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The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat | [Bob Drury, Tom Clavin]

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

The Last Stand of Fox Company is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism and self-sacrifice in the face of impossible odds. The authors have conducted dozens of firsthand interviews with the battle's survivors, and they narrate the story with the immediacy of such classic accounts of single battles as Guadalcanal Diary, Pork Chop Hill, and Black Hawk Down.
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Publisher's Summary

November 1950, the Korean Peninsula. After General MacArthur ignores Mao's warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge in the Nangnim Mountains. It will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 246 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men are ordered to climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass. The Marines have no way of knowing that the ground they occupy - it is soon dubbed "Fox Hill" - is surrounded by 10,000 Chinese soldiers.

As the sun sets on the hill, and the temperature plunges to 30 degrees below zero, Barber's men dig in for the night. At two in the morning they are awakened by the sound - bugles, whistles, cymbals, and drumbeats - of a massive assault by thousands of enemy infantry. The attack is just the first wave of four days and five nights of nearly continuous Chinese attempts to take Fox Hill, during which Barber's beleaguered company clings to the high ground and allows the First Marine Division to battle south. Amid the relentless violence, three-quarters of Fox Company's Marines are killed, wounded, or captured. Just when it looks like the outfit will be overrun, Lieutenant Colonel Raymond Davis, a fearless Marine officer who is fighting south from Chosin, volunteers to lead a force of 500 men on a daring mission that cuts a hole in the Chinese lines and relieves the men of Fox Company.

The Last Stand of Fox Company is a fast-paced and gripping account of heroism and self-sacrifice in the face of impossible odds. The authors have conducted dozens of firsthand interviews with the battle's survivors, and they narrate the story with the imm...

©2008 Bob Drury and TO, Clavin; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Bob Drury and Tom Clavin have set the standard for wartime accounts on the Korean conflict.... This is a story that is almost too incredible to be true." (Dr. Charles P. Neimeyer, director of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division)
"A paean worthy of one of the most extraordinary battles in Marine Corps history.... A magnificent book." (Nathaniel Fick, New York Times bestselling author of One Bullet Away)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (259 )
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4.1 (114 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephen charlotte, NC, United States 03-05-09
    Stephen charlotte, NC, United States 03-05-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding story, poor narration"

    The number of mispronunciations was disappointing. I'm not talking about Korean names. I'm talking about the English language.
    Someone should have told the narrator that "X Corps" is "Tenth Corps", not "x corps".
    The story is still well worth listening to...

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-25-10
    04-25-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Story - Confusing Logistics"

    The story is good (4), but it gets confusing trying to remember all the different people and you really need a map to be able to orient yourself to the landscape.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geekazoid Prairie Village, KS USA 06-09-09
    Geekazoid Prairie Village, KS USA 06-09-09 Member Since 2002

    Larry

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    "Uncommon valor became a common trait."

    A minute by riveting minute account of a gallant stand by an understrength marine company fighting under horrific conditions against overwhelming odds in an almost forgotten chapter in the history of modern war. Drury and Clavin have brought the men of Fox Company to life, and in the matter of fact way that extrordinary deeds are chronicalled, have made their sacrifices meaningful to those of us who could not have imagined that men could endure, let alone prevail, under those circumstances.

    Michael Prichard's narration was spot on.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graeme Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada 03-22-09
    Graeme Whitecourt, Alberta, Canada 03-22-09
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    "Reference maps a must have."

    I agree the book was excellent (besides the narration errors mentioned in previous reviews). However without maps the progression of the battle and events within it are difficult to follow. I have contacted Audible.com and asked the maps that are in the book be included in the download.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aggie Rob Florida 06-18-14
    Aggie Rob Florida 06-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Reading on the run! I am a huge fan of the mobile university and audio books keep a great marathon pace!

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    "Great lesson in leadership"
    If you could sum up The Last Stand of Fox Company in three words, what would they be?

    The Last Stand of Fox Company is a true story of U.S. Marines in combat during the Korean war aka the "The Forgotten War". The book was full of ways Marines do what they do best, make the best out of a bad situation. The book did a great job of describing the actions of the heros who gave their lives to protect their fellow Marines and the leaders who guided them through that horrific experience. This is a great book for any aspiring military leader.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Captain William Barbers was a fearless leader that was able to keep his men calm and focused under the kinds of stress most americans will never know. Even after being wounded in action he was carried around on a stretcher to check on the moral and safety of his Marines while under fire. His bravery and devotion to duty are characteristics I truly admire.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nearly the whole book was my favorite. If I must pick one I would say that the part where PFC Cafferata defends his position by batting hand grenades back with an entrenching tool is the best.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could hardly put it down. I run and listen to audio books and would increase the distance from the intended 3 or 4 miles to 6, 7, and some times even 10 miles just to keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    If you really want to know what war is like from people who lived it, you will enjoy this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 12-07-13
    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 12-07-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Inspiring Dramatic Story of American Marines"
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Stand of Fox Company the most enjoyable?

    The Marines who held Fox Hill were as brave, stoic and heroic as those at Iwo Jima or any other terrible battle. Their story is inspiring, and it is dramatically and skillfully told.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Capt. Wm. Barber, received Medal of Honor for his leadership and bravery. Inspired his men to keep fighting when it looked like all hope was gone. There were many Marines too injured and weak to walk, and he told the men we all leave together or we all stay together. The men of Fox Company held a key pass open that allowed a surrounded, outnumbered division to live to fight another day.


    What does Michael Prichard bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration was a little spotty. He has a nice voice, but I think the editing made it a little choppy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thor Annandale, virginia, United States 09-02-13
    Thor Annandale, virginia, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Heartbreaking"
    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I honestly will be listening to this book again because of how it made me feel both during and after this read. Like, why hasn't there been any movies recently that have been about the Korean War? Yes, it is still going on but that is more apparent in the lives of these Marines even today. I feel almost like some of them have never left that cold and its not fair that stories like this are not as well known as some other battles studied throughout high school and college class today.

    S/F
    Sgt Holm


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Linkoping, Sweden 03-04-13
    David Linkoping, Sweden 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Gripping and interesting."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Stand of Fox Company to be better than the print version?

    No


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Stand of Fox Company?

    The marines having to stack their dead around the foxhole to use as barricades against snipers.


    What about Michael Prichard’s performance did you like?

    He did not intrude on the narrative. He did not attempt to use a range of different voices.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is a gripping narative of a small unit and the experience of being cut off from from friendly lines, and at the same time having to fight at a place and under conditions so very hostile as to be deadly in themselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reney 10-14-12
    Reney 10-14-12 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to adventure stories and funny stories. I have a real preference for travel tales and sometimes even enjoy a good mystery. I love fiction, but also like to learn facts. I like all kinds of stories. Follow me, if you do too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Contains lots of info I didn't already know!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Probably not, unless I knew for sure that they liked "hard-core" war stories - most of my friends don't. I thought the story would have been better if it were more cohesive. It was really broken up into small vignettes with inconsistent characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I really liked learning more about this war which occurred just shortly before I came into the world. It really was a precursor to "that other war" in Asia, but less often discussed. Our soldiers are brave and that alone makes the story worth-while.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It moved me to know how extreme the weather conditions were and how brave our soldiers were to fight under these conditions.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like war stories - it's a good one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Durango, CO, United States 09-12-12
    Richard Durango, CO, United States 09-12-12 Member Since 2008
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    "Terrific Tale"
    If you could sum up The Last Stand of Fox Company in three words, what would they be?

    Honor, Courage, Exemplary


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Last Stand of Fox Company?

    Every time the author cites the temperature. Just surviving in that cold was test enough, but to do so facing overwhelming communist forces continually on the attack is something that should make all of us proud.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Prichard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Prichard is always a fabulous reader.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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