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


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

Random House
Category: Book Reviews
Subcategory: Military
Price: $18.45
Average Rating:
(14 Votes)

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

Member Reviews

  • Photo_user_blank_big
    Anonymous, Sun, 10 Aug 2008 18:37:35 UTC.
    1st review

    I have enjoyed this book for its different aspect of the vietnam war. Set early in the war, it offers a different view from the point of a soldier and a commander.

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    BLUEOFWATER, Sun, 10 Aug 2008 22:04:05 UTC.


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    sgt_dunning, Mon, 18 Aug 2008 01:06:49 UTC.


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    Desertfox1A, Sat, 30 Aug 2008 10:14:30 UTC.

    Having had a friend that fought there, I had to buy the book and read it. When the Mel Gibson film came out had to see it as well. The movie follows the book fairly well, better than some. The book was almost like the stories that my friend told me. At the end I was in tears, especially reading the little follow ups on the surviving members of the 1/7th Cav. It is one of the best books on the Nam war that I have read. -- Richelle A. Kemnow, LPN(ret), HM2c(FMF)/USN, Sgt/USAR, ACM/olc, GWVet, VFW Life Member.

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    SpearheadMP, Fri, 12 Sep 2008 19:45:09 UTC.

    The movie was good, but not the whole story. This is the whole story of what really happened. I couldn't put it down. This will be mandatory reading if my boys decide to go into the military.

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    Japeters1127, Mon, 15 Sep 2008 14:21:09 UTC.

    Great book, I recommend everyone read, Moore's concept of leadership passes the test of time.

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    Air2Mud, Thu, 23 Oct 2008 13:59:41 UTC.

    This book was hard to put down. Very well written

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    bigwillie, Tue, 02 Dec 2008 05:04:44 UTC.

    The book was amazing. Don't know why they took out the second part after the movie was made. They should not have done that so that people that wanted to read the book AFTER they watched the movie could have known about the second half of the battle.

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    Deaton443, Wed, 03 Dec 2008 02:48:02 UTC.

    This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I'm not old enough to remember Vietnam but after reading this book, I definately have a greater respect and admiration for these men.

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  • Army1_max30
    catmarti, Wed, 14 Jan 2009 16:08:28 UTC.

    Loved the book. Loved looking up the names of soldiers who served in the battle. Found two I recognized from serving in the Army. Found one I live near.

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    Bulldog136, Fri, 13 Mar 2009 14:03:46 UTC.

    If you saw the movie then this is a must read. The movie was pretty close in what it presented, but it left so much out that actually happened.

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    gunslinger830, Sat, 27 Jun 2009 03:53:20 UTC.

    THis a well written story of the events that that part of this story in 1965. not only does it show what a soldier would feel but it show how this felt to be at home and have to fight a battle of doubts, fear, and the unknown and how the brotherhood of the warrior will extend to the home front of wifes and families

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    corylovesandrea, Thu, 04 Nov 2010 12:29:00 UTC.

    Well written book that has been in my library for many years.

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    insideout34, Fri, 04 Feb 2011 05:01:37 UTC.

    The best book written about Vietnam.

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