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Dog Company Six Hardcover – May, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 303 pages
  • Publisher: US Naval Institute Press; First Edition edition (May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557508984
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557508980
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,649,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The press that discovered Tom Clancy and has integrated just a few other novelists into its mainly nonfiction list over the years now offers an excellent debut novel about the Korean War . The author is a Marine combat veteran of that largely forgotten conflict, and this tale could easily be autobiographical (although he claims it isn't); it was written just after the war and then filed away in Simmons's attic for nearly 50 years. The simple story of Marines at war follows Capt. George Bayard as he commands a Marine infantry company of Pacific War vets and new recruits in 1950-1951. Simmons avoids any geopolitical discussions of the war, and instead focuses on Bayard and the men of Dog Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Division, and the grueling ordeal they face in close combat with the North Koreans and Red Chinese. Bayard is a new company commander, an unknown quantity who must prove himself to his men, especially the WWII combat-tested lieutenants and sergeants. From the surprise amphibious landing at Inchon through the horrific street fighting in Seoul, and on to the frozen wasteland of the Chosin Reservoir winter campaign, Bayard learns a lot about himself and his ability as a leader. His education, however, comes at a grim price, particularly when his company is nearly wiped out defending a snowy mountain pass in sub-zero weather and legendary battalion commander Lt. Col. "Red Snapper" Quillan must come to their aid. Simmons writes with the salty authority of a man who has seen war, providing a convincing and graphic foxhole level view of the infantryman's fight with rifle, grenade and bayonet. This will be a hit with fans of military history, but Simmons's frequent use of unexplained Marine Corps jargon and acronyms may leave civilian readers in the cold. 15,000 first printing. (May) for 24 years.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-A taut, exceptionally well-paced, and exciting novel. Simmons tells the story of Marine Reserve Captain George Bayard, recalled to service during the Korean War from a comfortable teaching position and given command of rifle company D ("Dog" in the military phonetic alphabet), which shipped out in time for the September 15, 1950 attack on Inchon. Readers follow Bayard and his company through the terrible ordeal of the winter of 1950-51. The tale of the advance up the peninsula and the miserable retreat is gripping, and Simmons's well-chiseled characterizations are unforgettable. The most important aspect of the novel is the author's depiction of unit cohesion. Throughout, Bayard is a reluctant warrior, but by the time the first bullets fly he finds the magnetic pull of home with all its comforts is insufficient to overcome the bond he has established with the men of his company. Veterans like Simmons can fully convey this attribute. A vividly accurate depiction of combat in Korea.
Alan Gropman, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, DC
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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The story of unequal sacrifice is applicable to today's military as well.
Jim Broumley
General Simmons writes with an excellent command of the English language, which he employs to describe the foul-ups and successes of the Marines in Korea.
John P. Rooney
In the middle of the book the war with North Korea appears to be over, and then...the Chinese come into it and prolong the carnage.
Lucilla Bellucci

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Robert B. Morrisey on May 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
While "Dog Company Six" is billed as a novel, it might well be viewed as a diary of a Marine rifle company, the down-and-dirty war fighters, during its long guelling days of combat in a miserable war that shouldn't have happened. Author Simmons knows all-to-well of which he writes. He's been there and back, having commanded every kind and size of Marine Corps combat unit from platoon to a division while serving as a Marine during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He is also an accomplished writer and Marine Corps historian with a shelf full of fine books to to show for it.
Throughout the battles that ensue, from the mud flats of Inchon to the frozen wastelands of the Chosin Reservoir, Simmons masterfully and meticulously sets the scenes in which the company operates, allowing the reader to share in the intensity and realism experienced by Dog's Marines. The ongoing dialogue, expertly and abundantly woven throughout the book, will indeed be familiar to those who have endured and survived combat.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John P. Rooney on June 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dog Company Six: This is an excellent book, exceedingly well written. Although presented as a novel, this work of fiction provides a thorough history of Marine Corps action in Korea, from the landings at Inchon up to the end of the war. The author, General Edwin Howard Simmons, records the Marines' struggles, up and down the peninsula, north and south, through the eyes of Captain Bayard, the commanding officer of Dog Company. General Simmons writes with an excellent command of the English language, which he employs to describe the foul-ups and successes of the Marines in Korea. This book is definitely written from the point of view of the "grunt" in the mud (or snow). The highest rank for a character in the book is a light colonel. I would highly recommend this book.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Lowell Woolley on July 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Dog Company Six" is one of the best war novels I ever read, and I'm a fan of the genre. Without swashbuckling heroics, it shows what war is really like from the point of view of an infantry company commander. That it is set during the Korean War is coincidental. It could have been set in any modern war. The courage, loyalty, self-sacrifice, exhaustion, grief and heartbreak experienced by the officers and men of Dog Company are universal. They have been experienced by the men fighting all mankind's wars throughout history. The author's own experience as a combat Marine in Korea give it an authenticity that is rare in war fiction. "Dog Company Six" deserves a lot more attention than it has received.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Gil Duran on August 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Don't let the title fool you. This book is not about dogs. Dog Company is the phonetic alphabet designation for D Company that was used by the U.S. armed forces in World War II and Korea. Dog Company Six is the kind of book that many will want to read at least twice because it's so good. It's a novel about Marines in combat written by a Marine combat veteran. The prose is spare and to the point. The combat scenes are realistic and exciting. The book begins with an inexperienced infantry captain struggling with fears and doubts about his ability to lead Dog Company into war in Korea. As Dog Company fights its way through the Inchon Invasion, the battle for Seoul and the Chosin Reservoir - some of the most honored and storied battles in U.S. Marine Corps history - the commander matures into a tough, capable and brave captain of Marines. Author Edwin Howard Simmons is a retired Marine brigadier general who also fought his way up and the down the Korean peninsula in the same battles. His dialog is true to the Corps and his combat scenes have the realism that only a man who's been there can write. Dog Company Six isn't just a book about war and killing. It's about bravery, sacrifice and dedication to duty. Dog Company Six isn't just a book for and about Marines. It's an entertaining story, well told and deserving to be read by a wide audience.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By therealjermo on June 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In recent years, the trials and sacrifices of World War II and Vietnam veterans has been brought to the attention of the public by huge movie productions and media hype. However, the story of the American soldier in the "Forgotten War" in Korea largely remains to be told. Simmons' book tells this story with the authority of a retired Marine General, the accuracy of the director of the Marine Corps Historical Center, and the passion of a front-line infantryman. Given the media attention this book deserves, it could easily fill the gap in the American consciousness regarding the Korean War, and give the men who fought there their long delayed due.
In _Dog Company Six_, Simmons expertly combines realistic accounts of combat, an engaging character study of an everyman Marine officer, and sneaks in the `big picture' view of the operational and political climate in Korea. While the combat is harrowing and the historical account is instructive, I felt one of the most interesting and overlooked aspects of the book was the character study of the Dog Company Six (Six meaning Commanding Officer in Marine lingo), Captain Bayard. Simmons shows where Bayard came from, where he grew up, how he came to be a Marine. He develops Bayard's career from a bit role in World War Two, through time in the Reserves, back to an active duty role with connections in Washington D.C.. In doing so, Simmons gives a real feel for where the citizen soldier comes from - Bayard could easily be the reader, the reader's father, Grandfather, the neighbor next door. The character evolves before the reader, giving a real sense of how war can change the individual.
Standing on its own merits, I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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