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.
“A gut-wrenching account of what war is really all about, which should be ‘must’ reading for all Americans, especially those who have been led to believe that war is some kind of Nintendo game.” —General H. Norman Schwarzkopf
“Hal Moore and Joe Galloway have captured the terror and exhilaration, the comradeship and self-sacrifice, the brutality and compassion that are the dark heart of war.” —Neil Sheehan, author of A Bright Shining Lie “A stunning achievement—paper and words with the permanence of marble. I read it and thought of The Red Badge of Courage, the highest compliment I can think of.” —David Halberstam
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.