The New Legions by Donald Duncan. Grade level is 6.1.

Donald Duncan wanted be the best soldier possible. He was regular Army, then Airborne, then Green Beret.

In Vietnam, he led reconnaissance patrols deep into enemy-held territory to assess the strength of the Viet Cong, the communist guerrillas. He returned home with questions about Vietnam. Did the peasants on the farms in South Vietnam want another foreign power in their country? Were they as anti-communist as Americans, or anti-foreigner? What did their attitudes mean to the success of the intervention of United States in Vietnam? He went even further as you will see. He asked if South Vietnam was really a separate country in the eyes of the Vietnamese.

Read about his patriotism, his courage and his questions. Buy this title on Amazon for $2.99 at https://www.amazon.com/New-Legions-Donald-Duncan-ebook/dp/B077W7P19V/

photo of Marines moving through a swamp

U.S. Marines in Vietnam: Small Unit Action 1966 by Captain Francis J. “Bing” West Jr.

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Grade Level from the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Score is 6.2.

The battle scenes are dramatic but are too graphic for middle school readers in our opinion.

And the text of the book is much easier reading than the blurb below:

Vietnam, summer 1966. On a steep mountainside 20 miles inland, a reconnaissance platoon of 18 men holds off hundreds of enemy soldiers for over 12 hours. In a four-day scouting mission near the demilitarized zone, a small patrol ambushes and destroys a Viet Cong base camp. This was the action behind the headlines in Vietnam.

From routine night raids to full-scale assaults, Small Unit Action in Vietnam presents a compelling perspective on the courage, dedication and patriotic enthusiasm of U.S. Marines in the early stages of the war.

Originally published as a strategic training manual, this remarkable and moving document is an authentic eyewitness account of nine separate actions at the company and battalion level. Most books look at the broad picture of the war. Small Unit Action in Vietnam sharpens the focus to show the individual battles as they were actually fought. Captain West’s book describes with taut precision the lightning judgments, tactical decisions and moments of bravery of individual soldiers fighting a deadly enemy in an overwhelmingly hostile environment.

Through his vivid descriptions—of the rugged terrain, the movements of the units, the use of support troops and artillery, the ruses and psychological ploys so crucial in defeating a brilliant, determined and resourceful foe—we experience with stunning clarity the challenges of combat on the front.