Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Combat Support in Korea


Combat Support in Korea by John G. Westover, Center of Military History, Washington, D.C. 1987

Every three pages of this book contains a separate wargame scenario. The book is a collection of oral histories from the Korean War. They interviewed privates to colonels and asked them about the important aspects of their service during the Korean War. These were members of combat support units, so no infantry, armor or artillery. Most of the units are bridging units, but many other unit types discussed too.

Signal Corps units on the top of hills get surrounded by North Koreans. Medical units are forced to defend against attacks on the hospitals by scores of Communist troops. Mobile laundry units wash thousands of pairs of socks every day to prevent trench foot. Graves registration units process soldiers remains in a dignified manner. One ordinance maintenance units struggled valiantly to retrieve almost a company of M-45 and M-26 tanks, only to have them destroyed by the US Air Force when they could not otherwise prevent the North Koreans from capturing them.

While the focus in on US Army units some were attacked to or worked with various allied units and US Marines. Allies mentioned included ROK Army and Marines, Thailand, Philippines, Turkey and UK forces. This is a great book for anyone interested in wargaming the Korean War or interested in understanding why the long logistical train is so important to modern warfare.

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