THE GUNNER'S HANDS DROVE THE TRIPOD'S JAMMING HANDLES FREE, THE HEAVY MACHINE GUN AND CRADLE DROPPING TO A LOW PROFILE. HE JAMMED TIGHT THE HANDLES ONCE MORE, THEN PULLED THE GUN AND TRIPOD TO NEW COVER, TAKING TO THE EARTH DOWN IN THE SOIL LIKE A MOLE. HE SIGHTED, FIRED A BURST AND FOLLOWED THE TRACER LINE. HE ADJUSTED BY TRACER.
THE MEDIC WORKED WOUNDED ON AN OUTPOST OF THE DEAD. A MORTAL SILENCE HAD FALLEN. BONE AND SINEW WERE DIVIDED IN TWO, BODIES BLEEDING BENEATH THE GRIM DUST OF BATTLE THAT SHADED GRISTLY REMAINS FROM THE BURNING SUN. HOW MANY CRUSHED AND TORN ENEMY WERE SEVERED FOREVER FROM THEIR FIVE SENSES?
HE FELT IT WAS MADNESS TO FIGHT FOR CHOICE HUMPTY BACKS TO SHOOT FROM TO KILL ONE ANOTHER. THERE WAS NO END. ACROSS THE NEXT VALLEY ROSE A CHAIN OF OTHER PEAKS CLEAR THROUGH NORTH KOREA AND INTO MANCHURIA. WAS THE WELL BEING OF THE EIGHT ARMY MORE ASSURED ON ANY ONE HIGH PEAK AS OPPOSED TO ANOTHER? WHAT MADNESS MUST OCCUPY THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO TALK A TRUCE RESTING ON ONE PEAK AS OPPOSED TO ANOTHER!
THE POWER OF INFANTRYMEN WAS BASED ON HUMAN RATHER THAN PLANNER'S POWER. FRONT LINE MEN HAD LEARNED TO FIGHT DOWN FRIGHT, ALTHOUGH THEY ALWAYS HAD FEAR. THEIR CONFIDENCE IN THEMSELVES DEPENDED UPON THEIR SKILLS WITH THEIR WEAPONS, FAITH IN THEIR SQUAD LEADERS, TRUST IN THEIR SQUAD MEMBERS, ASSURED EACH WOULD BACK THE OTHER. SQUAD DISCIPLINE DIDN'T IMPLY AN UNTHINKING OBEDIENCE; IT IMPLIED INITIATIVE AND SKILL RELENTLESSLY PRESERVED FOR THE SQUAD'S OBJECTIVE. IT MEANT OVER RULING INSTINCT, AND MINIMIZING REFLECTION ON THE STALLED TRUCE TALKS.
IN LATE NOVEMBER THE FREEZE WAS MOVING FROM WEST TO EAST, WITH WINDS FROM THE NORTHWEST AT TWENTY-FIVE KNOTS PER HOUR WITH GUSTS UP TO FORTY KNOTS. IT WOULD FREEZE THE RIVER THAT THE EIGHT ARMY OR CHINESE COMMUNIST FORCES MIGHT WALK ON WATER.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book tells of the life of a group of gunnery soldiers who find themselves sent to Korea in the early 1950’s. Their lives are not easy and they depend on one another completely. This story develops characters well while telling of camaraderie, loss, bravery and battle while including the grit, grime and grimness of young men who find they need to work together to stay alive. I believe anyone who enjoys war stories and wants to know more about the US army in Korea at this time will enjoy this very well written book.