Miles Player is a young army officer serving in Hong Kong in the early 1950s. When his regiment is called to the Korean War he finds his real military education starts. The polo and partying of colonial highlife and the arms of his beloved Kitty are left behind. Nothing could be more real than his new life with his soldiers and the dramas and feelings they share.
As Miles and his men face the harsh reality of battle we witness, through his eyes, acts of friendship and enmity, ambition and frailty, courage and cowardice, and love and betrayal. We also see the caprice of fortune. Yet there are moments of hilarity and periods of great fun. The intensity of life in the front line – makeshift living conditions, constant shelling, and ever-present fear – casts Miles’ earlier days into sharp relief. And, as he comes face to face with the impact of the war and his times, he also senses that Britain’s power and prestige are dwindling.