The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir: Background information when reading The Coldest Night

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The Coldest Night

A Novel of Love and War

by Robert Olmstead

The Coldest Night
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2012, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2013, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Mark James

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Beyond the Book:
The Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

Korea suffered under a brutal Japanese occupation from 1910 to 1945. After Japan's defeat in World War II, Korea was divided along the 38th Parallel, with South Korea falling under the jurisdiction of the United States, and North Korea under the Soviet Union. Reunification was the stated ultimate goal, but when North Korea attacked South Korea on June 25, 1950, the United Nations created an army to repel the invaders with the US military representing 88% of the 340,000 UN troops. According to the Naval History and Heritage website:

Throughout the summer of 1950, the U.S. and the other involved United Nations' states scrambled to contain North Korea's fast-moving army, assemble the forces necessary to defeat it and simultaneously begin to respond to what was seen as a global military challenge from the Communist world. In mid-September 1950 a daring amphibious invasion at Inchon fractured the North Korean war machine. In the following two months UN armies pushed swiftly through ...

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