On November 27, 1950, a Chinese army some men of 60,000 poured over Korea's border, intent on wiping out a force of 12,000 Marines marching north to the Yalu river on General Douglas MacArthur's orders. The Marines were strung out along a narrow mountain road snaking its way up to the high plateau of the Chosin Reservoir. As the mercury dropped to a bone-chilling 30 degrees below zero, eight Chinese divisions emerged from hiding to pounce on the unsuspecting Americans. How the Marines, despite serious losses, broke out of encirclement while inflicting grueling punishment on the enemy, is one of the most stirring sagas in the history of American arms.This is the gripping story Martin Russ tells in this extraordinary book. Step by bloody step, the Marines -- given up for lost by headlines in the U.S. newspapers -- fought their way back down the same precipitous road, miraculously taking their dead and wounded with them as they ran the ferocious gauntlet of unceasing Chinese attacks all the way to Hamhung. Weaving into his account the voices of scores of individuals -- ordinary Marines and their officers -- Russ creates an unforgettable portrayal of the terror and courage of men as they face sudden death, making the bloody battles of the Korean hills and valleys come alive as they never have before.