HST315 SOLDIERS - Martin Shayne L Dr Piston Goman HST 315...

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Martin, Shayne L. Dr. Piston / Goman HST 315 May 1, 2006 The Ia Drang Campaign during the later months of 1965 in Vietnam would be proving grounds for a new type of warfare. Air mobility in the form of the Huey helicopter and infantry combined into the airmobile cavalry units. The book, We Were Soldiers Once… And Young , written by Lt. General Harold “Hal” Moore (Ret.) and Joseph L. Galloway is a testament to the battles fought in the Ia Drang valley in November of 1965 and the battle that would have a great effect on warfare in Vietnam and in general. Two battles during the Ia Drang campaign are discussed in great detail, the battle at Landing Zone (LZ) X-Ray, and at LZ Albany. Though the battles happen close to each other and LZ Albany right after LZ X-Ray they are critically different. The only things in common about the battles are the soldiers that fought in them and proximity. Tactics used in the two battles are similar but distinctly different. The concept of Air mobility was called for development by president John F. Kennedy. The new project called the airmobile division would fall under the 1 st Calvary Division. The battles in the Ia Drang valley at the two LZ’s are testaments to the effectiveness of the airmobile concept. LZ X-Ray is a great starting point to provide proof that airmobile was a success but at the same time had it’s limitations while LZ Albany provides proof of the failure of airmobile to keep it’s name sake of air mobility. LZ X-Ray was designated a spot where possible hostile contacts could be found. Lt. Colonel Hal Moore decided along with his staff that this landing zone would put his men in the best of three possible landing zones in the area. Initial contact was made at 10:48 on the morning of November 14 th . Even before this fighting an analysis of air mobility was made. During the training of the airmobile group many soldiers considered this new and innovative technique a
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possible great success. The soldiers of the 7 th Cavalry or then the 11 th Air Assault Division (Test), trained long and hard. Part of the airmobile tactic was to be supported by heavy ordinance support like air support, artillery, and aerial rocket strikes. With the 1 st Battallion of Bravo company already on the ground by almost 11, only 80 men were ready to fight. This was a major weakness of air mobility. At LZ X-Ray, the landing area was only large enough to support. Alpha Company of th 229 th Assault Helecopter Battalion would provide the helecopters, heading by Major Bruce Crandall, call sign “Ancient Serpent 6”. Crandall would be a major factor in the success of the mission. His drive and that of his men would help spell out success or failure for the men of the 1
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HST315 SOLDIERS - Martin Shayne L Dr Piston Goman HST 315...

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