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Gates of Fire & We were Soldiers - Book Report/Review Example

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We Were Soldiers Once . and Young is a book by Lt. Gen. Harold G. Moore (Ret.), written in collaboration with a war journalist, Joseph L. Galloway. It is about the Vietnam War in 1965 but the book was only published in 1992.
Moore was then the Lieutenant Colonel who commanded the 1st battalion of U.S…
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Download file to see previous pages The geography and demography of the spot placed the troops in severe disadvantage. It was a like a bottle neck and tight spot to be in. The North Vietnamese soldiers immediately surrounded the 1st Battalion. Moore is the main character in this story. Moore's leadership tactics in this battle was based on the then newly developed air mobility tactics. This means that a small, ground battle-sized force was air-dropped into an area using helicopters. Usually, this method of engagement was used when there was no way in or out of the area. The size of the weaponry was severely restricted by what could be transported in a helicopter. This meant the infantry or foot soldiers were disadvantaged in terms of having very limited fire arms power. The 1st battalion was airdropped into the area of action code named Landing Zone X-Ray. Immediately after landing, the People's Army of North Vietnam and North Vietnamese Army (NVA) fired on them. Moore ordered his 1st Battalion to take cover in the nearby group of trees and they formed a perimeter from where they fought a defensive battle for two days until they were airlifted out of the area. It was a terrible battle as many lives were lost. The Americans stood out only because of the support from air and aerial rocket fire coordinated from some distance by ground command. In the aftermath, Moore analyzed that his superior's command to find and kill the enemies was unsuitable as the Vietnamese Communists and NVA were well trained to fight their jungle warfare and had advantages of knowledge of their local terrain, conditions and were accustomed to their home ground. Even after the first battles at The Battle of the Ia Drang, the U.S. should have reconsidered its commitments in the Vietnam war against the Communists.
Another main character in this book is Lieutenant Colonel Robert McDade and his 2nd Battalion. He relieved Moore and he was ordered to march his battalion to LZ Albany, which was another jungle clearing, about fifteen miles away. This was a fatal mistake as the NVA attacked the marching troops, broke them up into smaller sections, surrounded them and slaughtered them mercilessly. It probably was the fault of McDade's superior and the undermined American intelligence not to foresee the danger of coming under attack while marching out to another post.
The modern army of ground battalion was trained to rely on artillery and grenade. It could help coordinate air attacks but had to take cover elsewhere when the target was being bombed. The American soldiers were bravely fighting and helping their wounded comrades. Their discipline and training taught them to persevere fighting to the end. Many soldiers carried on fighting despite sustaining injuries. They were willing to sacrifice themselves for their comrades. Many got wounded or killed themselves in the process of helping others. The narration says; '"Lieutenant Geoghegan yelled back: 'No, I will (help Willie Godboldt).' He moved out of his position in the foxhole to help Godbolt and was shot."' (Moore 6). A soldier's personal value of integrity and respectful love for his fellow soldiers were his guiding principles until his very last breath of life.

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield contrasts with We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young because it is a historical fiction novel about a battle way back in the history of the ancient Greeks. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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