Combat Ready?: The Eighth U.S. Army on the Eve of the Korean War

Combat Ready?: The Eighth U.S. Army on the Eve of the Korean War

by Thomas E. Hanson


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In the decades since the “forgotten war” in Korea, conventional wisdom has held that the Eighth Army consisted largely of poorly trained, undisciplined troops who fled in terror from the onslaught of the Communist forces. Now, military historian Thomas E. Hanson argues that the generalizations historians and fellow soldiers have used regarding these troops do little justice to the tens of thousands of soldiers who worked to make themselves and their army ready for war.

In Hanson's careful study of combat preparedness in the Eighth Army from 1949 to the outbreak of hostilities in 1950, he concedes that the U.S. soldiers sent to Korea suffered gaps in their professional preparation, from missing and broken equipment to unevenly trained leaders at every level of command. But after a year of progressive, focused, and developmental collective training—based largely on the lessons of combat in World War II—these soldiers expected to defeat the Communist enemy.
By recognizing the constraints under which the Eighth Army operated, Hanson asserts that scholars and soldiers will be able to discard what Douglas Macarthur called the "pernicious myth" of the Eighth Army's professional, physical, and moral ineffectiveness.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781603441674
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Publication date: 02/25/2010
Series: Williams-Ford Texas A&M University Military History Series , #129
Pages: 232
Sales rank: 450,641
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

LT. COL. THOMAS E. HANSON, a former instructor in the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, has served in and commanded units at Panmunjom in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. He currently commands the 2nd Battalion, 353rd Infantry Regiment of the 162nd Infantry Training Brigade in Fort Polk, Louisiana.

What People are Saying About This

Rick Atkinson

“An admirably coherent and insightful study of the U.S. Eighth Army before it plunged into the maelstrom of the Korean War. Thomas Hanson’s history is meticulous, balanced, and highly relevant.”—Rick Atkinson, author of An Army at Dawn and The Day of Battle

— Rick Atkinson

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