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Topic: Need recommendations: Spanish Civil War and Korean War

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Subject: Need recommendations: Spanish Civil War and Korean War
Date Posted: 4/5/2012 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2008
Posts: 469
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I'm not looking for an isolated battle, or a specific person, but a good overall coverage of the cause and events.  Preferably straight but umcomplicated histories. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cat

Date Posted: 4/5/2012 7:11 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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"The war came early one morning in June of 1950, and by the time the North Koreans occupied our capital city, Seoul, we had already left our university.  In a short time---because junior officers died very fast---we were trained and battle-tested."

With these words, Richard E. Kim begins his story.  He might very well have been writing about himself, for at eighteen he, too, was in the war, and served for four years.  Born in North Korea, he enlisted in the South Korean Army.  During his long tour of duty he came to know at first hand the conflicts in the souls of men that marked this most mysterious of wars.

The Martyred, by Richard E. Kim Published in 1964 by George Braziller, Inc.

For the Spanish Civil War, though it is fiction, may I remind you of For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemingway, the tale of an American, Robert Jordan, who serves with an anti-Fascist brigade?



Last Edited on: 4/6/12 3:14 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/5/2012 7:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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I have This Kind of War by T.H. Fehrenbach  on my TBR. I havent read it yet but it looks good.

Date Posted: 4/7/2012 11:28 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 2,943
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Agreed. This Kind of War is probably the best single book on the Korean War.

Another good one is The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam

There are several outstanding books on the epic USMC/US Army retreat from the Chosin. Some of these are devoted to units down at the company level. However, I believe that you should read one of the above before concentrating on smaller incidents.

One book that covers the overall Chosin battle is The March to Glory by Robert Leckie.  Leckie also wrote several very good books on the Marines in WW II and was one of the men featured in The Pacific TV series.

 

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/9/2012 1:45 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Oh Thomas, I forgot about the Coldest Winter. I have that on my TBR as well.

Date Posted: 4/10/2012 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2008
Posts: 469
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Thank you so much for your suggestions!  I'm off to order now.

Date Posted: 4/23/2012 11:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,443
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I have read at least a half-dozen books on the Korean War. To my thinking, nothing is close to Halberstam's The Coldest Winter.

Much shorter, and describing only how one unit of Marines was assembled and pushed into the fray, and what an awful pounding they took. Colder'n Hell.

Philip (wingate) - ,
Subject: The Coldest Winter
Date Posted: 5/20/2012 6:14 AM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2010
Posts: 61
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I got the above, thinking I was getting theColdest War. 'Winter' was a memoir. Worthwhile for an American soldier's perspective.