Cover image for Wonju : the Gettysburg of the Korean War
Wonju : the Gettysburg of the Korean War
Coleman, J. D.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Brassey's, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 303 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps, plans ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS918.2.W66 C65 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



A riveting account of the critical campaign that altered the course of the Korean War.

Author Notes

Lt. Col. J. D. Coleman, U.S. Army (Ret.), a veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam, lives in Kalispell, Montana

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Coleman, now a retired lieutenant colonel, was a sergeant in the 187th Regimental Combat Team and survived the brutal fighting in February 1951 for the critical central South Korean town of Wonju. Mixing personal memories, oral history, and thorough research in primary and secondary sources, he traces the Korean War's first eight months with an unsparing eye for the strengths and weaknesses of both sides. He then focuses on the Chinese Fourth Offensive, which met an Eighth Army that, transformed by General Matthew Ridgway, refused to retreat and used its superior firepower to deadly advantage. Traditional accounts of the decisive U.N. victory in the battle emphasize the fighting around Chip'young Ni, but Coleman's detailed account of the fighting around Wonju stresses its equal role in taking stra-tegic initiative away from the Chinese. Even in very good accounts of very ugly firefights, Coleman remains evenhanded, which helps him produce an exceptionally worthy addition to Korean War battle literature. --Roland Green

Table of Contents

Mapsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Abbreviationsp. xiii
Introduction: February 1951--The Month of Destinyp. 1
1 The Inmun Gunp. 5
2 Bugles, Whistles, and Shepherd's Hornsp. 16
3 Withdrawal from North Koreap. 30
4 Ridgway Takes Commandp. 37
5 The Third Phase Offensivep. 44
6 Rekindling the Offensive Spiritp. 54
7 Thunderbolt and Twin Tunnelsp. 63
8 Thrusts, Counters, Deceptions, and Plansp. 75
9 Operation Roundup Unfoldsp. 85
10 Prelude to Disasterp. 95
11 Peng's Plan for the Fourth Phase Offensivep. 107
12 The Agony of Another Gauntletp. 112
13 Failed Rescuep. 128
14 Into the Valley of Deathp. 141
15 Revelations and Recriminationsp. 155
16 Establishing the Wonju Linep. 171
17 First Fight at Chip'yong-nip. 183
18 First Decision at Wonjup. 194
19 Climax at Chip'yong-nip. 209
20 Final Decision at Wonjup. 226
21 Transitioning to "Killer"p. 242
22 In the Final Analysisp. 259
Appendicesp. 268
Notesp. 272
Bibliographyp. 289
Indexp. 291
About the Authorp. 303