The Last Stand of Fox Company Essay.
1. In as few words as possible, what is this book about?
This book is a true story about a company from 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, during the Chosin Reservoir in November of 1950 when China was getting involved in the Korean War. The company had to hold a hill so that other Marine units could fight their way clear of the Chinese and make it to the coast to get out of North Korea.
2. What made you want to read it?
It was suggested that I read it by my leadership.
3. Did it live up to your expectations? Why? Why not?
The book lived up to my expectations by creating a very impressive and detailed depiction for me of not only the Korean War, but also old-school Marine Corps combat tactics; i.e. using an e-tool to deflect incoming grenades and other hand-to-hand tactics. The book was very realistic and made me feel like I was right there in Captain Barber’s company.
4. Did you learn anything new? If so, what?
I learned a lot of history of the Korean War. I learned much about the importance of the 38th parallel.
5. Which part of the book did you find most interesting?
What I found most interesting about the book was the various effects of the subzero temperatures and how the Fox Company Marines learned to endure and survive the savage conditions. One of the major health concerns and causes of fatality was the widespread frostbite. They slept in the ice and snow and lived mostly off of crackers and candy. Some of the effects on their equipment was how the firing pins on many of their weapon systems were frozen solid and even some of the grenades that they threw would not explode. Another instance in the book that interested me was how they had to put syringes of morphine in their mouths to warm the medicine before it could be administered.
6. Did this book inspire you to want to do more research on the subject? Why? Why not?
7. Would you recommend it to a friend or another Marine? Why? Why not?
I would recommend it to all Marines, in hopes that they find the same insight and sense of honor and pride that I have from reading this book.
8. Does the subject of this book affect your life? If so, how? If no, why not?
The subject of this book has affect my life by serving as a reality check of what my Marine predecessors went through in order for me to be able to obtain the deep-rooted fighting tactics today. I will never have to deal with and survive the adversities that the Marines of Fox Company did. It also affected me by teaching me that as a Marine, no matter what struggles may present themselves, I will always thrive and keep fighting.
9. What evidence does the author use to support their ideas?
10. Are the issues raised in the book controversial? Why?
11. Does the author offer solutions to the problems raised in the book? How probable is their success? Can you think of additional solutions?
12. If you were to talk with the author, what would you ask him or her?
If I ever talked to the author I would ask him exactly how many Marines of Fox Company perished on Fox Hill. I would also ask him why that in the book when the Marines took a Chinese POW they were treated according to the Geneva Conventions, but when it came to an American becoming a POW to the Chinese, there was no going into detail or explanations of what happened.
13. Have you read the author’s other books? Can you discern a similarity (in theme, writing style, structure, etc.) between them, or are they completely different? I have not read the author’s other books.
14. After reading this book, have your views on the subject changed? Why? Why not?
Rather than a changed view, I developed a view as I wasn’t really knowledgeable about the North Korean War before reading this book. I now understand how significant of a part that the Marine Corps itself played in the victory of the war.
15. Why should Marines read this book? This book serves as a very easy-to-understand account on history. It encourages Marines to take more pride in the organization we belong to. It helps to understand why we do what we do in training.