“We are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!” —Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller, USMC
In the glorious chronicles of the US Marine Corps, no name is more revered than that of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. “Chesty” Puller. The only fighting man to be awarded the Navy Cross five separate times—a military honor second only to the Congressional Medal of Honor—he was the epitome of a professional warrior. A son of the South, descendant of Robert E. Lee, and cousin to George S. Patton, Puller began his enlisted career during World War I and moved up through the ranks as he proved his battlefield mettle in Haiti and Nicaragua, with the Horse Marines in Peking, in the Pacific Theater of World War II, and in the nightmarish winter engagements of the Korean War.
Fearless and seemingly indestructible, adored by the troops he championed yet forced into early retirement by a high command that resented his “lowly” beginnings and unwillingness to play politics, Puller remains one of most towering figures in American military history. Bestselling military biographer Burke Davis paints the definitive portrait of this extraordinary marine hero.
After nearly four months of continuous and agonizing combat on the battlefields of Korea, such a simple request seemed impossible. For many men of George Company, or “Bloody George” as they were known—one of the Forgotten War’s most decorated yet unrecognized companies—it was a wish that would not come true. This is the untold story of “Bloody George,” a Marine company formed quickly to answer its nation’s call to duty in 1950. This small band of men—a colorful cast of characters, including a Native American fighting to earn his honor as a warrior, a Southern boy from Tennessee at odds with a Northern blue-blood reporter-turned-Marine, and a pair of twins who exemplified to the group the true meaning of brotherhood—were mostly green troops who had been rushed through training to fill America’s urgent need on the Korean front. They would find themselves at the tip of the spear in some of the Korean War’s bloodiest battles. After storming ashore at Inchon and fighting house-to-house in Seoul, George Company, one of America’s last units in reserve, found itself on the frozen tundra of the Chosin Reservoir facing elements of an entire division of Chinese troops. They didn’t realize it then, but they were soon to become crucial to the battle—modern-day Spartans called upon to hold off ten times their number. Give Me Tomorrow is their unforgettable story of bravery and courage. Thoroughly researched and vividly told, Give Me Tomorrow is fitting testament to the heroic deeds of George Company. They will never again be forgotten.
As comrades fell wounded and dead around them on the frozen slopes above Korea's infamous Chosin Reservoir, Baker-One-Seven's Marines triumphed against the relentless human-wave assaults of Chinese regulars and took part in the breakout that destroyed six to eight divisions of Chinese regulars. COLDER THAN HELL paints a vivid, frightening portrait of one of the most horrific infantry battles ever waged.
David Halberstam's magisterial and thrilling The Best and the Brightest was the defining book about the Vietnam conflict. More than three decades later, Halberstam used his unrivaled research and formidable journalistic skills to shed light on another pivotal moment in our history: the Korean War. Halberstam considered The Coldest Winter his most accomplished work, the culmination of forty-five years of writing about America's postwar foreign policy.
Halberstam gives us a masterful narrative of the political decisions and miscalculations on both sides. He charts the disastrous path that led to the massive entry of Chinese forces near the Yalu River and that caught Douglas MacArthur and his soldiers by surprise. He provides astonishingly vivid and nuanced portraits of all the major figures--Eisenhower, Truman, Acheson, Kim, and Mao, and Generals MacArthur, Almond, and Ridgway. At the same time, Halberstam provides us with his trademark highly evocative narrative journalism, chronicling the crucial battles with reportage of the highest order. As ever, Halberstam was concerned with the extraordinary courage and resolve of people asked to bear an extraordinary burden.
The Coldest Winter is contemporary history in its most literary and luminescent form, providing crucial perspective on every war America has been involved in since. It is a book that Halberstam first decided to write more than thirty years ago and that took him nearly ten years to complete. It stands as a lasting testament to one of the greatest journalists and historians of our time, and to the fighting men whose heroism it chronicles.
Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War
Told from the point of view of the men in the foxholes and tanks, outposts, and command posts, Eric Hammel’s Chosin is the definitive account of the epic retreat under fire of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.
The author first sketches in the errors and miscalculations on the part of the American high command that caused the Marines to be strung out at the end of a narrow road scores of miles from the sea. He then plunges right into the action: the massing of Chinese forces in about ten-to-one strength; the Marines' command problems due to the -35-degree climate, mountainous terrain, and high-level overconfidence; and the onset of the overwhelming Chinese assault.
With a wealth of tactical detail and small-unit action Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War is the most complete, most compelling book written on this iconic battle. Author Eric Hammel's masterful account offers invaluable perspective on war at the gut level.
Devotion tells the inspirational story of the U.S. Navy’s most famous aviator duo, Lieutenant Tom Hudner and Ensign Jesse Brown, and the Marines they fought to defend. A white New Englander from the country-club scene, Tom passed up Harvard to fly fighters for his country. An African American sharecropper’s son from Mississippi, Jesse became the navy’s first black carrier pilot, defending a nation that wouldn’t even serve him in a bar.
While much of America remained divided by segregation, Jesse and Tom joined forces as wingmen in Fighter Squadron 32. Adam Makos takes us into the cockpit as these bold young aviators cut their teeth at the world’s most dangerous job—landing on the deck of an aircraft carrier—a line of work that Jesse’s young wife, Daisy, struggles to accept.
Deployed to the Mediterranean, Tom and Jesse meet the Fleet Marines, boys like PFC “Red” Parkinson, a farm kid from the Catskills. In between war games in the sun, the young men revel on the Riviera, partying with millionaires and even befriending the Hollywood starlet Elizabeth Taylor. Then comes the war no one expected, in faraway Korea.
Devotion takes us soaring overhead with Tom and Jesse, and into the foxholes with Red and the Marines as they battle a North Korean invasion. As the fury of the fighting escalates and the Marines are cornered at the Chosin Reservoir, Tom and Jesse fly, guns blazing, to try and save them. When one of the duo is shot down behind enemy lines and pinned in his burning plane, the other faces an unthinkable choice: watch his friend die or attempt history’s most audacious one-man rescue mission.
A tug-at-the-heartstrings tale of bravery and selflessness, Devotion asks: How far would you go to save a friend?
Praise for Devotion
“Riveting . . . a meticulously researched and moving account.”—USA Today
“An inspiring tale . . . portrayed by Makos in sharp, fact-filled prose and with strong reporting.”—Los Angeles Times
“[A] must-read.”—New York Post
“A masterful storyteller . . . [Makos brings] Devotion to life with amazing vividness. . . . [It] reads like a dream. The perfectly paced story cruises along in the fast lane—when you’re finished, you’ll want to start all over again.”—Associated Press
“A delight to read . . . Devotion is a story you will not forget.”—The Washington Times
“My great respect for Tom Hudner knows no bounds. He is a true hero; and in reading this book, you will understand why I feel that way.”—President George H. W. Bush
“This is aerial drama at its best—fast, powerful, and moving.”—Erik Larson, New York Times bestselling author of Dead Wake
“Though it concerns a famously cold battle in the Korean War, make no mistake: Devotion will warm your heart.”—Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice
“At last, the Korean War has its epic, a story that will stay with you long after you close this book.”—Eric Blehm, New York Times bestselling author of Fearless and Legend
From the Hardcover edition.
Caught in the Chinese counterattack at Unsan-one of the deadliest American battles of the Cold War Era-Colonel Bill Richardson led an Alamo like defense of the few survivors before being taken prisoner. The North Koreans marched them through sub-zero weather without food, shelter, or medical attention to the area known as Death Valley. Enduring torture designed to break the mind and body, Richardson remained strong enough to lead his fellow prisoners in resistance, sabotage, and new plans for escape.
Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination, an intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the cold war in the unvarnished words of one of their own.
From the racetrack to the battlefield—dauntless, fearless, and exemplar of Semper Fi—she was Reckless, "pride of the Marines."
A Mongolian mare who was bred to be a racehorse, Ah-Chim-Hai, or Flame-of-the-Morning, belonged to a young boy named Kim-Huk-Moon. In order to pay for a prosthetic leg for his sister, Kim made the difficult decision to sell his beloved companion. Lieutenant Eric Pedersen purchased the bodacious mare and renamed her Reckless, for the Recoilless Rifles Platoon, Anti-Tank Division, of the 5th Marines she’d be joining.
The four-legged equine braved minefields and hailing shrapnel to deliver ammunition to her division on the frontlines. In one day alone, performing fifty-one trips up and down treacherous terrain, covering a distance of over thirty-five miles, and rescuing wounded comrades-in-arms, Reckless demonstrated her steadfast devotion to the Marines who had become her herd.
Despite only measuring about thirteen hands high, this pint-sized equine became an American hero. Reckless was awarded two Purple Hearts for her valor and was officially promoted to staff sergeant twice, a distinction never bestowed upon an animal before or since.
Author Robin Hutton has reignited excitement about this nearly forgotten legend, realizing the Sgt. Reckless Memorial Monument at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, completed in July 2013, and now spurring the creation of a second memorial at Camp Pendleton, California, where Reckless lived out the rest of her days.
The paperback edition includes a new foreword by General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. It will appeal to fans of Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit, Elizabeth Letts' The Eighty Dollar Champion, and the feature film War Horse.
The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces is the only biography of this exemplary soldier's life. Military historian Alan Hoe offers unique insight into Meadows, having served alongside him in 1960. The Quiet Professional is an insider's account that gives a human face to U.S. military strategy during the cold war. Major Meadows often claimed that he never achieved anything significant; The Quiet Professional proves otherwise, showcasing one of the great military minds of twentieth-century America.
ACES AT WAR
The American Aces Speak
Adding to the first three volumes of his acclaimed series, The American Aces Speak, leading combat historian Eric Hammel comes through with yet another engrossing collection of thirty-eight first-person accounts by American fighter aces serving in World War II, the Israeli War of Independence, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War
As are the three earlier volumes, Aces At War is a highly charged excursion into life and death in the air, told by men who excelled at piston-engine and jet-engine aerial combat and lived to tell about it. It is an emotional rendering of what brave airmen felt and how they fought in the now-dim days of America’s living national history.
Ride with Flying Tigers ace Charlie Bond as he is shot down in flames over the Chinese city he alone has been able to defend against Japanese bombers. Share the loneliness of command as Lieutenant Commander Tom Blackburn decides the fate of the fellow Navy pilot whose F4U Corsair malfunctions in a desperate battle over Rabaul. Feel 2d Lieutenant Deacon Priest’s overwhelming sense of duty to a friend as he lands his P-51 Mustang behind German lines to rescue his downed squadron commander. Share Lieutenant Colonel Ed Heller’s desperation as he fights his way out of his uncontrollable F-86 Sabre jet over the wrong side of the Yalu River. And join Major Jim Kasler as he leads what might be the most important air strike of the Vietnam War.
These are America’s eagles, and the stories they tell are their own, in their very own words.
In 1944, a thirteen-year-old Hungarian boy named Tibor Rubin was captured by the Nazis and sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. The teenager endured its horrors for more than a year. After surviving the Holocaust, he arrived penniless in America, barely speaking English.
In 1950, Tibor volunteered for service in the Korean War. After acts of heroism that included single-handedly defending a hill against an onslaught of enemy soldiers, braving sniper fire to rescue a wounded comrade, and commandeering a machine gun after its crew was killed, he was captured. As a POW, Tibor called on his experience in Mauthausen to help fellow GIs survive two and half years of captivity.
Tibor returned from Korea in 1953, but it wasn’t until 2005—at age 76—that he was invited to the White House, where he received the Medal of Honor from President George W. Bush. It had taken over half a century for Tibor’s adopted homeland to recognize this Jewish immigrant for acts of valor that went “beyond the call of duty.” But when it did, the former Hungarian refugee became the only survivor of the Holocaust to have earned America’s highest military distinction.
Drawing on eyewitness accounts and extensive interviews, author Daniel M. Cohen presents the inspiring story of Tibor “Teddy” Rubin for the first time in its entirety and gives us a stirring portrait of a true hero.
While MacArthur aspired to stamp out Communism across the globe, Truman was much more concerned with containing the Soviet Union. The infamous clash between them was not only an epic turning point in history, but the ultimate struggle between civil and military power in the United States. While other U.S. generals have challenged presidential authority, no other military leader has ever so brazenly attempted to dictate national policy.
In MacArthur’s War, Bevin Alexander details MacArthur’s battles, from the alliances he made with Republican leaders to the threatening ultimatum he delivered to China against orders—the action that led directly to his downfall.
“Generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.”
—Gen. John A. Lejeune
Suddenly, from both sides of the road, came a steady stream of tracers from enemy machine guns. Bullets hit Hawkins’s truck and practically shot the engine right out of it. The vehicle stopped dead. Before he could try to get it off to the side of the road, all hell broke loose.
During his thirty-three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Len Maffioli saw combat in World War II, the Korean War, and the war in Vietnam. Maffioli was only eighteen when he stormed Saipan on D-Day in 1944. Shortly after, he was involved in combat operations on Tinian and Iwo Jima–and that was just the beginning of a long and distinguished career. In Korea, he was captured by the Chinese Communist Forces and endured icy prison camp conditions so appalling that four out of ten POWs died. Yet Maffioli not only survived, he escaped and earned himself the Bronze Star. He went on to see combat in Vietnam and serve in many posts and stations around the world, distinguishing himself not only as a combat veteran, but as the very definition of a “Marine’s Marine.”
Vividly depicted by the deft hand of experienced author and Vietnam combat veteran Bruce “Doc” Norton, Grown Gray in War is the story of a man who could be anyone’s father, brother, or son, a man who served in a series of wars that changed the Marine Corps and the nation forever.
This is a narrative of John Nolan’s experience as a Marine rifle platoon leader in Korea in 1951, the pivotal year of the Korean War. Much of it reads like a journal, but it also includes the experiences of a half-dozen other Marine lieutenants fighting through the fog-shrouded mountains of the East-Central front during the year the war turned around. Individually, their heroism marked some of the top combat events of that time. Taken together, these accounts tell the story of fighting that year when the last Chinese offensive was stopped cold and the UN forces slugged their way back over the 38th parallel to the final line that exists today, more than a half century later.
The lieutenants came from all over and were educated at the Naval Academy, Notre Dame, Miami University and College of the Pacific. As Marine rifle platoon leaders, they were all wounded, some several times, and abundantly decorated. And since Korea, their lives have spanned a broad range of experience. Charlie Cooper retired as Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific; Joe Reed was a top executive at AT&T and later led the reorganization of Chicago’s public schools; Jim Marsh left his enduring mark on the Marine Corps and the vast new USMC building at Quantico is named for him; Walter Murphy, a leading educator, author and novelist, was the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton; Bill Rockey had a distinguished Marine Corps career, as did his father before him; Eddie LeBaron was voted early into the College Football Hall of Fame and later led the NFL in passing during his years with the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys. John Nolan has practiced law in Washington, D.C. since shortly after returning from Korea.
What People Are Saying
“Great book! John Nolan has written a magnificent account of the Marines in action during the Korean War. It is a story about the Marine spirit and ethos. Every American should read this with pride in the Corps of Marines.”
General Anthony C. Zinni, USMC (Ret.)
“It’s a wonderful book. The writing is superb; it flows, it’s moving, highly descriptive and strikes just the right tone – neither laconic nor emotional. Every Marine should read it.”
Haynes Johnson, Journalist, Author
“This is a book about Marines, ordinary Americans who under unimaginable pressures do the extraordinary day after day. You will laugh. You will cry. And after reading John Nolan’s memoir, you will have a far more profound understanding of the barbarity of war.”
Mark Shields, Columnist; Commentator, The NewsHour
“John Nolan’s timeless story of men in battle during the heavy fighting in Korea, 1951, bears all the marks of a classic – good men, hard men, decent men in brutal, near-constant combat. What they accomplished in those battles would be reflected later in their lives – those who kept them – as many would become highly successful in the Marine Corps and in other careers.”
Colonel John W. Ripley, USMC (Ret.) (The Bridge at Dong Ha)
“John Nolan learned about leadership the hard way – leading a Marine rifle platoon in close combat in Korea. He is modest, honest and tough. And his memoir is a compelling read.”
Evan Thomas, Newsweek
“If you don’t know how a few good Marines helped prevent the Korean War from becoming the world’s most dangerous war, then join Lt. John Nolan’s 1st Platoon, Baker Co., 1stBn, 1st Marines, 1st MarDiv. The Run-Up to the Punch Bowl is a clear-eyed, gritty, rich day-by-day account of what makes Marines go up the hill.”
Using Michener's notes, author David Sears tracked down the actual pilots to tell their riveting, true-life stories. From the icy, windswept decks of aircraft carriers, they penetrated treacherous mountain terrain to strike heavily defended dams, bridges, and tunnels, where well entrenched Communist anti-aircraft gunners waited to shoot them down. Many of these men became air combat legends, and one, Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon.
Such Men As These brims with action-packed accounts of combat and unforgettable portraits of the pilots whose skill and sacrifice made epic history.
• Page-turning history of one of the most important battles of the Korean War
• From-the-foxhole account of a do-or-die defense
• Draws from memoirs, interviews, unit reports, intelligence summaries, and personal research in South Korea
The United Nation's first military action and America's first major Cold War action, the Korean War, frequently called the forgotten war, is well documented in studies and reports of specific actions and phases of the war. These sources, however, provide little order of battle information on most of the belligerents, particularly the non-U.S./UN and South Korean forces. Using the historical files kept by each armed service and each nation, Gordon Rottman provides information on combat units and major commands, including both Western forces and North Korean, Communist Chinese, and USSR forces. He has done an invaluable service for scholars and military buffs.
Filling a void that would not likely have been filled otherwise, the book provides information on unit backgrounds, organization, manning, periods of service, insignia, weapons, and casualties. The book will be a primary source for anyone, scholar or layman, interested in researching the Korean War.
October 6, 1951. Richard Bassett remembers the day vividly. That was the day his platoon ran into an ambush near Kumwha. During the firefight many were wounded, four were killed, and Bassett, along with three others, was captured. During a month-long march to the POW camp the Americans frequently came under friendly fire. Surviving the march paled in comparison to what the captured soldiers had to endure at Camp-5-Pyokdong. Frostbite, dysentery, jaundice, and mental breakdowns dwindled their numbers. Starvation and squalid conditions took their toll on Bassett during his 21-month incarceration. Yet he pledged to himself that if anyone were to walk out of this camp alive, it would be him.
When Richard Bassett returned from Korea on convalescent leave in 1953, he set down his experiences in training, combat, and captivity. Then he put the memoir away and tried to forget. More than twenty years later, hospitalized for acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, he once again faced his personal demons. Expanding the memoir to include his postwar struggles with the U.S. government and his own wounded psyche, the resulting comprehensive account is published here for the first time.
Bassett captures in plain language and vivid detail those days of his captivity. He describes the shock of capture and ensuing long march to Pyokdong, North Korea, Camp 5 on the Yellow River, where many prisoners died of untreated wounds, disease, hunger, paralyzing cold, and brutal mistreatment in the bitter winter of 1950-51. He recounts Chinese attempts to mentally break down prisoners in order to exploit them for propoganda. Bassett takes the reader through typical days in a prisoner's life, discussing food, clothing, shelter, and work; the struggle against unremitting boredom; religious, social, and recreational diversions; and even those moments of terror when all seemed lost.
Bassett's story is important to general audiences and scholars alike because it has not counterpart in the literature of the Korean War. And the Wind Blew Cold refutes Cold War-era propaganda that often unfairly characterized POWs as brainwashed victims or even traitors who lacked the grit that Americans expected of their brave sons.
Bassett concludes his memoir with a candid discussion of the war's aftermath, his battle with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, harassment by a government eager to impugn the loyalty of repatriated POWs, and his long struggle with the Veterans Administration to receive compensation for enduring physical and mental scars. This book will fascinate anyone interested in the Korean War era, in captivity tales, and in the resilience of the human spirit.
William Stueck presents a fresh analysis of the Korean War's major diplomatic and strategic issues. Drawing on a cache of newly available information from archives in the United States, China, and the former Soviet Union, he provides an interpretive synthesis for scholars and general readers alike. Beginning with the decision to divide Korea in 1945, he analyzes first the origins and then the course of the conflict. He takes into account the balance between the international and internal factors that led to the war and examines the difficulty in containing and eventually ending the fighting. This discussion covers the progression toward Chinese intervention as well as factors that both prolonged the war and prevented it from expanding beyond Korea. Stueck goes on to address the impact of the war on Korean-American relations and evaluates the performance and durability of an American political culture confronting a challenge from authoritarianism abroad.
Stueck's crisp yet in-depth analysis combines insightful treatment of past events with a suggestive appraisal of their significance for present and future.
ACES IN COMBAT
The American Aces Speak
Adding to the acclaimed first four volumes of his exciting, in-the-cockpit series, The American Aces Speak, leading combat historian Eric Hammel comes through with yet another engrossing collection of first-person accounts by American fighter aces serving in World War II and the Korean War.As are the four earlier volumes, Aces In Combat is a highly charged excursion into life and death in the air, told by men who excelled at piston-engine and jet-engine aerial combat and lived to tell about it. It is an emotional rendering of what brave airmen felt and how they fought in the now-dim days of America’s living national history.
View the Battle of Midway through Lieutenant Jim Gray’s eyes as he must balance the needs of fellow pilots against the needs of his nation. Share the fear with Captain Charlie Sullivan as would-be rescuers deep in the New Guinea jungle attempt to turn him into a blood sacrifice. Crew a Canadian Mosquito night fighter as Lieutenant Lou Luma stalks the wily Hun—and bags an ace—over an airfield deep in Germany. Share Lieutenant Bud Fortier’s and Major George Loving’s grief when, on missions nearly eight years apart, they look on helplessly as trusted wingmen dive to their deaths in treacherous ground-attack runs. And watch anxiously as Captain Tom Maloney hovers between life and death for ten lonely days after stepping on a mine on an enemy-held beach.
These are America’s eagles, and the stories they tell are their own, in their very own words.
For Americans, it was a discrete conflict lasting from 1950 to 1953. But for the Asian world the Korean War was a generations-long struggle that still haunts contemporary events. With access to new evidence and secret materials from both here and abroad, including an archive of captured North Korean documents, Bruce Cumings reveals the war as it was actually fought. He describes its origin as a civil war, preordained long before the first shots were fired in June 1950 by lingering fury over Japan’s occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945. Cumings then shares the neglected history of America’s post–World War II occupation of Korea, reveals untold stories of bloody insurgencies and rebellions, and tells of the United States officially entering the action on the side of the South, exposing as never before the appalling massacres and atrocities committed on all sides.
Elegantly written and blisteringly honest, The Korean War is, like the war it illuminates, brief, devastating, and essential.
This volume in the official History of the Marine Corps chronicles the invasion by United States Marines at Inchon in the initial stages of the Korean War.
The Battle of Inchon was an amphibious invasion and battle of the Korean War that resulted in a decisive victory and strategic reversal in favor of the United Nations. The operation involved some 75,000 troops and 261 naval vessels, and led to the recapture of the South Korea capital Seoul two weeks later. The code name for the operation was Operation Chromite. The battle began on 15 September 1950 and ended on 19 September. Through a surprise amphibious assault far from the Pusan Perimeter that UN and South Korean forces were desperately defending, the largely undefended city of Incheon was secured after being bombed by UN forces. The battle ended a string of victories by the invading North Korean People’s Army (NKPA). The subsequent UN recapture of Seoul partially severed NKPA’s supply lines in South Korea. The majority of United Nations ground forces involved were U.S. Marines, commanded by General of the Army Douglas MacArthur of the United States Army. MacArthur was the driving force behind the operation, overcoming the strong misgivings of more cautious generals to a risky assault over extremely unfavorable terrain.
Published now in paperback, this incredible story is based on first hand interviews from surviving veterans, telling of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand to hand combat, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea, but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps' dogged determination, fighting skill, and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.
In this follow-up to his enormously successful Marine Tank Battles in the Pacific, Oscar Gilbert presents an equally exhaustive and detailed account of the little-known Marine tank engagements in Korea, supported by forty-eight photographs, eight original maps, and dozens of survivor interviews.
Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea details every action, from the valiant defense at Pusan and the bitter battles of the Chosin Reservoir, to the grinding and bloody stalemate along the Jamestown Line. Many of these stories are presented here for the first time, such as the unique role played by tanks in the destruction of the ill-fated Task Force Drysdale, how Marine armor played a key role in the defense of Hagaru, and how a lone tank made it to Yudamni and then led the breakout across the high Toktong Pass.
Marine tankers—individually and as an organization—met every challenge posed by this vicious, protracted, and forgotten war. It is a story of bravery and fortitude you will never forget.
In The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot, New York Times bestselling author Blaine Harden tells the riveting story of how Kim Il Sung grabbed power and plunged his country into war against the United States while the youngest fighter pilot in his air force was playing a high-risk game of deception—and escape.
As Kim ascended from Soviet puppet to godlike ruler, No Kum Sok noisily pretended to love his Great Leader. That is, until he swiped a Soviet MiG-15 and delivered it to the Americans, not knowing they were offering a $100,000 bounty for the warplane (the equivalent of nearly one million dollars today). The theft—just weeks after the Korean War ended in July 1953—electrified the world and incited Kim’s bloody vengeance.
During the Korean War the United States brutally carpet bombed the North, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians and giving the Kim dynasty, as Harden reveals, the fact-based narrative it would use to this day to sell paranoia and hatred of Americans.
Drawing on documents from Chinese and Russian archives about the role of Mao and Stalin in Kim’s shadowy rise, as well as from never-before-released U.S. intelligence and interrogation files, Harden gives us a heart-pounding escape adventure and an entirely new way to understand the world’s longest-lasting totalitarian state.
From the Hardcover edition.
Here, at long last, is a chance to hear the true story of these courageous men in their own words-- a story that, until now, has gone largely untold. Dr. Carlson debunks many of the popular myths of Korean War POWs in this devastating oral history that's as compelling and moving as it is informative. From the Tiger Death March to the paranoia here at home, Korean POWs suffered injustices on a scale few can comprehend. More than 40 percent of the 7,140 Americans taken prisoner died in captivity, and as haunting tales of the survivors unfold, it becomes clear that the goal of these men was simply to survive under the most terrible conditions.
Each survivor's story is a unique and personal experience, from missionary teacher Larry Zeller's imprisonment in the death cells of P'yongyang and his first encounter with the infamous killer known as The Tiger, to Rubin Townsend's daring escape from a death march by jumping off a bridge in a blinding snowstorm. From capture to forced marches, isolation, permanent camps, and torture, Remembered Prisoners of a Forgotten War is one of the most fascinating and disturbing books on the Korean War in years-- and a brutally honest account of the Korean POW experience, in the survivors' own words.
. . .in a distant jungle, a frozen forest, and trapped in the flaming wreckage of a bomber blown from the sky. One died going over a fence during the greatest paratrooper assault in history. Another fell in the biggest battle of World War II. Yet another, riddled with bullets in an audacious act of heroism during a decisive onslaught a world, and a war, away.
All came from a single street in a railroad town called Silvis, Illinois, a tiny stretch of dirt barely a block-and-a-half long, with an unparalleled history.
The twenty-two Mexican-American families who lived on that one street sent fifty-seven of their children to fight in World War II and Korea—more than any other place that size anywhere in the country. Eight of those children died.
It’s a distinction recognized by the Department of Defense, and it earned that rutted, unpaved strip a distinguished name. Today it’s known as Hero Street.
This is the story of those brave men and their families, how they fought both in battle and to be accepted in an American society that remained biased against them even after they returned home as heroes. Based on interviews with relatives, friends, and soldiers who served alongside the men, as well as personal letters and photographs, The Ghosts of Hero Street is the compelling and inspiring account of a street of soldiers—and men—who would not be denied their dignity or their honor.
This Kind of War is the most comprehensive single-volume history of the Korean-American conflict that began in 1950 and is still affecting United States foreign policy. Fifty years later, not only does this enlightening account give details of the tactics, infantrymen, and equipment, it also chronicles the story of military and political unpreparedness that led to a profligate loss of American lives in Korea.
T. R. Fehrenbach, an officer in the conflict, provides us with accounts of the combat situation that could only have been written by an eyewitness in the thick of the action. But what truly sets this book apart from other military memoirs is the piercing analysis of the global political maneuverings behind the brutal ground warfare that marked this bloody period of history, one that has been all but forgotten. Hailed as “a must for all soldiers and former soldiers” by an Amazon.com reviewer, This Kind of War restores the Korean War to its rightful place in American history—as a touchstone for US foreign engagement and a lesson for politicians ready to shed American blood on faraway soil.
“Much about the Korean War is still hidden, and much will long remain hidden. I believe I have succeeded in throwing new light on its origins.” —From the author’s preface
In 1945 US troops arrived in Korea for what would become America’s longest-lasting conflict. While history books claim without equivocation that the war lasted from 1950 to 1953, those who have actually served there know better. By closely analyzing US intelligence before June 25, 1950 (the war’s official start), and the actions of key players like John Foster Dulles, General Douglas MacArthur, and Chiang Kai-shek, the great investigative reporter I. F. Stone demolishes the official story of America’s “forgotten war” by shedding new light on the tangled sequence of events that led to it.
The Hidden History of the Korean War was first published in 1952—during the Korean War—and then republished during the Vietnam War. In the 1990s, documents from the former Soviet archives became available, further illuminating this controversial period in history.
Her Korean name was Ah-Chim-Hai—Flame-of-the-Morning. A four-year-old chestnut-colored Mongolian racehorse, she once amazed the crowds in Seoul with her remarkable speed. But when war shut down the tracks, the star racer was sold to an American Marine and trained to carry heavy loads of artillery shells across steep hills under a barrage of bullets and bombs. The Marines renamed her Reckless.
Reckless soon proved fearless under fire, boldly marching alone through the fiery gauntlet, exposed to explosions and shrapnel. On some of her uphill treks, Reckless shielded human reinforcements. The Chinese, soon discovering the bravery of this magnificent animal, made a special effort to kill her. But Reckless never slowed. As months passed, the men came to appreciate her not just as a horse but as a fellow Marine.
At the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way.
Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. Heir to a struggling economy, a ruined Europe, and increasing tension with the Soviet Union, on no issue was the path ahead clear and easy. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The lessons he drew from World War II were absolute: appeasement leads to disaster and a showdown with the communists was inevitable--the sooner the better. In the nuclear era, when the Soviets, too, had the bomb, the specter of a catastrophic third World War lurked menacingly close on the horizon.
The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. From the drama of Stalin's blockade of West Berlin to the daring landing of MacArthur's forces at Inchon to the shocking entrance of China into the war, The General and the President vividly evokes the making of a new American era.
From the Hardcover edition.
Now Max Hastings, preeminent military historian takes us back to the bloody bitter struggle to restore South Korean independence after the Communist invasion of June 1950. Using personal accounts from interviews with more than 200 vets—including the Chinese—Hastings follows real officers and soldiers through the battles. He brilliantly captures the Cold War crisis at home—the strategies and politics of Truman, Acheson, Marshall, MacArthur, Ridgway, and Bradley—and shows what we should have learned in the war that was the prelude to Vietnam.
By the summer of 1953, the Korean War had long since reached a stalemate. As peace negotiations dragged on, units of the US 7th Infantry Division rebuilt the defenses of Hill 255, one of numerous outposts in front of the Main Line of Resistance extending across the peninsula. Better known by its nickname, Pork Chop Hill, the outpost had twice been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting of the spring. Now, the soldiers tasked with its rebuilding and defense hoped they would not be the last men to die in what had already become known as “the Forgotten War.”
On the night of July 6th, under the cover of a heavy monsoon rainstorm, forces of the Chinese 23rd Army attacked. For five hellish days, the opposing forces engaged in devastating artillery assaults, brutal hand-to-hand fighting, and round-the-clock attacks and counterattacks. Less than three weeks after the smoke on Pork Chop Hill cleared, the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed.
On Hallowed Ground is the riveting story of this epic battle. Drawing on previously classified documents, interviews, and letters from survivors, author Bill McWilliams details the strategy and tactics behind the conflict and pays stirring tribute to the heroic soldiers and medics who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to hold “the Chop.”
I am well aware that my view of the Korean War has no historical importance. Still, it is my view, and I want to share it with you. I do not have a cause to plead or an ax to grind, and that alone ought to count for something. My memoirs are selective and most certainly tainted with time. My recollections are a lot like boot mines, and ought to be approached with caution.
I was a grunt, a Four Deuce forward observer, assigned to duty with a marine infantry company every time the 1st Marine Regiment went back up on line. During the time I was in Korea my boondockers were firmly planted in trench-line mud. When I came home in September 1952, I was proud that I had helped in the attempt to stop Communism in Korea. I was proud of all the men I served, and served with, and I was a little bit proud of myself, too.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The fight for air superiority began the day the Korean War started and only ended with the armistice three years later. Once the shock of the North Koreans’ invasion wore off, it did not take long for the United States Air Force, assisted by other United Nations air forces, to destroy the North Korean Air Force. The arrival of the MiG-15 in November 1950, often flown by Soviet pilots, changed things considerably however. For the remainder of the war, bitterly contested air battles were fought almost daily. Yet despite a decided numerical superiority in jet fighters, the Communists were never able to gain air superiority, testament to the skill and training of the UN fighter pilots, primarily those U.S. Air Force airmen flying the magnificent F-86 Sabre.
In 1947, seeking to avoid the draft, nineteen-year-old Jim Brady volunteered for a Marine Corps program that made him a lieutenant in the reserves on the day he graduated college. He didn't plan to find himself in command of a rifle platoon three years later facing a real enemy, but that is exactly what happened after the Chinese turned a so-called police action into a war.
The Coldest War vividly describes Brady's rapid education in the realities of war and the pressures of command. Opportunities for bold offensives sink in the miasma of trench warfare; death comes in fits and starts as too-accurate artillery on both sides seeks out men in their bunkers; constant alertness is crucial for survival, while brutal cold and a seductive silence conspire to lull soldiers into an often fatal stupor.
The Korean War affected the lives of all Americans, yet is little known beyond the antics of "M*A*S*H." Here is the inside story that deserves to be told, and James Brady is a powerful witness to a vital chapter of our history.