On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle

On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle Review

12 hrs 8 mins
From the New York Times bestselling author of Ghost Soldiers and In the Kingdom of Ice, a chronicle of the extraordinary feats of heroism by Marines called on to do the impossible during the greatest battle of the Korean War

On October 15, 1950, the vainglorious General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of U.N. troops in Korea, convinced President Harry Truman that the communist forces would be utterly defeated by Thanksgiving. The Chinese, he said with near certainty, would not intervene in the war.

As he was speaking, 300,000 Chinese soldiers began crossing the border. Led by the 13,000 men of the 1st Marine Division, the Americans moved far north into the trap Mao had set for the arrogant MacArthur at the Chosin Reservoir. What followed was one of the most heroic - and harrowing - operations in American military history. Faced with annihilation, and temperatures plunging to 20 degrees below zero, the surrounded Marines fought through the enemy forces with ferocity, ingenuity and nearly unimaginable courage.

Hampton Sides's superb account of the battle relies on years of archival research and interviews with scores of Marines and Koreans who survived the siege. While expertly chronicling the follies of the American leaders, this is an immediate, grunt's-eye view of history, enthralling in its narrative pace and powerful in its portrayal of what ordinary men are capable of in the most extreme circumstances.

Title:On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Matt

    “A [Chinese] soldier, armed with a rifle, climbed onto the bed of the truck. He came to the first man, leveled the barrel between his eyes, and fired. He moved on to the next. Then the next…[Ed] R...

  • Michael

    What a treat to have Sides create a narrative for us on a tough job our soldiers had in Korea and gather in some lessons relevant to our precarious position today in that part of the world. I’ve had...

  • Joseph

    On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War’s Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides is the history of one of the greatest stories to come out of the Korean War. Sides is an American...

  • happy

    Hampton Sides in one of those authors whose books automatically goes to the top of my TBR list. His look at the first 6 months of the Korean War and the Marines escape from the Chosin Reservoir does n...

  • Kathleen

    This is the best account of the Chosin Reservoir battle I have read. Sides is an excellent historian and his exhaustive research shows. But more than that, Sides knows how to weave individual stories ...

  • Steve

    Once again, Hampton Sides does not disappoint. This was a uniquely engaging - in parts, riveting - and easily accessible slice of military history, nicely placed in time and place and context, seasone...

  • Jim

    Yeah, this is the book! There aren't many authors who can keep my bedside lamp burning until 0300 hrs on a workday, but that's what happened to this one. Any good war story has to have a mixture of br...

  • Steven Z.

    Hampton Sides latest book, ON DESPERATE GROUND: THE MARINES AT THE RESERVOIR, THE KOREAN WAR’S GREATEST BATTLE has met, or even surpassed the high standards for excellent narrative history that he h...

  • Dan

    I will need more time to write a worthy review about this truly remarkable book about the courageous Marines at Chosin. Hampton Sides’ absolute mastery of narrative non-fiction is on full display he...

  • Sweetwilliam

    This book is a testament to why the United States Marine Corp is the greatest fighting force in the world. A group of Gung Ho Marines are often mistaken as arrogant. This is not arrogance you see. It ...