Books: The War As It Was

A collection of great reporting on Vietnam

It was the summer of 1959, and the number of American military advisers to the South Vietnamese government was only a few hundred. In the town of Bien Hoa, 20 miles north of Saigon, six U.S. soldiers settled in to watch a movie.

As reported in this magazine, here's what happened next: "Communist terrorists (who obviously had cased the place well) crept out of the darkness and surrounded the mess hall. Two positioned a French MAT machine gun in the rear window, two pushed gun muzzles through the pantry screen, the other two went to the front of the building to...

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