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Rangers in Korea

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Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
A generation before Vietnam, the war for Korea raged. It was as rough and dirty a war as has ever been fought—a war small in history, but very large to the men who waged it. . . .

In the Korean War, one group above all others distinguished itself, a small elite band who volunteered for action behind enemy lines. They were the men of the U. S. Army’s legendary Rangers. They succeeded in making the first combat jump in Ranger history, destroying enemy headquarters, and inflicting the first defeat on Communist Chinese forces while suffering a disproportionate number of casualties.

This is their story, told here for the first time—based on military records, interviews with survivors, and the author’s personal experiences as an American Ranger in the Korean War.


From the Paperback edition.
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A generation before Vietnam, the war for Korea raged. It was as rough and dirty a war as has ever been fought—a war small in history, but very large to the men who waged it. . . .

In the Korean War, one group above all others distinguished itself, a small elite band who volunteered for action behind enemy lines. They were the men of the U. S. Army’s legendary Rangers. They succeeded in making the first combat jump in Ranger history, destroying enemy headquarters, and inflicting the first defeat on Communist Chinese forces while suffering a disproportionate number of casualties.

This is their story, told here for the first time—based on military records, interviews with survivors, and the author’s personal experiences as an American Ranger in the Korean War.


From the Paperback edition.
Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: March 26, 2002
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780804102131
Other books byRobert W. Black
  • A Ranger Born

    A Ranger Born
    A Memoir of Combat and Valor from Korea to Vietnam
    Even as a boy growing up amid the green hills of rural Pennsylvania, Robert W. Black knew he was destined to become a Ranger. With their three-hundred-year history of peerless courage and independence of spirit, Rangers are a uniquely American brand of soldier, one foot in the military, one in the wilderness—and that is what fired Black’s imagination. In this searing, inspiring memoir, Black recounts how he devoted himself, body and soul, to his proud service as an elite U. S. Army Ranger in Korea and Vietnam—and what those years have taught him about himself, his country, and our future. Born at the start of the Great Depression, Black grew up on a farm at a time of great hardship but also tremendous national determination. He was a kid who toughened up fast, who learned the hard way to rely on his strength and his wits, who saw the country go to war with Germany and Japan and wept because he was too young to serve. As soon as the army would take him, Black enlisted. And as soon as he could muscle his way in, he became a Ranger. As a private first class in the 82d Airborne Division headquarters, Black withstood the humiliations of enlisted service in the peacetime brown-shoe army. When the Korean War began, he volunteered and trained to be an Airborne Ranger. In Korea, this young warrior, his mind and body bursting with the lusts of adolescence, grew up fast, literally in the line of fire. In clean, vivid prose, Black describes the hell of giving his all for a country that lacked the political resolve to give its all to a war against the North Koreans and the Chinese. If Korea was frustrating, Vietnam was maddening. The heart of this book is devoted to the years of action that Black saw in Long An Province starting in 1967. Black writes of the perplexity of collaborating with South Vietnamese officers whose culture and motives he never fully understood; he conjures up the sudden shock of the Tet Offensive and the daily horror of seeing fellow soldiers and innocent civilians slaughtered—sometimes by stray bullets, often by carelessness or treachery. Vietnam challenged everything Black had come to believe in and left him totally unprepared for the hostility he would face when he returned to a war-weary America. Written with extraordinary candor and passion, A Ranger Born is the memoir of a man who dedicated the best of his life to everything that is great and enduring about America. At once intimate in its revelations and universal in its themes, it is a book with profound relevance to our own troubled time in history. From the Hardcover edition.

    Rangers in World War II

    Rangers in World War II
    From the deadly shores of North Africa to the invasion of Sicily to the fierce jungle hell of the Pacific, the contribution of the World War II Ranger Battalions far outweighed their numbers. They were ordinary men on an extraordinary mission, experiencing the full measure of the fear, exhaustion, and heroism of combat in nearly every major invasion of the war. Whether spearheading a landing force or scouting deep behind enemy lines, these highly motivated, highly trained volunteers led the way for other soldiers -- they were Rangers. With first-person interviews, in-depth research, and a complete appendix naming every Ranger known to have served, author Robert Black, a Ranger himself, has made the battles of WWII come to life through the struggles of the men who fought to win the greatest war the world has ever seen.

    The Ranger Force

    The Ranger Force
    Darby's Rangers in World War II
    In this gripping companion to his acclaimed "The Battalion", which told the story of the 2nd Ranger Battalion in World War II, Robert W. Black turns his attention to the 1st, 3rd, and 4th Ranger Battalions, otherwise known as Darby's Rangers. These elite soldiers accompanied British commandos on the failed Dieppe Raid in August 1942, participated in Operation Torch in North Africa three months later, battled across Sicily the following summer, and ended the war in Italy, where they landed at Salerno in September 1943 and Anzio in January 1944 and were decimated at the Battle of Cisterna.

    Ranger Dawn

    Ranger Dawn
    The American Ranger from the Colonial Era to...
    Robert W. Black adds a new chapter to his story of the American Rangers, beginning with the birth of the Ranger idea in the 1600s and following Ranger forces through the Mexican War of 1846-48. Features Ranger pioneers like Robert Rogers, Francis Marion, and George Rogers Clark.

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