Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story

By Jack R. Siewert | Go to book overview

Foreword

In the study of war there is a tendency to look at the “big picture,” reflecting on the role of generals and statesmen or depicting the strategy of nations and the movement of vast armies or armadas. Historians of the Korean War have produced some excellent studies along these lines. Among these reliable narrative studies would be T. R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War and Clay Blair’s The Korean War. It is important to note, however, that the war one sees as a result of the “big picture” is often a distortion. The vastness of war may be more easily understood by drawing generalizations from its complexities, but the basic realities of a war are really understood only when the events are seen as personal. For, in the final analysis, war is personal. It is fought in a particular place by a particular individual who, for whatever reason, finds that he or she is matched against an enemy in a deadly struggle. It is at the individual level that we acknowledge the difference between what Lawrence LeShan calls the mythic and sensory reality of war. Whereas the mythic reality provides motivation and unity to the cause, it is the sensory reality of the individual that makes it happen. It happens in the face of unquestionable fear and the numbing and overpowering desire for safety.

After the United Nations resumed the offensive in January 1951 and, in doing so, brought the majority of the subsequent Communist counterattacks to a halt, the front stabilized along a line just north of the capital city of Seoul. At this point the war moved into its static phase, that is, a period in which action is identified in terms of limited battalion-size, and sometimes regimental-size, attacks. It had been agreed among the

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Outpost Kelly: A Tanker's Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • 1 - Reconnaissance Up Front 1
  • 2 - Close and Join 12
  • 3 - Hill 199 28
  • 4 - Stuck in the Mud 63
  • 5 - Outpost Kelly Is Lost 76
  • 6 - >the Fight for Outpost Kelly 92
  • 7 - Return to Home Station 136
  • Epilogue 143
  • Notes 147
  • Glossary of Terms and Acronyms 151
  • Bibliography 155
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