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We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang�The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam
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We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang�The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  13,852 ratings  ·  336 reviews
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 dro
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ebook, 453 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Open Road Media (first published October 20th 1991)
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sckenda
“Another war story, you say? Not exactly for on the more important levels this is a love story, told in our own words and by our own actions.”

In November 1965, some 450 Americans fought against 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers in the Ia Drang Valley - one of the most savage battles of the Vietnam War. I am not going to glamorize this battle, as did the film based upon the book, and I am not going to proclaim winners, because everybody lost.

At first, a few platoons rode into the valley in their he
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Jeff
This is the story of the Battle of Ia Drang and the first time United States ground troops went up against the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) in a pitched fight. There are two parts to the engagement: 1) U.S. forces, using helicopter as mech-calvalry, drop into a zone and are surrounded by a force that out numbers them 4 to 1. 2) Troops march from here and move to another “zone” and are quickly ambushed and put in a truly desperate situation.

The battle not only “changed” American soldiery’s involve
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David
I was an Infantry Officer in the 101st Airborne in Vietnam, during the "Hamburger Hill" - Firebase Ripcord period in the area of the Ashau Valley that, like the Ia Drang Valley, ate American units whole. I came back disillusioned and angry as many did.

But when I finished this book, I looked at my wife and said, "If THIS MAN were to walk up to our front door, drop a rucksack and a rifle on the porch and say "Follow Me," I would do it. THIS MAN (Lt Col. Hal Moore) is a leader who cares! I was grat
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Larry Bassett
The book opens with five pages listing those killed in the Pleiku campaign in October and November 1965 when the War in Vietnam was just beginning to heat up. And the Prologue continues along the same vein with descriptions of encounters with enemy soldiers and death. The lead author, Hal Moore, was a Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st Calvary Division, one of the units at the front of the battle about which We Were Soldiers Once … And Young is written. The second author, Joe Galloway, was a UPI repo ...more
Lisa
Every time I read a book about a war, or a battle, or a military conflict which is written by someone who experienced the conflict first hand (AKA a combat veteran,) I feel the need to explain something before I begin my review. I have found that when a veteran of combat writes a book about a particular battle or incident, that they write from their perspective (AKA the rank they held) at the time as opposed to their current rank or status. Sometimes, they may add some more recently acquired wis ...more
Dave
Since I'm now reading the sequal I thought I'd review the original book. This is probably the best book to come out of the Vietnam war, and is a classic in terms of the view from the other side. This is the battle where America "took the plunge' into the war and was the battle that the North Vietnamese used as a blueprint for their war against the Americans for the next 10 years.
Jimmie Kepler
I checked We Were Soldiers Once and Young by Gen Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway out of The Colony, Texas public library. There is a movie based on this book. I read the book first and was surprised when I saw the movie. They had left out the second battle. It was a battle that was just as bloody as the first, but without LTC Moore commanding. General Moore and Joseph Galloway have written a fine book. It should be must reading for every military officer and politician. I found this book ...more
An Odd1
Truth hurts. Too much for my soft civilian sensibilities who lost father, relatives and their homeland to air force and war.

General Harold Moore and reporter Joseph Galloway start with 12 pages of Vietnam memorial soldier names. Ouch. Photos in the center show forever young KIA, some posed with 50s costumed large families. Appendix is 22 pg capsule biographies.

Hundreds of American dropped into the HQ of thousands of enemy. Brave men sacrificed themselves and their parts for their comrades in a
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Tony Taylor
Each year, the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps selects one book that he believes is both relevant and timeless for reading by all Marines. The Commandant's choice for 1993 was We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young.
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
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Virgil
Every once in a while, a book comes along that really has an impact on me, and this is one such book. Interestingly, I didn't know the book existed until 2002, 10 years after it was published. I had heard of Ia Drang, though, from a good friend who was there and told me about the battles a couple of times when he got drunk. It is the only time I ever heard him mention it, I think he had to get drunk to talk of it and he did so with tears in his eyes.

And just after I finished reading the book, I
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Gavin
This battle was the US's first encounter with the regular North Vietnamese Army. (The allies were fighting two forces in South Vietnam: the invading NVA and the irregular Viet Cong. We never invaded North Vietnam, which I think is the main reason we lost the war.) The analysis of the battle led to our standard, Westmoreland-crafted strategic approach to the war: find the enemy; insert troops by helicopter in the middle of a shitty situation surrounded by the enemy; fix them with small arms fire; ...more
Jim
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 milita ...more
Jim
Put on your helmet and web gear if you're going to read this epic. This is a real page-turner that pulls no punches. Nicely researched and written in the clear, no-nonsense language you would expect from a professional military man. Be alert, however: one can be confused by some of the anecdotal input - it's sometimes hard to tell where one soldier's comment ends and the next fellow's begins. All in all, a great read which blows the movie out of the water, and that's coming from someone who love ...more
Michael Burnam-fink
War is awesome and terrible, and so is We Were Soldier's Once... and Young. One of the blurbs calls this book a monument to the men of the 1/7th Cavalry, and I can think of no better way to describe this book. Opening with a sepia toned reminiscence of the development of Air Mobile tactics and helicopter warfare, the story moves soon enough to Vietnam, where the proud soldiers of the air cavalry would face their greatest test.

Intelligence suggested Viet Cong forces in the Ia Drang valley, but n
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Roberta
Ho letto diversi libri sul Vietnam, e questo non mi è piaciuto. Non penso che sia scritto male, ma fondamentalmente si tratta di una lunga descrizione di una campagna, la campagna di Ia Drang, svoltasi sugli altipiani centrali del Vietnam. Si trattò della prima battaglia combattuta tra americani e nord-vietnamiti organizzati in battaglioni, un genere di scontro che successivamente fu evitato da entrambe le parti, per la semplice ragione che in questa battaglia persero la vita moltissimi soldati ...more
Ctgt
I never served in the armed forces, so I find it troublesome to comment on actions taken by those in the field. I have read many of these types of books from the American Revolution to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and find myself wondering how I might have responded in the situations many of these soldiers found themselves. Of course it's impossible to know, but when I read of the sacrifice and courage many of these ordinary citizens displayed, I only hope I might have done the same.


There is
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Jimmy
This book tells the story of the battles in the Ia Drang valley. The word Ia means river. It was a turning point in the war because American troops became more involved in the fighting. It would lead to a massive increase in troops by President Johnson.

There was a French plantation nearby where young girls in bikinis relaxed. The owner paid the Viet Cong protection money and the Saigon government taxes to live like this. Then they charged the US government for any damage to rubber tree damage.
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PennsyLady
We Were Soldiers Once And Young: Ia Drang - The Battle That Changed The War In Vietnam

"We went to war because our country asked us to go,
because our new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, ordered us to go,
but more importantly because we saw it as our duty to go."

n November 1965, some 450 men of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Hal Moore, were dropped by helicopter into l clearing in the Ia Drang Valley.
They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers.
A
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S.
falling short of absolute excellent, "We Were Soldiers Once..." is still a great war book. the primary criticism made about the work is that it covers only the initial insertion and first half of the battle, whereas most of the casualties suffered by the US unit took place over the next few days as the force withdrew. so in a sense, the author can be accused of doing a whitewash, covering only the glorious "search for the lost platoon" and the dramatic impact of the first ever helicopter inserti ...more
Steven
As a Vietnam veteran this book struck me really hard. Though I was in a different type of combat mission, I could feel the fear and anxiety of the soldiers that went through these battles. If you are the type of person that doesn't like violence even in military type novels, then don't read this book. However, if you are seeking to understand you Vietnam veteran spouse or family member that was in the infantry this may shed some light on why we don't talk to you about our experiences - you will ...more
Leo
Lt.Col Hal Moore was a veteran of the Korean conflict. He was given a command of a batallion. Most of the officers were young and inexpierienced. He trained them as if they were going to be paratropers. He trained them for cambat. He had the 7th Calvary and went into cambat in Vietnam.The 7th was Custers and he got masacred. Moore new that and he studied his enemy well. When they went into combat the 7th aircab(Heuy helicopters) ferried them in. The enemy was waiting and launched their attack. H ...more
Todd Miles
"We were soldiers once" is the first book I have read on the Vietnam War, and boy, am I glad that I read this. The book is exhausting. For almost 400 pages it covers one long battle (really two consecutive interconnected battles) with very little opportunity for the reader to catch his breath (unless you put it down, but it is a difficult book with which to do so). Expertly written by the commander on the field, "We were soldiers once" offers a strong defense of the Vietnam War soldier, with som ...more
James
So much better than the dumpster fire of a movie that they made about the Ia Drang...
Chip O'neal
I read this book after the movie came out. Some guys in my reserve unit were at Hunter Liggett where this was filmed, and were picked to be extras in the movie. They got picked because they were all under 5'4" tall. Mel Gibson is not a tall man.

Years later, while sitting in a cafe, I met Gen. Moore. Very interesting guy. I bent his ear a bit and he gave me a short history lesson. He let me buy his coffee. Very cool.

Now the review. I read this book in the 2005 timeframe so I am going off of memor
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Randy
In November of 1965 our squadron of F4C aircraft was stationed at Cam Rahn Bay Vietnam flying support missions. During one heavy week of flying virtually every flight was diverted to support the First Air Calvary fighting west of us in the Ia Drang Valley. Many years have passed. I finally came across this book written by the man who was the on ground commander of the first phase of the battle and now I can understand somewhat the awful events that took place there. General, then Lt Col., Hal Mo ...more
Liam
Like Band of Brothers, I picked this one up after seeing the movie. As is the way of things, the book certainly put more emphasis on the political and overall strategic situation than did the movie. General Moore's recounting of the situation leading up to, and the aftermath of, the battle at Ai Drang shows the best and worst of the American Military Machine of the day. On the down side, military leadership was overly politicized, preventing the U.S. Armed Forces from being as effective as they ...more
Francisco
Yo creo que lo peor de la guerra es el enorme desperdicio de oportunidades: jóvenes en la flor de la vida que acaban muertos, mutilados, física o mentalmente, se pierden amistades, sociedades que pueden cambiar la historia y reducen todo a cenizas, lamentos y pesadillas. De forma testimonial se narra la primera gran batalla de los estadounidenses con el Viet Cong, con las vivencias del Coronel Moore de manera protagónica. Es tremendamente impactante leer de esos jovencitos de 20 años el pavor de ...more
Alex Kennedy
I think that every U.S. President, high-ranking member of the executive branch, and Congressman should have to 3-5 books before committing troops to war. One of them would be We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young. Others would be The Thin Red Line, Band of Brothers, Generation Kill, and The Naked and the Dead. Having read these books, our wars would be fewer, but they would be far more effective.
Samantha
Jul 29, 2007 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Vietnam War buffs
Shelves: military-history
I read this book after seeing the movie because movies inevitably leave something out. Boy, did it! There was an entirely different battle after the one portrayed in the movie. In fact, it wasn't really a battle but an annhiliation of the Americans. The first-hand accounts made the story extremely compelling.

Very haunting. Very well-written. Very memorable.
Walter
This book is about the battle of Ia Drang, a bloody engagement between the North Vietnamese Army and soldiers of the 1st Cavalry, a unit organized under the new (at the time) "Air Assault" concept of delivering combat soldiers to battle via helicopter. The book is surprising in many respects. Firstly was the commander's obvious care and concern for the welfare of the men under his command. Moore was intimately aware of the shortcomings of his unit - the high percentage of draftees who would be r ...more
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23897
Lieutenant General Harold Gregory Moore Jr. is a retired officer of the U.S. Army, and the co-author (with Joe Galloway) of two successful books ('We Were Soldiers Once... And Young' & 'We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back To The Battlefields Of Vietnam') about the 1965 battle of the Ia Drang valley in Viet Nam, during most of which Moore (then a Lt. Colonel) was the primary U.S. officer comm ...more
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