Though heralded as a war novel of affirmation -- of belief as well as anger- this seems to us more a novel of the psychological phenomenon of the destruction of moral concepts and socialized behavior in the presence of violence, than it is a study of men as individuals through whom attitudes are reflected. The characters emerge as personality types; the steel nerved tough guy, bayoneted by a man who was afraid; the wise-cracking media gentle under all; the dreamer who did from reality in his dreams; the bullying sergeant who deserted when it came to the pinch; the bungling captain, another victim of stark fear. The characters in final analysis seem over simplified, the types never out to dimensions of separate identity. The dialogue, while heavily accented with deliberate profanities, seems curiously antiseptic and bloodless. The story is concerned with the capture of two German towns by American infantry, and some of the battle scenes contain vigorous and harrowing bits, convincing passages of the terror of combat. A first novel, a product of World War II, but not top ranking.