Military history

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

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 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. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man's most heroic and horrendous endeavor.



Chapter 1. Heat of Battle

Chapter 2. The Roots of Conflict

Chapter 3. Boots and Saddles

Chapter 4. The Land and the Enemy

Part II - X-RAY

Chapter 5. Into the Valley

Chapter 6. The Battle Begins

Chapter 7. Closing with the Enemy

Chapter 8. The Storm of Battle

Chapter 9. Brave Aviators

Chapter 10. Chapter 1. Fix Bayonets!

Chapter 11. Night Falls

Chapter 12. A Dawn Attack

Chapter 13. Friendly Fire

Chapter 14. Rescuing the Lost Platoon

Chapter 15. Night Fighters

Chapter 16. Policing the Battlefield

Chapter 17. It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over


Chapter 18. A Walk in the Sun

Chapter 19. Hell in a Very Small Place

Chapter 20. Death in the Tall Grass

Chapter 21. Escape and Evade

Chapter 22. Night Without End

Chapter 23. The Sergeant and the Ghost


Chapter 24. Mentioned in Dispatches

Chapter 25. “The Secretary of the Army Regrets …”

Chapter 26. Reflections and Perceptions

Epilogue - Image Gallery

Appendix: Where Have All the Young Men Gone?


Interviews and Statements

Chapter Notes

Selected Bibliography

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