Under Fire (2002)

After enjoying In Danger's Path, and things coming together nicely, I wasn't sure what else to expect out of this series. After all, Under Fire was moving on to the Korean Conflict from WW II, and the series had not previously taken such a big jump in time as it has taken eight books to cover WW II to only 1943.

Under Fire starts with a healthy dose of reminiscing by the Marines of their glory days of the Second World War. In fact, some of them had life after the war in civilian roles, and this book goes through some of that. When a certain Captain (McCoy) warns of an impending North Korean invasion, he is quickly swept under the rug. When in fact it turns out to be very true, the Marines are once again called upon to serve their country. General Pickering is pulled out of retirement to run the newly formed CIA that grew out of the OSS of WW II (this is reportedly the plotline in the film The Good Shepherd that I have and still need to watch). Part of the book concerns itself with the military infighting among the upped echelons in the Pacific theater. I truly would think that General MacArthur, a five star no less, really wouldn't have to put up with much at this point in his career. Griffin however paints a much different picture in Under Fire.

True to many of the other novels in The Corps series, we have some more fascinating, and obscure history. This time it's the preinvasion of the Flying Fish islands with their lighthouse, in preparation for MacArthur's amphibious invasion of Inchon. If the islands were not captured in advance, and covertly, the North Koreans would have had advance notice of the invasion. General Pickering rounds up the usual cast of characters to operate behind enemy lines and quietly take these islands in advance without the North Koreans even realizing it. While this has only come to the forefront recently, it is a quite engaging and intriguing part of the Korean Conflict.

Under Fire is a great read, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It showcases what WEB Griffin is best at, and despite its hefty size, is hard to put down once started. My only disappointment is that there is only one novel more in the series to go.

Grade: A+

1 comment:

Bill F said...

I enjoyed Under Fire, but anyone who reads it should also read The Secrets of Inchon, by Commander Eugene F. Clark, USN, which is mentioned in the Afterward to Under Fire. This is the actual story of the mission lead by then Lieutenant Clark in the Flying Fish channel before the Inchon invasion. If The secrets of Inchon were a novel, it would be dismissed as unbelievable. Clark and the South Korean officers who fought with his were heroes of the first order.