December 26, 2007

Book Review - East of Chosin

East of Chosin: Entrapment and Breakout in Korea, 1950
Roy E. Appleman
DS 918.2 .C35 A66 1987

Appleman, a retired officer, was not satisfied with the explanations provided by the Korean War's official records of the devastating battle over the Chosin Reservoir. This battle, of primary interest to veterans and military historians alike, has been vague and confusing even to many who fought there. This story, pieced together from interviews with survivors, photographs, and limited documentation produced at the time of the battle, begins to unravel the mystery of what happened to the many soldiers whose lives were lost during those few snowy days. Appleman's narrative clarifies the events of the Chosin battle, humanizing the extreme weather conditions, confusion, and loss of human life because of the many points of view that he uses to determine what actually happened. A definitive study when originally published in 1987, the amount of research and Appleman's quality writing have ensured that this study has remained valuable and authoritative for the past two decades.