Early in the morning of 16 March 1968, a company of around 120 US infantrymen, later to be described as a "normal cross-section of American youth", entered a village on the central coastal plain of South Vietnam and killed hundreds of unarmed and unresisting women, old men and children. Later the same day, another party of US soldiers massacred nearly 100 more defenceless citizens in another village less than two miles away. Together, these two related actions became known as the My Lai Massacre. This is an account of this war crime. Throughout the US and Vietnam, the authors have tracked down and interviewed survivors of the massacre, perpetrators and bystanders, to describe the culture of a war which turned the young men of Charlie Company, after only three months in Vietnam, into the brutal killers of My Lai.