During the night of 6-7 February 1968, two dozen U.S. Army Green Berets and several hundred indigenous troops held off a numerically superior force of North Vietnamese tanks and infantry in one of the finest, most exciting examples of collective bravery, endurance, and the will to survive any war has produced. Here for the first time is the full account of that violent, deadly stand by Special Forces team A-101 at the tiny compound of Lang Vei. Nineteen Silver Stars, a Distinguished Service Cross, and a Medal of Honor were awarded, yet until now the battle has languished in the war's shadows. Making use of extensive interviews with survivors, recently uncovered oral histories, and official records, author William Phillips presents astounding tales of individual and team courage against overwhelming odds. He vividly recounts the story of eight Green Berets who held out all night against tank, grenade, and flamethrower attacks. He details the embattled camp's controversial and much-delayed relief and extraction—not by the U.S. Marines from Khe Sanh nine miles away but by super-secret MACV-SOG commandos and an air campaign of unprecedented proportions.
Phillips focuses on four Green Berets, including his first cousin, missing in action since the battle, to deliver a poignant, unforgettable portrait of some of America's finest soldiers leading their cherished Bru and Hre montagnard charges in the battle of their lives. A Vietnam combat veteran himself, Phillips weighs and analyzes the conflicting stories of snarled communications, faulty weapons, countermanded orders, and service rivalries to flush out the truth of Lang Vei. His balanced, highly readable account serves as a testament to those special warriors of whom so much was asked during the Vietnam War.