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Re: The Bridge at No Gun Ri - A Book Review
> >>Did you read the ad? The author began with the 7th Cavalry and Little Big
>Horn and Wounded Knee and stuff and then uses that to explain supposed
>actions at No Gun Ri.<<
The Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee were used by the author/PR team to set
up an emotional appeal to a certain group of potential readers but had
nothing to do with No Gun RI.
And it is obvious the author(s) haven't the slightest idea of what goes on
at the infantry squad/platoon/company/battalion level in war, especially a
war like the Korean War. In infantry combat the outside world quickly
fades into the background because the infantryman doesn't know what is
going on the "Big Picture," only what is happening in few hundred
feet/yards he can see. His world becomes the men around him and he fights,
not for God, country and apple pie, but to stay alive. And he quickly
learns staying alive means keeping his buddies alive (even if he hates
their guts) because they may just keep him alive. He also learns that
killing whoever is out there first is a survival. Thus, he and his buddies
will, more often than not, shoot first and ask questions later.
Another fact: The infantryman rarely sees the people he kills since he is
generally shooting at movement or "to whom it may concern." In doing so,
he sometimes kills or wounds civilians but doesn't know it.
And a final fact: Unlike Vietnam where much of the action was "close
combat," much of Korean War was a war fought at long distance by air and
artillery chewing up the countryside several hundred or several thousand
yards in front of the infantryman so when the enemy closed on the
infantryman's position, he opened fire at 200-400 yards (or farther.) At
these ranges it is often hard to identify targets, especially in the early
dawn, dusk or night. Thus, the only time the infantryman knew he was
killing enemy soldiers was when they were a less than a hundred yards or
when he was attacking and closed on their positions.
What I am pointing out, albeit poorly, is too many people try to interpret
history in the light of today's moral/ethical codes and their own personal
beliefs instead of using the moral/ethical codes as they existed at the
time the historical event took place and trying to understand what happened
within that context.
Ed Evanhoe, PO Box 916, Antlers, OK, 74523
Author: DARKMOON: Eighth Army Special Operations in the Korean War
Life Member: Special Forces & Special Operations Associations
Co-list owner: KOREAN-WAR-L discussion list (Hosted by Univ. of Kansas)
Web Site: http://www.korean-war.com