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We were Soldiers Once...And Young: Ia…

We were Soldiers Once...And Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed The… (original 1993; edition 1992)

by Harold G. Moore

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1,444215,198 (4.11)26
Title:We were Soldiers Once...And Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed The War In Vietnam
Authors:Harold G. Moore
Info:Random House (1992), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:history, American history

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We Were Soldiers Once... and Young: Ia Drang--The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold G. Moore (1993)

  1. 00
    The Prince by Jerry Pournelle (bespen, bespen)
    bespen: Pournelle and Stiring's work of fiction covers the same ground of small unit tactics and the ties that men form under combat as Moore and Galloway's classic.
    bespen: Pournelle and Stiring's work of fiction covers the same ground of small unit tactics and the ties that men form under combat as Moore and Galloway's classic.
  2. 00
    A P.O.W.'s Story: 2801 Days In by Col. Larry Guarino (gtown)

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Definitely an engaging read. Hal Moore takes us into the jungle along with the soldiers through the meatgrinder. A fascinating and horrifying story. ( )
  rockinghorsedreams | Nov 13, 2014 |
Unfortunate attempt to turn Vietnam War into a noble symmetrical confrontation between equals. Part of the revisionist treatment of history of Vietnam War begun in recent decades. This type of combat ( symmetrical ) was the exception in Vietnam. Most of combat in that war was search and destroy patrols which massacred 100,000's of civilians. Many men in these same units were participants of routine atrocities. ( )
1 vote | clarkland | Feb 24, 2013 |
I can't fault the intentions of the authors to honor the sacrifices on both sides of this battle, nor their evident dedication to get the facts right. There's a blurb in the back from General Norman Schwarzkopf recommending the book as a corrective to those who view warfare as a video game. If I were a military professional I'd certainly consider this invaluable. But despite the fact this was a bestseller, I don't see this as a book to interest a general reader not particularly fascinated by military stories or the Vietnam War. It doesn't have the intensity and feeling of immediacy of Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down. To anyone considering joining the armed forces--or any citizen wanting to get a sense that warfare isn't a video game--well I'd recommend either the book or film of Black Hawk Down. I'm sure it helps that the Battle of Mogadishu it depicts happened in the age of video and audio recording, with media rolling the cameras and with Bowden able to get very fresh impressions of the encounter from all sides--the book came out only six years after the battle. We Were Soldiers Once which tells of the Battle of Ia Drang in Vietnam in 1965 was written in 1992--decades later. Nevertheless, Stephen Ambrose in his works about World War II (Bands of Brothers among others) manages to be engrossing, insightful and moving. So does Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels about the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War--written over a century later. Harold G. Moore actually commanded a battalion in the field in Ia Drang. His author Joseph L. Galloway, a war correspondent, was there too. But they simply aren't comparable as writers to Bowden, Ambrose or Shaara. Too dry, too technical--the kind of book that makes your eyes glaze over and is a slog to read. ( )
1 vote LisaMaria_C | May 28, 2012 |
So sad ( )
  carterchristian1 | Feb 25, 2012 |
This book made the war in Vietnam present again, 45 years later. The best account I have ever read of a battle from the point of view of the men who fought it, backed up with some of the larger details that give context. Moore didn't say as much as he could have, but if you know a bit about the history of the Vietnam War you can fill in the gaps with what he does say. Many of the things the military does today are based on lessons learned from this battle, and others like it.

One of the blurbers described this book as eye-stinging. I can't think of a better word for my emotional reaction. The citizen soldiers who fought at LZ X-Ray and LZ Albany displayed incredible courage and grit. I was struck by the difference between this book and books of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The military that fights in the sandbox today is very different than that of the Vietnam War. Many of today's shooters are professionals, career military men who provide structure to an all-volunteer force that is increasingly disengaged with wider society.

Moore's men were a combination of conscripts and volunteers, but they were the best of citizen soldiers, non-professionals who shouldered a tough job for a short time in solidarity with their countrymen. One of the best parts of the book is Moore and Galloway's homage "Where have all the young men gone?". They tracked down as many of the men who fought at Ia Drang as possible, and told their stories after the battle. These were men from every walk of life, so the impact of their lives and deaths was diffused throughout society. This was the last great hurrah of the citizen soldier, and he fought damn well. ( )
  bespen | May 18, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Harold G. Mooreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Galloway, Joseph L.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679411585, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:40 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter 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 chopped to pieces. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. How these men persevered--sacrificed themselves for their comrades and never gave up--makes a vivid portrait of war at its most inspiring and devastating. General Moore and Joseph Galloway, the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting, have interviewed hundreds of men who fought there, including the North Vietnamese commanders. This devastating account rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles to present a picture of men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have found unimaginable only a few hours earlier.… (more)

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