From Her Death Bed and Beyond
Should be Soldiers is set during the chaotic and pivotal first five months of the Korean War of 1950-53, America's "Forgotten War." It is a unique non-fictional work based on the author's experiences and observations while serving as a medical officer in the medical aid station of an army combat infantry battalion.
While primarily about combat medicine, the book is also about the American soldiers who fought and died. Many of them little more than teenagers, they resented having to fight a war for a cause they could not appreciate in what they perceived as a far-off backward and alien Asian land. Motivation and morale suffered, but brutal combat against savagely attacking communist North Koreans hardened them.
Shortly after finally reclaiming South Korea, the American forces, now supported by allies under the United Nations, were sent north by ill-advised commanders to invade North Korea, despite oncoming near-arctic winter and threats of reactive Chinese intervention. When they did intervene with massive force, the author's battalion was soon fighting desperately in sub-zero weather as they tried to retreat to escape encirclement and annihilation. The battle became one of the worst defeats ever suffered by American arms.