falling short of absolute excellent, "We Were Soldiers Once..." is still a great war book. the primary criticism made about the work is that it covers only the initial insertion and first half of the battle, whereas most of the casualties suffered by the US unit took place over the next few days as the force withdrew. so in a sense, the author can be accused of doing a whitewash, covering only the glorious "search for the lost platoon" and the dramatic impact of the first ever helicopter insertion, while forgetting the human cost during the retreat.
if an author does choose to make this choice, however, the resulting work is far more "impact for word count." only reads more, because the facts are more compelling. falling short of the absolute epic quality of some of the really famous war books, We Were Soldiers Once comes pretty close to being on that level, and deserves a solid 4/5.
even the wikipedia page is continued to be under dispute.
apparently casualties were 5:1 against the Vietnamese even including LZ Albany. however, the Americans left and the Vietnamese retained the territory. I would rather have been an American than a Vietnamese in the battle if I had to be one or the other, but the American victories in the war ultimately resulted in nothing gained for the American side.
does this summarize the war?