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

Front Cover
Open Road Media, Nov 6, 2012 - History - 453 pages
New York Times Bestseller: A “powerful and epic story . . . the best account of infantry combat I have ever read” (Col. David Hackworth, author of About Face).
 In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped 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 brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam.
 How these Americans persevered—sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up—creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring. Lt. Gen. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway—the only journalist on the ground throughout the fighting—interviewed hundreds of men who fought in the battle, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their poignant account rises above the ordeal it chronicles to depict men facing the ultimate challenge, dealing with it in ways they would have once found unimaginable. It reveals to us, as rarely before, man’s most heroic and horrendous endeavor.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - buffalogr - LibraryThing

Hal Moore is a leader who cares! One can see that in the use of personal information about the men in his unit and the follow up at the end of the book. The book graphically demonstrates that soldiers ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jerry-book - LibraryThing

Engrossing tale of the first big battles in Vietnam fought by the 7th Calvary Division. The first was a resounding victory. The second was an inconclusive bloody draw due to mistakes by Colonel Mcdade ... Read full review

All 65 reviews »


Maps Prologue
Heat of Battle
The Roots of Conflict
Boots and Saddles
The Land and the Enemy
Into the Valley
It Aint Over Till Its Over
A Walk in the
Hell in a Very Small Place
Death in the Tall Grass
Escape and Evade
Night Without
The Sergeant and the Ghost

The Battle Begins
Closing with the Enemy
The Storm of Battle
Brave Aviators
Fix Bayonets
Night Falls
A Dawn Attack
Friendly Fire
Rescuing the Lost Platoon
Night Fighters
Policing the Battlefield
Mentioned in Dispatches
The Secretary of the Army Regrets
Reflections and Perceptions
Image Gallery
Chapter Notes
Selected Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.) was a master parachutist and Army aviator who commanded two infantry companies in the Korean War and was a battalion and brigade commander in Vietnam. He retired from the Army in 1977 with thirty-two years’ service. Joseph L. Galloway is the author of a weekly syndicated column on military and national security affairs. He recently retired as senior military correspondent of Knight-Ridder newspapers. Galloway spent twenty-two years as a foreign and war correspondent and bureau chief for United Press International, and nearly twenty years as a senior editor for U.S. News & World Report

Bibliographic information