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The Korean war (Anglais) Relié – 1 janvier 1987

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Relié, 1 janvier 1987
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115 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Korean War Readers: Advance Cautiously 14 février 2000
Par Capt Keith Kopets, USMC - Publié sur
Format: Broché
The interpretations of the Korean War are varied and numberalmost as many as the pages that have been devoted to the conflict'shistory. The Korean War is an attempt by the British author MaxHastings to paint a portrait of the war, focusing upon some human and military aspects less familiar to readers on both sides of the Atlantic. From the outset, Hastings does not purport to give a comprehensive account of the war and cites the works of David Rees (Korea: The Limited War, New York, 1964) and Bruce Cumings (Origins of the Korean War, New Jersey, 1981) as the best in these categories. The author also professes his belief in the rightness of the American commitment to Korea in 1950. One of the more interesting passages in the Korean War is the author's coverage of the Inchon operation. Hastings defends the decision of General MacArthur to maintain X Corps as a separate tactical unit from Eighth Army: ... there was an entirely legitimate case for placing the conduct of the Inchon landing in hands other than those of General Walton Walker. MacArthur well knew the low morale that existed in Eighth Army headquarters.... [Although] Walker had conducted a stubborn defense of Pusan.... there was grave reason to doubt his ability now to lead the sort of imaginative and dynamic operation MacArthur planned. MacArthur considered, and rejected, the possibility of relieving him [Walker] of his command.... MacArthur's compromise was to entrust the amphibious operation to Almond. The author's argument is plausible, but he fails to cite his references. One of the strong points of the Korean War is the author's analysis ofthe Chinese and their intervention in the war. Hastings visited Peking while researching this book and incorporates the oral histories gained from interviewing veterans of the People's Liberation Army. He succeeds in using this material (although his journalistic, vice scholarly use of oral history gives the book a spurious creditability) in supporting his main thrust regarding the Chinese; that patriotism, not Communism, drove their intervention. The Chinese viewed the naval blockade of Formosa as a threat to their sovereignty; the Chinese sought the liberation of Taiwan and now equated the attainment of this goal with the defeat of the United States. Additionally, the Chinese refused to remain idle with the approach of foreign troops towards their border: Throughout the Korean War, Washington persistently sought the communist ideological logic behind Chinese actions. It might have been more profitable to consider instead historic Chinese nationalistic logic. Korea had provided the springboard for the Japanese invasion of Manchuria only a generation before. As the Americans drove north after smashing Kim Il Sung's armies in September 1950, Peking was appalled by the imminent prospect of an American imperialist army on the Yalu. (p. 134) Hastings also refutes the belief by the United States that the Chinese were acting in concert with the Soviet Union. The Russians regretted the North Korean's invasion and wished to distance themselves from Korea; thus, the Chinese acted unilaterally Hastings, to his credit, also gives ample analysis of the misjudgments of the Communists. The Chinese, after their initial success in late 1950, were led into the same trap as the United States after Inchon: they allowed their military success to change their original political goals. However limited the war aims of the Chinese in November 1950, there is no doubt that their early triumphs opened up, in the eyes of Peking, illusory visions of absolute military victory in Korea, of an all-embracing Communist success. Hastings argues correctly that the Chinese would have greatly boosted their own prestige had they sought a negotiated end to the struggle after the winter of 1950. Nevertheless, his argument that China lost a prime opportunity to gain a seat in the United Nations by not negotiating a truce after 1950 is a weak one. Although the United States wished to downplay their support of Chiang and Nationalist China, they were far from formally recognizing the Communists. Another area receiving little attention elsewhere is the intelligence-gathering operations in Korea. Hastings boldly asserts that "the Korean War put the CIA on the map". The United States already possessed a growing hunger for information on their chief enemies; the Communists. They were prepared to seize upon any means in which to gain more knowledge and Korea provided an ideal opportunity. The author chronicles the buildup of the Central Intelligence Agency, beginning with the appointment of Bedell Smith as its first director. The CIA launched numerous operations in attempt to learn more of the Communists and their intentions in Korea. Hastings concludes, "it is difficult to judge that its [the CIA's] operations remotely justified the scale of resources it eventually deployed or the lives that were squandered in its name." Hastings does add that the initial errors made by the CIA in Korea resulted in a better intelligence gathering effort in Vietnam. The author makes sparing use of maps, but does provide a sufficient number to keep the reader oriented. Hastings also includes a helpful chronology of the war and a listing of the military assistance provided by each member of the United Nations in the appendix. Although Hastings may draw criticism for devoting an inordinate amount of attention to Britain's involvement in Korea, his argument that a "British officer's or private soldier's recollection of the experience of fighting the Chinese in Korea is no less valid ... than that of an American" is legitimate. To his credit, Hastings gives fair treatment to all parties by incorporating interviews with Americans, Chinese, South Koreans, and soldiers from other participating UN armies. Overall Hastings presents some valid arguments and his writing style is good. As the editor of the Daily Telegraph in London, Hastings writes with a more journalistic than scholarly style and sometimes lacks the in-depth analysis to carry some of his arguments to completion. Nevertheless, his work still has value among the sociopolitical literature on the war. I would recommend this book as supplemental reading to those already possessing a solid understanding of the war.
48 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good overview 4 août 2000
Par Brian D. Rubendall - Publié sur
Format: Broché
British Historian Max Hasting's gives the "forgotten war" the kind of good overall one volume treatment that it deserves. For some reason, Korea has just never registered with Americans the way World War Two or Vietnam has. But the stakes were high as America rushed its untrained Pacific army from Japan to the Korean peninsula in a desperate attempt to forestall a communist takeover of the South in 1950. The heroism of those first soldiers cannot be understated. Hastings captures the whole saga of the war as a horrible tragedy and as the first test of the West's determination to literally fight the spread of communism. Ultimately, as Hastings points out, the sacrifice of the allied troops was not in vain. That democracy exists today in South Korea is a testement to those who fought and died to preserve the country's freedom.
29 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Unbiased, Objective Book about Korean War 8 mars 2006
Par jason - Publié sur
Format: Broché
First, let me clear a reader's confusions. The Chinese Army fights with not only American Army but also UN Troops. If you can include the casualty of ROK, British, Turkish and some other country's armies, I am quite sure you can draw a different conclusion. Second, the Chinese Army didn't get too many US weapons formerly owned by Chiang Kai-shek. Most of them used .31-caliber rifle, which was used by Japanese in 1930's and totally out of date. You can find this information from a lot of photographs on both sides.

Korean War is a forgotten war in USA and some kind of forgotten by younger generation in China. There are a lot of books and photographs introducing this war on both sides. So far, this book is the best book I have seen about Korean War from the West. The writer is objective, unbiased to describe the cause of the war, the battle in the war and the prisoner on both sides. He incorporates American soldiers, Chinese soldiers and British Soldiers into his book, which gives readers a vivid image of War. His clear writing, objective and informative narrative of the war make his work the best book of Korean War for almost twenty years. This is a classic book deserve to read and keep, if you are big fan of Korean War. If you just want to browse the history, I strongly recommend a website: [...] which can give you objective, unbiased information.
35 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Lost In History 19 juin 2005
Par John G. Hilliard - Publié sur
Format: Broché
It has always been a bit surprising to me that of the war's America has been involved in over the last century, it seems that the Korean War has always gotten so little attention. After all, two superpowers met in battle, it was the communists against us in a very hot war. Nuclear war was a very real possibility and the violence of the conflict was far higher then any other conflict except World War Two. We were responding to an invasion of a free and democratic country. Yet it gets little to no mention in our history books and public discourse.

There are a lot of very interesting and one would say dramatic military events that took place in this war. The brutal winter losses at Chosin, the Inchon landing, the drive to Yalu, all of which are recounted in the book in a very engaging way. Not only does the author give you the facts and overview of the battles, but he also does a good job at retelling the stories of the common soldier. He seemed to have talked to people on all sides of the conflict in order to gain a unique view into what it was like for them as well as us. Overall I enjoyed the book. It gave me a very easy to read overview of the war. He covered big picture items well and really got into the battle details to make the book exciting at times.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An Excellent One Volume Compact History 20 mai 2000
Par Viking - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Max Hastings has achieved one of the most difficult feats in writing a good survey history about a particular event. That is, Hastings was able to cover the Korean War well from the political, diplomatic, social, and military aspects.
In addition to this, Hastings was able to bring in a very personal feel to the drama by including touching accounts of the war from a wide range of people including American, British, Korean, and Chinese soldiers; and the people of Korea who suffered very dearly.
I found especially gripping and well constructed, the epic U.S. retreat to the Pusan Perimeter and the stunning counterstroke at Inchon. As an American, I found the heroic British battle with the Chinese at Imjin welcome to my limited knowledge of English military contributions.
Hastings also illustrates quite well how the U.S. and China were both and at varying times close to total victory, and how the failure to achieve total victory put themselves in a worse postion diplomatically. (i.e. the U.N. push to the Yalu that failed in the fall of 1950, and the Chinese advance to the 38th Parallel in the winter of 1950-51.)
Hastings also shows just how different General MacArthur's strategic thinking on the war was from both Washington and London. Also interesting is the author's exploration into the typical poor moral within the U.N. ranks resulting from the frustration of having to fight a limited war in a cold-inhospitable place.
Anyone looking for a good one volume compact history of the Korean War should buy this book.
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