‘To The Last Round’, Battle of Imjin River
With even World War II now just on the edges of living memory, and with British forces now engaged in a lengthy, brutal and attritional old-fashioned war in Afghanistan, historical attention is starting to turn to the Korean War of the early 1950s. And remarkably, the most notorious and celebrated battle in that conflict, from a British point of view, has never previously been written about at length. Andrew Salmon’s book, which has garnered excellent reviews and sold out two hardback printings already, has filled that gap.
This is the story of the Battle of the Imjin River, when the British 29th Infantry Brigade, and above all the “Glorious Glosters” of the Gloster Regiment, fought an epic last stand against the largest communist offensive of the war. It lasted three days, of bitter hand-to-hand combat. By the end of it one battalion of the Glosters – some 750 men – had been reduced to just 50 survivors. Andrew Salmon’s definitive history, which gained excellent reviews in hardback and sold very steadily, is very much in the Antony Beevor mould: accessible, pacy, narrative, and painting a moving and exciting picture through the extensive use of eyewitness accounts of veterans, of whom he has tracked down and interviewed dozens.
Author: Andrew Salmon