We Were Soldiers Once... and Young
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, other 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.
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