Renowned military historian S.L.A. Marshall was in Korea in 1953, deep in enemy territory when Pork Chop Hill was overrun with Red Chinese troops. A handful of U.S. GIs on the frontline fought the Chinese and won. His classic account of the battle is "a distinguished contribution to the literature of war" ("The New York Times").Renowned military historian S.L.A. Marshall was in Korea in 1953, deep in enemy territory when Pork Chop Hill was overrun with Red Chinese troops. A handful of U.S. GIs on the frontline fought the Chinese and won. His classic account of the battle is "a distinguished contribution to the literature of war" ("The New York Times").Read Less
This book, like Marshall's classic The River and the Gauntlet, deals with armed battle, up close and personal. It is appallingly vivid, and certainly not everyone's cup of tea. But for those who know, or wish to know, the meaning of warfare, Marshall's narrative is as realistic and as gripping as you will find anywhere in the English language. I went to Korea in the late summer of 1950, as did most other American soldiers stationed in Japan at the time. For 13 months I spent each day with one focus...staying alive. I was lucky and came home in one piece. I did not, thank God, participate in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, but I knew people who did. Marshall's depiction is bloodily precise.
Apr 9, 2009
General S L A Marshall wrote the history of a minor battle in the late stages of the Korean War, and produced a masterpiece of infantry history. Korea was world War I all over again: trenches, bunkers, "no man's land," and patrol after patrol, with absolutely no movement of the main line of resistance. The conduct of this war, on the allies side was nearly criminal in its waste of good men. Our soldiers' tours were too short to let them learn the arts of infantry combat, and they were, as SLAM put it, "badly under-divisioned." For the Chinese, it was advanced infantry school, with live ammo, courtesy the USA. The Chinese troops acquired excellent experience and learned the arts of the infantry, while our own troops provided the targets. Still, in many engagements, our troops held and won their combats. With determined political leadership, the Korean war could have gone the other way, and history with it.
Anyone interested in the wars of the USA should read this book.
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