Item description for Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea by Oscar Gilbert...
The outbreak of the Korean conflict caught America (and the Marine Corps) unprepared. The Corps' salvation was the existence of its Organized Reserve (an organization rich in veterans of the fighting in World War II), the availability of modern equipment in storage and, as always, the bravery, initiative, and adaptability of individual Marines.
In this followup to his enormously successful Marine Tank Battles in the Pacific (Combined Publishing, 2000), Oscar Gilbert presents an equally exhaustive and detailed account of the little-known Marine tank engagements in Korea, supported by 48 photographs, eight original maps, and dozens of survivor interviews.
Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea details every action, from the valiant defense at Pusan and the bitter battles of the Chosin Reservoir, to the grinding and bloody stalemate along the Jamestown Line. Many of these stories are presented here for the first time, such as the unique role played by tanks in the destruction of the illfated Task Force Drysdale, how Marine armor played a key role in the defense of Hagaru, and how a lone tank made it to Yudamni and then led the breakout across the high Toktong Pass.
Marine tankers--individually and as an organization--met every challenge posed by this vicious, protracted, and forgotten war. It is a story of bravery and fortitude you will never forget.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea?
Marine Corps Jul 23, 2008
Found this account accurate and personal. Found names of former Marines that I served with. Great resource for Marines.
Worth every penny! Dec 30, 2003
I knew the basics of the Korean War, but that is about it. This book opened my eyes to the daily hardships suffered by the soldiers and marines who served in that "police action". Mr. Gilbert has written a fascinating book that details small unit armored action in Korea. He doesnt overwhelm you with tons of names you have to remember and most of the book is told in the veteran's own words with Mr. Gilbert adding the "bigger picture" so the reader can fully understand what is happening. There are few maps in the book, but they are extremely helpful when it comes to understanding where the armored units operated at. Overall a very well written book. My money was not wasted.
A Remarkable and Memorable Book Nov 15, 2003
If judged by book sales, the Korean War indeed merits the moniker The Forgotten War. However, I suspect that Oscar Gilbert's new book may be one of those rare studies that break through and reach a wider audience than either its publisher or author supposed it might.
Were there really tank battles in Korea? You bet, and Gilbert's work details just about every one, from Lt. Granville G. Sweet's Thermopylae-style defense of a critical road cut at No Name Ridge through the operations at Inchon, Seoul, the frozen hell of the Chosin Reservoir, and the battles of the Jamestown line. He bases his book upon dozens of first firsthand account by the tankers themselves, who recall with vivid clarity their sacrifices and frustrations during their time on the peninsula.
At the beginning of the war, the seemingly invincible enemy tanks and masses of ruthless infantry swept everything before them. Every attempt to stop the invaders had met with disaster. Hastily formed forces like the U. S. Armys Task Force Smith resisted valiantly, but the infantry was overrun in desperate rearguard battles. The few American light tanks available were contemptuously swept aside by the heavier and much better Soviet-built T-34/85.
Gilbert skillfully explains how the Provisional Marine Brigade, a scratch force of new recruits and World War II veterans, was thrown into this bloody maelstrom around Pusan. The tank arm was equipped with the M26, and the Marines were determined to meet head-on and destroy the Communists and their feared armor fighting machine that had shocked the Germans when it appeared on the Eastern Front during WWII.
Much like Gilbert's earlier account of Marine tanks in the Pacific war, this book offers a unique and brutally honest oral history of the unheralded armor combat that swept the length and breadth of the Korean Peninsula. It is a accomplished and thorough blend of scholarship and storytelling that recounts every Marine tank engagement of the war. The author also offers insightful analysis of how tanks were employed on the battlefield, and includes a original account of the role armor played in the destruction of the ill-fated Task Force Drysdale.
Ultimately, Marine Corps Tank Battles in Korea is sweeping account laced with hardship, sacrifice, honor, and duty. The two long inserts of photos (most or all of which are apparently previously unpublished), together with the Epilogue of what became of the men who tell the tale, cap a study that deserves a wide audience and ample discussion.
I knew little about this aspect of the Korean War. Read this book and The forgotten War will never quite look the same again. And you certainly won't forget it.
A powerful and unflinchingly honest oral history Sep 19, 2003
Authoritatively and capably written by Oscar Gilbert (a Marine artilleryman and an NCO instructor in the Marine Corps Reserve), Marine Corps Tank Battles In Korea is a powerful and unflinchingly honest oral history of the armored conflict of the Korean War. Insights as to how tanks were deployed on the battlefield, close studies of the war's major battles, anecdotal testimonies, black-and-white photographs, and much, much more fill the pages of this even-handed, in-depth, detailed, specialized, strongly recommended military history of the Korean War.