American soldiers from Alpha and Delta Companies were moving through a tangled mass of jungle foliage. The servicemen had no idea that the enemy were watching, however – and, out of their element, the troops were easy prey. Then, before the U.S. forces knew what was happening, they were bombarded by machine-gun fire and mortar and artillery explosions.
The 19-year Vietnam War was one of the longest and deadliest conflicts in U.S. history. Among the nine million American military personnel sent to Southeast Asia, around 58,000 were killed and 100,000 were left disabled. What’s more, according to a 1995 Vietnam government estimate, up to two million civilians and more than one million domestic fighters died in the conflict.