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The River and the Gauntlet: Defeat of the Eighth Army by the Chinese Communist Forces, November, 1950, in the Battle of the Chongchon River, Korea
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The River and the Gauntlet: Defeat of the Eighth Army by the Chinese Communist Forces, November, 1950, in the Battle of the Chongchon River, Korea

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  46 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
The classic account of the 2nd Infantry Divisions retreat from the Chongchon River, North Korea in November, 1950.
Paperback, Reprint, 373 pages
Published December 31st 1982 by Time-Life Books, Inc. (first published 1953)
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Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the classic Korean War books by the controversial military historian S.L.A. Marshall (among the allegations the biggest is that he manufactured data claiming that in WWII only 25% of U.S. soldiers actually fired their weapons in combat.A claim that changed how the Army trained soldiers). It covers the Chinese Offensive in late November of 1950 which pushed the U.N. military forces out of North Korea and back into South Korea. Published in 1953 the book concerns itself with the battle at t ...more
May 08, 2014 rated it liked it
At the end of November, 1950, the U.S. 8th Army was defeated by Chinese Communist Forces along the Chongchon River in the northwestern part of orth Korea. Military intelligence failed to detect that a significant number of Chinese Communist Forces had already crossed into North Korea from Manchuria. The rough terrain hampered communication among U.S. forces. That, coupled with some poor decisions, led to a series of isolated small unit actions on both sides of the Chongchon River. Some of these ...more
Mar 25, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a close look at how the People's Liberation Army (the Chinese Communist Armed Forces) ambushed and defeated the US Army, in particular the 2nd and 25th Infantry Divisions. It was a muddled battle which means this is can be a muddle of a read. The focus is often down at the squad level. Marshall did a lot of interviewing for this book that was completed before the war ended, so there is an urgency and freshness to it. I found the clarity of the book to vary. At times, I could almost feel ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, SLA Marshall details just what can happen when an army is unprepared for battle. In 1950 the US Army was under-trained, under-equiped and under-armed, having been largely dismantled after 1945. Its intelligence capacity was a shadow of what it had been in WW2. The ChiComs acheived strategic and tactical surprise which gave them crushing victories. Marshall tells the stories of different platoons or companies as they were overrun and massacred. Most of the stories are told by surviv ...more
Don Heiman
May 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Marshall wrote "The River and Gauntlet" in 1953. It chronicles the U.S. Army's battle against the Chinese People's Voluntary Army in November 1950 along the Chongchon River in North Korea. The recount is written from a diarist's perspective and in great detail chronicles US Army failed strategies and tactics leading to 3,000 to 7,000 U.S. casualties. It is used by military historians to teach "lessons learned" when communications and mechanism fail in forbidding terrain in the face of formable c ...more
Been a while, but captures the heroism and challenges of Chosin Reservoir. Best read after a more general history of the Yalu/Chosin Reservoir campaign in Korean War or the war generally.
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
An amazing look at a forgotton war in all of its fury and sadness. Not the best written read of all time but an amazing story of fierce fighting, scare tactics, and a humbling defeat by China.
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Jan 31, 2009
Melinda Rubinstein
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Apr 08, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2015
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S.L.A. Marshall (full name, Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall) served in World War I and then embarked in a career in journalism. In World War II, he was chief combat historian in the Central Pacific (1943) and chief historian for the European Theater of Operations (1945). He authored some 30 books about warfare, including Pork Chop Hill: The American Fighting Man in Action, The River and the Gauntlet ...more
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