November 1950, the Korean Peninsula. After General MacArthur ignores Mao's warnings and pushes his UN forces deep into North Korea, his 10,000 First Division Marines find themselves surrounded and hopelessly outnumbered by 100,000 Chinese soldiers near the Chosin Reservoir. Their only chance for survival is to fight their way south through the Toktong Pass, a narrow gorge in the Nangnim Mountains. It will need to be held open at all costs. The mission is handed to Captain William Barber and the 246 Marines of Fox Company, a courageous but undermanned unit of the First Marines. Barber and his men are ordered to climb seven miles of frozen terrain to a rocky promontory overlooking the pass. The Marines have no way of knowing that the ground they occupy - it is soon dubbed Fox Hill - is surrounded by 10,000 Chinese soldiers. As the sun sets on the hill, and the temperature plunges to thirty degrees below zero, Barber's men dig in for the night. At two in the morning they are awakened by the sound - bugles, whistles, cymbals, and drumbeats - of a massive assault by thousands of enemy infantry.
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Tom Clavin, a contributing writer for the New York Times for fifteen years, is the author of seven books, including Dark Noon: The Final Voyage of the Fishing Boat Pelican and Raising the Rainbow Generation.From AudioFile:
Give Michael Prichard a great book to narrate, and you'll hear him at his best. He tells the gripping story of a company of U.S. Marines defending a mountain pass in North Korea during the outbreak of the war in 1950. Under the worst hardships imaginable a few men hold off thousands of Chinese soldiers, fight bitter cold, and have little to eat, while being supplied by air with grenades that don't work and ammunition for weapons they don't have. Prichard takes full advantage of the colorful writing: "The commanding officer's voice could have scoured a stove." He makes the dire circumstances so real one can feel the emotions of the men dying to fight Communism in a frozen valley no one ever heard of. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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