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The United States Marine Corps in the Korean War

...more Images of War from Pen & Sword

Title: The United States Marine Corps in the Korean War
Author: Michael Green
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52676-537-6

A new Images of War title from Pen & Sword, and for this one the subject is the USMC and it turns to their involvement in the Korean War of the early 1950s. A 214-page soft-cover book packed with informative text and a fine collection of archive images, each with detailed captioning.
As the author explains in his Forward, there was an idea in America after WW2 that the US Marines could have been disbanded, even after they proved their worth in the Pacific campaign of WW2. They could have been sacrificed in the name of saving money, the so-called Peace Dividend, but then the Korean War came along, and rather than directly under the US flag, they were sent to Korea under the auspices of the UN. After the North Korean invasion of South Korea in 1950, UN forces from a number of countries came to the assistance of the South, but the North Koreans pushed deep into the South. The story then reflects the back and forth nature of the first year or so of the war, before it settled into a quite static campaign for the last couple of years. Split across 5 chapters it naturally focuses on the involvement of the US Marines in the conduct of the war, with not only their seaborne landing at Inchon and Wonsan, but also their fighting withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir. There are many reminders of WW2, with much of the equipment in use by both sides, and the leadership of General McArthur in the early period. Each chapter has some useful text elements to set out the stages of the story, and then the set of archive images, with caption, that we associated with the Images of War series. These show the newer items of military equipment that came into use alongside that of WW2, with jets, helicopters and more modern artillery and tanks.
There are other even more detailed accounts of the Korean War available, but this gives a fine outline of events, and the actions of the US Marines in particular. It is the collection of archive images however that will rightly be the main attraction for this one. Maybe my age, but with memories of the great TV series M.A.S.H., this one struck a particular chord.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for our review copy.


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