A Soldier's Odyssey
When the North Korean Army attacked the Republic of Korea on June 25, 1950, Cecil Cline was an assistant supply sergeant with the 1st Cavalry Division in Tokyo, Japan.. Three weeks later he was making an amphibious landing on the east coast of South Korea as the North Korea Armies were rapidly advancing toward Pusan. For the next few months Cline occupied a foxhole in the mountains of South Korea as the US 8th Army defended the Pusan Perimeter against the unrelenting assaults of the North Korean forces. Clines observations and accounts of the military situation during the early weeks of the Korean conflict are incisive and candid. He highlights the lack of our military preparedness in Korea, based on his observations, combat experience, and subsequent extensive study of the inadequate military and political leadership at the time. A Soldiers Odyssey presents an easy to read historical account of the ill trained, ill equipped, and ill prepared American soldiers as they faced the constant challenge of defending the Pusan Perimeter from the well armed, well trained, and well equipped armies of North Korea. Cline gives a personal account of the constant challenge the soldiers of the 8th Army faced as they fought to keep the determined North Korean forces from overwhelming their positions and swallowing up what remained of the Republic of South Korea. Most everyone who reads this book, including many of the soldiers who held the critical Pusan Perimeter, will be surprised to learn how close we came to utter defeat at the hands of the small North Korean Army. One commander expressed his frustration thusly: "It was a hell of a way to go to war."
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