Ia Drang 1965

Ia Drang 1965

The Struggle for Vietnam’s Pleiku Province

Campaign 345
  • Author: J. P. Harris, J. Kenneth Eward
  • Illustrator: Edouard A Groult
  • Short code: CAM 345
  • Publication Date: 23 Jan 2020
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About this Product

The Pleiku campaign of October-November 1965 was a major event in the Vietnam War, and it is usually regarded as the first substantial battle between the US Army and the People's Army of Vietnam. The brigade-sized actions involving elements of the US 1st Cavalry Division at Landing Zones X-Ray and Albany in the valley of the river Drang have become iconic episodes in the military history of the United States.
In 1965, in an effort to stem the Communist tide, the Americans began to commit substantial conventional ground forces to the war in Vietnam. Amongst these was the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), a new type of formation equipped with a large fleet of helicopters. On 19 October, North Vietnamese forces besieged a Special Forces camp at Plei Me, and after the base was relieved days later, the commander of the 1st Cavalry Division, General Harry Kinnard, advocated using his troops to pursue the retreating Communist forces. A substantial North Vietnamese concentration was discovered, but rather than the badly battered troops the US expected, these were relatively fresh troops that had recently arrived in the Central Highlands. On the morning of 14 November 1965, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Hal Moore, landed at LZ X-Ray to start the first major set-piece battle of the Vietnam War. This title explores the events of the campaign that followed, using detailed maps, specially-commissioned bird's-eye views, and full-colour battlescenes to bring the narrative to life.

Biographical Note

J. P. Harris is a senior lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He is the author of Douglas Haig and the First World War, among many other books of military history. He lives in the UK. J. Kenneth Eward is a published science & technology illustrator who teaches at the American Military University. His past military history projects have included ELI 190: US Marine Infantry Combat Uniforms and Equipment 2000-2012 for Osprey, and assignments for National Geographic and TIME. He lives in the US.Edouard Groult grew up inspired by watching historical documentaries with his father and developed a fascination for historical and fantasy art. Following art studies in both Paris and Belgium he worked as a concept artist in the videogame industry and in recent years has also undertaken historical commissions while working as a freelancer for historical magazines. He lives and works in Oxford, UK.

Contents

Origins of the campaign
Chronology
Opposing commanders
Opposing armies
Orders of battle
Opposing plans
The campaign
Aftermath
The battlefields today
Further reading
Index
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