Valleys of Death: A Memoir of the Korean War

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From the devastating counterattack at Unsan to the thirty-four months he spent in captivity-a period of years in which giving up surely meant dying-Colonel Richardson's instinct for leadership and stubborn will to survive saw him through one valley of death after another.

Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination that offers a fascinating, intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the Cold War in the unvarnished words of one of ...

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Valleys of Death: A Memoir of the Korean War

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Overview

From the devastating counterattack at Unsan to the thirty-four months he spent in captivity-a period of years in which giving up surely meant dying-Colonel Richardson's instinct for leadership and stubborn will to survive saw him through one valley of death after another.

Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination that offers a fascinating, intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the Cold War in the unvarnished words of one of their own. Richardson endured many long months of starvation, torture, sleep deprivation, and attempts at indoctrination by the Chinese, yet remained defiant under conditions designed to break the mind, body and spirit of men.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Richardson looks back at the 1950s when he was a master sergeant with the First Cavalry Division in Korea. After U.S. Army occupation duty from 1946 to 1950 in Italy, Germany, and Austria, and the U.N. vote to defend South Korea, he was reassigned to Fort Devens, Mass., to train recruits in weaponry. Shortly after arriving in Taegu, South Korea, their battalion was subjected to North Korean attacks. He recalls both fear and acts of bravery amid the deafening explosions, flying shrapnel, mortar and artillery fire, mass slaughter, bodies lying in piles, and the stunned reaction after a message dropped from a plane: "We were on our own. No relief column was on its way... and if we stayed in this hellhole we would all die." The final third of the book details his torture and starvation during 34 months as a POW, concluding with a short summary of his later military career. Aided by journalist Maurer, Richardson never pulls his punches in these vivid descriptions of bloody combat action, interrupted by occasional flashbacks to his youth on the streets of Philadelphia Photos, maps. (Dec.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425236734
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Colonel William (Bill) Richardson, U.S.A. (Ret.) and his wife Claire have been married for 56 years and have five children. They live in North Carolina. Kevin Maurer is an award-winning reporter who also lives in North Carolina.
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

1 War 1

2 Forming the Battalion 17

3 Movement to the Far East 31

4 Pusan 45

5 Baptism of Fire 53

6 Dark Days of Summer 63

7 Tide Turns 87

8 Pursuit to the 38th Parallel 101

9 The General 119

10 We Can't Hold the Bridge 137

11 Trapped 153

12 Dying One by One 167

13 Breakout 183

14 Capture and Escape 197

15 Death March 207

16 Valley of the Shadow of Death 217

17 Reminiscent of Andersonville 237

18 The Morgue 253

19 Truman's Running Dogs 265

20 Preparation for Escape 281

21 The Last Year 291

22 Freedom 299

Epilogue 319

Index 325

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