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The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat
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The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  2,175 ratings  ·  166 reviews
November 1950, the Korean Peninsula: After General MacArthur ignores Mao’s warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge ...more
Hardcover, 353 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published December 2nd 2008)
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,175 ratings  ·  166 reviews


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Jason Koivu
Nov 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Whenever something's titled "the last stand of" you know it doesn't end well for whoever's name is unfortunate enough to come after the "of".

Bob Drury and Tom Clavin's The Last Stand of Fox Company spotlights a horrendous engagement during the Korean War, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Extreme freezing temperatures, the introduction of Chinese forces fighting on the North Korean's side, and the enemy's overwhelming numbers created one of the most adverse battle conditions in military history. S
...more
Colleen
Dec 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, reviewed
This remarkable book tells the unbelievable story of a small company of Marines fighting to hold open a mountain pass in Korea. Out-numbered and out-gunned, these 246 Marines hold off 10,000 Chinese soldiers determined to overtake the Toktong Pass near the Choisin Resevoir. The story of their eight day battle is a moving account of bravery and of sacrifice.

Drury and Clavin have given the reader a riveting day-by-day picture of the efforts of this extraordinary group of soliders. The narrative is
...more
Mike
May 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the Marine Museum, four signature 20th Century battles are honored. We all know about 3 of them, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, Khe Sanh…but Fox Hill? I had never heard of this battle. The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat is one of the best accounts of a small-unit action in a major battle I have come across. For 6 days, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, Seventh Regiment fought off the CCF 59th Division and held open a key choke point on the main supply route to the Chosin ...more
Carol Storm
Apr 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everything the titles promises and more -- non stop action, inspirational stories, a look at a breed of fighting men who have never been equaled anywhere -- the United States Marines!
Matthew Phelps
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic story of the heroic Marines of Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 7th Marines, near the chosin Reservoir of North Korea in November, 1950. Although it reads like a novel and as one of the most accessible battle accounts I've read, it is very real and based on interviews of survivors and historical reports. I paused several times in pure awe of the men who fought and died, and by the end was having to pause every few paragraphs to choke back tears. As a Marine, this book speaks to me on a level ...more
Sweetwilliam
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this audio book. There was never a dull moment and they used a lot of Marine Corps colloquialisms and vernacular which makes the testimony more authentic for this ex-Marine. What the Marines accomplished in the Chosin Reservoir was nothing short of incredible. Fox Company's stand will go down in the annals of The United States Marine Corps. While the army units in X Corp were falling apart, the United States Marine Corp stood firm and exercised an orderly withdraw. Fox held open ...more
Jeffrey Miller
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the accounts of specific battles of the Korean War, none are more vivid, riveting, and intense as the one described in The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of US Marines in Combat. The authors place you right there with the Marines on Fox Hill in one of the most gallant, heroic stands of the Korean War. Although there have been numerous firsthand accounts of the war, specifically Martin Russ’s The Last Parallel: A Marine’s War Journal and Joe Owen’s Colder than Hell, The Last Stand ...more
Charlie Jones
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Charlie by: LCpl Cox, USMC
Shelves: war
I am not a Marine and I don't imagine that I ever will be. However, I don't think you need to be a Marine to appreciate the story of heroism and brotherhood that is this book. This is not a book that glorifies war or attempts to justify war in any way. There is nothing political about it. This book is about the men who were asked to fight in the name of the United States in a country that one Marine Officer claimed Genghis Khan wouldn’t have tried to tackle. Throughout this book the experiences ...more
Gerry
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a harrowing account of a battle location that held strategic importance for the rear movement of the American Forces leaving the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. There were only minor parts in this book that I didn't care for but the detail on the battle and struggle over the course of 6 days + 2 more were well accounted for. Some of these young men lost their lives in a place far away that is all but forgotten today by the vast majority of Americans. This story is of Fox Company ...more
K.M. Weiland
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the points this book makes is that the Korean War is often overlooked altogether, particularly in comparison to its "big brother" WWII. This was certainly the case for me. Historical wars are of particular interest for me, but what I've read about Korea could fill a teaspoon. Not only was this book a fascinating primer on the subject, it is also an incredibly good tale in its own right.

The authors do a great job of interweaving the soldiers' personal stories with the overall schematics of
...more
Lee
I've ranted about crappy editing in military works for years. Now, I need to add clueless book narrators to the mix. I may read this in print someday, but I couldn't listen to the reader mispronounce "X Corps" and "Garland rifle" after the first disc.
Jack
I finished this one in record time. Nothing is more thrilling than reading about those surrounded by vastly superior numbers holding on by a thread and ultimately winning. Oh yeah, throw in an extreme winter to top it off. One of the hallmark episodes of the vaunted US Marine Corps is the battle of Fox Company on Fox hill. No one truly knows how many Chinese soldiers perished during the siege of approximately 1 week. One to three thousand Chinese died attempting to throw the Marines off the hill ...more
Jennifer Harper
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The TV show MASH brought the Korean War into the living rooms of millions, but if you want to know what it was like for the soldiers on the field, this book is a must read. It is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and tells the tale of how ordinary young men, most of them teenagers, rose up against seemingly insurmountable odds to become heroes.
Bob Drury and Tom Clavin provide a revealing glimpse into the life of a Marine grunt. You can feel the bitter cold, the pain, the hunger of the
...more
Julie
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
An amazing and horrific account! For those of us whose awareness of the Korean War comes mostly from watching Alan Alda and Loretta Swift (like me), this book is a must read. I feel a bit foolish admitting that I had no idea what this war was about, and I certainly was even more clueless about Fox Company and what those Marines faced, endured, and survived.

I "read" this as an audiobook. The narrator sounded like an news anchor from the 50s, but his gruff style was effective in portraying Marine
...more
Wally
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am amazed that this story isn't taught to our children in school. How did we get to the point where we forgot the heroism of our ancestors? This story of courage and dedication make me proud of my heritage as an American and ashamed that I am just now finding out about it. How could I be so blind to not have learned about what our educators have worked so hard to discredit?
Bethanyweed
Jul 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
And suddenly I'm interested in the Korean War! CRAZY CRAZY stuff these men went through. So much respect and admiration. The story of Fox Company, who was required to hold one stupid hill at all costs-for days-through below freezing conditions and constant attack by an innumerable enemy...
Joshua Emil
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: military-history
He (Col. Litzenberg, CO, 7th Marine Regiment) offered Barber the option of leading Fox Company off the hill and fighting his way back down to Hagaru-ri. "Your call," he said.
Barber had discussed this alternative with his XO (Executive Officer), Clark Wright, only moments before. Moving his wounded was a major consideration, but so was tactical strategy. "Well, hell, we're already here," he had finally told Wright. "If we're ever going to get the Seventh together in one piece anywhere, north or
...more
Jeff Jellets
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing

We either hold this hill … or everybody dies.

In November 1950, a noose was tightening around the necks of U.S. Marine and Army forces fighting on the Korean peninsula. The troops, which had routed the North Korean military and were advancing steadily northward to the Yalu River, appeared poised to take complete control of North Korean territory. But what American troops didn’t know was that they were walking right into a trap. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers had slipped into the frozen
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Andrew Downing
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my attitude towards life. I have schizophrenia and look for inspiration to tackle my daily obstacles well and this story provided the lift that I was seeking. I take large quantities of powerful sedatives everyday. My liver is at risk and my body is exhausted nearly everyday. I have taken 2000mg of punishing meds for over fifteen years and have been hospitalized twice. Oh well, I didn't need to survive Fox Hill!!! Thank you veterans for your service and strength. Your sacrifice ...more
Alan Kaplan
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Last Stand of Fox Company is about a forgotten battle in a forgotten war, The Korean Conflict from 1950-1953. After North Korea attacked South Korea, the United States and the United Nations entered the war. As the allies were approaching the Yalu River in North Korea, the Chinese army arrived in force. This was unknown to the United States. 10,000 US troops were surrounded by more that 100,000 Chinese soldiers. Fox Company controlled the essential road that would allow other besieged US tro ...more
Bill Conrad
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
They call the Korean War, “the forgotten war.” That term is an insult to the First Division Marines who fought so hard. Fortunately, The Last Stand of Fox Company captured their story and Bob Drury did a wonderful job of presenting it. I was intrigued with the history and historical facts they brought to life. It surprised me how ingenious the enemy was. I was impressed by how much better the enemy were adapted to the cold and how superior their equipment was. I was also impressed with how hard ...more
Justin Daniel
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, nonfiction
When I was at the School of Music in Virginia Beach, Virginia, I took special liberty to Texas to go to my good friends wedding. I had a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina and sat down (exhausted) next to a young man. On the ground he had a book that he was reading through entitled, "The Last Stand of Fox Company" with this iconic image in it. I turned to him and asked, "are you a Marine?" Turns out, he was also on his way to Texas for a wedding, and he was a Marine Aviation Officer. When the ...more
Tegan
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
George Santayana reminds us that “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Seventy years later, we are facing another potential conflict on the peninsula. How are we preparing to avoid another repeat of our history books? If it is inevitable, are we prepared to send our sons and daughters to fight in a winter environment after a decade spent investing in equipment for a desert fight?

On a daily basis, these Marines have their story revisited and remembered by the folks at th
...more
Robert Clancy
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very well-done account of a Thermopile-like stand by a handful of U.S. Marines holding off thousands of Chinese Communists in the "Frozen Chosen" action in the Korean War. I knew about the "attack in another direction" exploits of the 5th, 7th and 11th Marine Regiments but knew nothing of the heroic actions of Fox Company. The authors do an excellent job of keeping up suspense and drama by incorporating accounts from a variety of survivors of this battle over the course of a week.
Jeff
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Finished it on Memorial Day weekend and the appreciation of the sacrifices made for our country became even stronger. All walks of life, great heroism and valor play major role in the battle. Korea was a war we may not should have been in and the top leadership was questionable at times but the grunts and marines on the ground and in the air were the best.
Pete
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An outstanding account that really captures the essence of what being a Marine is all about. The author places you right there in the foxhole and the reading experience is about as personal as you can get. I especially liked that the notion that the Marines can only fight offensively was dispelled. Several photographs and detailed maps were a nice bonus.
Larry W
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book conveys the feel battle better than most. Telling the story of this heroic battle focusing on multiple individual solders places the reader there. I read in mostly during daylight hours on 100 degree days yet felt cold and anxious of the night. Read this book.
Matthew Dambro
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring saga of a company of frozen, starving Marines holding the pass at Chosin Reservoir in 1950. They held out for a week against odds of ten to one. They held to allow the First Division to escape the Chinese trap. It belongs to the annals of Rorke's Drift and Thermopylae.
William Brown
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. War is hell. I cannot read books like this without thinking that I doubt I could ever do what men like this do. It's almost impossible to imagine. I pray that North Korea ends torturing and abusing it population.
Rory
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such an awesome book about the Chinese invasion that nearly overwhelmed UN forces in Korea. It truly was quality of quantity, China still hasn't learnt from it in many respects.
Best quote: "We're not retreating, we're merely attacking in another direction!"
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“For Captain Barber, this presented a moral dilemma. He was aware that Chinese battlefield strategy included playing dead in order to lure a Marine into proximity and then kill him, and he considered this premeditated murder. But did this tactic give him the right, in order to protect his own men, to summarily execute wounded enemy soldiers? His company was taking a severe beating on this hill, and he could not afford to lose even one more Marine in this way. If the enemy surrendered, that was one thing—although how many men he could spare to guard prisoners was another complicating factor he’d have to figure out later. For now, however, he issued orders to put all “dead” and wounded Chinese out of their misery. Such were the exigencies of war and the burden of command in combat.” 0 likes
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