On the heels of a victory in World War II, Communist North Korea decides to test the defenses of South Korea and her American backers. Unfortunately for the South, corruption and a state of unpreparedness gives the North a relatively easy path to control great swaths of the country.
“By 1950, in the five short years since the end of World War II, the extraordinary military might of the United States has been deflated almost completely. Throughout the world, governments are far more concerned that the next great war might begin along the hostile borders that now spread through Europe. What military strength the Americans still possess is mostly positioned where they face off against the Soviets along the border between East and West Germany. Korea, like most of Asia, has become an afterthought.”
Author Jeff Shaara follows his tried and true formula to bring life into history. In The Frozen Hours we follow a group of Marines as they first fight to retake South Korean territory and then advance to repel North Korea’s army only to find a much stronger foe hidden in the mountains. These brave men not only had to resist a tough adversary, but also had to battle brutal weather.
It’s often discouraging for me to read novels about brave men not just doing the impossible, but having to follow seemingly asinine orders that most know will get folks killed. Shaara shines again bringing history alive through those who fought the battles.
“From Litzenberg down to the privates who trudged their way up muddy ruts in a soggy road, no one paid any attention now to MacArthur’s amazing optimism, Tokyo still trumpeting that these men would leave this miserable land in time to celebrate Christmas with their families. Each day’s march put them farther from the seaports to the south, and closer to what they all believed would be another fight.”