The subtitle may raise eyebrows, but the author argues that we defeated the North Koreans and were in turn defeated by the Communist Chinese. The figure of MacArthur looms large in this story, a figure of genius compounded with hubris. The Inchon landing was such an astoundingly successful maneuver that thereafter the Joint Chiefs and even Truman himself were so in awe of MacArthur that they failed to question his judgment later on when they should have…or so the author argues. It was mainly on MacArthur’s initiative that the scope of the war’s aim was expanded to included the unification of the peninsula under non-communist rule, which inevitably provoked the Chinese to intervene in a conflict they could have been kept out of if not for this tremendous misjudgment. Much of this book contains accounts of battles that are memorable only for their wastefulness of human life, but underneath this monotony is the cry of the soldier that his sacrifice not be forgotten. Dulce et decorum.
Nov 24 2014
Korea: The First War We Lost by Bevin Alexander
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