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The Frozen Chosen

The 1st Marine Division and the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir

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Code: GNM
Author: Thomas McKelvey Cleaver


In November 1950 The US 1st Marine Division was trapped in the Chosin Reservoir following the intervention of Red China in the Korean War. Fought during the worst blizzard in a century, the ensuing battle is considered by the United States Marine Corps to be ‘the Corps’ Finest Hour.’ The soldiers who fought there would later become known as the ‘Frozen Chosen’.

Published now in paperback, this incredible story is based on first-hand interviews from surviving veterans, telling of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand to hand combat, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps’ dogged determination, fighting skill, and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.

Biographical Note

Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has been a published writer for the past 40 years. He is a regular contributor to Flight Journal magazine. He has had a lifelong interest in the Korean War and this work is the product of 25 years of research.
He is the author of ACE 115: Aces of the 78th Fighter Group and ACE 125: F4F Wildcat and F6F Hellcat Aces of VF-2, as well as Fabled Fifteen: The Pacific War Saga of Carrier Air Group 15 and The Bridgebusters: The True Story of the Catch-22 Bomb Group.
During his 30 years as a screenwriter in Hollywood, he wrote the cult classic The Terror Within and worked as a supervising producer on a number of TV and cable series. He served in the US Navy in Vietnam.


  • List of Maps
  • List of Illustrations
  • Prologue
  • Introduction
  • 1. Brother’s Keeper
  • 2. Background to War in the Land of The Morning Calm
  • 3. The Wages of Hubris
  • 4. The Fatal Decision
  • 5. First Contact
  • 6. Where is the Enemy?
  • 7. The Chinese Attack
  • 8. Holding On
  • 9. Breakout
  • 10. “Retreat, Hell, We’re Just Attacking in a New Direction!”
  • 11. Evacuation
  • 12. Aftermath
  • Bibliography
  • Index


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