Army Soldier Memoirs

Army Soldier Memoirs

The experience of the American soldier in Vietnam was characterized by search-and-destroy missions conceived to implement an attrition strategy. Fear of causing China to enter the war had limited the scope of U.S. ground action to South Vietnamese territory. The attrition strategy would, it was thought, simply kill North Vietnamese soldiers at a greater rate than the rate at which they could be produced. For the American soldier, this strategy led to a frustrating war in which captured terrain was not held.

Tim O'Brien is a popular author of novels inspired by his experiences in Vietnam. This book is autobiographical, covering O'Brien's 1969 to 1970 tour of duty with a rifle company belonging to the Americal Division, to which the unit that perpetrated the My Lai Massacre a year before his arrival also belonged. This intensely personal memoir was his first book; it was published in 1973 and has been reprinted at least seven times since then. When initially published, "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home" received warm reviews from the critics and to this day remains one of the most popular nonfiction books about the Vietnam War.

If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home
If I Die in a Combat Zone: Box Me Up and Ship Me Home

Tim O'Brien is a popular author of novels inspired by his experiences in Vietnam. This book is autobiographical, covering O'Brien's 1969 to 1970 tour of duty with a rifle company belonging to the Americal Division, to which the unit that perpetrated the My Lai Massacre a year before his arrival also belonged. This intensely personal memoir was his first book; it was published in 1973 and has been reprinted at least seven times since then. When initially published, "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home" received warm reviews from the critics and to this day remains one of the most popular nonfiction books about the Vietnam War.

David H. Hackworth was a much-decorated career Army officer who became an almost mythical figure in Vietnam, where he served four tours of duty. The subject of this book is his leadership of the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division, in the Mekong Delta in early 1969. In a matter of weeks, that mostly-conscript unit was transformed from a ragtag group of ill-trained, demoralized men into a deadly "Recondo" team, adapting the guerrilla insurgency tactics of the Viet Cong themselves. Hackworth expounds the personal leadership qualities needed to help men grow and improve, allowing contributions to be made by people of all capabilities.

Steel My Soldiers' Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam
Steel My Soldiers' Hearts: The Hopeless to Hardcore Transformation of U.S. Army, 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, Vietnam

David H. Hackworth was a much-decorated career Army officer who became an almost mythical figure in Vietnam, where he served four tours of duty. The subject of this book is his leadership of the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division, in the Mekong Delta in early 1969. In a matter of weeks, that mostly-conscript unit was transformed from a ragtag group of ill-trained, demoralized men into a deadly "Recondo" team, adapting the guerrilla insurgency tactics of the Viet Cong themselves. Hackworth expounds the personal leadership qualities needed to help men grow and improve, allowing contributions to be made by people of all capabilities.

In postwar Vietnam, the term "Cu Chi" was a metaphor for the success of their epic struggle against the greatest military power on earth. The tunnels of Cu Chi and the Iron Triangle were part of a network that extended from North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodian territory all the way to the suburbs of Saigon. Much of the planning for the 1968 Tet Offensive was done in the fetid conditions of the Viet Cong subterranean labyrinth. Certain brave combat engineers and infantrymen who were small and wiry enough to maneuver through the tunnels volunteered for the job of attempting to sabotage the tunnels, following their discovery. They were given the moniker "Tunnel Rats".

The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's Tunnel Rats in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam
The Tunnels of Cu Chi: A Harrowing Account of America's Tunnel Rats in the Underground Battlefields of Vietnam

In postwar Vietnam, the term "Cu Chi" was a metaphor for the success of their epic struggle against the greatest military power on earth. The tunnels of Cu Chi and the Iron Triangle were part of a network that extended from North Vietnamese sanctuaries in Cambodian territory all the way to the suburbs of Saigon. Much of the planning for the 1968 Tet Offensive was done in the fetid conditions of the Viet Cong subterranean labyrinth. Certain brave combat engineers and infantrymen who were small and wiry enough to maneuver through the tunnels volunteered for the job of attempting to sabotage the tunnels, following their discovery. They were given the moniker "Tunnel Rats".

Tiger Bravo's War tells the story of a 101st Airborne Division paratrooper company during their December 1967 - December 1968 tour in Vietnam. Written by a West Point graduate who was with that unit as a platoon leader, the book captures events as they were experienced by those young paratroopers while telling their story in well-referenced detail, with historical context. To produce this popular work, Author Rick St John spent seven years reviewing first-hand battlefield reports, tracking down official documents, preparing maps enabling the reader to comprehend events in context, and reconnecting with old friends from Tiger Bravo to record their eyewitness accounts.

Tiger Bravo's War: An epic year with an elite airborne rifle company of the 101st Airborne Division's
Tiger Bravo's War: An epic year with an elite airborne rifle company of the 101st Airborne Division's

Tiger Bravo's War tells the story of a 101st Airborne Division paratrooper company during their December 1967 - December 1968 tour in Vietnam. Written by a West Point graduate who was with that unit as a platoon leader, the book captures events as they were experienced by those young paratroopers while telling their story in well-referenced detail, with historical context. To produce this popular work, Author Rick St John spent seven years reviewing first-hand battlefield reports, tracking down official documents, preparing maps enabling the reader to comprehend events in context, and reconnecting with old friends from Tiger Bravo to record their eyewitness accounts.

This is an exceptional account of what it was like to be out on patrol with a U.S. Army platoon in Vietnam. Each soldier knows that on any given day they could be maimed or killed, yet day-in and day-out they continued to head out to the jungle. They battled thirst, hunger, illness and creatures of all sorts in search of an elusive enemy who they could always sense was out there, waiting for the right moment to strike. Author Frederick Downs' tour of duty ended after only four months in-country, due to injuries caused by an exploding "Bouncing Betty" landmine.

The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War
The Killing Zone: My Life in the Vietnam War

This is an exceptional account of what it was like to be out on patrol with a U.S. Army platoon in Vietnam. Each soldier knows that on any given day they could be maimed or killed, yet day-in and day-out they continued to head out to the jungle. They battled thirst, hunger, illness and creatures of all sorts in search of an elusive enemy who they could always sense was out there, waiting for the right moment to strike. Author Frederick Downs' tour of duty ended after only four months in-country, due to injuries caused by an exploding "Bouncing Betty" landmine.

In his short but raw memoir, Private Robert Driskill recounts the trials and tribulations he endured while fighting for the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in April through December of 1969. He communicates the real feeling of being caught in a firefight and the misery of jungle warfare for American soldiers. He depicts being caught in a landmine explosion and getting shot through the chest, an experience which nearly killed him. Driskill tells the tale of commonplace courage demonstrated by his fellow "grunts" who served with him.

That Close: A memory of combat in Vietnam
That Close: A memory of combat in Vietnam

In his short but raw memoir, Private Robert Driskill recounts the trials and tribulations he endured while fighting for the 199th Light Infantry Brigade in April through December of 1969. He communicates the real feeling of being caught in a firefight and the misery of jungle warfare for American soldiers. He depicts being caught in a landmine explosion and getting shot through the chest, an experience which nearly killed him. Driskill tells the tale of commonplace courage demonstrated by his fellow "grunts" who served with him.

After spending 1969 in Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division, Glyn Haynie refrained from discussing his experiences in detail until 47 years had passed and he started to write this book. To write this memoir, he researched daily journals produced by his battalion, old maps and casualty reports, scoured military websites, assembled letters sent home by platoon members and collected their stories. In recounting events, the author first tells you what happened from his own perspective, then goes back and replays those scenes from the point of view of his fellow platoon members. The result is an honest, grounded volume that provides real insight as to what it was like to be an infantryman in Vietnam in 1969.

When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir
When I Turned Nineteen: A Vietnam War Memoir

After spending 1969 in Vietnam with the 23rd Infantry Division, Glyn Haynie refrained from discussing his experiences in detail until 47 years had passed and he started to write this book. To write this memoir, he researched daily journals produced by his battalion, old maps and casualty reports, scoured military websites, assembled letters sent home by platoon members and collected their stories. In recounting events, the author first tells you what happened from his own perspective, then goes back and replays those scenes from the point of view of his fellow platoon members. The result is an honest, grounded volume that provides real insight as to what it was like to be an infantryman in Vietnam in 1969.