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The Last Stand of Fox Company
By Bob Drury and Tom Clavin

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The Last Stand of Fox Company

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The Last Stand of Fox Company
A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat
By Bob Drury and Tom Clavin
Thorndike Press, Large Print Edition (2009)
ISBN 10: 1-4104-1413-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-4104-1413-7
Genre: Military History - Korean War

Reviewed by Herbert White - April 16, 2009

The Last Stand of Fox Company: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat is the gripping account of the men of Fox Company, Second Battalion Seventh Regiment, led by Captain William Barber, and their epic struggle to hold the Toktong Pass, which stood in the shadow of Fox Hill. Should the pass fall into the hands of Chinese People's Volunteer Army, the lives of more than 10,000 Marines of the First Division Marines would be forfeited to the Chinese soldiers who had them almost completely surrounded and who outnumbered them by more than ten to one. Had Fox Company lost control of the pass, the Battle of Chosin Reservoir would have ended quite differently than it did. The Last Stand of Fox Company is the unforgettable story of this valiant group of Marines who were willing to sacrifice everything to save their fellow Marines.

This book chronicles a nearly forgotten small-unit engagement of the Korean War, and this book serves to introduce the men of Fox Company, and their valiant efforts to a new generation of Americans. It also stands as a memorial to the men who fell at Toktong Pass. The Last Stand of Fox Company is written in an engaging manner, and it is a well-paced account of the battle that holds the reader attention throughout.

Within the course of this book, the authors, Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, introduce the men of Fox Company to the reader and they provide sufficient background information about the Korean conflict to bring those unfamiliar with the war up to speed on what led up to the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, and what was happening to other forces at the time the men of Fox Company were struggling to hold onto the Toktong Pass. Numerous maps are also included, that will help you to follow the action described in the narrative.

Based upon archival documents, interviews with survivors of the engagement, and the letters, diaries, and first hand accounts of the men of Fox Company, the authors present an almost minute-by-minute account of this engagement. The men of Fox Company fought for almost a week against superior forces, and they took heavy causalities. Despite the horrific cost, the men of Fox Company held the pass, and the only means of retreat for the First Division Marines, until they were relieved by a rescue column. In the end, more than two-thirds of the men of Fox Company were killed during this engagement, and the authors account of their demise is graphic at times - aptly highlighting the horrors of war and the fortitude of these men who knew that their chances of survival were minimal at best!

I highly recommend The Last Stand of Fox Company to anyone with an interest in military history, the Korean War, the history of the U.S. Marines, or who simply want to read a gripping account of men fighting and holding out against unimaginable odds.


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