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Saturday, June 25, 2011

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

A slow start but don't let that deter you

Although I am a history teacher I have to admit that I am woefully under-informed on the Korean War - at least when compared to our other wars. Sadly, I am not alone in this fact - there's a reason why the Korean War is called "The Forgotten War".

Drury and Clavin start off slowly, in part because there is no context as to why the soldiers are marching around in the subzero weather in northern Korea. However, once they explain the purpose of this particular campaign in the war as a whole and show the reader a few maps I got a lot more comfortable with how they were telling the story and appreciated it a lot more.

Marines during the Chosin Campaign in the Korean War
The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat is not a fancy history - it is told from the ground level perspective of the the Marines on the hill and is full of tales of bodily fluids, men too young to actually join the Marines, frozen toes, poor equipment and a command structure that not only failed to realize the Chinese Army had entered the war, but failed to realize that a few thousand Marines were up against tens of thousands of those same Chinese soldiers.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a "Band of Brothers" type perspective on the war. This book is not a general history but I'd suggest it as a companion to any general history in order to get that gritty feel of the front line perspective - the point of view of the men who actually fought the war.

I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on December 19, 2008.

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