Colder than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir

Naval Institute Press
18
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During the early, uncertain days of the Korean War, World War II veteran and company lieutenant Joe Owen saw firsthand how the hastily assembled mix of some two hundred regulars and raw reservists hardened into a superb Marine rifle company known as Baker-One-Seven.

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.
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About the author

Owen, a Marine first lieutenant when he commanded the platoon in Baker-One-Seven, served on active duty from 1943-1946 and from 1948-1952. He divides his time between Skaneateles, NY and Naples, Florida. He is now retired from his marketing business.

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4.8
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Additional Information

Publisher
Naval Institute Press
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Published on
Oct 11, 2012
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9781612512228
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Korean War
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The battle of White Horse lasted ten days, with many lives lost. This story concentrates on the first two days of the battle, as recounted by Joe Adams, Jack Callaway, and the rest from the 213th Field Artillery Battalion who were there. These two days coincide with the letters and personal remembrances of these men and this story is based on their real life experiences. The events and people are real, coming from those personal interviews, declassified documents and historical reference. What they went through is real, documented history. This is a story in that their actual minute-by-minute interactions and words have been interpreted, all with the spirit and intent of their every word. Not one of them has ever bragged about what they did or thought of themselves as some great warrior soldier. Everyone simply did what they had to do, and that there was no glory in it.

Not just another war story, this is an attempt to put the reader there in the thick it, to be a participant in battle and to feel what it was like to be in the Forgotten War. Exploding artillery shells, bullets striking targets, the eeriness of flares drifting down over a battlefield, breathing the dust of trenches on a hill in the middle of a far off place. Taking the reader out of their seat and putting a rifle in their hands, this story transports you a thousand miles away from your surroundings to an artillery battery receiving incoming mail, trench lines where death is around every corner, and a bunker on a hill where some of the most violent combat takes place. This book lets you feel, taste and smell it like it was, brutal, unforgiving, and above all, a cold hard reality for those that were there.

The book that 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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