The Korean Warby Paul M. Edwards
Despite the American tendency to bypass it, the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 was a watershed in American history. It was in Korea, for the first time, that the United States committed its armed forces to limiting an expansion, by Communist forces, which many believed was designed to take over the world; it was also the first war that a world organization, the
Despite the American tendency to bypass it, the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 was a watershed in American history. It was in Korea, for the first time, that the United States committed its armed forces to limiting an expansion, by Communist forces, which many believed was designed to take over the world; it was also the first war that a world organization, the United Nations, played a military role. The conflict in Korea was a war that was fought in hardship and danger by the grunt, the man and woman in the field, bringing an end to the myth that possession of an atomic bomb made conventional warfare unnecessary. Training, usually with World II weapons, life on the front, care of the wounded and the dead, and coming home, are just some of the topics covered in The Korean War. In addition, a timeline of events, a helpful topically arranged bibliography of recommended sources, and illustrations, including many photos taken by the soldiers themselves, bring this period into full focus.
Author Paul Edwards, himself a veteran of the Korean War, tells the story of unheralded soldiers who fought in a misunderstood war. Among the issues covered are
- The background leading to the war.
- Raising the military forces to carry out the dictates of both the U.S. government and the United Nations, often by recalling soldiers who had only recently been mustered out of World War II service.
- The difficulties of adjusting to life under both garrison and combat environments in an unfamiliar part of the world for most, where temperatures could range from freezing cold to unbearably hot.
- Recreation, religion, entertainment for the troops, and soldiers' efforts to help Koreans hurt by the war.
- Treatment of the wounded, improved by advances in evacuation methods, the development of the helicopter, and the creation of the Mobile Army Surgical Unit, or MASH.
- The hard time that veterans had in returning to an American society that often ignored their accomplishments.
"Today, 50-plus years after the conflict, the experience of being a soldier during the Korean War is generally unknown. Edwards presents a concise text for students and general readers offering an overview of the daily routines of soldiers during The Forgotten War. Coverage includes background information on the outbreak of the war and physical and cultural aspects of Korea; phases and campaigns; the process of raising a military force for the war; learning to be a soldier and to fight with WWII weapons; life on the front; care of the wounded and dead; life behind the line; soldiers' attitudes about enemies and allies; media, morale, and myths; religion, relaxation, and entertainment; returning home; and how the war is remembered by veterans. The text also includes a timeline and an extensive bibliography."
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Meet the Author
PAUL M. EDWARDS is Professor Emeritus and the Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of the Korean War on Graceland University's Independence, Missouri, campus. Among his publications are The Hill Wars of the Korean Conflict (2006); A to Z of the Korean War (2005); The Korean War: A Historical Dictionary (2003); The Korean War: A Documentary History (1999); A Guide to Films of the Korean War (1997); and The Inchon Landing, Korea (1994). Dr. Edwards is a veteran of the Korean War.
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