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Colder than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir | [Joseph R. Owen]

Colder than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir

Joe Owen tells it like it was in this evocative story of a marine rifle company in the uncertain, early days of the Korean War. His powerful description of close combat in the snow-covered mountains of the Chosin Reservoir and of the survival spirit of his Marines provide a gritty real-life view of frontline warfare.As a lieutenant who was with them from first muster in California, Owen was in a unique position to see the hastily assembled mix of some 200 regulars and raw reservists harden into a superb Marine rifle company. The action and narrative move fast as the company learns to fight under enemy fire, eat frozen rations, and keep pushing forward when its wounded and dead go down.
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Publisher's Summary

Joe Owen tells it like it was in this evocative story of a marine rifle company in the uncertain, early days of the Korean War. His powerful description of close combat in the snow-covered mountains of the Chosin Reservoir and of the survival spirit of his Marines provide a gritty real-life view of frontline warfare.

As a lieutenant who was with them from first muster in California, Owen was in a unique position to see the hastily assembled mix of some 200 regulars and raw reservists harden into a superb Marine rifle company. The action and narrative move fast as the company learns to fight under enemy fire, eat frozen rations, and keep pushing forward when its wounded and dead go down.

©1996 by Joseph Owen; (P)1998 by the Naval Institute Press

What the Critics Say

"Owen's firsthand account is chilling and rather wonderful." (James Brady)
"Joe Owen's account of Baker-One-Seven's courageous ordeal is blunt, authentic, and compelling - a fitting tribute to his company and to his Corps." (Col. Joseph Alexander, USMC (ret.))

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (109 )
5 star
 (56)
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4.2 (39 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Los Altos, CA, USA 07-20-04
    Paul Los Altos, CA, USA 07-20-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent!"

    First of all the narrator does a great job with the book. The book itself is a gripping tale of infantry combat in the Korean War. The author tells it like he saw it and the book does not dwell on the larger issues of the war (military or political). But if you want a great 'you are there' story of infantry combat this is one of the best accounts I have read. A classic.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Travis AFB, CA, USA 10-17-07
    Glenn Travis AFB, CA, USA 10-17-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "At last!"

    Refreshingly devoid of the clinical approach & window dressing customarily surrounding this fateful nexus of the Korean War. A well written and absorbing exposition of the early northern offensives from the perspective of those who fought them. A highly esteemed keepsake for the veterans and families of B/1/7.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan McGrew Safford, AZ 10-04-12
    Dan McGrew Safford, AZ 10-04-12 Member Since 2012

    Military History and Archaeology

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    "Good first Person account of the first year of the"
    Any additional comments?

    Good first Person account of the first year of the Korean Wars first year and the 7th Marines Actions

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. saenz MIdland, TX 05-28-10
    L. saenz MIdland, TX 05-28-10 Listener Since 2010

    Going POstal

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Semper Fi Mortars"

    Loved the book. Almost made me want to reenlist. Just kidding. This book brought back a lot of memories from the time I served from 99-2003. I was in 81mm weapons platoon. These Marines were 60mm line platoon Grunts. I made several cold weather trips to Norway and Iceland but never under fire like these guys. My heart goes out to the Frozen Chosin Marines that lost their lives for our freedom in that frozen Hell Hole.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Timothy Chesapeake, VA, USA 03-26-07
    Timothy Chesapeake, VA, USA 03-26-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Interesting Book"

    This book gave me a greater understanding of the Korean war from the perspective of a soldier who fought on the front line. The story moved smoothly and held my attention. The book starts slow with some background details that help set the foundation for who the soldiers are who will later be fighting so desperately for their lives. The action soon picks up and you will begin to feel like you almost know the main character as he tells the story of his experience. I highly recommend this interesting book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken DeForest, WI, United States 02-28-06
    Ken DeForest, WI, United States 02-28-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gripping Accurate Tale"

    If you want a great 'you are there' type story of the Korean War. If you'd like to find a new appreciation for the trials and sacrifices that our combat soldiers go through, this is one of the best accounts possible. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and gain a new appreciation for what went on during the Korean Conflict, the errors, but no pointing political fingers. The death and carnage that was suffered. Maybe even gain an appreciation for how War truly is Hell.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Florence, KY, USA 11-07-09
    William Florence, KY, USA 11-07-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    2
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    "Awesome"

    Great book that ties in well with another book on the Frozen Chosin called "Last Stand of Fox Company". Listening to both books back to back and listening to a lot of the same details from two different writers is a good way to pick up on the what these brave men dealt with.
    Well written, well read I enjoyed them both and would highly recommend them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    megan seattle, washington, United States 12-27-13
    megan seattle, washington, United States 12-27-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gritty Story"

    This was an amazing read for me I thought it was well written and narrated very well. I could picture the places the author was describing and the events being told. I really like when you hear/read material from veterans who were there and are telling you about their experiences. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys biographies, military history, and/or captivating stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Us 5 Camp USA 12-18-13
    Us 5 Camp USA 12-18-13
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "1st Hand Marine's Account... of the frozen Chosin"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Colder than Hell to be better than the print version?

    Don't know.. didn't read the print version


    What did you like best about this story?

    The men, the stories, the 1st hand account. Why the Frozen Chosin isn't known by and honored by every American is beyond me... the circumstances these young Marines (and Army) faced are extroidinary and my words can never serve to do them justice..


    What about Richard Rohan’s performance did you like?

    Well read, easy to listen to voice, just the right amount of emotion and timing!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    see title


    Any additional comments?

    Give it a listen !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 11-22-12
    Charles LYNDON STATION, WISCONSIN, United States 11-22-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Colder than Hell."

    A great story about the Korean War and the Vets that fought there. I would highly recommend this Book to anyone interested in History or War.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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