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  • Book recommendations

    Guys, I'm looking for a one-volume history of the Korean War to buy, covering the whole conflict from 1950 to 1953 and dealing only (or almost exclusively) with military operations in has much details as possible, an equivalent to what Shelby Stanton's Rise and Fall of an American Army is for the Vietnam War, for those who know it. Any recommendations most welcome (but preferably a book that can be found easily on the internet)


  • #2
    Tell me if you find one. Got my share of Korean War books of various flavors. I did have a kind of almanac that was not too bad.

    That photo, very cool. Is out of one of Gugler's (spelling?) booklets on combat operations in Korea?
    Last edited by ktnbs; 23 Nov 07, 00:11. Reason: added last sentence
    I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford. Lord Halifax

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ktnbs View Post
      Tell me if you find one. Got my share of Korean War books of various flavors. I did have a kind of almanac that was not too bad.

      That photo, very cool. Is out of one of Gugler's (spelling?) booklets on combat operations in Korea?

      It's from South To The Naktong, North To The Yalu by Roy E. Appleman available online at CMH and here: http://www.kmike.com/Appleman/Appleman.htm

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      • #4
        Okay. I got all of Appleman's books. Have you read Gugler's works?
        I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford. Lord Halifax

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        • #5
          I've read very little about the Korean War, hence my request for advice. The kind of books I'm looking for would be like South To The Naktong, North To The Yalu, always liked CMH publications, but this one covers only June-December 1950. I've found a book on amazon a book by acclaimed british historian Max Hastings called simply The Korean War, anyone read it?


          Also, there's a trilogy by a certain Edwin P. Hoyt (Pusan Perimeter, On to the Yalu, and Bloody Road to Panmunjon) that looks interesting.

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          • #6
            Center of Military History

            The US Army official history of the Korean war can be found at:

            http://www.army.mil/cmh/

            and here specifically for the Korean War:

            http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/bookshe...ect/usakw.html

            Also, look here for the Gugeler book:

            http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/korea/30-2/30-2_CON.HTM
            Kevin Kenneally
            Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
            Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

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            • #7
              Hastings' book is, IHMO, very good.

              Hastings is a very analytical author - and as a former journalist, a very critical one - so he is probably not the kind of writer who will be favored by those who prefer heroic, "good-guys-vs-bad-guys" Stephen Ambrose-type accounts. Also, it is fair to say that he talks up the British role in the war beyond its actual importance (he is British). His accounts of the air war, the POW camps and the British role in the Chinese Fifth Offensive are the standouts for this reader.

              As an overall view of the war, and as a harsh critique of the early US 8th Army performance, it is certainly worth getting. And like all Hastings' work, it is very readable.
              A massive attack...a brigade against an army...three nights of battle...an unforgettable tragedy.
              Sixty years later, the full story is told at last:
              http://tothelastround.wordpress.com/

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              • #8
                Boonierat, you may wish to take a look at Fehrenbach's book:

                'This Kind of War: The Classic Korean War History'.

                Title says it all, it is easily available and I'm pretty confident it will fulfill all your requirements and a little more.
                Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 28 Nov 07, 08:52.
                BoRG

                You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
                  I've read very little about the Korean War, hence my request for advice. The kind of books I'm looking for would be like South To The Naktong, North To The Yalu, always liked CMH publications, but this one covers only June-December 1950. I've found a book on amazon a book by acclaimed british historian Max Hastings called simply The Korean War, anyone read it?

                  Good book, I have read the book 2 times.

                  Boon, Have you read "In Mortal Combat Korea, 1950-1953 by John Toland"? I have read it once and its a good book.

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                  • #10
                    I really liked "The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953" by Clay Blair. It's very detailed but it covers the last two years of the war with little depth and it doesn't talk about the naval or air portions of the war much at all. However, for the land battles, it's awesome and I've read it 4-5 times.

                    The newest major book on the Korean War seems to be "The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War" by David Halberstam. However, I didn't care for that one very much as it seems like it's mostly a rehash of Blair's book and spends too much time discussing Washington politics. However, unlike Blair's book, it has a lot of narrative from average soldiers whereas the narratives in Blair's book are mostly from colonels and generals.

                    PBAR

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Leatherneck View Post
                      Good book, I have read the book 2 times.

                      Boon, Have you read "In Mortal Combat Korea, 1950-1953 by John Toland"? I have read it once and its a good book.
                      Thanks for the tips mate, John Toland is a respected author and his book might be what i'm looking for, if I can find it.

                      Originally posted by pbar_b1bwso View Post
                      I really liked "The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953" by Clay Blair. It's very detailed but it covers the last two years of the war with little depth and it doesn't talk about the naval or air portions of the war much at all. However, for the land battles, it's awesome and I've read it 4-5 times.

                      The newest major book on the Korean War seems to be "The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War" by David Halberstam. However, I didn't care for that one very much as it seems like it's mostly a rehash of Blair's book and spends too much time discussing Washington politics. However, unlike Blair's book, it has a lot of narrative from average soldiers whereas the narratives in Blair's book are mostly from colonels and generals.

                      PBAR
                      The Forgotten War seems interesting but I probably won't touch the Halberstam books, if he was as biased on Korea as he was on Vietnam then I'll pass

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kevin Kenneally View Post
                        The US Army official history of the Korean war can be found at:

                        http://www.army.mil/cmh/

                        and here specifically for the Korean War:

                        http://www.army.mil/cmh/html/bookshe...ect/usakw.html

                        Also, look here for the Gugeler book:

                        http://www.army.mil/cmh/books/korea/30-2/30-2_CON.HTM
                        Has anyone visited these sites?

                        They do offer very good info.

                        Also for a recommendation:

                        Pork Chop Hill by SLA Marshall. Goes more into the battels for the outposts in the later part of the war.
                        Kevin Kenneally
                        Masters from a school of "hard knocks"
                        Member of a Ph.D. Society (Post hole. Digger)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Andy_S View Post
                          Hastings' book is, IHMO, very good.

                          Hastings is a very analytical author - and as a former journalist, a very critical one - so he is probably not the kind of writer who will be favored by those who prefer heroic, "good-guys-vs-bad-guys" Stephen Ambrose-type accounts. Also, it is fair to say that he talks up the British role in the war beyond its actual importance (he is British). His accounts of the air war, the POW camps and the British role in the Chinese Fifth Offensive are the standouts for this reader.

                          As an overall view of the war, and as a harsh critique of the early US 8th Army performance, it is certainly worth getting. And like all Hastings' work, it is very readable.
                          I entirely argee that Max Hastings is excellent read for a one volume work on the war. He does rightly see the West defense of South Korea as justified but he also clear about the shortcomings of the UN forces. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an intelligent entry to the subject.

                          For those who who want to go further into the subject, I would certainly recommend the three volume history of the South Korean History Group published in English by the University of Nebraska, which is one of the very few sources that give a fair degree of coverage to the South Korean Army, which of did most of the fighting and dying in the war.
                          War is less costly than servitude

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                          • #14
                            Max Hastings' book is good but it isn't something that should stand alone in your collection. He is objective and careful not to show only one side of a controversy, like the Generalship of Arthur and his men. My main complaint is the same with any Korean war book: the focus on the first year. There's nothing wrong with covering all of the major events, and perhaps in greater detail than those in '52-53, but there could be a lot more about the continuous fighting until and beyond the armistice.
                            I recommend the Osprey title for straightforward history and a reference to the many Chinese offensives during the 'stalemate.' Pork Chop Hill is the defining book about these kinds of actions and with the state of American resolve at the time.

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                            • #15
                              A recent one on Pork Chop Hill. On Hallowed Ground -the Last Battle for Pork Chop Hill by Bill McWilliams. 2004.

                              http://www.amazon.com/Hallowed-Groun...9942881&sr=8-1
                              I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford. Lord Halifax

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