It is cold outside, and I don’t mean chilly. I mean down-to-the-bone cold. Can’t feel your fingers cold.
I would complain about it, but we are approaching the sixty-fourth anniversary of the battle at Chosin Reservoir, and it just doesn’t seem right. For those not familiar with Chosin, read this brief excerpt from defense.gov:
“On Nov. 27, 1950, the Korean War looked over but for the victory parade. Allied forces had chased the North Korean army for two months from the southern tip of South Korea and sat poised at the Yalu River, the North’s border with China. On that Thanksgiving Day, 200,000 Chinese troops took the Allies by surprise, routed the 8th U.S. Army and surrounded 10,000 Marines of the 1st Marine Division at the Chosin Reservoir.
Those Marines were led by the storied Brig. Gen. Lewis B. ‘Chesty’ Puller. Their fighting withdrawal to safety from Nov. 27 to Dec. 9 is considered by many to be one of the more harrowing campaigns in U.S. military history. They fought their way out on a mountainous road in sub-arctic conditions, losing 718 of their number, but killing more than 25,000 enemy troops, according to some sources.”
Temperatures dropped to fifty below zero during their ordeal. Think about that for a minute. You are surrounded and outnumbered twenty to one, fighting off wave after human wave of Chinese attackers in weather so cold that men who stopped would freeze to death. Sleep was virtually impossible. “Temperatures dipped to frigid levels and a veteran recalled a ‘mind-numbing’ cold so intense that the troops’ eyeballs would freeze until they put their hands up to warm them.” (defense.gov)
So yeah, it’s cold outside. But not Chosin cold.