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4.7 out of 5 stars
To The Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951
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53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on 13 January 2010
Absolutely superb and graphic account of the British 29th Brigade during the Korean war, culminating in the holding actions along the Imjin river. I've had it 3 days and haven't been able to put it down, one of the most compelling military history books I've ever read.

Personal accounts cross referenced with official sources and Regimental war diaries, maps for every chapter and extensive use of authors notes throughout the book make this a must read for anyone who like me suddenly realised how little they knew about this conflict.

I wouldn't hesitate recommending this book to anybody and have no hesitation in giving it five stars.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
The battle in question took place during the Korean war, in March 1951 between the British (and Belgian) 29th Brigade and the Chinese army. 29 Bde were dug in on the mountains overlooking the Imjin river, north of Seoul and the Chinese Army mounted a "human wave" attack to force them off. The abiding story of the battle is the Gloster's gallant (but doomed) defence in the face of astonishingly overwelming numbers, but the Royal Ulster Rifles, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, the Belgian Regiment, the 8th Hussars and the Royal Artillery all played a central role as well, facing similarly difficult conditions and standing up against the enemy with equal gallantry.

The book is *exceptionally* well written: it is supremely readable and, calling as it does on interviews with the survivors, it is by no means a dry historical account. It gives plenty of air time to all the participants (including the Koreans themselves) rather than simply focusing on the Glosters alone. It's worth noting that other accounts have tended to ignore the other units who fought in the battle (much to the annoyance of those concerned) which makes this particular treatment all the more important.

There is a fairly long exposition, discussing the cause of the war and its progress up till the battle itself. This puts the battle nicely in context and in no way detracts from the story.

This is a highly reccomended book about an epic event. Buy it!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 22 February 2011
Andrew Salmon has produced the definitive account of the actions of 29th Brigade in the Imjin battle in April 1951. The book is superbly researched and thoroughly gripping, I literally could not put it down. The various characters who are highlighted in the book leap of the pages, especially the indominatable Derek Kinne of the Royal North Humberland Fusiliers. Salmon puts the reader in the foxholes alongside the hard pressed British soldiers as they face repeated mass human wave attacks by Chinese infantry. As somebody with a military past, and an avid interest in British military history, I can think of no other action fought by the British Army, which exceeds the actions of 29th Brigade- even Arhnem. US General Van Fleet stated that "The stand of The Glosters was the finest example of small unit action in the history of modern warfare." This book illustrates the British soldier at his very best, defiant, resilient, robust, brave and a stoicism that is an example to today's British soldiers. His sense of humour in the face of adversity also shines through. It is impossible to read this book as a Briton, particulary if you have served in the British Army, and not feel intensely proud of the men of the 29th Brigade. This book is a masterpiece, an absolute classic, it would be rude not to read it!
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on 15 May 2009
Andrew Salmon's book 'To The Last Round' makes gripping reading. I served in Korea during the final stages of the conflict, just prior to the cease fire but I never really appreciated the trauma of the situation but the book brought it all home to me. I think it was the matter-of-fact comments of the squaddies that make it so real. The book should be compulsory reading for all those that whinge about the cost of the armed forces
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 May 2010
An enthralling account of what was basically a cock up, not that that detracts in any way from the truly magnificent actions of the combatants. It tells part of the story of a totally different kind of war than that fought today and is a must read for military buffs and the layman. Well written, easy to follow and understand, its a great book. I can't wait for his book on the whole war. Read it and weep, I did.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2009
Like many (most?) people I know very little indeed about the Korean war and the narratives recorded in Andrew Salmon's book. Yet - it is something we should all be aware of. This book offers a comprehensive view of the events. Thanks are due to Andrew Salmon for his thorough research and his revelatory writing.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2009
This is, without doubt, one of the finest, if not the finest, accounts of a battle that I have ever read. His description of a little known battle in an almost unheard of war, is masterly. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read about the Korean War. The book also illustrates the great depth of gratitude that the Korean people have for our armed forces to this day. Politicians of today take note!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Andrew Salmon has produced a highly detailed, yet very readable account of one of the most courageous and yet now almost forgotten last stands in the history of the British Army. His technique has included interviewing many if not all of the survivors of the battle which allows his narrative to include accounts of what it was really like to be there, in a slit trench under constant attack for days, as well as presenting the overall perspective of the action. Neither does he shy away from discussing the controversy surrounding how the 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment (the Glorious Glosters) were allowed to become surrounded by a determined enemy in vastly superior numbers and had to fight it out "To the Last Round".
A really excellent book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2012
I don't have that much to add to the reviews already here as they capture it well - this is a great book and a very enjoyable read. It uses lots of interviews and the direct voices and words of the soldiers on the ground and so that really helps bring it to life. It certainly made it exciting, readable and very informative. The author has been thorough with their research.

My only criticism with the book and to be fair, it is one that the author makes himself, is the lack of nearly any Chinese or North Korean perspectives. That obviously gives it a one sided view of things but perhaps it's still unavoidable. In the coming years, with China continuing to open up there will be an opportunity to fill in that part of the story. If the author could do that in the same style and detail then I would certainly be a customer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2010
Fantastic read. My grandfather served in Korea and Salmon's book was like listening to my grandfather's stories all over again. I could almost hear the bugles across the valley and smell the cordite. A thoroughly exciting and excellently researched read. My only quibble is the number of footnotes - some of this could have been integrated into the text. Also, there are a number of typos and copy editing mistakes. However, these do not detract from a brilliant book. As an expat living in Shanghai this war is often referred to from the other side, and its a real shame that Salmon was unable to come to China and talk to Chinese veterans.
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