Abandoned in Hell: The Fight for Vietnam's Fire Base Kate

Author(s): Joseph Galloway


In October 1969, William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret captain in Vietnam, took command of a remote hilltop outpost called Fire Base Kate, held by only 27 American soldiers and 150 Montagnard militiamen. He found their defences woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments - some 6,000 men - crossed the Cambodian border and attacked. The US regiment refused to surrender and held out for five days. This is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice and brutal violence, and of the power of heroism.


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"Why read a book about a battle in a war everyone is trying to forget? Because you will learn an important secret. Are there other ways to learn it? Yes, but you do not want them. "Abandoned in Hell" is an epic tale of junior officers and NCOs salvaging a cluster f**k with minimum losses and maximum damage to the enemy. Nasty war. Great book." --Jim Morris, Author of "War Story" and "Above and Beyond" "Surrounded, vastly outnumbered, pounded day and night by incoming fire and all but abandoned, tiny Firebase Kate should have fallen within twenty-four hours. That it did not is a testament to Captain Albracht and the fighting tenacity of those around him. This is an exceptional account, told in much detail. --Major John L. Plaster, U.S. Army Special Forces (ret) and Author of "SOG "and "Secret Commandos" "The siege of Firebase Kate was a microcosm of the war in Vietnam, just as that conflict was emblematic of America's wars-to-come through the 1990s and into the 21st century. Marvin Wolf and William Albrecht have produced in "Abandoned in Hell "a riveting, dead-true account in the tradition of "Black Hawk Down" and "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young"--that is, an in-detail narrative of events that could be studied by historians or by cadets in academies of war, but that also reads like a breathless, hair-raising novel. Gripping, relentless, and superbly-written, "Abandoned in Hell" is a testament to the courage of the Montagnard tribesmen and their U.S. Army Special Forces brothers, who endured the unendurable and survived." --Steven Pressfield, National Bestselling Author of "The Lion's Gate" "A tale of heroism above and beyond the call of duty. Albracht's gallantry defending Kate, and his actions in the days that followed, reached mythical proportions. A true story told as only a combat veteran can tell it, "Abandoned in Hell" is essential reading about the brave men who lived and died fighting an unpopular war." --David Hume Kennerly, Winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography "Wolf and Albracht have interwoven the history, the tumult of battle and the spectrum of personalities that turn up on a forlorn red dirt hill on the Cambodian border in the crunch year of 1968. Firebase Kate becomes a microcosm of the turn of events, the disasters that were the death knell of the Vietnam war. It's a story that grabs you by the throat and won't let go." --Tim Page, Photojournalist and Author of "Another Vietnam" "This gripping, gritty and cinematic blow-by-blow account of outnumbered Americans locked in a desperate battle with the North Vietnamese Army is destined to become a classic of its genre. If you read only one book about Vietnam this year, this must be the one." --Major General Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret.), Two-tour Vietnam Veteran, Fox News Senior Military Analyst, and Author of "Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror" "This extraordinary narrative about leadership, loyalty and trust grabbed me from page one. It should be required reading for anyone who wants to know what really happened in Vietnam." --Rocky Bleier, Decorated Vietnam Veteran and Four-Time Super Bowl Champion

William Albracht is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and retired Secret Service agent whose twenty-five year White House career included the protection details of four American Presidents and numerous foreign dignitaries. Upon retirement, Albracht managed Executive Security Operations at the Ford Motor Company before returning to his hometown to open a security consulting business. Marvin J. Wolf is a decorated Vietnam veteran and the author or co-author of many nonfiction books, including "Where White Men Fear to Tread" and "Buddha's Child."

General Fields

  • : 9780451468086
  • : New American Library
  • : New American Library
  • : March 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 400
  • : Joseph Galloway
  • : Hardback