Operation Broken Reed; Book Review

28 Apr

Operation Broken Reed is the story of a go for broke top-secret mission during the Korean War.

The Korean War was a seesaw conflict swinging back and forth between the UN forces and Communist that led to a stalemate early in the conflict that would largely remain for the remainder of the conflict.

President Truman, under pressure to solve the problem and unable to cope with the bureaucratic headache of the government, went over the heads of everyone and authorized an intelligence gathering mission behind enemy lines.

10-men were sent behind enemy lines as part of an elaborate scheme involving nationalist-Chinese soldiers escorting the crew of a downed American bomber across the Korean peninsula to be taken to China. The 10-men, each with their own specialty and purpose, were to be given no recognition, no credit, and no rewards for the mission which was to be classified until 1998, 46 years after the mission.

Broken Reed details this story from the background of Lt. Col. Arthur Boyd, the only member of the team to survive the mission. The interesting and unknown story is well told and reads almost like a work of fiction with its surprisingly level of character development, despite the men on the mission being forbidden to share personal details, and the unexpected plot twists that lead the mission to its fateful end. Broken Reed is a good book to learn something from as well as be entertained.

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