by Juhoon Kim
In May of 1950, five years after the World War II ended, Daniel Moody, a nineteen years old boy from an Illinois farm, was sent to Japan as an enlisted soldier. He expected that his service wouldn’t be difficult or even dangerous because the U.S. Army in Japan was doing the occupational jobs, which were not battles but police and administrative jobs.
Suddenly the war burst out in Korea in June, which nobody in the U.S.A anticipated. North Koreans captured Seoul within three days and advanced to the south quickly. The American leaders had considered Korea just a buffer country against Soviet Russia, as it was apparent in the fact that Dean Acheson, the Secretary of State, had excluded Korea in the U.S. defense line. Facing at the crisis that the whole Korea would be occupied by the communists, they decided to send the U.S. ground force to Korea to block the expansion of Soviet Russia.
Daniel’s battalion was sent to Korea as the advance party. Daniel expected that the mission would be easy and end quickly. But the reality that he met in Korea was totally different from his expectation.
The Korean war was the last trench war since the World War I. After Chinese and Americans gave up occupying the whole Korea in the spring of 1951, the two sides tried to end the war, but it changed into the trench war and continued, costing many soldiers’ lives, until July, 1953. This novel dealt with the first period of the war(from July, 1950 to February, 1951), when the front line moved fast and a lot of interesting events took place. This novel focused on the common soldiers represented by Daniel(an enlisted soldier) and Joshua(a Captain) and showed what they experienced in the Korean war.
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