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Old 11-14-2010, 07:02 AM
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Arrow ‘Chosin’ DVD

‘Chosin’ DVD

Posted by Peter C. Maffitt Nov 13th 2010 at 2:45 pm in Communism, North Korea, Soldiers, veterans | Comments (7)

US Marine Corps Capt Brian IGLESIAS, director, and Anton Sattler, co writer, have produced an outstanding DVD on the Nov/Dec, 1950, Chosin Reservoir battle in North Korea. Iglesias enlisted in the US Marine Corps and was promoted to Captain. He servered two tours in Iraq. After his USMC duty he attended film school. Sattler is also a combat USMC veteran. His first project was to do a documentary on the Chosin battle.

Except he did not have the several hundred thousand dollars necessary to do a Chosin documentary. His Chosin is a strong, low budget masterpiece.

He interviewed Chosin veterans between actual combat footage. Combat veterans often never can tell their stories. Capt Iglesias got the Chosin veterans to tell their first hand, often never discussed combat stories.

These are not actors, they are the real Marine veterans, the “Chosin Few.”

The Chosin DVD had its first Houston, TX, showing the week of November 11th, Veteran Day week. It was not with flood lights in a large theater, but at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Hospital. The audience at the VA Hospital was mostly veterans with four Chosin battle veterans, one 80 year old Gunny Sgt was in his US Marine Corps uniform. Dr. Wright Williams, a VA Hospital Psychologist, introduced the film by saying Chosin is a “Celebration.” He said Korea is known as the “Forgotten War,” but it should be known as a “Victory.” The Korean War was the first major set back for the Communists in the Cold War.

The film begins with the veterans discussing their training, that is, lack of training for Korea and their lack of supplies. Many Marine Reserve units had never even been to Basic Training, Boot camp. The North Koreans attacked June 25, 1950. The South Korean troops in desperate combat were pushed to the Pusan Perimeter. In August the US and UN troops arrived in force. But General MacArthur had the successful Inchon landing to cut off the North Korean troops from their supply lines. Our US and UN troops pushed north to the Yalu River, the border between North Korea and Communist China. In early November the 1st Marine Division was capturing Chinese Communist troops, but Washington felt they were volunteers and not members of a major Chinese Army. The Chinese would never attack the US Marines was the attitude in Washington. General Almond, a member of General MacArthur’s staff, even called the Chinese troops “laundry boys.”

In late November the well disciplined, well armed Chinese Communists Forces (CCF) attacked in mass waves. It is estimated the 15,000 US Marines were surrounded by at least 130,000 Chinese Communist troops.

The veterans described what it was like to be fighting in 40 degrees below zero weather. A Navy doctor detailed the suffering, the permanent frost bite damage, the wounded, and the KIAs. Again theses are not actors, they are Marine veterans telling their stories. The film clips show the waves of CCF troop attacks, the night attacks with artillery, grenades, bugles, and bayonet attacks- total chaos and death.

The US Marines were surrounded. Their only survival was to fight their way to Hungnam, to the sea. The Chosin Reservoir to Hungnam is over 78 miles through mountains held by the CCF. The US Marines withdrew with all their able fighting men, the wounded, the dead, and their equipment.

The US Navy was prepared successfully to evacuate the US Marines, plus 98,000 North Korean civilian refugees, who were being slaughtered by the Chinese Communists.

Finally, the Chosin veterans describe what it is like to live with their experiences. One Marine has a recurring dream that a horde of CCF troops are about to over run his unit. He fires his rifle and a sign pops out of his rifle with the cloth sign saying “BANG.” He has had this dream for 60 years. Many of the veterans have experienced heavy drinking issues.

Today the Veterans Administration realizes many of these veterans have PTSD issues.

The South Korean government has a program to pay for Korean War veterans to return to South Korea to see the county today. The closing film clip is the large US Cemetery in South Korea. It is a moving experience for a veteran or a non veteran. The word “sacrifice” cannot begin to describe what the US Marines experienced in the Chosin battle. The film is a true “Celebration.”

You can order the DVD at , movies & TV, “Chosin to Hungnam.” For a film summary Google “Chosin Reservoir Movie.”

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