'Incident at Muc Wa' is a short story about the early US engagement in Vietnam in 1964 - where the troops on the ground were largely labelled instructors and the full committment of the US military was not yet there. Based around a former French security outpost that a US Army Raider team (4 US army Raiders helped by hundred tribal militia, and supporting an equally large refugee group) is supposed to occupy and hold and then surrender, the book portrays a hauntingly accurate description of the war as a whole, even if it was published in 1967, years before the 'writing was officially on the wall'.
The author does an excellent job of building fairly interesting characters and integrating them into the story, which at times displays elements of Catch 22.
, Cross of Iron (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS)
and is generally none too complimentary about the fickleness of military command (nor politics).
The book was later turned into a movie - Go Tell the Spartans
- with Burt Lancaster, which is worth watching in its own right (even if the story is slightly altered).
The cynical elements may shock some readers but the book is certainly one of better short fiction works to come out of the conflict, even if it is largely fictional.