January 25, 2011

Book Review: Give Me Tomorrow

Book Review: Give Me Tomorrow – The Korean War’s Greatest Untold Story - The Epic Stand of the Marine’s of George Company.

By Patrick K. O’Donnell, De Capo Press

The Forgotten War: this is what I think about when I hear men talk about the Korean War, a war against communist aggression that fell between WWII and Vietnam. After reading Give Me Tomorrow I’ll never think this again.

Give Me Tomorrow begins with the outbreak of war in August 1950 as the United States fresh from its victory in Europe once again failed to learn from its mistakes of the past and found itself scrambling to field a fighting force that just a few years early had numbered in the millions.

The United States Marine Corp had fared well but had not been immune to the cutting and George Company was formed from Active Duty Marines, Marine Reservists, and enlistees from all over the country. Cooks, Electricians, Truck Drivers, and men who didn’t even have Marine Boot Camp under their belts were formed into the Weapons Company of George Company 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines at Camp Pendleton, Ca. Commanded by Captain George Westover and lead by First Sergeant Rocco Zullo the Marine’s of George Company trained up, and in less than a month, jumped on board the ships, and headed off to Korea. On the way they endured mind numbing boredom and the sheer terror of sailing through a typhoon. On September 15, 1950 the men of George Company landed at Inchon along with the invasion force and began their assault into history.

George Company fought inland along with the Invasion forces towards Seoul, along the way they had to fight their way through the heavily fortified town of Yondungpo. Fifteen days after landing at Inchon, the men of George Company found themselves entering the urban holocaust of Seoul and the bloody house to house fighting that ensued.

Despite the casualties and success of George Company in the opening days of the invasion, it was their heroic stand at Chosin Reservoir that earned them the most honors. Just as the Spartans held off a hugely greater force at Thermopylae the men of George Company, in late November and in brutally cold conditions, occupied East Hill outside the village of Hagaru and held off an attacking Chinese Army thousands of times stronger than they were. As wave after wave of Chinese soldiers advanced and were cut down by the machine gunners of George Company, they ran low on ammunition and manpower as one by one, they lost each other in the dark and cold.

However, the men of George Company never wavered and they held East Hill despite overwhelming odds. Now some 60 years later the survivors of George Company are still haunted by the images of war they encountered and let loose upon their enemies.

Give Me Tomorrow is a riveting account of just what it takes to win, and is an excellent historical account of a time in our history that many have forgotten.

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