New York Times Bestseller
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We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang—The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam by Harold Moore and Joseph Galloway covers the 1965 battle at Ia Drang. This is about the first major battle between an American force against regular North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces. Moore was the commander of the US 7th Cavalry. He provides a first hand insight of the events of the battle.
This was a fight for survival. The smaller U.S. forces have landed in the midst of a much larger NVA division. The US forces were surrounded 4 to 1. Their only means of resupply or extraction was by air. The outnumbered U.S. soldiers hold their ground and fought for their lives. The Battle of Ia Drang changed the Vietnam war. This was the first test of using helicopters to bring troops to the frontlines. The lessons learned in this battle shaped U.S. doctrine for the Vietnam war.
A movie version entitled We Were Soldiers starring Mel Gibson offers a portrayal of the battle in the first landing zone. This makes a good companion to the book as it provides you a visual presentation of the battle. The action scenes are realistic. The private lives of the soldiers and their spouses provide the drama needed. The movies is astounding and closely follows the book. A must watch!