The defining moment of the Vietnam war when the American dream of a quick victory died - hard.
Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore retired from the Army as a 3 Star General
in 1977 with over 32 years active service. Commissioned a 2nd Lt of
Infantry in 1945, he served and commanded at all levels from
Platoon through Division. After his retirement from active duty in
1977, Hal became the Executive Vice President of the Crested Butte
Ski Area in Crested Butte, CO. During the '80s and early '90s, he
researched and wrote a book, We Were Soldiers Once...and Young with
his co-author, Joe Galloway then of US News and World Report. The
book covers the first major battle of the Vietnam War, the Ia Drang
Battle, in which both men participated. Hal was the Battalion
Commander on the ground and Joe was a UPI correspondent.
Joe Galloway is a native Texan. At seventeen, he was a reporter on a daily newspaper, at nineteen a bureau chief for United Press International. he spent fifteen years as a foreign and war correspondent based in Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Singapore, and the Soviet Union. After UPI service in Los Angeles, he spent several years as a feature and Senior Writer in Washington, DC with US News and World Report.
On Nov. 14, 1965, the 1st Battalion of the 7th Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Moore and accompanied by UPI reporter Galloway, helicoptered into Vietnam's remote Ia Drang Valley and found itself surrounded by a numerically superior force of North Vietnamese regulars. Moore and Galloway here offer a detailed account, based on interviews with participants and on their own recollections, of what happened during the four-day battle. Much more than a conventional battle study, the book is a frank record of the emotional reactions of the GIs to the terror and horror of this violent and bloody encounter. Both sides claimed victory, the U.S. calling it a validation of the newly developed doctrine of airmobile warfare. Supplemented with maps, the memoir is a vivid re-creation of the first major ground battle of the Vietnam War. Photos. (Nov.)
Ia Drang, in November 1965, was the first major battle fought by U.S. troops in Vietnam. It was also one of the fiercest. As a lieutenant colonel, Moore commanded the battalion that initiated the fighting. War correspondent Galloway accompanied Moore's troopers from start to finish. We Were Soldiers Once movingly depicts Ia Drang through the eyes of junior officers and enlisted men of the 1st Cavalry Division and their North Vietnamese opponents. The authors convincingly present Ia Drang as an archetype of a self-defeating U.S. strategy that emphasized wearing down a determined and skillful enemy on the battlefield. The result was an unacceptably high level of American losses for the results achieved. One of this book's most telling episodes is its depiction of an army so unprepared to deal with casualties that some telegrams notifying families of a son or husband killed at Ia Drang were delivered by Yellow Cab! Recommended for all collections.-- D.E. Showalter, U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs
Between experiencing combat and reading about it lies a vast chasm.
This book makes you almost smell it * Wall Street Journal *
A stunning achievement... I read it and thought of The Red Badge of Courage, the highest compliment I can think of -- David Halberstam
The best account of infantry combat I have ever read, and the most significant book to come out of the Vietnam War -- Colonel David Hackworth
There are stories here that freeze the blood... The men who fought at Ia Drang could have no finer memorial * The New York Times Book Review *
If you want to know what is was like to go to Vietnam as a young American... and find yourself caught in ferocious, remorseless combat with an enemy as courageous and idealistic as you were, then you must read this book. Moore and Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war * The Times *