To The Last Round : The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951 Paperback
NEW PAPERBACK EDITION 'Salmon's vivid use of recollections and dramatic quotes brings alive an unjustly forgotten conflict' Time Out With even World War II now just on the edges of living memory, and with British forces now engaged in a lengthy, brutal and attritional old-fashioned war in Afghanistan, historical attention is starting to turn to the Korean War of the early 1950s. And remarkably, the most notorious and celebrated battle in that conflict, from a British point of view, has never previously been written about at length. Andrew Salmon's book, which has garnered excellent reviews and sold out two hardback printings already, has filled that gap.
This is the story of the Battle of the Imjin River, when the British 29th Infantry Brigade, and above all the "Glorious Glosters" of the Gloster Regiment, fought an epic last stand against the largest communist offensive of the war.
It lasted three days, of bitter hand-to-hand combat.
By the end of it one battalion of the Glosters - some 750 men - had been reduced to just 50 survivors. Andrew Salmon's definitive history, which gained excellent reviews in hardback and sold very steadily, is very much in the Antony Beevor mould: accessible, pacy, narrative, and painting a moving and exciting picture through the extensive use of eyewitness accounts of veterans, of whom he has tracked down and interviewed dozens. Andrew Salmon is a Seoul-based journalist who writes for The Times, The Washington Times, and Forbes magazine.
He first became fascinated by the battle in 2001 when he met British veterans returning to the Imjin River to mark the 50th anniversary.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Aurum Press
- Publication Date: 25/04/2010
- Category: Asian history
- ISBN: 9781845135331
- EPUB from £4.67
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Review by tbrennan1
This book revolves around the stand of the British 29th Brigade at the Imjin river in Korea for three days in April 1951 against overwhelming Chinese attacks. The Brigade which consisted of 3 English battalions plus a Belgian battalion were tasked to stop the Chinese 65th Army from breaking through the U.N. lines and crushing the U.N.( mainly American and South Korean) forces. The author has used the recollections of veterans who fought in this epic battle to recreate the story of the men who held the line and gave their lives in this now forgotten war . The narrative is gripping and while the fate of "the Glosters" is well known , Andrew Salmon acknowledges the important role of the other units ( Ulster Rifles, Northumberland Fusiliers and Belgians) in the battle and the breakout from encirclement. He points out that communication difficulties with their American divisional commanders may have contributed to the failure to extricate the "Glosters" and prevent their wipe-out by the Chinese. A very moving book illustrating the bravery of all the combatants involved including the Chinese enemy and the suffering of those captured and who spent two and a half years in POW camps before they were released following the Armistice in July 1953.