Each year, the U.S. Marine Corps Commandant selects a book that he believes is both relevant and timeless to be read by all Marines. This book was the Commandant's choice for 1993.
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 constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War.
How these men persevered 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, interviewed hundreds of men who fought there, including the North Vietnamese commanders. Their devastating account rises above the specific ordeal it chronicles, revealing man's most heroic and horrendous endeavor.