Bowden reconstructs the battle in its disparate phases: Hue's initial seizure by communist forces and the ensuing execution of perhaps 2,000 residents deemed as "enemies of the people"; the desperate efforts of soldiers and civilians alike to survive and escape the fallen city; and then the hard, bloody work of U.S. and South Vietnamese forces as they reclaimed Hue in urban combat for which they were never trained.
The climactic struggle to retake Hue's ancient Citadel was horrific, as Bowden details. "Jerry McCauley strangled an enemy soldier with the chinstrap of his helmet," Bowden writes. "He managed to step aside and avoid the man's bayonet thrust and then grabbed his helmet, which was strapped under the chin, and, with a tremendous surge of adrenaline, twisted the strap violently around his neck, held him down, and choked him to death. It took an agonizingly long time to do."
Throughout, Bowden is unsparing in his criticism of the U.S. military command in Vietnam, with Gen. William Westmoreland singled out for opprobrium. The critique is justified, as Westmoreland biographer Lewis Sorley and others have documented. But Bowden's contempt is sometimes overzealous, underscored by his repeated references to the American commander by his nickname, "Westy."
Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/arts/books/2017/10/18/hue-1968-bowden-dallas-plano-fort-worth-review