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“A comprehensive and impressively written history of the Korean War.”
“The lesson of the Korean War as it has not yet been told by anyone . . . terse, machine-gun bursts of common sense.”
Posted February 19, 2012
This book is a compelling, unflinching, and well written history of the Korean conflict. The author weaves larger perspectives into the gritty frontline accounts, which I thought gave an amazing sense of clarity and vision to the overall account. As a lifelong reader of military history, I unreservedly recommend it to anyone seeking to better understand the reasons and uncertainty associated with war in general, and Korea in particular.
To the reviewer of 6 July 2004: your review does a massive disservice to this book and author. You have hijacked a quality, candid history as a vehicle for some political propaganda and outlined a thesis that the author never comes even close to describing in the book. If you feel this way, please write your own book--don't attach yourself to someone else's work and then misrepresent it.
Posted December 17, 2004
This is the definitive history of the Korean War. This is also the definitive book of military history in the Twentieth Century, quite possibly the finest textbook ever written on such matters. It compares favorably with most modern translations of the Iliad. Fehrenbach's prose is elegant and brutal, and the stories he tells are moving--and instructive. He speaks of why nations go to war, why men fight, and the relationship between professional soldiers and the societies they protect.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 6, 2004
US Army officer T. R. Fehrenbach¿s history gives a vivid picture of the Korean War, a brutal war of aggression in which United Nations forces led by the US intervened in Korea¿s civil war. This aggression killed 2.5 million soldiers and more than two million Korean civilians. US General Douglas MacArthur ordered his forces to ¿destroy every factory, city, village.¿ The United States Air Force dropped more bombs on Korea than on all Europe in all of World War Two. As Fehrenbach wrote, ¿Day by day, night by night, over the long months and years, it levelled each city, each shop and factory and mine in North Korea ¿ Bit by bit, Yongsan was being removed from the face of the earth, a fate which, tragically, was to befall almost every town and city within Korea during the coming months.¿ When US forces briefly reoccupied the Democratic People¿s Republic of Korea¿s territory, they surrounded the city of Inch¿on and let the South Korean troops in to slaughter 150,000 people. As Fehrenbach wrote, ¿Once Inch¿on had been encircled, ROK Special Marines were allowed to enter the city to mop up. This they accomplished with such a vengeance that for a number of hours no man, woman or child of Inch¿on, friend or foe, was safe.¿ Fehrenbach wrote of the POWs held by the Chinese and North Koreans, ¿almost all POWs were under the misapprehension that they might be tortured at any time. They were threatened with it, though it did not materialise.¿ By contrast, hundreds of prisoners held by the UN were killed, and others beaten until they agreed not to go home. Chinese forces went into Korea to prevent MacArthur from occupying all Korea and attacking the People¿s Republic of China, which would have started World War Three. Fehrenbach summed up their success, ¿They would fight, in their own way, in their own mountains, and they would inflict upon American arms the most decisive defeat they had suffered in the century.¿ They had ¿fought the world¿s greatest power to a standstill¿. Workers¿ nationalism defeated the self-styled superpower.
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Posted September 22, 2000
I first read thsi book in 1966 while stationed in Viet-nam. Since then, I have read it at least 100 times..This book covers it all: the nature of man, and a true insight to what war is really like.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 15, 2000
Fehrenbach lays the groundwork for the book by depicting the degraded and pathetic state of the military following VJ day. He eloquently shows how centralized control and oppressive rules and regulations stifles leadership and causes good combat leaders to leave the service. Without these good leaders, we see the performance of our armed forces in times of strife. Parallels are easily drawn between 1950 and 1999 as to the status of the US Military. The book does not delve deeply into the individual campaigns, but it does give you an idea of this great struggle that was war and not a police action.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 26, 2010
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