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Publisher's Summary

In October 1969, Captain William Albracht, the youngest Green Beret 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 defenses woefully unprepared. At dawn the next morning, three North Vietnamese Army regiments - some 6,000 men - crossed the Cambodian border and attacked. Outnumbered three dozen to one, Albracht's men held off repeated ground assaults by communist forces with fierce hand-to-hand fighting, air support, and a dangerously close B-52 strike. For days, the NVA blanketed Kate in a rain of rockets, mortars, artillery, machineguns, and small arms, blocking efforts to resupply, reinforce, or evacuate the outpost. Albracht continually exposed himself to enemy fire to direct air strikes, to guide re-supply helicopters, to distribute ammunition and water to his men, to retrieve the dead and to rescue the wounded, often shielding men with his own body. Wounded by rocket shrapnel, he refused medical attention or evacuation. Exhausted from days without sleep, he continued to rally his men to beat off each new enemy attack.

After five days, Kate's defenders were out of ammo and water. Aerial resupply was suicidal, and reinforcements were denied by military commanders who had written off Kate. Albracht refused to surrender or die in place. Refusing to allow his men to surrender, Albracht led his troops, including many wounded, off the hill and on a daring night march through enemy lines.

Abandoned in Hell is an astonishing memoir of leadership, sacrifice, and brutal violence, a riveting journey into Vietnam's heart of darkness, and a compelling reminder of the transformational power of individual heroism. Not since Lone Survivor and We Were Soldiers Once, and Young has there been such a gripping and authentic account of battlefield courage.

©2015 William Albracht and Marvin Wolf (P)2015 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

Any additional comments?

Once you finally get to the story, its a great book. But there's actually only about 3 hours worth of "story". The first 5 hours of this book is setting up for the story. But it's worth getting to the good stuff.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • PICKERINGTON, OH, United States
  • 03-27-15

The Best Read about Vietnam Combat Bases!

Would you listen to Abandoned in Hell again? Why?

I most certainly will!. This is how a good writer can take a story right to your heart! This is a must read for those interested in the Vietnam War and a prime example how a narator can hold your attention to such a deree you hate to stop the listen!

What was one of the most memorable moments of Abandoned in Hell?

When the Fire Base Leader began to lead his troops to safety under such hopeless odds. Never give up was my leason!

What does Brian O'Neill bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice rises, falls & pauses at all of the right times. I"d love to have a beer with him! Great job.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but time constraints would not allow it in one go.

Any additional comments?

This is just how all Books should be written & read! Perfect for me.ND John

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Loved the suspense!

What happened at Fire Base Kate tells us a lot about our war in Vietnam. I liked this book because I got to learn more about the fire base system, how the NVA conducted operations and the suspense gripped me.

The telling of the story is stilted in my opinion. The narration is too.

The challenge for the listener is to get through the initial chapters and to speed up the audiobook during many of the digressions. Also, the narrator has basic competencies but is tedious. Narrator over pronounces many words and especially when he uses the voice of characters other than the protagonist author.

One can see that Captain William Albracht did the impossible. He was the right leader for that situation. There were many other outstanding leaders too, such as the pilots. All the troops on both sides were brave. Albracht got the remaining troops off the fire base, something most leaders wouldn't have been able to pull off.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Command

Albracht clearly demonstrates in this book that leaders are made, not born. This is a detailed description of the people, their background and personalities. Also, the settings, chains of command, support that were important for the failures and successes. The performance was good enough that through much of the book I felt as though there with a fraction of the fear and anxiety. I highly recommend this book on Audible for someone interested in learning more about the true spirit of men fighting in Vietnam, leadership, and Patriots.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great story from Vietnam

This was a good book. Not as captivating as I thought. Author didn't give a lot of detail in first half in order to draw a good mental picture. These men went through hell and the book describes that fairly decently.

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  • jon
  • Meridian, ID, United States
  • 05-28-15

Military/Political stupidity hasn't changed

What did you love best about Abandoned in Hell?

The story was amazing. It somehow captures the chaotic nature of combat very clearly. It also hints at the amazingly stupid beuarcracy in the DoD, that would sacrifice men's lives to prove a policy theory. Its one thing to die for ground or an objective, but this book highlights the stupidity of letting men die to promote your career or silly ideology.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A pitiful few against many

Would you consider the audio edition of Abandoned in Hell to be better than the print version?

Can't say. Probably not. Narration is excellent and prose too pedestrian to warrant serious reading.

What did you like best about this story?

The action sequences, of which there are too many to count.

Which scene was your favorite?

Their getting out of Dodge.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The poor treatment of the "Yards."

Any additional comments?

Not top notch but worth a listen. Narrative does nothing to discount cowardice of South Vietnamese Army, much less the arrogance and shameful conduct of their officers.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hell is way we lived

I enjoy this book. It very close to I was living under..! I'm very glad these offericrs took the time to write this book. Reading this brings back my PTSD!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful