ARRSER Speaks: Presentation Tour, June/July: London, NI. Winchester, Aldershot


Book Reviewer
Dear All:

For those interested, please see below. Would be very happy to meet any ARRSERs who show up.

Am also available in first two weeks in June to present to any interested units/organisations in UK. No speaker fee, but request hosting organization cover my transport expenses (to/from London). As an author, I get books at half price, so any profits from book sales can go to the charity/regimental association chosen by the host.

I will be incommunicado (hols in France from 9 June - 19 June) but will check in periodically. Will be back online from 19th onward.

Time/Date/Location: 18:30, 21 June, Korea Cultural Center,
Presentation: Scorched Earth, Black Snow
Address: Korean Cultural Centre UK, Grand Buildings, 1 - 3 Strand, London, WC2N 5BW Main Entrance on Northumberland Avenue. Tube: Charing Cross
Entry: Free
Media RSVP:
Other RSVP:
Tel: 020-7004-2600

Time/Date/Location: 19:00 – 21:00, 22 June, Somme Heritage Center
Presentation: Combined Scorched Earth Black Snow and To the Last Round
Address: The Somme Association & Somme Heritage Centre, 233 Bangor Road
Newtownards, BT23 7PH
Entry: Free. Collection will be taken at end. Profits from book sales will go to the Center.
RSVPs: Carol Walker at
Tel: 028-9182-3202

Time/Date/Location: 17:45, 28 June, Sir John Moore Barracks
Presentation: To the Last Round
Address: Sir John Moore Barracks, Andover Road, Winchester, SO22 6NQ
Entry: Free. Profits from books sales to go to The Rifles Regimental Association
RSVPs: Serving personnel only. Contact: OC A Sqn, ATFC (W)

Time/Date/Location: 19:00, 13 July; Aldershot Library
Presentation: Scorched Earth, Black Snow
Address: 109 High Street, Aldershot, Hampshire GU11 1DQ
Entry: £3.00
All RSVPs:
Telephone: 012-5232-2560

To The Last Round

2011 marks the 60th anniversary of the greatest offensive of the Korean War. After dark on 22nd April, China unleashed a “human wave” - a third of a million men - across a 40-mile front. Its aim: Annihilate the bulk of the United Nations Command; then seize Seoul.

At the critical breakthrough point, stood the Anglo-Belgian 29th Infantry Brigade.
For three desperate nights, outnumbered 7-1, 29th Bde battled China's entire 63rd Army.
The brigade disrupted the enemy timetable, permitting the withdrawal of UN forces, but at grievous cost: An entire battalion, “The Glorious Glosters” was lost in action.

To this day, 29th Bde’s stand – the battle of the Imjin River – remains the bloodiest action fought by British troops since World War II.

In 2001, the presenter, Andrew Salmon, a Seoul-based reporter, met survivors when they returned to the battleground for the 50th anniversary. Gripped by their stories, wanting to learn more, he was astounded to discover that no full account of their battle had ever been published. He decided to fill that gap.

In a fully illustrated presentation – including paintings and photographs never published in the UK - Andrew will discuss the origins and early days of the Korean War; the defense of the South and the counter-invasion of the North; the makeup and personalities of 29th Bde; the shock Chinese offensive; the terrible winter retreat from Pyongyang; the weapons, strategy and tactics of both sides; the rearguard action of “Happy Valley” in which the brigade held the line as UN troops pulled back through Seoul – at the cost of the decimation of the Royal Ulster Rifles and the King’s 8th Royal Irish Hussars; the storming of Hill 327; the Imjin terrain; and the pre-battle intelligence picture. The event will conclude with an audio-visual presentation "To the Last Round" on the battle of the Imjin River.

Scorched Earth, Black Snow

Though almost entirely unknown in the UK, the Korean War consumed more British lives than the Falklands, Iraq and Afghan conflicts combined; established China – the erstwhile “Sick Man of Asia” - as a superpower; and even today, holds the potential to reignite and unleash a nuclear catastrophe across East Asia.

In a presentation illustrated with some 200 photographs and paintings, many never seen in the UK, Seoul-based author Andrew Salmon will bring this grim struggle back to life as he discusses the story of Anglo-Australian forces in the war’s most dramatic - and terrible - months. Episodes include:

• The deployment of the under-manned, under-equipped, and under-gunned 27th Infantry Brigade - at a single week’s notice:
• The tragedy of Hill 282 – an episode in which the author believes Whitehall whitewashed the final words of the first (posthumous) VC of the Korean War;
• The brigade’s spearhead role in the UN counter-invasion of North Korea - where, in a series of battles, it decimated Kim Il-sung’s army;
• China’s shock offensive - and 27th Brigade’s fight for survival at Pakchon; and
• The brigade’s covering action below Kunu-ri, “The Gauntlet” - and the retreat to the 38th Parallel.

Andrew will conclude with the audio-visual presentation, "Green Beret, White Hell" - an account of the Royal Marine commandos who fought with the 1st US Marine Division in the coldest, darkest, most harrowing battle of modern history: Chosin Reservoir.

The experiences of the Korean people - helpless as their land was put to the torch amid the coldest winter of living memory - will be covered. The presenter will illuminate several near-fantastical events, which are, nevertheless, established historical fact. These include:

• The extraordinary night encounter at Sariwon;
• The death of Taskforce Drysdale, fighting 9-1 odds in “Hellfire Valley;”
• The “White Star of Koto-ri,” and the “Cliffhanger at Funchilin Pass;” and
• The winter voyage of SS Meredith Victory, “The Ship of Miracles.”

About the Presenter:
Andrew Salmon covers the Koreas for Forbes, The South China Morning Post, The Times and The Washington Times. His first Korean War history, "To the Last Round: The Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea, 1951" won the inaugural Osprey Publishing/Hampshire Libraries award for “Best Military Book of 2009.” In 2010, Andrew was presented with a “Korea Wave” award at South Korea’s National Assembly for his contribution to the literature of the war; also that year, the book was named one of the Top 10 books on Korea by the Wall St Journal. His second Korean War history, "Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950" was published on 1 June 2011.

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