In Mortal Combat: Korea, 1950–1953

Open Road Media
Free sample

A history of the Korean War with soldier’s-eye views from both sides, by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Rising Sun and Infamy.

 Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Toland reports on the Korean War in a revolutionary way in this thoroughly researched and riveting book. Toland pored over military archives and was the first person to gain access to previously undisclosed Chinese records, which allowed him to investigate Chairman Mao’s direct involvement in the conflict. Toland supplements his captivating history with in-depth interviews with more than two hundred American soldiers, as well as North Korean, South Korean, and Chinese combatants, plus dozens of poignant photographs, bringing those who fought to vivid life and honoring the memory of those lost.
 
In Mortal Combat is comprehensive in it discussion of events deemed controversial, such as American brutality against Korean civilians and allegations of American use of biological warfare. Toland tells the dramatic account of the Korean War from start to finish, from the appalling experience of its POWs to Mao’s prediction of MacArthur’s Inchon invasion.
 
Toland’s account of the “forgotten war” is a must-read for any history aficionado.
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About the author

John Toland (1912–2004) was one of the most respected and widely read historians of the twentieth century, known for writing without analysis or judgment and allowing the characters and their actions to speak for themselves. He was the author of two novels, a memoir, and more than a dozen works of nonfiction, including Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography and The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936–1945, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971. Upon its original publication in 1991, In Mortal Combat: Korea, 1950–1953 was hailed by the New York Times for its “panoramic” scope and its skill in presenting “the soldier’s-eye view of the war.”
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
May 31, 2016
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Pages
624
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ISBN
9781504025652
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / Korea
History / Military / Korean War
History / Military / United States
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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An epic story of valor and sacrifice by a legendary Marine company in the Korean War brought to gripping, cinematic light by an acclaimed historian ("Gives the brave Marines of George Company long overdue recognition"--New York Post)
"What would you want if you could have any wish?" asked the photojournalist of the haggard, bloodied Marine before him. The Marine gaped at his interviewer. The photographer snapped his picture, which became the iconic Korean War image featured on this book's jacket. "Give me tomorrow," he said at last.

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.
In the opening campaign of the Korean War, the First Provisional Marine Brigade participated in a massive effort by United States and South Korean forces in 1950 to turn back the North Korean invasion of the Republic of Korea. The brigade’s actions loom large in marine lore. According to most accounts, traditional Marine Corps discipline, training, and fighting spirit saved the day as the marines rescued an unprepared U.S. Eighth Army, which had been pushed back to the “Pusan Perimeter” at the southeastern tip of the Korean peninsula. Historian and retired marine Kenneth W. Estes undertakes a fresh investigation of the marines’ and Eighth Army’s fight for Pusan. Into the Breach at Pusan corrects discrepancies in earlier works (including the official histories) to offer a detailed account of the campaign and place it in historical context.

Drawing on combat records, command reports, and biographical materials, Estes describes the mobilization, organization, and operations of First Brigade during the first three months of American participation in the Korean War. Focusing on the battalions, companies, and platoons that faced the hardened soldiers of the North Korean army, he brings the reader directly to the battlefield. The story he reveals there, woven with the voices of soldiers and officers, is one of cooperation rather than interservice rivalry. At the same time, he clarifies differences in the organizational cultures of the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps.

Into the Breach at Pusan is scrupulously fair to both the army and the marines. Estes sets the record straight in crediting the Eighth Army with saving itself during the Pusan Perimeter campaign, but he also affirms that the army’s suffering would have been much greater without the crucial, timely performance of the First Provisional Marine Brigade.

The book that former Defense Secretary James Mattis recommends as America faces the threat of conflict with North Korea.
 
In a recent story, Newsweek reported: “Amid increasingly deteriorating relations between the U.S. and North Korea, as President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un exchange barbs and the threat of a nuclear conflict looms, Mattis responded to a question on how best to avoid such a war.
 
“An audience member asked: ‘What can the U.S. military do to lessen the likelihood of conflict on the Korean Peninsula?’
 
“Mattis responded with a direction to read This Kind of War, stating: ‘There’s a reason I recommend T.R. Fehrenbach’s book, that we all pull it out and read it one more time.’”
 
This Kind of War is “perhaps the best book ever written on the Korean War” (John McCain, The Wall Street Journal), the most comprehensive single-volume history of the conflict that began in 1950 and is still affecting US 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 by many, but has become crucially important again.
 
“A 54-year-old history of the Korean War that’s much better known in military than civilian quarters . . . Interspersed with this high-level narrative are gritty, close-grained accounts of the grim ordeals, heroic sacrifices, and sometimes, tragic blunders of individual soldiers, from privates to generals.” —Politico
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