For Country and Corps: The Life of General Oliver P. Smith

For Country and Corps: The Life of General Oliver P. Smith

by Gail B. Shisler
     
 

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Oliver P. Smith fought at Peleliu and Okinawa and then commanded the 1st Marine Division in Korea during the assault at Inchon, the recapture of Seoul, and the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir. Called one of the twentieth century's great Marine leaders, Smith was known as an outstanding combat commander and a man of great intellect and moral courage. This… See more details below

Overview


Oliver P. Smith fought at Peleliu and Okinawa and then commanded the 1st Marine Division in Korea during the assault at Inchon, the recapture of Seoul, and the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir. Called one of the twentieth century's great Marine leaders, Smith was known as an outstanding combat commander and a man of great intellect and moral courage. This biography, written by the granddaughter he helped raise, illuminates the general's remarkable life. It draws on interviews, oral histories and a thorough examination of letters held by the family and not previously available to researchers. Gail Shisler's investigation of Smith's relationship with his Army superiors in Korea and with his Marine Corps peers and superiors takes exception to previously published descriptions and adds new insights into the Corps' postwar battle for survival.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Oliver P. Smith (1893–1977) looked more like a high school chemistry teacher than a stereotypical Marine officer, but he was one of the Marine Corps's finest combat leaders of the 20th century. In this first full-length biography, his granddaughter combines interviews and oral histories with archival and family papers in a well-rounded portrait. A contemporary observed that Smith “was good at anything.” His WWII career ranged from headquarters service in Washington to combat duty in assistant division command and a stint as chief of staff of the 10th Army on Okinawa. But Smith's achievements culminated as commander of the 1st Marine Division in Korea. In November 1950, a massive Chinese attack isolated the Marines around Chosin Reservoir. Smith directed an epic breakout that left the attacking Chinese troops crippled. Shisler tells the story well, emphasizing Smith's skill at getting the best out of his exhausted men. “Retreat, hell,” he was famously quoted as saying, “we are just attacking in a different direction.” Shisler creditably tells the story of a general who served country and corps with distinction. 25 b&w photos. (Oct. 1)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781591148265
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
10/28/2009
Pages:
323
Sales rank:
743,850
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

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