East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950

Overview


In November, 1950, with the highly successful Inchon Landing behind him, Gen. Douglas MacArthur planned the last major offensive of what was to be a brief "conflict": the drive that would push the North Koreans across the Yalu River into Manchuria. In northern Korea, US forces assembled at Chosin Reservoir to cut behind the North Korean forces blocking the planned march to Manchuria. Roy E. Appleman, noted historian of the Korean conflict, describes the tragic fate of the troops of the 31st Regimental Combat ...
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Overview


In November, 1950, with the highly successful Inchon Landing behind him, Gen. Douglas MacArthur planned the last major offensive of what was to be a brief "conflict": the drive that would push the North Koreans across the Yalu River into Manchuria. In northern Korea, US forces assembled at Chosin Reservoir to cut behind the North Korean forces blocking the planned march to Manchuria. Roy E. Appleman, noted historian of the Korean conflict, describes the tragic fate of the troops of the 31st Regimental Combat Team which fought this engagement and presents a thorough analysis of the physical conditions, attitudes, and command decisions that doomed them.
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Editorial Reviews

General - M. B. Ridgway
"An exhaustively researched revelation of what went wrong, and why, in the tragedy of U.S. Army operations in northeast Korea in 1950."—Gen. M. B. Ridgway, USA (Ret.)
Gen. M. B. Ridgway

"An exhaustively researched revelation of what went wrong, and why, in the tragedy of U.S. Army operations in northeast Korea in 1950."--Gen. M. B. Ridgway, USA (Ret.)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Appleman's book clears up one of the nagging mysteries of the Korean War: the fate of the 7thstet U.S. Division's Task Force Faith between November 27December 1, 1950, when Chinese forces surrounded it along the icy shores of the Chosin Reservoir. Due to poor command decisions and lack of communication, only 385 out of some 3000 GIs made it back to the relative safety of the Marine perimeter nearby. Appleman addresses the oft-debated question of why the Marines did not send a rescue force, and the degree to which the sacrifice of the GIs enabled the 1ststet Marine Division to accomplish its successful retreat. Based on analysis of official records and interviews with survivors, this study can be appreciated as a highly suspenseful account of a military catastrophe and as an inverted object lesson in field command under the worst possible conditions. As the author remarks, ``It would be hard to find a more nearly hopeless or more tragic story in American military history.'' Appleman wrote the highly regarded South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. Photos. (April 27)
Library Journal
Much has been written about the Marines' fighting retreat from the frozen Chosin Reservoir after they were overwhelmed by Chinese troops during MacArthur's push to the Yalu River. Several small Army units also took part in the action, but their story has been neglected until now. Appleman is a U.S. Army historian, and he writes for a professional audience. The casual reader will be perplexed by the book's intricate description of military units, place names, and timetables, but will appreciate the complexities of modern ground combat. This microscopic study nicely supplements the larger canvas painted in Alexander Bevin's Korea: the first war we lost (LJ 6/15/86). For serious military collections only. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
From the Publisher
"A highly suspenseful account of a military catastrophe and...an inverted object lesson in field command under the worst possible conditions." —-Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

Meet the Author


The late Roy E. Appleman wrote five books on the “war of maneuver” in Korea, among them Ridgway Duels for Korea, which won the Truman Library Book Award. During the Korean War, he served as an army historian, interviewing troops shortly after combat. He left his papers, including all interviews related to the Chosin campaign research, to the Army History Center at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2003

    Sacrafice Beyond The Limits.

    This factual and excellant history of men, who endured untold suffering, until now, in this "Forgotten War" needed telling long ago. It's the one book I have read that tells it like it was, and points out the almost criminal neglect of the High Command structure all the way back to Japan. Why did the Generals let this Task Force be destroyed? The serious historian will know by reading this excellant book.

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