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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 Cover

ISBN13: 9780345475817
ISBN10: 034547581x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This devastating account of the battles against the North Vietnamese at the Ia Drang Valley, November, 1965, rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge--and dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier.

About the Author

Harold G. Moore was born in Kentucky and is a West Point graduate, a master parachutist, and an Army aviator. He commanded two infantry companies in the Korean War and was a battalion and brigade commander in Vietnam. He retired from the Army in 1977 with thirty-two years' service and then was executive vice president of a Colorado ski resort for four years before founding a computer software company. An avid outdoorsman, Moore and his wife, Julie, divide their time between homes in Auburn, Alabama, and Crested Butte, Colorado.

Joseph L. Galloway is a native Texan. At seventeen he was a reporter on a daily newspaper, at nineteen a bureau chief for United Press International. He spent fifteen years as a foreign and war correspondent based in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and the Soviet Union. Now a senior writer with U.S. News & World Report, he covered the Gulf War and coauthored Triumph Without Victory: The Unreported History of the Persian Gulf War. Galloway lives with his wife, Theresa, and sons, Lee and Joshua, on a farm in northern Virginia.

From the Hardcover edition.

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HistoryWriter, February 25, 2013 (view all comments by HistoryWriter)
This is an amazing book, fascinating and disturbing at the same time. There is probably nothing I can add to the hundreds of reviews of this book. However, I'd just like to say what lessons I took from it. First of all, at the risk of hyperbole, I must say that I wish every American would read this book. In it you will learn about the bravery of the American service person, and the real cost of war. It is a story that transcends the conflict in Vietnam and is very applicable to our modern military adventures, where the burden of war is carried by only a small percentage of our citizens.

The first half of the book describes the formation what would become the 1/7 Cavalry, part of the first air mobile division (1st Cavalry Division) and its deployment to Vietnam. The 1/7th is commanded by the co-author, Hal Moore. Moore's battalion is sent into LZ X-ray and survives a battle against what would have been overwhelming odds if it were not for massive American artillery and close air support despite the expert leadership of the officers and NCOs in the battalion from Moore down and the undisputed bravery of each individual soldier. This is significant as the first major engagement between American air mobile forces and the North Vietnamese Army.

The second half of the book, however, did not get portrayed artistically in the Mel Gibson movie. It tells the story of Moore's sister battalion, the 2/7th Cavalry, that was marching toward LZ Albany to be extracted after reinforcing the 1/7th at X-ray. While approaching the LZ, unprepared for meeting the enemy again, the battalion was attacked by three battalions of NVA soldiers. The chain of command was not able to bring artillery and air support their rescue in this engagement for several hours. The results were devastating. Both fights constitute the Battle of the Ia Drang, not just the part stylized in the movie.

The most moving part of the book is revealed in the closing chapters. The story of two widows and two daughters bring to light how the sacrifices of soldiers not only take the lives of amazingly talented soldiers, but also dramatically affects the lives of their loved ones at home, who continue to pay the price. Reading about the aftermath and the effect on the veterans and their family members is a very emotional experience. However, even more amazing and anger inducing is the way the battle was treated by the leadership of the country. The upper management of the Army and the government refuses any lessons to be learned from this battle, and the country continued on a path that was already decided upon before the 1st Cavalry Division even arrived in Vietnam.

I wish I could give this book more than five stars. If you enjoyed the movie, then please read this book and get the whole story.
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Product Details

Moore, Harold G
Presidio Press
Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway
Galloway, Joseph L.
Moore, Harold G.
Moore, Lt General Ha
Moore, General Ha
Galloway, Joseph
Military - Vietnam War
Ia Drang Valley, Battle of, Vietnam, 1965
vietnam;vietnam war;history;war;military history;military;non-fiction;memoir;biography;usa;20th century;american history;us history;us army;autobiography;1960s;fiction;american;army;movie;warfare
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9.24x6.12x.98 in. 1.38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Vietnam War
History and Social Science » US History » General

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