Colder Than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir

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Naval Institute Press, 1996 - History - 237 pages
2 Reviews
Joe Owen tells it like it was in this evocative, page-turning story of a Marine rifle company in the uncertain, early days of the Korean War. His powerful descriptions of close combat in the snow-covered mountains of the Chosin Reservoir and of the survival spirit of his Marines provide a gritty real-life view of frontline warfare. As a lieutenant who was with them from first muster in California, Owen was in a unique position to see the hastily assembled mix of some 200 regulars and raw reservists harden into a superb Marine rifle company. From steamy rice paddies to frozen mountaintops, the action and narrative move fast as the company learns to fight under enemy fire, eat frozen rations, and keep moving forward when its wounded and dead go down. There are examples of Medal of Honor gallantry; bitter, bloody losses; enemy night assaults; foxhole fights; and patrols through Chinese lines. This book includes the accounts of many Inchon-Seoul and Chosin survivors, woven together and told proudly by one of their own on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the war. In addition, the author provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at the frantic race to prepare American fighting forces for combat in Korea and offers lessons in leadership for today's Marines and soldiers.

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User Review  - Luftwaffe_Flak - LibraryThing

Absolutely riveting first hand account of one 2nd Lt and his platoon/company fight from their call up in the US to the frozen hell of the Chosin Reservoir. Roughly 225 men landed, 27 walked down after ... Read full review

Colder Than Hell

User Review  - bowlrpba -

Excellent first person narration of a U.S. Marine mortar platoon lieutenants experiences on the front lines during the Korean War. Folloe Lt. Owen from the pre war days to the horrors and death at the frozen Choisin. Read full review



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About the author (1996)

Owen, a Marine first lieutenant when he commanded the platoon in Baker-One-Seven, served on active duty from 1943-1946 and from 1948-1952. He divides his time between Skaneateles, NY and Naples, Florida. He is now retired from his marketing business.

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