This Kind of War is a monumental study of the conflict that began in June 1950. Successive generations of U.S. military officers have considered this book an indispensable part of their education. T. R. Fehrenbach's narrative brings to life the harrowing and bloody battles that were fought up and down the Korean Peninsula.
Partly drawn from official records, operations journals, and histories, it is based largely on the compelling personal narratives of the small-unit commanders and their troops. Unlike any other work on the Korean War, it provides a clear, panoramic view; sharp insight into the successes and failures of U.S. forces; and a riveting account of fierce clashes between U.N. troops and the North Korean and Chinese communist invaders.
The lessons that Colonel Fehrenbach identifies still resonate. Severe peacetime budget cuts after World War II left the U.S. military a shadow of its former self. The terrible lesson of Korea was that to send into action troops trained for nothing but "serving a hitch" in some quiet billet was an almost criminal act. Throwing these ill-trained and poorly equipped troops into the heat of battle resulted in the war's early routs. The United States was simply unprepared for war. As we enter a new century with Americans and North Koreans continuing to face each other across the 38th parallel, we would do well to remember the price we paid during the Korean War.
©2010 T.R. Fehrenbach (P)2010 Tantor
"The awful beauty of this book [is that] it cuts straight to the heart of all the political and military errors, and reveals the brave souls who have to bleed and die for mistakes made. A timely reissue of a military classic." (General Colin L. Powell)
I was born in the 1960s....my Korean War knowledge = M*A*S*H. Book gives solid background and very intriguing first half. Second half, following Chosin Reservoir, bogs down much like the war did. The author does a good job moving the reader through the stalemated portions.
An enlightening history of the war. From the perspective of 1963, it has some dated elements and is a little too heavy handed in regards to attitudes in the US and the world. But overall it is very well researched and presented.
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Kevin Foley narrates this book superbly. The accents, style and even the period is captured the way I imagine it would of been. T. R. Fehrenbach has written and excellent study of this conflict both from the social political point of view as well as the soldier in the shell scrape. He is neither bogged down in strategy or emotional turmoil but does a neat balancing act between the two. I am not saying this is the perfect history, I don't know, I know little of this war but this book has open my mind to what happen, possibly why and how. The Americans are caught off guard and suffer due to relaxed attitudes amongst politician, public and the so called citizens army. They however are quick to learn, if they have the time. The North Koreans are quick and strong, but there blitzkrieg was not sustainable and this is where logistics win wars. The Chinese are excellent diplomats and soldiers but they do waste so much to achieve short term gains especially at the discussion tables.
A war of waste, heroism and stamina with no victory or heroes.
This book is good and great to listen to. I loved it and wonder why I took so long to listen to it, the length flew by and I was a little sad it finished. Funny, but the book sort of finishes as the war finishes, with very little fanfare and then suddenly you are back home with no real answers to what just happened.
I hope though that the world has learned the lessons of the Korean War and that the US never makes the same mistakes again.
I would like to read another book on the subject and if it was possible, from the other side, but I don't think it would be as good.
Timeless classic that is as relevent today as it was when it was written. Truly great insight of this often forgotten war.
The vivid detail.
I would, but I would qualifiy it with sttating that the author is making a political point of the narrative, and that, as a result, fast forwarding bits of the book might be advisable.
Also, the perspective is almost completely on the infantry. Tanks and aircraft are mentioned merely in passing as "Then the airforce napalmed the hills". This is IMHO because of the aforementioned political point which the author presses home ( to the point of sadonecrohippophilia), namely that the US by 1950 had grown weak, leftist and antimilitary and that as a result its soldiers were untrained and ill equipped.
All in all, it is not bad as a book on the flow of battle during the Korean war, but I would not recommend it as a first book on the subject.
The description of the Korean society and the legacy of the imperial japanes conquest and ockupation was the most interestiong as it laid the foundation for the politics of NK and RoK.
The least interesting was the lamentation of how the US had grown soft and leftist.
the book was kanid of bland and not so engaging. the descriptions of the battles did not make so much of an individual impression on me.
While my father was in this war he spoke little of it. All I knew of it was from watching MASH as a kid. I do believe that after listening to this I have a more than adequate knowledge of the subject.It was well balanced in the political views although the Party's of today would have little resemblance to then. I truly enjoyed.
This book is part history part personal story collection. Very well read and compiled, I would call it enjoyable but for the horific contents and details of one of the most bloody conflicts of our time.
I'd recommend we all know more about this war before making further decisions on North Korean and China in modern times.
It is a good informative history that helps to guide you into the thanking of the country as a whole from the citizens to the president. it really paints the whole picture.
Kevin Foley gives a great performance in this book!
This is my first review and I HAD to write it. If you love reading about how chicken sh-t American solders are...or how our solders fumbled their way through the war..then this book is perfect for you. I'm not sure if all the authors facts are correct because I wasn't there, but I've never listened to a book that kept me so angry at the constant stories of how our solders screwed up or cowardly ran down the hill in retreat. I know America isn't perfect in wars and we don't always get it right but this book needs at least two heroic stories of our guys bravery instead of the never ending retreat and fall back situations. My words to the author "You did a pathetic job with this book and I would love to have you read it out loud to a few Korean veterans".
All of them
The United States soldier
Not enough material about the epic struggle at the Chosin battle
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