Shadow Warriors: The Covert War in Korea


Praise for The Great Raid on Cabanatuan "An exciting narrative presented by a first-rate storyteller." —Publishers Weekly Acclaim for Feuding Allies "An absorbing look at the impact of Alliance politics on the outcome of WW II." —Kirkus Reviews

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Shadow Warriors: The Covert War in Korea

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Praise for The Great Raid on Cabanatuan "An exciting narrative presented by a first-rate storyteller." —Publishers Weekly Acclaim for Feuding Allies "An absorbing look at the impact of Alliance politics on the outcome of WW II." —Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On the eve of its invasion of South Korea in June 1950, North Korea employed a trick so clever as to prompt comparisons to the Trojans and their wooden horse. Through a complex scheme involving false defectors to South Korea, North Korea created such a compelling diversion that Western military officials ignored obvious signs of the impending attack. Here, the vastly prolific Breuer (last year's Feuding Allies, etc.) shows that the "Trojan horse" episode was but one of scores of covert missions conducted by the U.S., China and both Koreas around the time of the conflict. Interweaving fresh material and much that is already known of the "forgotten war," he packs his absorbing text with colorful yarns about such missions as a U.S. Army official's attempt to infiltrate North Korea and kidnap a corpse so that he might test it for signs of the plague. But Breuer includes nuggets of key information as well, including details of the secretive Joint Services Operation, which ran American clandestine ops in Korea-making this as suitable for serious students of history as for fans of cloak-and-dagger mayhem, military-style. (May)
Library Journal
Military historian Breuer (J. Edgar Hoover and His G-Men, Greenwood, 1995) offers the first history of covert activity during the Korean War. His Gcoverage ranges from clandestine missions behind enemy lines to espionage, the early evolution of the CIA, and Communist and allied propaganda programs. Firsthand interviews preserve the memory of incidents that would otherwise have been forgotten in history. The only other volume to devote any detailed coverage to this topic is Rod Paschall's Witness to War: Korea (LJ 6/1/95). Recommended for Korean War collections, not because of any special merit but because it is the only volume currently available on this topic.-Richard S. Nowicki, Emerson Vocational H.S., Buffalo, N.Y.
Kirkus Reviews
In an engrossing tale of unsung heroes and high-risk missions, military historian Breuer (Feuding Allies, 1995, etc.) penetrates the little-known espionage, propaganda, and guerilla operations of the Korean war.

When well-equipped, Soviet trained North Korean troops crossed the 38th parallel on June 15, 1950, in what Breuer calls a "second Pearl Harbor," the overmatched South Korean defenders were quickly driven into a small pocket in southeastern Korea called the Pusan Peninsula. There they held fast, with the emergency support of newly arrived (but inexperienced) American troops. The covert war began almost immediately. General Douglas MacArthur's special warfare unit spread disinformation before his surprise landing at Inchon in the enemy rear. Army and CIA units trained many South Koreans and sent them North to spy and to carry out guerrilla operations, often with great success. Yet the North Koreans and their Chinese allies had their covert victories, too. Communist forces often seemed to know when and where the UN forces would attack. Breuer tracks these leaks back to the highly placed British traitors Philby, Burgess, and MacLean, who sent copies of US plans to Moscow. And the Communist propaganda machine lied so effectively about American "atrocities" that some countries demanded investigations, while, Breuer reveals, the Communist military tortured and killed POWs (including Americans) and civilians. While China and the Soviet Union were officially neutral in the war's early days, Breuer finds that Chinese and Soviet soldiers and airmen (with their equipment and supplies) were covertly available to the North Koreans, as they were later to the Communists in North Vietnam.

Built on personal interviews and sound secondary research, Breuer's account should please both students of modern military history and espionage enthusiasts.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471144380
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 4/18/1996
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Sales rank: 998,989
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM B. BREUER is one of today's most popular military historians and the author of twenty-three books, including Feuding Allies, The Great Raid on Cabanatuan, and MacArthur's Undercover War.
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Table of Contents

Partial table of contents:

A Tangled Web of Politics.

A Conspiracy in Moscow.

A Ruse to Mask an Invasion.

Search for a Scapegoat.

Reign of Terror in Seoul.

A Clandestine Organization Is Born.

Spying on the Enemy.

Guiding in a Fleet.

A Secret Trek to the Yalu.

Three Communist Masterspies.

Top Secret: The Li Mi Project.

Father Sam and the Soviet Agent.

An Espionage Conspiracy Unmasked.

A POW Camp Propaganda Machine.

The Donkeys of Yellow Sea Province.

Soviet Troops and Pilots in Disguise.

The Big Bug Bonanza.

A Scheme to Kidnap Syngman Rhee.


Notes and Sources.



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