Economic, realistic writing for a commentary, rather than a novel, on and of the officers and men of a British Midland regiment engaged in an impossible offensive action in the Middle East. This is -- of its kind -- highly effective, -- terse, masculine --portraying through the simple, coarse, sometimes humorous talk of the men their feelings before and during the attack which brought with it the torments of desert marching, dust and sand and files, thirst and exhaustion, death. There are sketches of the officers --Mann, who is a thinker, Pryde, who is afraid of fear. General Eagles, professionally disciplined; of two Sergeants now bitter enemies because of a girl; of Madison and Bennett, friends, who are lost on the march -- one of whom is to die. A deliberately impersonal, impartial record -- which perhaps because of this lacks popular pull.