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The Diggers of Kapyong : The story of the Aussies who changed the course of the Korean War - Tom Gilling

The Diggers of Kapyong

The story of the Aussies who changed the course of the Korean War

By: Tom Gilling

eBook | 26 March 2024

At a Glance


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The gripping account of Australia in the Korean War and how 3RAR battalion held back an entire Chinese army division to prevent Seoul being overrun.

'In the only war in which Australian soldiers ever faced off against the might of Mao, this is a revealing and spellbinding account of an extraordinary victory.' - Peter FitzSimons, author of Kokoda

We charged and we began to get shot down . . . there were so many bullets coming that it was like walking, running into a very stiff breeze. Most of the section had been knocked out and I'm within ten foot of the Chinese trench when bang, something hit me. It just blew the legs out from underneath me.

April 1951. After ten months of fighting, the Korean War hangs in the balance. A single Australian battalion, backed by Kiwi gunners and American tanks, is dug in on a hilltop overlooking the Kapyong Valley, north of Seoul. Together with a Canadian battalion on a nearby hill, they are all that stands between Mao's army and the South Korean capital.

Since pouring across the North Korean border to support Kim Il Sung's communist fighters, the Chinese have launched offensive after offensive in an attempt to drive General MacArthur's UN forces off the peninsula. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers from both sides have been killed or have frozen to death in the cruel Korean winter. On the barren hills above the Kapyong Valley, the heavily outnumbered Diggers of 3RAR wait in darkness for a battle that could decide the war's outcome.

Told through the eyes of the soldiers, The Diggers of Kapyong is the compelling account of the mateship, sacrifice and heroism that defined Australia's role in a bloody war whose bitter legacy still resonates today.

About the Author

Tom Gilling is an acclaimed novelist and non-fiction writer. His first two novels, The Sooterkin and Miles McGinty, were New York Times notable books of the year. His non-fiction works include Bastard Behind the Lines and The Lost Battalions. He is also co-author with Clive Small of the bestselling true crime books Smack Express, Blood Money, Evil Life and Milat.

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