One Bugle, No Drums: The Marines at Chosin Reservoirby William Hopkins
Korea, December 1950. The temperature has plunged to 20-degrees below zero. Cold enough to crack rocket-launcher ammo wide open. But not cold enough to stop a massive Communist assault against U.S. forces. As the 8th Army retreats, the Marines dig in at Chosin Reservoir and are quickly cut off and surrounded. This is the riveting account of what happened next. The
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Korea, December 1950. The temperature has plunged to 20-degrees below zero. Cold enough to crack rocket-launcher ammo wide open. But not cold enough to stop a massive Communist assault against U.S. forces. As the 8th Army retreats, the Marines dig in at Chosin Reservoir and are quickly cut off and surrounded. This is the riveting account of what happened next. The brilliant Marine attack that was to become a classic in military operations. The personal heroism, private ordeals, bitter fighting, and final victory. Told in the powerful words of a man who was there, it is a story you will never forget.
- Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
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- 5 MB
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I have read other accounts of the Chosin campaign, but none of them were written by someone who was there start to finish. This book tells the story about the men who fought, and how some of them died. The book starts with the public understanding of the start of this war. All of the officers and NCO's were WWII combat veterans. The enlisted were a combination of WWII vets and those who joined the National Guard afterwards. The majority of the Marines were National Guard, because the Marine Corp was severely cut back after WWII. I have known two men who were in the 1st Division Marines on this campaign. One was the father of a close friend of mine. The other was a theater instructor at a local college - he took on the duty of helping Viet Nam vets re-enter civilian life. They *knew* he understood. Both were exceptional men. Read the Wikipedia account, and look at the casualty lists. The "non-combat" casualties were due to the extreme cold weather, typically -40. The Marine gear was not up to that temperature, but the command chain recognized the problem and took effective measures against the worst problems, saving both lives and limbs. After the conflict, the vets created the "Chosin Few", who successfully lobbied Congress for better cold weather gear. The author is critical of one tactic used by the US Command: the bombing of civilian villages. Sadly, the consequences of this tactic was ignored in Viet Nam. The book is also critical of MacArthur, who had is HQ far away, and would not listen to his field commanders, who had a *very* good idea of where the North Korean and Chinese troops were. This campaign was also the first real test of close air support. The author details the creation and use of this tactic, and how it was very effective. The writing style is casual, not stilted. There are stories about specific Marines, including some who were personal friends. The author had to tell some of their wives how they died. The book ends with two reports by S L. A. Marshal, a historian who interviewed the vets after they were made it back to base. These are analyses of the tactics of both sides, classified Secret for many years. In short, this is a superb book on the Chosin Reservoir campaign. The good, bad, and ugly. this forgotten campaign ranks up at the top of the Marine Corp history, along with the major WWII battles.