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On Sunday morning, July 9, 1950, the U.S. 23rd Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division received orders to deploy to Korea, where the North Koreans had crossed the 38th Parallel just two weeks earlier.
In service in various forms since 1861, the 23rd Infantry Regiment - nicknamed the "Tomahawks" - was, like other army units following the downsizing of the military after World War II, short on radios, weapons, and men.
Nevertheless, the regiment amassed volunteers to fill out its ranks and mobilised for the Far East.
By the time the 23rd Infantry arrived in South Korea, American forces and their U.N. allies had been driven more than 100 miles down the Korean Penninsula by the communist Chinese.
In February 1951, with his Eighth Army understrength and low on morale after weeks of retreat, Lt.
Gen. Matthew Ridgway ordered the 23rd Infantry, under the command of Col.
Paul Freeman, to hold the small town of Chipyong-ni, a vital road hub east of Seoul.
Faced with several Chinese divisions totaling nearly 25,000 men, the 23rrd Infantry's 4,500 soldiers were outnumbered five to one.
Trapped behind enemy lines, the 23rd Infantry's last stand of February 12-15 could have been one of the worst defeats in I.S. military history. Instead, the regiment's victory has been called the "Gettysburg of the Korean War" and altered the course of the remainder of the war. In High Tide in the Korean War, Leo Barron retells the Battle of Chipyong-ni from the point of view of thje commanders faced with a do-or-die defense and the soldiers fighting from the foxholes, outnumbered in unfamiliar territory in winter.
Drawn from memoirs, interviews iuntelligence summaries, unit reports and personal research in South Kore, Barron's narrative is a gripping, page-turning history of one of the most important battles of the Korean War.
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