On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at the Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle

by Hampton Sides

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Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War

On October 15, 1950, the vainglorious General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of UN troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the Communist forces would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.
     As he was speaking, 300,000 Chinese soldiers began crossing the border. Led by the 13,000 men of the First Marine Division, the Americans moved far north into the trap Mao had set for the arrogant MacArthur at the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic—and harrowing—operations in American military history. Faced with annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity, and nearly unimaginable courage.
     Hampton Sides's superb account of the battle relies on years of archival research and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly chronicling the follies of the American leaders, this is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385541152
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 51,994
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

HAMPTON SIDES is an award-winning editor of Outside and the author of the bestselling histories In the Kingdom of Ice, Hellhound on His Trail, Blood and Thunder, and Ghost Soldiers.

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Prologue
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Excerpted from "On Desperate Ground"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Hampton Sides.
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All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Prologue: Morning Calm 3

Book 1 Seoul

Chapter 1 The Professor 9

Chapter 2 Traitor's House 21

Chapter 3 Across the Han 29

Chapter 4 Beneath the Lighthouse 36

Chapter 5 The Battle of the Barricades 39

Chapter 6 The Savior of Our Race 48

Chapter 7 God's Right-Hand Man 56

Chapter 8 The Tiger Wants Human Beings 62

Book 2 To The Mountains

Chapter 9 Many, Many 71

Chapter 10 King's Envoy to Hamhung 80

Chapter 11 Heroic Remedies 88

Chapter 12 Will o' the Wisp 95

Chapter 13 Broken Arrows 104

Chapter 14 A Powerful Instrument 109

Chapter 15 Fattened for the Kill 119

Chapter 16 Never Too Late to Talk 128

Chapter 17 Never a More Daring Flight 132

Book 3 The Reservoir

Chapter 18 Easy for Us, Tough for Others 141

Chapter 19 Boon Companions 150

Chapter 20 Easy Company Holds Here 157

Chapter 21 Where the Bullet Belongs 163

Chapter 22 Gung-ho, You Cowardly Bastards 168

Chapter 23 When the Lead Is Flying 172

Chapter 24 A Hot Reception 182

Chapter 25 The War Council 191

Chapter 26 An Entirely New War 195

Book 4 $$$

Chapter 27 You Will All Be Slaughtered 203

Chapter 28 Kissing a Buzz Saw 211

Chapter 29 Morphine Dreams 215

Chapter 30 No Soft Options 219

Chapter 31 One-Man Army 228

Chapter 32 Every Weapon That We Have 236

Chapter 33 The Ridgerunners 239

Chapter 34 This Place of Suffering 247

Book 4 $$$

Chapter 35 Attacking in a Different Direction 257

Chapter 36 In the Day of Trouble 266

Chapter 37 I'll Get You a Goddamn Bridge 275

Chapter 38 Blood on the Ice 281

Chapter 39 Taking Departure 289

Chapter 40 The Bridge of Long Life 297

Chapter 41 Down to Earth 300

Chapter 42 The Most Harrowing Hour 306

Chapter 43 The Crossing 310

Chapter 44 We Will See You Again in the South 316

Chapter 45 We Walk in the Hand of God 323

Epilogue: In the Pantheon 333

Acknowledgments 339

A Note on Sources 345

Notes 349

Selected Bibliography 369

Index 379

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