From the Hudson to the Yalu: West Point '49 in the Korean War / Edition 1

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1st Edition, Fine/Fine- Stated "First Edition". Clean, bright & tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. ISBN 0890965544

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1993 Hardcover 1st Edition New in New dust jacket 1.25 x 9.31 x 6.34 Inches 279 pp; Excellent book, dust jacket protected in clear broadart cover; Always Delivery Confirmation. ... 35 Years Fast Excellent Service. We Know How To Pack Books. Read more Show Less

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They entered West Point shortly before the end of World War II. Four years later the class of USMA ‘49 graduated amid peacetime military cutbacks and national complacency. A year later these young officers were plunged into a cruel and unexpected war and were forced to compensate, by valor and leadership, for the nation’s unpreparedness. Some called it a U.N. Police Action, but to the 2nd lieutenants fighting as platoon leaders, forward observers, and jet pilots, it was war to the fullest.

Men of ‘49 served along the Naktong Perimeter, landed at Inchon, flew combat missions against Chinese MiG’s, and fought the war of maneuver, and of stalemate, from Pusan to the Yalu. They fought well—some to their death. These are their individual stories, based on the ‘49ers’ own firsthand accounts, of what it was like to enter combat, as one said “green as grass,” and suddenly face life-and-death responsibility for American troops entrusted to their care. It is the story of men such as Sam Coursen, awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing a wounded comrade at the cost of his own life; of Ranger hero Ralph Puckett, fighting off the initial Chinese onslaught; of D. D. Overton, becoming an ace as he scores his fifth aerial victory; or of Herb Marshburn, dying heroically as he leads men trying to escape a Chinese trap.

The author, who went to Korea as an armored officer but wound up leading an infantry platoon, uses his own story as a narrative framework for this chronicle of the Korean War years. He brings the big picture to life by means of vivid stories of that “forgotten war,” told by men who knew it face-to-face at the junior officer level.

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Editorial Reviews

Thomas Fleming

“As an historian of West Point, I found it deeply moving. It is an important contribution to the historical record of West Pointers in American history, as well as to the history of the military academy. This is one of those rare books about a war by a thoughtful soldier who was there—and has the literary ability to bring the experience alive in all its complexity. The boredom, the confusion, the heroism, the pathos of the Korean War live in these pages. No aficionado of military history should miss this book.”--Thomas Fleming, author of West Point: The Men and Times of the U.S. Military Academy, The Officers’ Wives, and My Country Tis of Thee (HarperCollins, due out in spring 1994)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The author, a member of the West Point class of '49, has written an absorbing memoir of his service the following year in Korea as a platoon leader with the 24th Division and later as an aide to the division's commanding general. Maihafer was on the scene during the most perilous period of the conflict: the defense of the Pusan Perimeter, the push north after the Inchon landing and the Eighth Army's retreat after the Chinese Communists entered the war. He sets his memoirs within the overall tactical dynamics of the 1950-1953 conflict and, as openings present themselves, relates the combat experiences of his West Point classmates throughout the war. This includes the brief, spectacular, tragic combat career of Lt. William Douglas Bush Jr., an F-86 pilot who, as a lark, asked for and received permission to make a parachute jump with the 187th Regimental Combat Team during his annual 30-day leave, and served as one of its forward air controllers until he was killed by mortar fire. Maihafer's running descriptions of action at the platoon level, combined with his comments on small-unit leadership in battle, make this one of the most memorable books to come out of the Korean War. Photos. (Dec.)
The author uses his own experiences as a narrative framework for this chronicle of the Korean War years. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Harry J. Maihafer, a retired army colonel and banker, is now a fulltime free-lance writer. His articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Military History, Army, Military Review, and the Naval Institute Proceedings. Mahaifer’s twenty years of military service included two duty tours in the Far East and one in Europe. He also taught military psychology and leadership at West Point and served in the Pentagon. He and his wife Jeanne now make their home in Nashville, Tennessee.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
1 School Is Out: June-July 1950 3
2 Seeing the Elephant: 1-12 August 15
3 The Pusan Perimeter: 13-23 August 28
4 Fighting Fires: 24 August-5 September 45
5 The Perimeter Holds: 6-14 September 67
6 Striking Back: 15-20 September 82
7 Heading North: 20 September-4 October 104
8 Pursuit into North Korea: 5 October-3 November 123
9 CCF Intervention: 4-29 November 145
10 X Corps Retreat from Chosin: 29 October-30 December 169
11 Eighth Army Retreat: 30 November-31 December 181
12 Attack and Counterattack: 1 January-31 March 1951 201
13 Spring Offensive: 1 April-30 June 226
14 Stalemate: July 1951-July 1953 240
Appendix A: "It's Happening on Your Own Front Lawn" 260
Appendix B: Korean War Service, USMA '49 263
Index 271
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