East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950

Roy Edgar Appleman, Author Texas A&M University Press $35 (399p) ISBN 978-0-89096-283-1
Appleman's book clears up one of the nagging mysteries of the Korean War: the fate of the 7thstet U.S. Division's Task Force Faith between November 27December 1, 1950, when Chinese forces surrounded it along the icy shores of the Chosin Reservoir. Due to poor command decisions and lack of communication, only 385 out of some 3000 GIs made it back to the relative safety of the Marine perimeter nearby. Appleman addresses the oft-debated question of why the Marines did not send a rescue force, and the degree to which the sacrifice of the GIs enabled the 1ststet Marine Division to accomplish its successful retreat. Based on analysis of official records and interviews with survivors, this study can be appreciated as a highly suspenseful account of a military catastrophe and as an inverted object lesson in field command under the worst possible conditions. As the author remarks, ""It would be hard to find a more nearly hopeless or more tragic story in American military history.'' Appleman wrote the highly regarded South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. Photos. (April 27)
Reviewed on: 12/01/1987
Release date: 12/01/1987
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