minute-by-minute account, you get to meet these men. And more: You watch each soldier die. And you get to grieve for every single one.
The book's real subject isn't war. It's leadership. Consider the situation. Americans had been advisers in Vietnam, but they had never really engaged the enemy. Moore was career Army: West Point, Korea, advanced studies in fast-moving, guerilla warfare. In June of l965, he began training his battalion for combat in Vietnam. In August, the Army pulled all six of his newly-acquired second lieutenants out. In August, any soldiers who had 60 days or less to serve were separated from the 7th Cavalry.
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107 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hero of Ia Drang also Hero of World Trade Center October 4, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This ran in Army Times. In addition to being one of the under-reported stories of 9-11, it seems like a remarkable footnote to a remarkable book.
`The bravest man I ever knew'
After a lifetime in which he cheated it many times, death caught up with Rick Rescorla halfway up the south tower of the World Trade Center.
But like a good soldier, he didn't sell his life cheaply. Death took him only after he had cheated it again, helping to save 2,700 lives by relying on the instincts and the preparation that had served him well in battles on two continents.
Rescorla was a retired Army Reserve colonel and the head of security for Morgan Stanley's Individual Investor Group at the World Trade Center. But many readers will be more familiar with him as Lt. Rick "Hard Core" Rescorla, one of the heroes of the 1965 battle of the Ia Drang Valley in Vietnam.
"Rick was the best combat leader I ever saw in Vietnam," said Pat Payne, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment's reconnaissance platoon leader in Ia Drang.
Featured in book
Rescorla's role in that battle is recounted in detail in the book "We Were Soldiers Once... And Young," a searing account of the action by retired Lt. Gen. Harold "Hal" Moore and Joe Galloway. In 1965, Moore was a battalion commander in the center of the battle, and Galloway was a UPI reporter who covered the entire engagement.
Even those only vaguely familiar with the book have seen Rescorla's image - he is the gaunt soldier on the cover with the 2-day old beard and the bayonet fixed to his M16.
When Rescorla showed up for Basic Training at Benning in 1963, he'd already seen more adventure than most soldiers do in a lifetime.
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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
First, let's look at what this book is not: It is not beautifully written, it is not the story of one person's experience and it is not dedicated to character building. If you are looking for those things, then look elsewhere.

Now if you are looking for the smell, the horror, the courage and the sacrifice of the battlefield, then you will find it in this work. Moore and Galloway have written a book that will serve as a textbook for generations of people who want to know what war is really like in a very objective manner - the heroism, the great leadership, poor leadership, mistakes, and occasional cowardice. It pulls no punches and takes people and organizations to task where appropriate. It is truly an amazing work and one that should be read by anyone when a debate on going to war is raging.

The book is in three distinctive parts: The fight on Landing Zone X-Ray; The Fight on Landing Zone Albany; and the aftermath of the battles, for both the US involvement in Viet Nam and some of the families affected by it. Moore was the Battalion Commander at X-Ray and gives a very good view of the decisions he made and why he made them. He is able to walk us through the battle and describe the critical actions by both the North Vietnamese and the US forces that turned the tide of this battle and allowed Moore's force to win a victory. There are many first person accounts of different aspects of the battle given by the US soldiers that fought there and also by some of the key North Vietnam leaders.

The second part of the book was about the relief battalion's retrograde back from LZ X-Ray to LZ Albany. Moore was not here so all of the reporting was done thru interviews after the fact.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to understand that war, read this book.
Wonderfully written. Hal Moore and Joe Galloway make a good team. They made note of every single soldier that paid the ultimate sacrifice, and that is how it should be. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Whirlygirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Written and Researched
Started reading the book because I appreciate the multiple viewpoints presented in the movie. As you would expect, the book is even more detailed; though the movie is fairly true... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars WWII reader
This hero's book is awesome.
Published 8 days ago by Cyndi
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get any better than this
What an extraordinary book this is and it compliments so well the movie that starred Mel Gibson. It doesn't get any better than this.
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book & a greaty movie
A great book & a greaty movie. Real heroes put in a terrible position by poor top brass. Good book, real live heroes & good writing. RAG
Published 9 days ago by RAG
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved the movie with Mel Gibson and couldn't wait to ...
I loved the movie with Mel Gibson and couldn't wait to read the book. It is well written and a great story about our hero soldiers. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Atis K. Palmer
4.0 out of 5 stars The courage of these young men is amazing. If not for college
A very educational and yet moving story. The courage of these young men is amazing. If not for college, I would have been one of them, so their story means a great deal to me. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Michael J. Kanis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read!!!
Published 10 days ago by Tom Myatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent Book
Published 11 days ago by Blair W. Younkin
5.0 out of 5 stars War IS hell
While I realize that the skills of the politician are not the same as those of the military commander, I still wish that it was a requirement of our political process that those... Read more
Published 16 days ago by BrucePennington
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