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Proud Legions: A Novel of America's Next War [Paperback]

John Antal
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 9 1999
Not since the publication ten years ago of the New York Times bestselling novel of tank warfare, Team Yankee, has a book captured the essence of modern land combat: not until now!

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Recent news stories about North Korea's nuclear capabilities have raised the question of U.S. involvement in a new Korean War, an eventuality the slightly paranoid consciousness of this debut military thriller considers an inevitability. Set in the very near future?a future, Antal suggests, that might even be now?a single U.S. tank battalion is all that stands between the North Korean army and the fall of Seoul. The surprise attack, Operation Daring Thrust, is the brainchild of North Korean Marshal Kim Seung-Hee (aka the Wolf), a man to whom "Americans were not men but merely targets." It's up to Lt. Col. Michael Rodriguez, commander of the 2nd Battalion, 72nd Armor Division, to stop him. Antal, whose nonfiction books such as Combat Team draw on his own experience as battalion commander of an armored division, invests his battle scenes with authoritative detail. He nails his patriotic colors firmly to the mast, and there is a rigid moralizing quality to his conception of the opposing U.S. and North Korean armies. American individualism and pragmatism (embodied by the well-trained responsive strike force) go up against the blind tyranny of a political system in which forced loyalty is guaranteed by fear. The focus remains fixed on strategy and response?a subplot that pits Rodriguez against reporter Alice Hamilton is barely a blip on the radar?in this technical and rawly realistic book. An inside view of the machinations of two armies at war will convince the layman that modern society requires a professional warrior caste?a conclusion Antal will certainly approve.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA-A contemporary techno-thriller that departs from the usual format. Instead of the heroes being pilots of cutting-edge aircraft, the characters are soldiers of an American tank battalion in South Korea. The story begins when rogue elements of the North Korean Army stage a coup d'?tat. Faced with a failed economy, the new regime decides to make a lightning military strike into South Korea with the hope of solving its financial woes. After some spectacular initial successes, the North Koreans are on the verge of capturing Seoul. The only unit standing between them and victory is an American tank battalion, equipped with M1A2 Abrams tanks. What follows is a tense, fast-paced story that draws readers into the unit's fight for survival. The author served as the commanding officer of such a battalion and thus writes with authority about the weapons, tactics, and terrain that are so pivotal to the story. Although the book contains much technical data and military jargon, Antal does a good job of explaining the terms. This book will appeal to fans of Tom Clancy and Harold Coyle.
Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Way to go 2nd Tank Sept. 13 2000
By Tom
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book does more than take me back to my serving in Korea, South. This book bring to life the soldiers of the NKPA whom I knew formerly, as just "the enemy". Though at one time I may have held hostile opinions of the North, through Antal's character development, I found myself identifying with the drive of the North just as easily as I did with the defensive stand of the South. I was fortunate enough to serve as a C.O.L.T chief in support of 2nd Tank and even more fortunate to witness Col. Antal's ferocity in battle situations. (unfortunately a bit of that ferocity was directed at me) After reading "Proud Legions" I feel better aquainted with the Korean battlefront from upper echelon perspective. Reading this book will give you the a good feel for what it is like to serve on freedom's last frontier and to carry out the primary objective which is "to crush the enemy and have them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women and children." GREAT READ
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4.0 out of 5 stars Korean War Part Two April 21 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Armistice that ended the Korean War was signed almost 47 years ago and the US Army has been preparing for the resumption of hostilities ever since. In Antal's book we are presented with one of the US Army's worst nightmares. After 47 years of preparation most of the US forces and their South Korean counterparts, caught napping in their vulnerable garrison locations at the start of the north Korean attack, are pounded to pieces by the enemy artillery. Fortunately one US tank battalion and a cavalry troop are in a training area north of the US Army garrisons and stop the main north Korean attack cold giving the US and the South Korean Armed forces time to regroup and counterattack.
Proud Legions is the story of the men of this tank battalion and their struggle against the north Korean People's Army.
This is a good book to read on the beach. The action is non-stop and fairly easy to follow. The characters however, are like something out of a comic book.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Tank Commander's Fantasy July 6 2004
Format:Paperback
The basic scenario is a real one to be concerned about, and LTC Antal certainly understands the workings of an armor battalion. But for those wondering how a North Korean invasion might actually progress, I might suggest that this is not the book for you.
The North Koreans are keystone cops in this narrative. Their formations totally lack any intel about where the Americans are; their commando strikes early in the book have no visible effect on the war effort.
The result is that North Korean tanks blindly stumble into prepared American positions with predictable results. It's pretty much a dream scenario for a tank battalion commander. Believe it or not, there's actually *another* turkey shoot later in the book. Add in an improbable romantic sideshow, and you have pretty much a battalion commander's fantasy of the best that a war in Korea could possibly go.
The result is a remarkably complacent story by an author who is usually lucid and authorative.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "A Good First Novel For The LTC" Aug. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lt. Col. John Antal definately takes you on the inside of a modern tank unit more than even Harold Coyle. His prior knowledge with Dragon Force and Korea helped enhance the realism of a second war on that peninsula. The combat scenes were well done, though I would have liked to have seen things be a little tougher for the Americans (even though realistically our tanks are much more superior to the antique T-62s & T-55s of the NKs). Pretty good job on the characters. I believe the Colonel did a better job developing the North Korean characters than the American ones. The SK Lt. Ri was one of the more intriguing characters in the book, right up there with Pvt. Emerson. Loved the way he was handled as a young man away from home for the 1st time and thrown into a war. Antal is a good writer and I hope to see more books from him in the future.
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3.0 out of 5 stars "A Good First Novel For The LTC" Aug. 23 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lt. Col. John Antal definately takes you on the inside of a modern tank unit more than even Harold Coyle. His prior knowledge with Dragon Force and Korea helped enhance the realism of a second war on that peninsula. The combat scenes were well done, though I would have liked to have seen things be a little tougher for the Americans (even though realistically our tanks are much more superior to the antique T-62s & T-55s of the NKs). Pretty good job on the characters. I believe the Colonel did a better job developing the North Korean characters than the American ones. The SK Lt. Ri was one of the more intriguing characters in the book, right up there with Pvt. Emerson. Loved the way he was handled as a young man away from home for the 1st time and thrown into a war. Antal is a good writer and I hope to see more books from him in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, narrow focus. April 27 2000
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed PL as a good read. However, it just didn't have that "can't put it down" quality, probably because I knew that the book would have a happy ending (The RoK and U.S. forces triumphing over the NKPA), unlike other books where the reader truly had no idea what would happen next.
Perhaps a little simplistic and patriotic, it was nevertheless very entertaining, and Colonel Antal's description of the Abrams tanks, their capabilities, and the men of 2-72 Armor are all very compelling. Also, the character development in Antal's story humanizes the men fighing the conflict. I found myself almost cheering for Marshall Kim Seung-Hee, if only because I knew that he'd be defeated in the end.
I also enjoyed Antal's interactive book, "Infantry Combat"
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING!
If you want a military fiction book that is different then read this one. Most military fiction books are set in Europe or the Middle East, very few are set in Korea. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting military action novel
Proud Legions is an exciting story about a new war in Korea, as seen from the turret of an M1 Tank. Unlike the other Korean War epic "Red Phoenix," this new novel, Proud... Read more
Published on June 10 2001 by "hamme@aol.com"
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
"Proud Legions" is probably the best war novel I have ever read, and it is defenitely the best book about tank warfare. This is a must read for everyone.
Published on March 31 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
"Proud Legions" is probably the best war novel I have ever read, and it is defenitely the best book about tank warfare. This is a must read for everyone.
Published on March 31 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
"Proud Legions" is probably the best war novel I have ever read, and it is defenitely the best book about tank warfare. This is a must read for everyone.
Published on March 31 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
"Proud Legions" is probably the best war novel I have ever read, and it is defenitely the best book about tank warfare. This is a must read for everyone.
Published on March 31 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars just another war story
Never really grabbed me. The North Koreans attack and are beaten off by the good guys.
Published on Nov. 12 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Military Fiction
This was a great book from start to finish. My only complaint is that there was no way to make it longer. Read more
Published on June 14 2000 by S. N. Gaines
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good One
My first introduction to Antal. Although not a big fan of tank fiction (a la Coyle), I just couldn't put this down - literally. It is a must read and you won't be disappointed.
Published on May 26 2000 by C. W. Joiner
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