NOT WITHOUT BLOOD - “BODY-SNATCHIN’ ALONG THE DMZ”


Robert L. MasonNOT WITHOUT BLOOD

Available as an e-book with Amazon.com, Not Without Blood is five-star author, Robert L. Mason’s spellbinding account of his campaign with the 3rd Battalion of the 26th Marine Regiment throughout the northern I Corps theater of Vietnam.  From the Siege of Con Thien to the Siege of KheSanh, Not Without Blood takes readers:

“BODY-SNATCHIN’ ALONG THE DMZ”

“…death leaped from the skies like angry exclamation points--screeching slashes in the air, thunderous explosions on the ground.   A direct hit transformed a Marine into a cloud of dust, blood and human debris.  One moment he was there; the next moment he was gone, leaving only red grit and a light red mist to stain the grasses.”

“… a round exploded right on top of their position, creating a pie-shaped swath as it mowed down weeds, bushes and men in its path….”

****

“Like a backhand from God, the blast hurled Mason through the air, depositing him awkwardly in the hole.  His ears were ringing like cathedral bells, and the left side of his body was numb.  Reaching across with his right hand, he pulled a bloody piece of flesh from the left side of his face.  For one dreadful moment, he groped through the uncertainty of whether the left side of his face and body were gone.  For the first time, then, he found himself gripped by the fear that, sooner or later, comes to every man in combat--fear born of the realization that man is nothing but flesh, blood and bone; fear that bone can be broken, that blood can be spilled, that flesh can die, rot, wither and blow away.”

****

“…The sickly-sweet stench of blood, mingled with the acrid scent of cordite, hung heavily in the humid air, and the crescendo of combat had become a maddening roar.  Tanks, ontoses and mortars fired as fast as their gunners could reload, while Huey gunships and medevac choppers whirled like locusts in the sky.  Far off to the right and rearward, the big guns of Con Thien thundered fiercely as the Marines of that fire base threw everything they had in support of their brother Marines.  Still, enemy artillery and rocket fire rained down on the embattled battalion. “

****

“Sliding up behind the Mike-60 with its phallic front sight thrusting at the belly of the sky, he let the gun lay its ears back until its muzzle flecked white like a rabid wolf, a wolf that gnawed with teeth of steel.”

****

“…no longer was he fighting for the glory of the Corps or the vain hope of trinkets to be pinned to the breast of his tunic.  Now he fought for the primal right to breathe the blood-polluted air,  for the right to hold the ground between his feet.”

****

“For a blood-age the battle crackled and raged---both sides buckling with their nuts in the mud and the blood.  Gone were the thoughts and forlorn the hopes of anyone going home.  No one was going anywhere.  There was no place but Con Thien and no reality but war.”


So writes the author about a single battle, on a single day of his 13-month tour in northern I Corps.


 

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