Operation Broken Reed: Truman's Secret North Korean Spy Mission That Averted World War III
Arthur L. Boyd, . . Carroll & Graf, $26.99 (280pp) ISBN 978-0-78672-086-6
Career army officer Boyd breaks his half-century of silence to tell the remarkable story of a top-secret “black” operation behind enemy lines during the Korean War. Code-named Broken Reed, the operation sent a 10-man team into North Korea to collect badly needed intelligence “on enemy capabilities and intentions” to aid President Harry Truman in making “a fateful decision”: to escalate the conflict or accept a stalemate. Boyd, a young signal corps lieutenant, was selected for the mission because of his top-secret clearance and his knowledge of Morse code. Boyd would transmit whatever intelligence the team gathered to a communications aircraft over the Sea of Japan. Inserted into North Korea by submarine, the team collected and transmitted intelligence that “revealed a staggering enemy buildup” and convinced Truman not to escalate the conflict. Discovered and ambushed, seven of the team were killed and three wounded—two grievously. In a desperate flight, the wounded reached their rendezvous point and were rescued by a waiting ship. If true—and there are “no records, transcripts, or evidence” of the operation and Boyd is the “only known survivor”—this suspenseful saga of heroism and sacrifice is further proof that truth can be stranger than fiction.
Reviewed on: 09/10/2007
Open Ebook - 322 pages - 978-0-7867-3261-6