Cover image for Steel my soldiers' hearts : the hopeless to hardcore transformation of 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, United States Army, Vietnam
Steel my soldiers' hearts : the hopeless to hardcore transformation of 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry, United States Army, Vietnam
Hackworth, David H.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Rugged Land, [2002]

Physical Description:
441 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, portrait ; 24 cm
General Note:
Maps on endpapers.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS558.4 .H33 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
DS558.4 .H33 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Colonel David H. Hackworth, one of America's most decorated soldiers, lays bare his most daring and legendary tour of duty. 1966With a full year of Vietnam combat and five months of in-country intense after-action analysis under his pistol belt, Hackworth pens the classic tactical handbook the "Vietnam Primer with military historian Samuel Marshall. In a radical shift from the World War II-era tactics then employed in Vietnam, Hackworth stresses the necessity of using disciplined, small units of well-trained men to best fight the hit-and-run warfare of the elusive Viet Cong. "Out G'ing the G," he called his tactics. 1969Hackworth's expertise lands him back in Vietnam. The Army's message is clear-put up, or shut up. Given the "hopeless," morale-drained 4/39th-an infantry battalion of poorly led draftees with one of the Army's worst casualty rates-Hackworth leads from up front and finds the best in every one of his grunts. Together, they take a page from the VC, write their own book, and become the meanest in the Mekong Delta-the Hardcore Recondos. 2002With the U.S. again facing elusive insurgent foes-and the hit-and-run tactics of the international terror networks we're presently up against-the 4/39th Hardcore Battalion's successes provide hard-won lessons-learned that are more applicable now than ever. A tour de force of frontline combat action, "Steel My Soldiers' Hearts takes readers alongside sniper missions, into grunt ambush actions, above fields of fire with hard-hitting helicopter strikes, and inside the quagmire of command politics. Hackworth graduates the Mekong Delta brotherhood into the pantheon of our nation's most heroic warriors.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Soldier-Author-Columnist, as his Web site notes, Hackworth (About Face, Hazardous Duty) weighs in with a long, blow-by-blow account of his second tour in Vietnam, as a 9th Infantry Division battalion commander. (Hackworth denounced the war in 1971, went into self-imposed exile in Australia and later became a high-profile Newsweek military analyst.) He's definitely the star of this production, which is co-written with England but told in his voice, as he describes how he turned a group of decidedly unready infantrymen into an effective fighting force mainly through the strength of his tough personality. My idea of looking after the troops was not to spoon-feed them, Hackworth says, but to make them as hard as forged steel, deadly in their kill-or-be-killed trade. And he's not bashful about naming names: he gives credit to the officers and enlisted men who helped him and pillories ticket-punching and cowardly officers who stood in his way. The result is a readable, gritty, in-the-trenches tale, dotted with clever epigrammatic prose and filled to overflowing with reconstructed dialogue. The main source is Hackworth's memory bank, but he and England also combed through primary and secondary sources and made good use of interviews they conducted with many of his former troops. The portrait that emerges is of a battalion commander with integrity, guts, leadership ability and an abiding concern for the welfare of his men as well as, it must be acknowledged, a modest desire to self-promote. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved