THE RIVER AND THE GAUNTLET by S.L.A. Marshall

THE RIVER AND THE GAUNTLET

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Don't be misled by the subtitle- ""Defeat of the 8th Army by the Chinese Communist Forces, November 1950, in the Battle of the Chongchon River""- a subtitle which seems designed to warn the unwary rather than intrigue the reader. For this is true drama, true tragedy to be sure, in as absorbing a record of defeat and heroism as modern war has given us. It is -- in factual record- the stuff of which novels like Pat Frank's Hold Back the Night are fashioned. Brigadier General Marshall was Infantry Operations Analyst with the 8th Army in Korea at the time of the Chinese attack. He has set down this record, in minute and personal detail because he feels that in studying the reasons why our forces were deceived and how they reacted to the situation, lessons are to be drawn. The pre- invasion handicaps, the inadequacies of intelligence, the failure to use procedures perfected in World War II (due to breakneck demobilization largely), the lack of maps -- all these were factors. He examines the oriental pattern of deception and its significance, too little understood. And then he goes on to tell the story of one day, comparable percentagewise to the decimation and disaster of the grim winter at Valley Forge. It is a story of men against defeat, superbly told, with no minimizing of the inadequacies as well as the achievements.

Pub Date: May 14th, 1953
Publisher: Morrow