We Were Soldiers Once, And Young: A Review Essay

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The New York Times Bestseller We Were Soldiers Once... And Young was authored by Lt. General Harold G. Moore and Joseph L. Galloway. In November 1965, Lt. Colonel Harold Moore commanded the 1st Battalion, 7th cavalry at the Ia Drang Valley-one of the bloodiest battles of Vietnam. He eventually retired from the Army in 1977 after thirty-two years of service. After his military career, Lieutenant General Moore resided as executive vice president for four years at a Colorado ski resort before founding a computer software company. Harold Moore currently lives in Auburn, Alabama and Crested Butte, Colorado.

Joseph L. Galloway, coauthor of We Were Soldiers Once... And Young, is an author, journalist, and war correspondent. Galloway
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By 1965, the new "airmobile concept" became a reality. Finally, on 14 November 1965, these new airmobile tactics were put to the test. On this day, the army ordered the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, commanded by Hal Moore, to infiltrate Landing Zone X-Ray on a search and kill mission.

The 450 men of Colonel Hal Moore's battalion soon learned they landed in the midst of over 2000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Within an hour, Lt. Colonel Moore's men were faced with numerous grueling tasks. Surrounded by the North Vietnamese, the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry maintained control of the perimeter so that the Huey helicopters could fly in the remainder of the battalion. The enduring battle continued for three days leaving over 305 American soldiers and dead.

Only three days later, a sister battalion engaged in a similar battle only two and a half miles away at Landing Zone Albany. After the battle at LZ X-Ray, the 2nd Battalion, 7th Calvary was ordered to retreat to LZ Albany while B-52's dropped 200 tons of bombs on the Chu Pong Mountain above LZ X-Ray. Before they reached their destination, however, the troops captured two North Vietnamese soldiers. But while the American soldiers interrogated the prisoners, the North Vietnamese launched a surprise attack against U.S companies. Artillery and air support prevented a mass slaughter at Albany. Nonetheless, by the time the battle ended on November 19th,
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