This is the way quite a bit of action was fought. The author pulled no punches describing the action as when you first get hit, you try to determine the parameters of the ambush. Is it hasty ambush, which wouldn't have lasted long against a force the size of the marines. This battle kept expanding as each side kept trying to flank the other. That was the cause of so many Marine casualties at first as they had walked into a fully prepared ambush by NVA, who are well trained also. The weather kept the Marines from using their air assets so they had to develop the ambush blindly, which is deadly. Even in these conditions the Marines never panicked and their valor, with well trained leaders kept them in the fight and not ovverrun, until air could be brought in.