Based on official U.S. Army records, these eyewitness chronicles of seven horrific battles offer an unparalleled glimpse of the day-to-day reality of the Vietnam conflict. From a fierce fight on the banks of the Ia Drang River in November 1965 to a May '68 gunship mission, these highly charged reports convey the heroism and horror of modern warfare. Each of these compelling narratives reflects events that took place throughout Vietnam after American troops were first committed in force in 1965. In addition to the achievements and sacrifices common to any war, this struggle was further complicated by an extremely elusive enemy and a new strategic dimension afforded by the helicopter—aspects that added a high degree of error, experimentation, and innovation. These accounts analyze the performance of individual soldiers under fire, illustrating both the reality of fear and the effects of military discipline and leadership. Sources for this book include daily journals, after-action reports, and official interviews that took place immediately after the battles, along with subsequent interviews and correspondence conducted by the authors. Maps and other illustrations illuminate the text.