In the summer of 1967 the USMC found itself engaged in a battle that caught them by suprise and cost them over 180 soldiers KIA and many more WIA. Vietnam was a war where many restriction were placed on American fighting forces, those restrictions were even stricter in the strange terrain of the DMZ. Like other books by Mr. Nolan (Into Laos and Into Cambodia come to mind) there is rich detail and information woven into a story by a chronological telling of event leading up to and through the battle. While there is a very good and informative sitrep of American (particularly USMC) involvement in Vietnam the strength of this book is it's "put you in the foxhole" eyes view of the fight. I had never read an account of where almost an entire American Company was overrun by large NVA forces, it is not pretty. I have read that ear collecting was something that happened in the war to dead enemy soldiers, the NVA put their own sick twist on this sort of war atrocity by collecting USMC tattoos from fallen grunts. There are graphic descriptions of the early M-16 problems which ended up causing the USA and USMC many casualties. This book contains some things that really suprised me, NVA soldiers equiped with flame-throwers looking for suvivors of the initial ambush, NVA artillery support which was accurate and protected from US airpower hitting American forces with a sustained barrage, NVA use of USMC gear such as flak vests and radios, American tanks being blown away like toys. There are many sad twists, if you are looking for a John Wayne type combat read stick to a novel, this one hurts the heart. I can't say enough about this book, if you are a student of the fighting in Southeast Asia get this book, Mr. Nolan really puts things together in this clear and painfully vivid book.