Tuesday, September 9, 2008
We Were Soldiers
I read We were soldiers once...and young several years ago. I enjoyed the book but never took time to see the movie. I happened upon the movie last week and decided to watch it. For the most part, it seemed that the movie stayed true to the book. There were some scenes I remembered differently but they did not affect the overall tenor of the story.
We were soldiers tells the story of one of the first major battles of the Viet Nam war which involved the United States. Viet Nam had been occupied by the French and Spanish and just about everyone else prior to the arrival of the United States and had engaged in several battles prior to our arrival. This battle provided the first opportunity for the United States and the North Vietnamese to test each other on the battlefield. On a deeper level, this movie touches on the effects of war on the families back home (in Viet Nam as well as in the United States). The humanizing aspect of the Vietnamese commanders was a welcome change to the Viet Nam fare we were stuck with during the 1980s. The film does a superb job of retelling the story of the first major US battle of the Viet Nam war.
I did my time in the Marine Corps, so Army insignia and Unit designations are lost on me. There may be some unit inconsistencies in this film, but I would be the last person that could figure that stuff out. One glaring error that I saw was the use of M-16 rifles in this film. The Army did not acquire the M-16 until 1967...and I believe the Marines in Viet Nam weren't carrying them until even later than that. This battle took place in 1965, so I am fairly certain that they should have been carrying M-14's. General Moore (Then Colonel Moore) acted as an advisor on this film, but I am certain that he was lending his expertise to battlefield topography and tactics as opposed to the minor details.
Read More About We Were Soldiers