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The Korean War

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In December 1950 General Matthew B. Ridgway replaced General Walton Walker as commander of the Eighth Army, and in April 1951 he succeeded Douglas MacArthur as supreme commander of the United Nations forces in Korea and supreme commander of the United States Far East Command. In this spirited book, General Ridgway describes how he took a dispirited army and rebuilt it in a ...more
Paperback, 362 pages
Published March 22nd 1986 by Da Capo Press (first published 1967)
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Apr 08, 2014 Checkman rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: military history readers and anyone with an interest in the war on a general level.
An interesting blend of memoir, commentary and military history by General Matthew Ridgway. General Ridgway served in the U.S. Army from 1917-1955. He is remembered for commanding the famed 82nd Airborne Division during World War II and then assuming command of the (somewhat) demoralized 8th U.S. Army in December of 1950 after General Walker (8th Army commander) was killed in a jeep accident. He is credited by many with turning the 8th U.S. Army from a battered and worn-down force into an effec ...more
Jul 21, 2007 Patrick rated it it was ok
Shelves: americanhistory
Matthew Ridgway was one of our nation's best commanders ever, right up there with Washington, Grant, and Pershing in terms of his impact on the major conflict of his time and his selfless service to our country, and a rival of Patton, Lee, and Sherman when it came to personal example in the field. Without his personal effort and example in 1951, in my opinion, we would think of Korea in the same way that we think of Viet Nam now (and the way we will likely end up thinking about Iraq once this is ...more
Olivia Knapp
Mar 23, 2017 Olivia Knapp rated it it was amazing
One of the best accounts of the Korean Conflict written by one of the best commanding Generals America has produced. Great man who is often overlooked.
Jun 02, 2009 Kaylee rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, non-fiction
This book gives you a broad picture of what the US did in Korea due to American politics. I think the biggest limitation of this book is that it fails to consider a lot of the context in which the war was occurring. I kept on getting frustrated because I wanted to know more about what was going on with the South Korean people, how they reacted to the war, and how the US collaborated with them. I also wish that Ridgway spent more time considering what was going on politically in both the north an ...more
Jul 20, 2012 George rated it really liked it
"How could it happen that a major conflict like this could explode without warning?" (page vi)
"The existence of the powerful striking force in North Korea and the massing of troops near the border were no secret from our intelligence. It was our evaluation that was at fault ..." (page 12)
"Only six days before the NKPA crossed the border in force a Central Intelligence field agency reported 'extensive troop movements' north of the 38th parallel, together with 'evacuation of all residents from the
Tom Oman
Jul 20, 2013 Tom Oman rated it it was amazing
Not particularly well written and can be a bit dense and technical at times. This is not a good comprehensive narrative of the Korean War as it is thoroughly couched in the perspective of General Ridgway. This should be obvious, but for that reason I do not recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a general history of the Korean War. Rather, this is more interesting as a supplement in order to have an account of the conflict through the eyes of the particular US General that wrote it!

Aug 18, 2013 Kevin rated it liked it
Shelves: military-history
General Ridgway was one of the generals I held in high regard. After reading this book, I reflected on my experiences in Afghanistan and found that we have not heeded many of the lessons learned from Ridgway's Korean War experience nor his comments on having a sound national strategy. If you examine the book from that perspective vs. the way it was written I think you will find it more enjoyable. I would recommend you follow up with a book called Funding the Taliban to understand my perspective.
Nov 03, 2014 Sydney rated it liked it
A little slow at times if you aren't into military strategy, but overall an interesting look at the Korean war. The two closing chapters are very pertinent to the present in terms of how we think of victory in war and the civilian/military balance of power.
Jan 07, 2015 John rated it really liked it

Very readable history from a military perspective.
General Ridgeway seems somewhat dazzled by the personality of Gen. MacArthur and eases his viewpoint somewhat.
Good overall perspective of the Korean War, with some Vietnam insights included.
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Matthew Bunker Ridgway was a United States Army general. He held several major commands and is most famous as the commander of the famed 82nd Airborne Division during World War II and for resurrecting the United Nations (U.N.) war effort during the Korean War. Several historians have credited Ridgway for turning the war around in favor of the UN side.Ridgway was also the Supreme Allied Commander, ...more
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