Saturday, May 30, 2015

Task Force Faith

Task Force Faith

There is a book out on this subject, too. I read it, and recall it was called East of Chosin. I also recall it was first published circa 1987.

Here is a short YouTube video on this book, too:

Here is a link to many other links on the Chosin Reservoir and the battles there:  The Reservoir is still there in North Korea even today in 2015.  One can even use the free version of Google Earth to go to this place on the Earth.

Here’s some reviews of this book and the Americans the author wrote about:
In November, 1950, with the highly successful Inchon Landing behind him, Gen. Douglas MacArthur planned the last major offensive of what was to be a brief "conflict": the drive that would push the North Koreans across the Yalu River into Manchuria. In northern Korea, US forces assembled at Chosin Reservoir to cut behind the North Korean forces blocking the planned march to Manchuria. Roy E. Appleman, noted historian of the Korean conflict, describes the tragic fate of the troops of the 31st Regimental Combat Team which fought this engagement and presents a thorough analysis of the physical conditions, attitudes, and command decisions that doomed them.

From Publishers Weekly

Appleman's book clears up one of the nagging mysteries of the Korean War: the fate of the 7th U.S. Division's Task Force Faith between November 27 and December 1, 1950, when Chinese forces surrounded it along the icy shores of the Chosin Reservoir. Due to poor command decisions and lack of communication, only 385 out of some 3000 GIs made it back to the relative safety of the Marine perimeter nearby. Appleman addresses the oft-debated question of why the Marines did not send a rescue force, and the degree to which the sacrifice of the GIs enabled the 1st Marine Division to accomplish its successful retreat. Based on analysis of official records and interviews with survivors, this study can be appreciated as a highly suspenseful account of a military catastrophe and as an inverted object lesson in field command under the worst possible conditions. As the author remarks, "It would be hard to find a more nearly hopeless or more tragic story in American military history." Appleman wrote the highly regarded South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu. Photos.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Much has been written about the Marines' fighting retreat from the frozen Chosin Reservoir after they were overwhelmed by Chinese troops during MacArthur's push to the Yalu River. Several small Army units also took part in the action, but their story has been neglected until now. Appleman is a U.S. Army historian, and he writes for a professional audience. The casual reader will be perplexed by the book's intricate description of military units, place names, and timetables, but will appreciate the complexities of modern ground combat. This microscopic study nicely supplements the larger canvas painted in Alexander Bevin's Korea: the first war we lost (LJ 6/15/86). For serious military collections only. Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Los Angeles
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"An exhaustively researched revelation of what went wrong, and why, in the tragedy of U.S. Army operations in northeast Korea in 1950."--Gen. M. B. Ridgway, USA (Ret.)
(Gen. M. B. Ridgway, USA (Ret.))

About the Author

The late Roy E. Appleman wrote five books on the “war of maneuver” in Korea, among them Ridgway Duels for Korea, which won the Truman Library Book Award. During the Korean War, he served as an army historian, interviewing troops shortly after combat. He left his papers, including all interviews related to the Chosin campaign research, to the Army History Center at Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

In military talk, it was a cold assed bitch, to say the least.  Said another way, weather was a big factor at the time. Said even another way, leadership and good judgment (vice just being a soothsayer of sorts) and steadfastness at all levels is often a perceived quality that can inspire and produce heroic and productive actions. In the same vein, cowardice and personal expediency can often bring doom to the collective effort to best succeed during times of hardship.  Most anybody can do hindsight reviews, too. This is not “rocket science”.

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