Without the epic panorama of Stalingrad or the morbidity of The Naked and the Dead, this offers the portrait of a military unit in human terms, as day to day incidents reveal the characters assigned to the Normandy Invasion. The Fifth Battalion of the Wessex Regiment -- its men and officers, veterans of the African campaign, professional soldiers, raw recruits from the farm country -- as it is being groomed, tested and trained, in England, for the invasion. Taking their fun, harried by their worries, matching personality against personality, the men and their officers mark time against the announcement of the purpose behind their manoeuvers. Then a Channel Island, where thoughtless civilians almost promote a personal war, and D-Day and the beachheads. Next the death-bought progress into France adds to the cost of their advance and the jobs they were demanded to do, in spite of fatigue, weakness and diminishing numbers, result in a final wiping out of all. An affecting and effective picture of a military body in all its component parts, this, in British terms, is a closeknit, compelling job.