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Secrets Of Inchon: The Untold Story Of The Most Daring Covert Mission Of The Korean War

Secrets Of Inchon: The Untold Story Of The Most Daring Covert Mission Of The Korean War

Amazon.com Review

If Korea is America's forgotten war, Eugene Franklin Clark is certainly one of that war's least-known heroes. The Secrets of Inchon is his first-person account--written in 1953 and long forgotten in a safety deposit box--of his terrifying fortnight on a small island in North Korean-occupied Inchon harbor. Douglas MacArthur's planned invasion was as fraught with peril as it was daring. The port, with 29-foot tides, was, at their ebb, protected by a mud-flat moat 6,000 yards wide in places. Without elaborate, accurate, first-hand information--which Clark was ordered to supply--about mines, fortifications, sea floor gradients, troop distribution, and other matters large and small, the operation (Clark likens it to a "fly deliberately planning to invade a spider's web") could easily have become "an American Dunkerque." Clark's reconnaissance included hand-to-hand gunfights, rugged interrogations, night forays in small junks, constant vigilance, exhaustingly long hours, and the cooperation of anti-Communist Koreans. The Secrets of Inchon is a commendable tale of an unfathomably obscure and daring military episode. --H. O'Billovich
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Prolific historian Fleming (The Officers' Wives, etc.) was researching an article on Inchon when he interviewed the widow of Clark, a naval officer on General MacArthur's intelligence staff who died in 1998, about his role in intelligence gathering for the amphibious landing at Inchon Harbor an operation that turned the tide of the . She in turn produced the manuscript of this book from a safe deposit box, and the result is this workmanlike yet compelling memoir, written in the early '50s, soon after Clark's return. Clark volunteered for a mission that eventually included a naval skirmish between Korean junks, a commando raid on a communist-held island to capture prisoners and free imprisoned civilians, an infantry engagement with communist infiltrators, and Clark's takeover of a harbor lighthouse to light the fleet's way for the eventual invasion. Sympathetic observations on Korean culture are augmented by misconceptions, and extensive descriptions of tactics and reconstructed dialogue can be wearing. Yet this is a self-effacing account that openly acknowledges mistakes and misgivings, and Clark, who studied law at Princeton, learned Japanese and was eventually awarded the , an oak leaf cluster and the Navy Cross, has considerable powers of observation that are apparent throughout. The use of "covert" in the subtitle is a bit puzzling, since the North Koreans were aware of Clark's presence in Inchon Harbor the entire time he was there, but this is a solid memoir of an important Korean War battle.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

In 1950, as the North Koreans overwhelmed South Korea, American Gen. Douglas MacArthur ordered an amphibious landing at the port city of Inchon and then a march to Seoul, the South Korean capital. Before the invasion, he needed information on enemy troop movements, weapons placement, and local residents' attitudes toward UN forces. He assigned Lieutenant Clark the task of intelligence gathering. With two South Korean army officers, Clark landed on an island near Inchon harbor and organized a makeshift guerrilla force with anti-Communist fishermen and local villagers. For two weeks, he and his men gathered intelligence, conducted night raids, and prepared the way for the invasion. Clark, who was later awarded the Silver Star for his part in the campaign, wrote this account shortly after the war as a testimony for his family. Novelist and historian Thomas Fleming (The New Dealer's War), who wrote the introduction and epilog, was given the manuscript when he met Clark's family while researching the battle. Clark's account, which had sat in a safe deposit box for nearly half a century, reads like a novel and holds the reader right to the end. This firsthand account of a crucial yet unsung operation of the war is highly recommended for public and academic libraries. Grant A. Fredericksen, Illinois Prairie Dist. P.L., Metamora
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Respected historian Thomas Fleming recently published an article about Clark's reconnaissance operations during the . That article motivated relatives of the late U.S. Navy officer to publish his account of his involvement in the war. General Douglas MacArthur had succeeded in quashing opposition to his Inchon mission, but there were gaps in intelligence about the invasion area, such as details about the tides, mudflats, mines, and more. Clark was assigned the task of gathering this information, and in the first half of September 1950 he operated as a commando, a diplomat, and a strategist--shifting roles as needed; all of which required tremendous self-confidence, courage, and tact. Wry about himself and his British and Korean comrades, Clark relates details on combat (including a "battle of the junks") and spying more vividly than a movie, which could not capture the nuance and feeling that flow from this riveting narrative by a gifted writer. An astounding tale of audacity and bravery that echoes the special-ops character of the present war. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'' ...exceedingly engaging...'' ---- Chicago Sun Times
A solid work of military history by an authentic hero who illuminates the opening days of a now little-remembered conflict. ---- Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002

About the Author

in 1998, after retiring from the Navy in 1966 with the rank of commander. For his role in the invasion, he won the . Later missions added an oak leaf cluster and the Navy Cross.
Thomas Fleming is the author of forty books, including The New Dealers' War, Duel, Liberty! The , and the bestselling novel The Officers' Wives.

Secrets Of Inchon: The Untold Story Of The Most Daring Covert Mission Of The Korean War Book Reviews

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