Books: Black Marks THE FORGOTTEN WAR by

Clay Blair Times Books; 1,136 pages; $29.95

Troops were flabby, commanders aging and equipment faulty. In the sub-zero temperatures, automatic rifles jammed, canteens burst, blood plasma froze ! solid. The enemy attacked in overwhelming numbers, blowing horns and letting out blood-curdling whoops. Such was the situation faced by U.S. infantrymen in the early days of the Korean War. No wonder Military Historian Clay Blair, in this meticulously documented account, describes their initial performance as miserable.

But in the lore of the time, as well as in the estimated 300 books since written about the war, one group of soldiers has often been singled out as having failed more...

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