A Christmas Far from Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival during the Korean War


by: Weintraub, Stanley
Format: Hardcover

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Product Description The day after Thanksgiving, five months into the Korean War, General Douglas MacArthur flew to American positions in the north and grandly announced an end-the-war-by-Christmas offensive, despite recent evidence of intervention by Mao's Chinese troops. Marching north in plunging temperatures, General Edward Almond's X Corps, which included a Marine division under the able leadership of General Oliver Smith, encountered little resistance. But thousands of Chinese, who had infiltrated across the frozen Yalu River, were lying in wait and would soon trap tens of thousands of US troops. Led by the Marines, an overwhelmed X Corps evacuated the frigid, mountainous Chosin Reservoir vastness and fought a swarming enemy and treacherous snow and ice to reach the coast. Weather, terrain, Chinese firepower, and a 4,000-foot chasm made escape seem impossible in the face of a vanishing Christmas. But endurance and sacrifice prevailed, and the last troopships weighed anchor on Christmas Eve. In the tradition of his Silent Night and Pearl Harbor Christmas, Stanley Weintraub presents another gripping narrative of a wartime Christmas season. A Military Book Club main selection Review ?[Weintraub] portrays MacArthur as ego-driven and politically ambitious; he surrounded himself with yes-men when he would have benefited from those advising caution?The heroes in this account are the troops in the field who endured appalling conditions, maintained discipline, and staved off complete collapse.” Roanoke Times, 11/2/14 ?A story of heroism and cowardice, of brilliant leadership and bungling stupidity, of mud- and snow-slogging endurance on the part of an assortment of troops of many nations, in obedience to a call of duty from a briefly united United Nations, against the tide of North Korean and Chinese Communist forces. And overlaying all, the lash of a brutal and relentless winter campaign in some of the most rugged mountains in Asia?Though primarily of interest to Korea veterans and military history buffs, this modest volume may find favor with a reading public who love brave tales of danger and courage, well-researched and engagingly composed. Perhaps it may also serve as a warning of the perils of unpreparedness, on which far too many Americans seem ready to rely.” Acadiana LifeStyle, December 2014 ?A wonderful tribute to our soldiers who were placed in harm's way by the arrogance of a politically minded general.” Praise for Stanley Weintraub's previous wartime Christmas books Pearl Harbor Christmas "Erudite, sweeping, and contemplative?classic Weintraub" ?Kirkus Reviews "A fascinating account of Churchill's history-making visit" ?Norfolk Virginian-Pilot "An authoritative account...[Weintraub's] ability to meld together so many disparate elements...in such a short, swift-moving book is exemplary." ?Richmond Times-Dispatch Silent Night "Stanley Weintraub's poignant account of the day one of the worst of wars took a holiday sounds like the stuff of fiction, but it was the sort of event that fiction can only imitate. No wonder that his book reads like a novel, a true story that has the power to haunt." ?Robert Cowley, founding editor of MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History "An emotionally stirring, uplifting, yet ultimately sad story brilliantly told by a gifted writer" ?Booklist (starred review) "Weintraub has brought an obscure and bizarre incident to life with a flair that gives the reader a detailed glimpse of a unique Christmas story." ?Seattle Times "Deeply moving" ?Boston Globe Booklist, 10/15/14 InfoDad.com, 12/11/14 ?[Weintraub] gives readers a ?you are there' feeling for the Christmas season of 1950, five months after the war started?It is a celebration of the common soldier and a condemnation of the know-nothing (or know-little) command structure. Well-written, with a strong sense of place, by an author who, after all, himself served in the conflict.” USA Today, 12/15/14 ?W


Product Code: 9780306822322
ISBN: 0306822326
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Publication Date: 2014-10-28
Number of Pages: 304 pages
Languages: english
Edition: 1st
Dimension: 6.5 x 1.42 x 9.41 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds