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We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah
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We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines Who Took Fallujah

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  978 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
A "Band-of-Brothers"-like, first-hand account of the fierce battle for Fallujah and the Marines who fought there--a story of brotherhood and sacrifice in a platoon of heroes
ebook, 280 pages
Published October 1st 2007 by Da Capo Press (first published October 30th 2006)
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Jack Pando
A combat historian follows 3rd Battalion 1st Marines into Operation Phantom Fury, the second invasion of Fallujah. The interviews O'Donnell includes in his book are taken during or right after the fight, they are raw and emotional. 3/1 had the highest causality rate with 70% of their Marines injured or killed. O'Donnell captured how the Marines fought for one another and their reactions when their fellow Marine, brother was wounded or killed. This book is not for the faint of heart, it's graphic ...more
Samantha Salzgaber
Very good book. I think that everybody who has any doubts about the Wars in the Middle East should read this book. It is easy to disagree with the politics behind the conflicts but, when it comes down to "it" the book is very good about showing the humanitarian side of the wars.

The POV is kind of weird, since the author has to do a lot of quoting and it's hard to tell when he is narrating versus when he's accounting for someone else. Also, the military aspect might be hard to understand. (luckil
Carla JFCL
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a pretty powerful book. It's the story of a Marine platoon that was among the first wave that took Fallujah in the Irag war, written by an embedded "reporter" (really, an historian, I believe). At times it is quite disturbing, because it's pretty graphic. But, I would encourage anyone to read this; we all need to understand the work done and sacrifices made by our military in today's world. And I'm not just sayin' that cuz I'm a military brat, although that background is probably part of ...more
Dec 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this was one of the best books I’ve ever read. This isn’t an ordinary book, no this book shows the truth to war. That was one of the reason I like it, because O’Donnell brought the real story. He brought realism to the reader’s eye. There was a saying that that in a way gave the books its meaning. Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines who took to Fallujah. The sentences mean that these brave and heroic marines took to war and had to fight with one another just to survive. These Marines w ...more
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are into military history or are interested in what our troops experienced in Iraq this is a must read. This is the 3rd book I have read about the battle for Fallujah. They have all been interesting and well written, but this is one of the best. Most Americans have no clue what sacrifices our troops make. This will help you understand.
Charles Knight
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liked the book and the stories of the Marines. Well written and factually accurate. Intense action.
O'Donnell was embedded with Lima Co. of the 3rd Battalion 1st Marines during Operation Phantom Fury to clean out Fallujah...great explanation of "unit cohesion" & its role in making a Marine a potent tip-of-the-spear warrior...straight forward account of those who sacrifice so much,,,I have even more respect for those who serve!
Joshua Emil
I regret buying this from a secondhand bookstore. I wished that I found an unused one. I thought to myself, why would the previous owner would give this away? It might be out of his expectations, well, this satisfied me.

We Were One: Shoulder to Shoulder with the Marines who Took Fallujah is unlike a story told by an embedded journalist that I came across. Correction: this isn't written by a journalist, this is written by a combat historian. Which means, there's less politics involved here and t
Roger Burk
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I guess you should read this book if you want to know what it means to be a US marine. It is the story of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, in the Battle of Fallujah in 2004. It gives the personal experiences of the marines, written down by a journalist-historian who joined them for part of the battle and took oral history interviews for all of it. The marines were a rough group, out to raise hell or test themselves. Varying mixes of patriotism and adventure-seeking got them to the battl ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Mr. O'Donnell made a good effort here in his account of the battle for Fallujah, however
I think overall it lacked something. I suspect the "something" that I feel missing from this account is due to the fact, that while Mr. O'Donnell was with the Marines for much of their action, he writes with a somewhat detached point of view. Perhaps this is due to his perspective as a historian and not just as a reporter. Such books as "Shadow of the Sword" and "House to House" written as first hand
David Damico
Oct 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We Were One by Patrick O’Donnell showed the true story and details of the people that went into Fallujah. This book also showed the strong friendships and bond that everyone in the platoon had and to see those bonds slowly whittle down, brought out the true emotions of the troops. They fought through some of the worst firefights and having to improvise just to stay alive and keep the remaining men safe.

I enjoyed this book because you could feel and experience what the men of the platoon went thr
Brom Kim
Oct 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accuracy of media coverage of the Battle of Fallujah was very questionable since the city became too dangerous for all but muj-approved reporters in the run-up and during the operation. This book provides another side of the account.

The caveat on my rating of this one is that the reader may need to be interested in modern or warfare, military history, or current events to enjoy it. This may also be an informative read for friends or families of folks who served there.

To the interested reader or
Nick Johnson
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! its a non fiction acount of his experience in fallujah. The author of this novel served with lima 3/1 and some time with 3/2.

I personally got a lot out of reading this book. It was incredibly exciting. i loved every page of this action packed story. It really does make you apprciate the people that serve our countyr everyday laying there life one the line time and time again.

I think the biggest thing i got out of reading this book is the understanding of the brotherhood tha
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shelf
I appreciated the book on an infomative level and found the recounting of the military events that took place in Fallujah helpful to better understand the Iraqi war on the whole. It also gives a perspective on the hard life in the Marines Corps, from training to combat itself.
From a stylistic point of view, however, there is sometimes a surplus of useless rhetoric, since one is perfectly able to value the courage of the men who fought over there and the sacrifices they made (many giving their li
Mar 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from the library as an audiobook for my cross-country drive at Thanksgiving. It's the most detailed account of the brutal house-to-house fighting that comprised the Second Battle of Fallujah that I've seen. That said, I found that the jingoism of the author and his subjects sometimes got in the way of the story, especially during the last couple chapters.

If you only read one book about the fighting in Iraq - and Fallujah in particular - I'd suggest "Forever War," by Dexter Filk
Brittney Borgford
Moving beyond words. What a sense of full understanding, a sense of complete patriotism towards the war in Iraq. The men who took Fallujah, and I speak of all the armed forces not just the Marines, acted without thought of themselves. Every American alive during the fall of Fallujah and the war on terrorism should take the time to read this book. It moved me to tears multiple times, and made me proud to part of a country where heroes, such as those mentioned, are born and bred. This is one of th ...more
Anthony Montgomery
We Were One is expertly written and one of the greatest books on combat that I have ever read. Mr. O'Donnell put himself in harms way and captured the oral histories of these Marines AS the Battle of Fallujah was unfolding! This is a groundbreaking book that is brilliantly written. I read it in two days! I recently saw that the Commandant of the Marine Corps put it on his professional reading list, to be read by all Marines. This book is more than just an historic triumph, but chronicles men and ...more
Randall Decker
This book documented the attack on Fallujah through the eyes of of a platoon on the ground. Well written but much like the many books written about the Iraq war. A bit more graphic and documents many killings and deaths. If you are looking for a book that just regurgitates actions on the ground this is a great book. If you are looking for strategy and psychology along with documentation then I highly recommend House to House: An Epic Memoir of War by Bellavia, David
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story of our soldiers in action, fighting the most horrific battles, often hand to hand. This tight "band of brothers" takes on vicious Jihad terrorists congregated in the abandoned city of Fallujah. I felt like I was there. Mr. O'Donnell compelling book is based on oral histories of the men, and the author's on the ground account of these determined Marines as they bravely fought to take back what had become an epicenter of terrorist activity in Iraq.
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gritty and authentic account of the battle of Fallujah. Sections of the story made me sad given the loss of the men who fought the battle. The descriptions of the house to house fighting and the endless ways in which the Foriegn fighters used the U.S. rules of engagement to kill the Marines gave me a new appreciation for the American fighting man and what those Marines had to go through on a day to day basis.
Victoria Vane
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as part of my research reading for my upcoming Straight Shooter. This was a fantastic non-fiction account of the second battle of Fallujah (November 2004) written by an embedded military historian who collected oral histories from the front line Marines. An excellent book if you are interested in modern military history.
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story told in this book really brings you in and makes you feel like you were there, viewing these men's struggles from a distance. You can overlook the grammar errors, because you know that the story being told is much bigger than that. Truly well written, and brought me to tears several times.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a heart
Recommended to Sue by: saw it in the bookstore
This book gives you a front row seat into the Battle for Fallujah. My heart lies with the Army, but I must say that these Marines are my heroes! I believe that as Americans, it is our duty to know what we are asking of these men and we must be willing to hear of their sacrifices. I cried, I was swept along with them and I was, and am so proud of them! Semper Fi!
James Denny
Nov 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A gripping,no holds barred view of combat, sometimes face to face, and death in a combat zone. A friends death happens so fast and so unexpectedly. A great story of comaraderie and strength. Esprit de Corps!
Sep 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, military
A very intense, but insightful look at the battle for Fallujah, and the sacrifices by the Marines who fought it. Takes you where the TV coverage didn't. This is a VERY intense book, but worth the read.
Penny Pennella
Heard about this book on Fresh Air. It's the riveting story of 4 pairs of HS friends who were all involved in the battle. Each pair would be left as a single. It's the tory of brotherhood, courage, passion and compassion. it's an amazing read. I listened to the book.
Jun 18, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One star because this book fucked me up. I couldn't finish it and since then I refuse to pick up a book like it. I think civilians should read this but having been to Iraq I can't do it. No way. Ya'll have fun but this book broke my heart and kicked me in the balls repeatedly.
Emily Ware
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story, follows Nathan Wood's company. Nathan is in chapter 4. Cried for 2 days after I finished reading this. Very powerful, and informative.
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This book was about 3/1 Lima Company. Although my son is with Kilo Company I know many of the Marines in this book and could follow along with what my son did also. Very well written.
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This gave a good description of day to day urban combat and what the Marines went through.
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Montague/Leifheit...: Conger term 4 book review 1 4 May 07, 2013 09:12AM  
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