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Hardcover Hamburger Hill, May 11-20, 1969 Book

ISBN: 0891412891

ISBN13: 9780891412892

Hamburger Hill, May 11-20, 1969

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

The battle for Ap Bia Mountain (Hill 937), was one of the fiercest of the entire Vietnam War. On May 10, 1969, Army, Marine Corps, and ARVN forces kicked off Operation Apache Snow. It was finally time to clean out the notorious A Shau Valley. The next day, elements of the 101st Airborne Division, the Screaming Eagles, made initial contact with NVA forces on the lower reaches of Hill 937.The ten days of combat that followed became the human meat grinder...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Honest and informative

I read this book recently after having seen the film version many years ago (an excellent Viet Nam film, better than Platoon or Full Metal Jacket -- and TRUE). Zaffiri recounts carefully the actions leading up to the operation, gives amazing details on the NVA actions as well as the American, and shows the utter futility of the operation as well as the determination of those who followed orders to take the hill.The descriptions of what it was like for the grunts on the ground (insects, sweat, athlete's foot, snipers, friendly fire, etc.) and of parking a helicopter into a hot landing zone (in the middle of enemy positions) were as fascinating as they were terrifying. Ranks up there with Professor Ambrose's descriptions of soldier's experiences in WWII. Zaffiri also gets instant credibility as a combatant in Viet Nam. He knows what he's talking about, and it comes out without being judgmental or arrogant. Even gives a breakdown of what constitutes various military fighting units, and a small history of the 101st.Don't be fooled: the Americans [...] lost many casualties over a nine-day, ten-assault period, suffered incredibly at the hands of equally determined and expertly trained NVA and sappers (they tied themselves to trees...virtual suicide!), and at the end of the engagement gave it right back up to the enemy by just abandoning the position.For those who experienced it, there was no victory, but no shame, either. An excellent book on so many levels. Hawks and Doves alike can get something important out of it. Reads well if you're a military buff or not. Read the book, then rent the movie. In military parlance, it's "Outstanding."

Hamburger Hill truely lived up to its name

Hamburger Hill is a great book that captures the agony of storming a fortified mountain for no apparent reason 10,000 miles from home. The battle itself was one of the biggest battles of the war, and still resonates with the public to this day. This book helps us understand why. The book starts off with a great lesson on the Ashau valley and why it was so important to both sides and takes on an almost mythical status. In 1966 US forces are knocked out of the valley and the NVA quickly turn it into a massive base area. In 1968 thousands of NVA left this valley sancutary and conquered Hue among other places. The American high command fresh from the amazing victories during Tet finally have the resources to take on the dreaded Ashau Valley. The stage is set for the famed 101st Airborne (battling bastards of Bastogne) to assault into the valley and clean out the NVA once and for all. On May 10 1969 the Americans landed in the valley in force. On May 11 the first contact was made on the slopes of Dong Ap Bia mountain an obscure piece of real estate turned into a honeycombed fortress by the NVA. Over the next 10 days undermanned American troops launch wave after determined wave to knock an entrenced NVA Regiment from the mountain. The battle is fierce, defintely among the toughest fought by American troops in the entire war. Finally the decimated Americans kick the heck out of the NVA and claim the mountain. Once again the 101st has lived up to its reputation as an elite unit. Earlier in the war a victory like this might have meant something but by 1969 America had grown tired on losing its young men in droves and was angered at the losses suffered on this obscure mountain now called Hamburger Hill. This book covers it all, the high command dealing with political as well as military aspects as it tries to gain victory, the grunts who spill the blood to take this deadly mountain, and the fallout from having so many Americans die for seemingly no reason. This is a great book and should be read by anyone interested in learning about an important part of American history. You should also get Edward F Murphy's book on the battle of Dak To.(It features a similiar battle, called Hill 875, hard fought in 1967, or get his book the Hill Fights about Marines fighting in Khe Sanh in 1967.) Also get Ripcord by Keith William Nolan. This book deals with the 101st in 1970 and how because of the fallout from this battle they can't go on the offensive and save a firebase near the Ashau valley. Get this book Hamburger Hill, it a must read for people interested in Vietnam and you won't be disappointed. It is well written by an Army veteran and makes you feel like you are there.

A great read through and through

The soldiers of the famed 101st Airborne Division literally spilled their "blood and guts" to take what was supposedly a strategic hilltop. Thanks to Samuel Zaffiris' tremendous account of one of the most horrific and costly battles of the Vietnam War was I able to fully appreciate the uncommon valor and sacrifices made by the American G.I.

A Realistic account of the fight for Dong Ap Bia

i was surprised at the depth of the book, especially of the details that unfold during the true story. i dont think there has been a more detailed account of a single battle ever printed.


I stumbled across this book at a used book trade. As an avid reader of military books I would rate this as one of the best I've every owned. The research that was involved is apparent. Complements to the author
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