As an ex-soldier I have never trained in a jungle and can only imagine what the war in Vietnam was really like. I enjoyed Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam”, Robert De Niro in the “Deer Hunter”, “Apocalypse Now” and many other films which though enjoyable merely reinforced my opinion that the US infantry were asking for trouble with their lack of discipline and use of mind numbing drugs. But I did not need to worry, I did not have to have been in the war, this was a story of the fight against the “Taurans” and one man’s personal battle through the years of time distortion.
The plot is relatively simple; Aliens attack human outposts and have to be beaten off, with humans using ever-more sophisticated weapons and technology. They must wear “Fighting Suits” all the time. These are armoured space suits that have the ability to change colour for camouflage. There are lasers and atomic bombs for weapons and many ugly deaths. Whilst on leave back on Earth there is an “atomic plow” to break up the ground, but after some heart breaks with loss of family members, our hero re-enlists and goes back into space.
The story is about William Mandella’s life as a “grunt”, how he fights aliens and is manipulated by politicians for their own advantage. I did not think about Vietnam as I read it. Most of the action was in the extreme cold of outer space far removed from the steamy jungles of Vietnam anyway. But I can understand the comparison of the Vietnamese and the Taurans both being blindly led by their leaders.
This was an absorbing story which I thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in alien warfare.