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Old 06-11-2018, 09:16 PM
VaTom VaTom is offline
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S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady  
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Default S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady

Just finished reading (,for 2,nd time) "The Coldest War" by James Brady published in 1990. It is a great book about his time in a rifle company as a young Marine officer in Korea in 1951-52. He frequently mentions his .38 S&W revolver he carried in combat buying it in California before deployment. There is a picture of him with it in the book. Late in his tour, the Marines took all personal weapons being carried and made officers carry .45s. Brady preferred his .38 as a combat sidearm.

A great book it you haven't read it. Was nominated for a Pulitzer prize for it. Brady passed at age 80 in 2009.

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Old 06-11-2018, 09:28 PM
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A superb book about the early stages of the Korean War, with a similar title, is David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter. Very gripping reading.
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:36 PM
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The forgotten war, over 30,000 lost in 3 years of pure living h ell !
I suppose you carry what you feel comfortable with even if it's not the most effective. Of course I'm sure when he bought it a .38 was a lot cheaper as well to buy.

It doesn't surprise me though. I think I'm more surprise on what calibers some were carrying under the radar in Vietnam.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:41 PM
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S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady S&W .38 in Korean War- "The Coldest War"" by James Brady  
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Would you mind terribly of taking a picture of the picture or scanning it and post it here?
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:58 PM
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I spent 2 winters in Korea as an ARMY MP (69-70). Although coming from Michigan, I had never before been so cold. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to fight a war in those conditions. I have read both of the books mentioned. Both made me appreciate the South Florida heat.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shouldazagged View Post
A superb book about the early stages of the Korean War, with a similar title, is David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter. Very gripping reading.
Second that. This book is just outstanding.

I have a good friend who was a company commander, then battalion commander, in Viet Nam. He eventually retired with two stars. He isn’t really a very gunny guy, but he tells me he carried a .38 M&P in preference to the 1911. He also carried an M3 “grease gun,” and his RTO carried a semiauto shotgun of some sort unknown to him. I always thought it interesting that neither of them cared to carry the M16.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:41 AM
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The coldest war? The AEF intervention in Siberia after WWI.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for the post on the book. I have been meaning to read about the forgotten war since returning from being a chaperone on an Honor Flight to DC. The Korean War Veterans are now replacing out WWII vets on these flights and they now have a sprinkling of Vietnam Veterans, which was my era in service. The Korean War memorial is a must see. That plus all happenings in the news about North Korea willl make reading the book a high priority.

I have heard stories about the cold and winters in Korea, but I believe it had more to do with the lack of proper clothing and quarters than the actual cold temperatures. Even during Vietnam, the US Army was still relying on wool as a their major source of cold protection in colder climate deployment.

I have to mention to my fellow Michigander that the 38th Parallel is warmer than the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan. Our average temperature in January, which is the coldest month, is 21° and 4° here near the 46th Parallel, while Pyongyang in January is 27° and 9°. It is much colder in other northern states in the US than in North Korea. Only the northern most mountainous regions of the Korean peninsula are colder than the northern US. I do agree, however, that it was the coldest "official war" ever fought by US forces.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:51 AM
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My uncle's description of North Korean winter was "Chilled to and though the bone".
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
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The coldest war? The AEF intervention in Siberia after WWI.
Actually, as part of that intervention, the several thousand US troops sent to North Russia, Archangelsk and Murmansk, in 1918/19, to fight the Bolsheviks under British command, were quite a bit further north and likely even colder

They called themselves “Polar Bears”. Attached picture: the “Polar Bear” memorial in Michigan.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:45 AM
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The coldest war? The AEF intervention in Siberia after WWI.
In 1919, my granddaddy and one of his brothers joined the army. My Pop-Pop was stationed at Camp Meade, Maryland and Uncle Clay was sent to Siberia.

Uncle Clay went back to Alabama to live after his time in the army. I went to visit him in the early '70s. He told me that my Pop-Pop was the lucky one. Uncle Clay said "This poor old South Alabama country boy about froze to death over there." Looking back, I wish that I had spent more time talking to him and got more information about his experiences over there.
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Old 06-12-2018, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
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Thanks for the post on the book. I have been meaning to read about the forgotten war since returning from being a chaperone on an Honor Flight to DC. The Korean War Veterans are now replacing out WWII vets on these flights and they now have a sprinkling of Vietnam Veterans, which was my era in service. The Korean War memorial is a must see. That plus all happenings in the news about North Korea willl make reading the book a high priority.

I have heard stories about the cold and winters in Korea, but I believe it had more to do with the lack of proper clothing and quarters than the actual cold temperatures. Even during Vietnam, the US Army was still relying on wool as a their major source of cold protection in colder climate deployment.

I have to mention to my fellow Michigander that the 38th Parallel is warmer than the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan. Our average temperature in January, which is the coldest month, is 21° and 4° here near the 46th Parallel, while Pyongyang in January is 27° and 9°. It is much colder in other northern states in the US than in North Korea. Only the northern most mountainous regions of the Korean peninsula are colder than the northern US. I do agree, however, that it was the coldest "official war" ever fought by US forces.
Could the difference in "felt" cold is the fact that in Michigan you have a house to live in and in North Korea the Marines and Soldiers had just their substandard winter clothes to live in?
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:35 AM
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I spent 2 winters in Korea as an ARMY MP (69-70). Although coming from Michigan, I had never before been so cold. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to fight a war in those conditions. I have read both of the books mentioned. Both made me appreciate the South Florida heat.
That's exactly my dad's comment about his time there '50-'52. He was from the Northern LP.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:47 AM
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Both locations have very low humidity in the winter. The only reference to the coldest temperature recorded in North Korean capital, was in 2001 when it dropped to -26.5 °C (-15.5 °F). Ironwood coldest temperature was in 1982 when it fell to -41 °F.

I think living in tents with small heating stoves without the cold weather clothing technology we have today, was why Korean winters were so brutal on troops.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:35 PM
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I've been to Korea during the winter and I once spent a night in Siberia during February, back in the mid-80's. Korea's Florida by comparison.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:22 PM
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You all keep missing the point of the books on the Korean Conflict. Especially the battles fought in northern Korea. Those folks spent most of their time outside in the cold, especially those in battle. If they were lucky there were "Warming Tents", whatever those were. I spent some time in Korea in the winter. Thought we were going to freeze as we came from the Philippines straight to Korea. From "Sun & Fun" at Subi Bay/Cubi Point to it snowing horizontally in 12 hours. lots of fun.
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:48 PM
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Was this James Brady the one shot when Reagan was, the one for whom the gun control group was named?

There are many Bradys. This author may easily be some other man.

I don't know why the Marines banned officers carrying their own sidearms. Marine pilots and other aircrew did have S&W .38 revolvers, mostly leftover Victory Models from WW II. Navy and Marine airmen carried those well into the Vietnam War and maybe later. Many were also furnished to the USAF in those years
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Old 06-12-2018, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks for the post on the book. I have been meaning to read about the forgotten war since returning from being a chaperone on an Honor Flight to DC. The Korean War Veterans are now replacing out WWII vets on these flights and they now have a sprinkling of Vietnam Veterans, which was my era in service. The Korean War memorial is a must see. That plus all happenings in the news about North Korea willl make reading the book a high priority.

I have heard stories about the cold and winters in Korea, but I believe it had more to do with the lack of proper clothing and quarters than the actual cold temperatures. Even during Vietnam, the US Army was still relying on wool as a their major source of cold protection in colder climate deployment.

I have to mention to my fellow Michigander that the 38th Parallel is warmer than the south shore of Lake Superior in Michigan. Our average temperature in January, which is the coldest month, is 21° and 4° here near the 46th Parallel, while Pyongyang in January is 27° and 9°. It is much colder in other northern states in the US than in North Korea. Only the northern most mountainous regions of the Korean peninsula are colder than the northern US. I do agree, however, that it was the coldest "official war" ever fought by US forces.
Another good book is The Last Stand of Fox Company about the 1st Marine Division at Chosin Resovoir in December of 1950. If you have Netflix there is a good 2 hour documentary on it called "The Battle for Chosin".

Dad was in Korea in 1951-52 with 780th Field Artillery Battalion. They had 8" towed howitzers against the Chinese.
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Old 06-12-2018, 08:10 PM
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About Brady...I just checked. This Brady was James W. Brady, a newspaper columnist and publisher of Women's Wear Daily. He wrote several books, both fiction and non-fiction.

The one shot by Hinckley was James Scott Brady. He died in 2014, at 73.
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Old 06-12-2018, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
Was this James Brady the one shot when Reagan was, the one for whom the gun control group was named?

There are many Bradys. This author may easily be some other man.

I don't know why the Marines banned officers carrying their own sidearms. Marine pilots and other aircrew did have S&W .38 revolvers, mostly leftover Victory Models from WW II. Navy and Marine airmen carried those well into the Vietnam War and maybe later. Many were also furnished to the USAF in those years
My aircrews carried pretty much what they wanted as far as sidearms went. The ground side of the house is a bit different as far as personal weapons go. S&W revolvers were normal issue for the aircrew that did not have their own to carry.
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Old 06-13-2018, 03:28 PM
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It was more like minus 30 or lower at Chosin.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:22 PM
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Check out task force faith on Netflix. Very sobering
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:40 PM
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I still remember the humorous episode on MASH where the group was in possession of one set of long underwear and they kept passing/trading it around!
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:24 PM
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I was the small arms repairman for the 1st Cavalry Division 1959-1960 in Korea about 6 miles south of the DMZ. We had to stand guard duty about every 3rd week and I tell you, in the winter, to stand in a guard tower for 2 hours, from 2-4AM was really something else. Wearing mickey mouse boots, a down parker, etc, etc and still froze those tootsie's off. All I could do while out there was think about the guys that fought the war and wonder how in heavens name they survived the weather, let alone the war. The winds from Manchuria are something else to behold.

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Old 06-13-2018, 09:35 PM
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Could the phrase "the coldest war" be a double entendre for both the temperature and the commencement of the "Cold War" era ?
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:53 PM
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I don't like to think about it too much, but the battalion surgeon told me (Chosin 1951)- "the last thing that dies when you freeze to death, is your eyes. if you see a man frozen stiff but his eyes still dilate , he's still alive. Put a bullet in him, you're doing him a favor" Ed.
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Old 06-14-2018, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absalom View Post
Actually, as part of that intervention, the several thousand US troops sent to North Russia, Archangelsk and Murmansk, in 1918/19, to fight the Bolsheviks under British command, were quite a bit further north and likely even colder

They called themselves “Polar Bears”. Attached picture: the “Polar Bear” memorial in Michigan.
An excellent book about these troops is "When Hell Froze Over" by E.M Halliday.

Very interesting read.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:25 AM
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Excerpt from Private Warren Hillman, a Polar Bear.

"How do you think we did at thirty below zero. And it stayed 30 below zero. And we had from a foot to... four feet of snow"
"I slept under nine blankets. I wore nine pair of regular socks. I'd have wore more but I couldn't get them on. And over that we had lumberman's socks, heavy wool, and they they come up to below your knees, and had an elastic band, and you'd fasten that."
There's more, but that's the idea.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:41 AM
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I can't vouch for the accuracy of this story, but...

My dad was drafted for the Korean War, however dumb luck and excellent typing skills kept him state-side (all my life he said "learn to type"). Something I'm very grateful for because... here I am.

A friend of his did go over and reportedly saw lots of combat. He told me, that when he was posted for guard duty it was so cold it would just make you want to sleep. He told me he would pull the pin on a grenade and just hold it. He said the desire for sleep would be vanquished by the presence of a live hand grenade. True story? I don't know but an interesting thought.


Another good book on the Korean War. This Kind of War by Fehrenbach, we really had our pants down at the outset. I'll be looking into the other titles shared here.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:48 PM
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As an aside, about ten years ago I stopped by a friends house. He’s an old Vietnam vet I keep busy. (He still has his 69 gto he bought the week he got home...we go to car shows together). Anyway, an older couple he is friends with were over the house. I pulled into the driveway and on the car I didn’t recognize was a Virginia Chosin res survivor license plate. After saying hi to everyone I walked over to an old man sitting. I put my hand out and introduced myself. I asked ,” are you one of the chosen/chosin few? “. He replied yes. I thanked him for his service and his eyes teared up. He was so surprised that someone “young” Knew what it was. I told him many haven’t forgotten. He passed a few months after that....nice man...
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Old 06-16-2018, 12:47 PM
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I've read a bit about the weather there, and my recollection is that in addition to the actual cold, the winds were quite a problem. Like the NE US compared to where I am (WA, not all that far south of 49 degree), much colder due to the large cold land mass over which the air travels. It was, at least in the northern parts of Korea, also windy. Very windy.

A lot of men (and some women, like nurses) did some very hard tasks under horrible conditions. This is of course true in any war - the nature of the conditions vary, but the hardships are constant. For good measure, the learning curve about gear and functionality are often far behind.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug M. View Post
....This is of course true in any war - the nature of the conditions vary, but the hardships are constant. For good measure, the learning curve about gear and functionality are often far behind.
And keep in mind the main issue: This wasn't supposed to be a winter war, and just like for the Germans in Russia 1941, clothing and equipment hadn't been prepared for it.

As was mentioned already, the United Nations troops in 1950 consisted mostly of US occupation troops rushed to Korea from Japan and the Philippines. After Inchon and the North Korean rout, by October the war was considered almost over. While the Chinese were infiltrating tens of thousands of troops across the Yalu, in a spectacular combination of intelligence failure and bad judgment MacArthur was declaring victory, sitting warm and safe in Tokyo. The result: The most devastating defeat ever of US land forces in any war. Custer at least had the good grace to die with his men; for political reasons, MacArthur got a victory parade out of it after he was finally fired by Truman.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:35 PM
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Ahh, yes, Korea: another war that America didn't need to be in. Just like Vietnam. But I digress. Sorry. I hate to see good men die for no good reason.

My dad, a U.S. Marine sergeant on a 105mm howitzer battery in Korea in 1951, carried a 4-inch .38 Smith and Wesson revolver. He didn't like 1911 45s. He said the sights were way too small. The gun was his personal gun, with a brown, basket-weave holster. He apparently shot a North Korean soldier with that gun as the soldier was climbing out of a box-type hiding place; the North Korean soldier apparently thought the coast was clear; he was wrong.



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My personal belief is that MacArthur expected nuclear weapons would be released for his use, and knew the Chinese were there all along. Truman didn’t go along, and the Marines paid the price.
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