Synopses & Reviews
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regimentssome 6,000 mencrossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albrachts men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces with fierce hand-to-hand fighting, air support and a dangerously close B-52 strike. For days, the NVA blanketed Kate in a rain of rockets, mortars, artillery, machineguns, and small arms, blocking efforts to resupply, reinforce, or evacuate the outpost. Albracht continually exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes, to guide re-supply helicopters, to distribute ammunition and water to his men, to retrieve the dead and to rescue the wounded, often shielding men with his own body. Wounded by rocket shrapnel, he refused medical attention or evacuation. Exhausted from days without sleep, he continued to rally his men to beat off each new enemy attack.
After five days, Kates defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial resupply was suicidal, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate. Albracht refused to surrender or die in place. Refusing to allow his men to surrender, Albracht led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnams heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once, And Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.
“Why read a book about a battle in a war everyone is trying to forget? Because you will learn an important secret. Are there other ways to learn it? Yes, but you do not want them. Abandoned in Hell
is an epic tale of junior officers and NCOs salvaging a cluster f**k with minimum losses and maximum damage to the enemy. Nasty war. Great book.” —Jim Morris, Author of War Story
and Above and Beyond
“Surrounded, vastly outnumbered, pounded day and night by incoming fire and all but abandoned, tiny Firebase Kate should have fallen within twenty-four hours. That it did not is a testament to Captain Albracht and the fighting tenacity of those around him. This is an exceptional account, told in much detail. —Major John L. Plaster, U.S. Army Special Forces (ret) and Author of SOG and Secret Commandos
“The siege of Firebase Kate was a microcosm of the war in Vietnam, just as that conflict was emblematic of Americas wars-to-come through the 1990s and into the 21st century. Marvin Wolf and William Albrecht have produced in Abandoned in Hell a riveting, dead-true account in the tradition of Black Hawk Down and We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young—that is, an in-detail narrative of events that could be studied by historians or by cadets in academies of war, but that also reads like a breathless, hair-raising novel. Gripping, relentless, and superbly-written, Abandoned in Hell is a testament to the courage of the Montagnard tribesmen and their U.S. Army Special Forces brothers, who endured the unendurable and survived.” —Steven Pressfield, National Bestselling Author of The Lions Gate
“A tale of heroism above and beyond the call of duty. Albrachts gallantry defending Kate, and his actions in the days that followed, reached mythical proportions. A true story told as only a combat veteran can tell it, Abandoned in Hell is essential reading about the brave men who lived and died fighting an unpopular war.” —David Hume Kennerly, Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography
“Wolf and Albracht have interwoven the history, the tumult of battle and the spectrum of personalities that turn up on a forlorn red dirt hill on the Cambodian border in the crunch year of 1968. Firebase Kate becomes a microcosm of the turn of events, the disasters that were the death knell of the Vietnam war. Its a story that grabs you by the throat and wont let go.” —Tim Page, Photojournalist and Author of Another Vietnam
“This gripping, gritty and cinematic blow-by-blow account of outnumbered Americans locked in a desperate battle with the North Vietnamese Army is destined to become a classic of its genre. If you read only one book about Vietnam this year, this must be the one.” —Major General Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret.), Two-tour Vietnam Veteran, Fox News Senior Military Analyst, and Author of Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror
“This extraordinary narrative about leadership, loyalty and trust grabbed me from page one. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to know what really happened in Vietnam.” —Rocky Bleier, Decorated Vietnam Veteran and Four-Time Super Bowl Champion
“A riveting look at a little-known but compelling Vietnam War story.” —Publishers Weekly
“Albracht and Wolf present a vivid, often gripping account of the attack by 4,000 members of the People's Army of Vietnam...This fast-paced narrative encapsulates Vietnam War themes, significantly the bravery of grunts and company grade officers and their loyalty to one another...Readers of such excellent battlefield works as Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway's We Were Soldiers Once...And Young will delve into this one.” —Library Journal
An astonishing memoir of military courage at a remote outpost during the Vietnam War--includes a foreword by Joseph L. Galloway, New York Times bestselling coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young.
In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Firebase Kate held by only 27 American soldiers and 156 Montagnard militiamen. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments--some six thousand men--crossed the Cambodian border and attacked.
Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht's men held off the assault but, after five days, Kate's defenders were out of ammo and water. Refusing to die or surrender, Albracht led his troops off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.
Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam's heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once...and Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.
About the Author
is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and retired Secret Service agent whose twenty-five year White House career included the protection details of four American Presidents and numerous foreign dignitaries. Upon retirement, Albracht managed Executive Security Operations at the Ford Motor Company before returning to his hometown to open a security consulting business.
Marvin J. Wolf is a decorated Vietnam veteran and the author or co-author of many nonfiction books, including Where White Men Fear to Tread and Buddhas Child.