Traditional cast-of-thousands combat novel starring the Vietnam war and featuring the Tet Offensive. Playing for the heroes, there are infantry Major Dennis Shannon, on his third tour, and his opposite number, General Vo Le Duan, who has led an entire North Vietnamese division into hiding in the south preparatory to Tet. Coming to bat for the villains, there are General Lee Sinclair, who represents every pompous, narrow-minded, criminally ambitious commander who ever lived, and various and sundry North Vietnamese political officers who care only about indoctrination, little for the brave peasants out there being pulverized by B-52's. When Sinclair refuses to believe Shannon's wild tales of an NVA division on the loose, Shannon takes First Squad--the usual brave, grubby, grumpy grunts, festooned with nicknames--into the heart of the good Duan's encampment on a thrillingly courageous creepy-crawl, returning with proof even Sinclair can't refute. But it's too late: Tet goes off as scheduled, and Sinclair even becomes a hero by making the right move for the wrong reasons. Shannon and his men do the bloody work of finally destroying the enemy in the fictional city of Song Nhanh (very much like Hue), and General Duan dies with great bravery, single-handedly shooting it out with a Corbra gunship. The authors display the revisionism currently fashionable in Vietnam novels--if the American GI had been better led and taught small-unit tactics, the sky would've been the limit. But this is also a knowledgeable book (practically a primer on what the grunts and their counterparts ate, drank, wore md slept in or with) that works as a good, old-fashioned blood-and-guts war story.