The Ia Drang Valley campaign was a landmark for me, because it introduced me to the most brilliant tactical commander I'd ever known.
Colonel Ngo Quang Truong was General Dong's chief of staff. He did not look like my idea of a military genius: only five feet seven, in his midforties, very skinny, with hunched shoulders and a head that seemed too big for his body. His face was pinched and intense, not at all handsome, and there was always a cigarette hanging from his lips. Yet he was revered by his officers and troops-and feared by those North Vietnamese commanders who knew of his ability. Any time a particularly tricky combat operation came up, Dong put him in command.
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