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Oliver P. Smith fought at Peleliu and Okinawa and then commanded the 1st Marine Division in Korea during the assault at Inchon, the recapture of Seoul, and the breakout from the Chosin Reservoir. Called one of the twentieth century’s great Marine leaders, Smith was known as an outstanding combat commander and a man of great intellect and moral courage. This biography, written by the granddaughter he helped raise, illuminates the general’s remarkable life. It draws on interviews, oral histories and a thorough examination of letters held by the family and not previously available to researchers. Gail Shisler’s investigation of Smith’s relationship with his Army superiors in Korea and with his Marine Corps peers and superiors takes exception to previously published descriptions and adds new insights into the Corps’ postwar battle for survival.
I am a law professor in Korea. I was born in Pusan during the Korean War. I am very impressed by this excellent biography. If someone wants to know about the Korean war, he or she should read this book in addition to Halberstam's Coldest Winter, and Martin Russ' Breakout.
The Role by US Marine Corp and U.S. Navy during the Korean war was not known properly in Korea. Korean people generally think Douglas MacArthur saved their country, but that is far from the truth. MacArthur, his deputy Gen. Almond and his staff almost messed and spoiled the whole war.
It is almost God's will that Gen. Oliver P. Smith was the division commander of US Ist Marine Division during 1950-51. If he was not in charge of the Division, South Korea's destiny could have been doomed.
I really enjoyed to read this book. I can feel how great he was. I feel like to visit his tomb to pay my long overdue tribute. I also feel like to have a chance to meet with the author, Ms. Shisler to express my thanks. Every Korean should read this book to understand correctly what happened during 1950-51 in his or her country.