Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War

by Eric Hammel

Told from the point of view of the men in the foxholes and tanks, outposts, and command posts, Eric Hammel’s Chosin is the definitive account of the epic retreat under fire of the 1st Marine Division from the Chosin Reservoir in December 1950.

The author first sketches in the errors and miscalculations on the part of the American high command that caused the Marines to be strung out at the end of a narrow road scores of miles from the sea.  He then plunges right into the action:  the massing of Chinese forces in about ten-to-one strength; the Marines' command problems due to the -35-degree climate, mountainous terrain, and high-level overconfidence; and the onset of the overwhelming Chinese assault.

With a wealth of tactical detail and small-unit action Chosin: Heroic Ordeal of the Korean War is the most complete, most compelling book written on this iconic battle.  Author Eric Hammel's masterful account offers invaluable perspective on war at the gut level.

Praise for Chosin

"Hammel's book is full of accounts of the stuff that legends are made from. It is a cliffhanger of a story, and he tells it master­fully. Readers should be warned: Just as in the campaign itself, where there was no rear echelon and everyone was a combatant, so too, if you go into Yudam-ni with the Marines you had better be prepared to be with them all the way on to Hungnam and freedom." —Sea Power Magazine

"This is a view over the foxhole's rim. It concentrates on the superlative effort, suffering and courage of the young enlisted Marines, sailors and soldiers who glared at the quilted-uniformed enemy and refused to be stared down ... a factual, revealing and penetrating look at war at its worst and men at their best." —The San Diego Union

"The author's weaving of men, crises, and numbing cold leaves the reader in awe of this feat of arms in which soldiers and Marines fought an epic struggle to survive. . . . Hammel's book is highly recommended." —Infantry Magazine

"Involves the reader emotionally in a kaleidoscope of different, individual perceptions—from officers in their headquarters to riflemen shivering in the foxholes ... to the small-unit actions that, in their totality, shaped the ultimate course of the battle." —Military History Magazine