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

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 ...

  • Karen

    A magnificent story by the author of In the Kingdom of Ice about the key battle at the Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. The details of the war’s greatest battle are stunningly written. I love...

  • Matt

    Along with Candice Millard and Laura Hillenbrand, Hampton Sides is my favorite narrative-nonfiction author on the planet. (Erik Larson is a close fourth.) Sides's latest offering doesn't disappoint; ...

  • Jon

    This book brings to life the details of an amazing part of world history. The United Nations came to the aid of the Korean people right after the North Koreans launched an attack. The authors does a g...

  • Perri

    On Desperate Ground had me as riveted as though this decades old Korean war story was in real time and the outcome not yet decided. Huge admiration for the unsung heroes and the sheer mettle of marine...

  • Peter Tillman

    As this is a new book and will come due soon, I’m going to close it out as DNF, about halfway in. The writing is fully up to Sides’ usual high standards, but I’m just not in the mood for it. I'l...

  • David

    I essentially read this book in 2 sittings - it was really tough to put down. I had previously read Mr. Sides' book about the U.S.S. Jeannette, which I found compelling despite covering (IMO) a less i...