- Series: Military History of the United States (Book 872)
- Hardcover: 472 pages
- Publisher: Routledge (November 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0824044452
- ISBN-13: 978-0824044459
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 10.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,621,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (Military History of the United States)
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From Library Journal
Called the "forgotten war" by pundits and others who were not there, the Korean War (June 1950-July 1953) was the West's first armed clash against post-World War II communism. The United States and its allies in the United Nations fought the North Koreans and the mainland Chinese to a "limited war" stalemate, which even today has not been concluded by the signing of a peace treaty. Korea has come to be known as the "hot spot" of the Cold War. Edited by a historian with the U.S Army, this Korean War encyclopedia is the collective journeyman effort of 63 contributors writing about 142 subjects, from Aircraft to X Corps. The subject essays are concise and well written. Expected topics include people; places; battles; logistics; naval, air, and ground forces; weapons; and strategy. Most interesting is the coverage of little-known subjects like brainwashing, decision-making, airborne operations, and the peculiar armistice negotiations. This volume is a solid effort for libraries, students, and the general reader.?William D. Bushnell, USMC (ret.), Brunswick, Me.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Military historian Sandler and a corps of 62 experts, mostly from U.S. academic and military institutions, have compiled an encyclopedia of more than 140 signed, objective articles, each of which concludes with a brief bibliography. The volume opens with a chronology extending from about 2,000 B.C. to April 1954, a considerably longer time span than the actual dates of conflict (June 25, 1950^-July 27, 1953), followed by 13 maps of varying legibility. Thirty-five black-and-white photographs appear together before the letter M. Articles in the main body of the work--with numerous cross-references--vary in length from one to several pages. Topics include origins of the conflict; ground, air, and naval operations; the prisoner of war issue; napalm; psychological warfare; the Truman-MacArthur confrontation; helicopter evacuation of the wounded; press and radio coverage of the war; and armistice negotiations. More than 40 of the articles are biographical, concentrating on civilian and military leaders (e.g., Dean Acheson, Eisenhower, Matthew Ridgway, Syngman Rhee, Kim Il Sung, Chou En Lai).
Statistical information is included within the text and/or tables of the appropriate articles. The extensive English-language bibliography is topically arranged (e.g., U.S. military forces, UN forces, communist military forces). In many instances monographic material is in one list followed by another of periodical articles on the same subject. This bibliography--and those appended to articles--include many items from the 1980s and 1990s. The detailed subject index, with numerous cross-references, is useful for bringing together information scattered among a number of entries. For example, the main entry Aircraft is followed by 79 subentries for specific planes.
Reference librarians, historians, and others have used Summers' Korean War Almanac [RBB Ap 1 90] and Matray's Historical Dictionary of the Korean War [RBB N 15 91] to advantage. The Almanac's coverage of military technology and the quality of its illustrations and maps were considered more useful than those in the Historical Dictionary. The latter, however, was more scholarly and more objective in its treatment. Sandler's The Korean War, with its neutral treatment and up-to-date bibliographies, will complement both Summers and Matray. Recommended for public and academic libraries.
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There are many chronologies but the most useful are the articles about weapons (armor, artillery air support, etc...) regiments, aircraft, and the diverse countries (Greece, Turkey, Ethiopia...) that lent a hand to the effort. Also informative are the discussions of isses (biological warfare, POWs, conscientious objectors, etc). The numerous articles placing the war into a larger world context (home front, press coverage, United Nations, etc...) also are helpful. Biographies of US, South Korean, and a smattering of NKPA, Russian and Chinese figures add a personal dimension to the conflict. Conflicts between national interest and cold war politics wove a complex net of intrigue between the UN forces (America, France, Britain, Canada..etc) as well as amidst the nonaligned states (such as India) and the belligerents (China, Russia, North Korea). In fact, the best way to enjoy this encyclopedia is to read just as you would a book...from beginning to end. Don't be surprised if you end up reading it several times.
This reference text is a collection of essays by individual authors. A risk of doing an encyclopedia this way is, without proper overall editing, the articles will be somewhat disjoint at one moment and repetitive at others. Sanders' text does suffer this flaw. In addition there are glaring oversights in some of the essays: the articles on the CIA or Intelligence, for example, never mention the crucial role played by Hans Tofte. Numerous articles use Goulden's <i>Korea: The Untold Story of the War</i>, but Tofte's chicanery with the Norwegian hospital ship (prominently described in Goulden) goes unnoticed. Still....I stand by my original opinion in this review...I loved this encyclopedia, and still have it from the library after nearly 3 weeks of reading.
Do any of the articles add significant insights not discussed in other books? I can think of two. The book, without making excuses for the Army's poor training and performance in the early weeks of the War, does make it clear that it was the lack of available facilities on the Japanese Islands (only Gotemba, a small area near the base of Mt. fuji still in use today) that made training impossible above the battalion level. (the Japanese used to train their forces in Manchuria!) The lengthy essay on the Navy makes it clear that branch confined the conflic by patrolling the waters of China, the Yellow sea, and the Taiwan strait. The Air force also receives kudos for its sweeping the skies and combat support. The authors point out that Marine/Navy combat support was better overall, but that the US Air force mission was broader in scope than that of Marine air.
In summary...a good book. A fantastic mixture of facts about, chronology of, and the environment in which the korean War took place.