Monday, April 14, 2014

Chosin: Hold the Line & To the Sea

Written By Richard Meyer & Brian Iglasias
Artwork on Hold the Line by Thomas Jung
Artwork on To The Sea by Otis Frampton

Hold the Line and To the Sea are two stories detailing the true story of the Chosin Reservoir Campaign of the Korean War. It was the largest seaborne evacuation of ‘enemy’ refugees in world to this day.  

My knowledge of the Korean War is limited. It's not something they teach in Canadian high-school history classes, but I have seen various movies over the years. I can't account for accuracy however. 

As expected, this is a story of American bravery and triumph. Hold the Line is told almost entirely from the American perspective. It details the difficulties experienced by the Americans in unfamiliar territory under extreme environmental conditions. They faced sub-zero temperatures unlike that which they were use to at home. The portions of the story which show the Korean troops (when they aren't depicted as glowing, red-eyes monsters) details the hardships, terror, and forced militarization the Korean Men experienced. This is all a bias of course but then again, I say this realizing that it's pretty difficult to say nice things about North Korea.

While Hold the Line is told from the perspective of soldiers, To the Sea is told from the perspective of the North Korean refuges. Two children are orphaned by Chinese troops and flee towards the American camp to seek refuge. They are eventually boarded on the Missouri and flee North Korea.  

Chosin is moving and articulate, documenting real events and using the names of real soldiers. The story is not particularly gory although there is violence, some blood. Most is implied and un-glorified gore. In my opinion this tells the story a sensitive subject, like the events of war, in a respectful manner. An awesome read and highly recommended for the war enthusiast. I am especially taken with the art work in To the Sea by Otis Frampton. It personally appeals to me although clearly, both books have been completed by talented artists. 

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