The Frozen Hours

The Frozen Hours

A Novel of the Korean War

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * The master of military historical fiction turns his discerning eye to the Korean War in this riveting novel, which tells the dramatic story of the Americans and the Chinese who squared off in one of the deadliest campaigns in the annals of combat: the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, also known as Frozen Chosin.

June 1950. The North Korean army invades South Korea, intent on uniting the country under Communist rule. In response, the United States mobilizes a force to defend the overmatched South Korean troops, and together they drive the North Koreans back to their border with China.

But several hundred thousand Chinese troops have entered Korea, laying massive traps for the Allies. In November 1950, the Chinese spring those traps. Allied forces, already battling stunningly cold weather, find themselves caught completely off guard as the Chinese advance around the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. A force that once stood on the precipice of victory now finds itself on the brink of annihilation. Assured by General Douglas MacArthur that they would be home by Christmas, the soldiers and Marines fight for their lives against the most brutal weather conditions imaginable--and an enemy that outnumbers them more than six to one.

The Frozen Hours tells the story of Frozen Chosin from multiple points of view: Oliver P. Smith, the commanding general of the American 1st Marine Division, who famously redefined retreat as "advancing in a different direction"; Marine Private Pete Riley, a World War II veteran who now faces the greatest fight of his life; and the Chinese commander Sung Shi-Lun, charged with destroying the Americans he has so completely surrounded, ever aware that above him, Chairman Mao Tse-Tung watches his every move.

Written with the propulsive force Jeff Shaara brings to all his novels of combat and courage, The Frozen Hours transports us to the critical moment in the history of America's "Forgotten War," when the fate of the Korean peninsula lay in the hands of a brave band of brothers battling both the elements and a determined, implacable foe.

"A military story as dramatic and heroic as any that exists."-- The American Interest

" The Frozen Hours . . . illustrates again Shaara's mastery. . . . This is fiction and history at their blended best."-- Marine Corps Gazette

"Marvelously effective storytelling . . . that shows us what warfare feels like both to those who plan campaigns and those who execute them . . . gripping, precisely detailed historical fiction."-- Booklist (starred review)
Publisher: New York, NY : Ballantine Books, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780345549228
0345549228
Branch Call Number: Fic
Characteristics: xxvii, 525 pages : map ; 25 cm

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k
Keogh
Jan 20, 2018

The Korean War is often referred to as the forgotten war, for various reasons, including that it's never really technically ended. Jeff Shaara, who has followed in the footsteps of his father's work, turns to that war after a succession of novels ranging from the American Revolution to the Second World War with points of view from all sides as he has gone along. His focus here is the battle of Chosin Reservoir, a ferocious engagement in North Korea in 1950, as told from the point of view of three men: Oliver Smith, the no-nonsense Marine general on the ground, the Chinese general Sung Shilun, a tenacious commander wary of eyes on him from above, and Pete Riley, a Marine private in the midst of the worst of the fighting. Shaara's skill is bringing these men and others to vivid life as they experience the brutality of battle, the rigors of the ground and the weather, and the occasional incompetence of superiors. In this case, Shaara also brings to life a different element- the weather, which becomes a character in and of itself throughout the book. He skillfully gets inside the heads of soldiers, Marines, and others as he goes along, and sheds light on a battle most people will be completely ignorant of.

g
greengarden1
Aug 17, 2017

I was a Marine in Vietnam. I found this fictional account to follow other articles and show what the mess Korea was for the Grunt on the ground. I was always glad I missed Korea; freezing to death after being wounded was ugly.

a
AlmadenAFS
Jul 08, 2017

If you're a vet and served whether peace or war you'll enjoy this book. Regardless of service branch if you've served in a cold weather locations you'll enjoy this book. Reminds you of what binds veterans. I served fifteen months at a isolated radar station and can empathize with the grunts need for warmth when the temperature gets down below thirty five degrees. Walking guard duty I offended wondered if my carbine would fire.

l
lilypad_1
Jun 25, 2017

This book has given me insights on what is happening now between N. Korea and China and the U.S. China did not and probably does not want us next to their border.
I have heard that General MacArthur was such a wonderful war tactician but the more I read about him the more he seems to be about his glory to hell with the men on the ground. His pincer lost this war for us and many thousands of lives.
Have read this author's books on WW2 and even though I am not a battlefield aficionado I enjoy his material.

b
bixbyjim
Jun 11, 2017

I don't see any way those Marines could have endured that. I couldn't have done that.

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