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Triumph at Kapyong: Canada’s pivotal battle in Korea Essay (Book Review)

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Updated: Jul 20th, 2020


The ability to effectively write a book with high precision, clarity and robustness will determines the book’s efficiency in communicating to readers and passing required information in the most effective way.

In war history related writings, style and professionalism are critical in determining the impact that the writing would have on the field of profession which is being targeted, an academic profession, and readers in other fields.

It is against this background that this paper provides a review of Dan Bjarnason’s ‘Triumph at Kapyong: Canada’s Pivotal Battle in Korea.

Title of book

As already noted at the beginning, the ability of any write up to effectively communicate the required message should be clearly visualized from the initial parts of the reading. The title of the book is indeed self explanatory as it posts the key aspects being featured to the reader.

Besides, the title is augmented in style by the abstract under which it acts as an extension that offers further explanation. The abstract in this case provides an overview of the whole book to the reader.

It briefly sets the stage of the story or event by indicating that the event centered on the battle of Kapyong and goes to great lengths in describing the details of the events that led to the involvement of Canada in the war. Besides, its takes a reader through key leadership qualities displayed among individuals who were in charge of the army.

Of particular importance is the fact that the abstract provides a summary of details and consequences of the war. The revelation Bjarnason of information of factors that caused Canada to join the war to readers at the onset of the story anchors their concentration and promotes their interest to get other details throughout the story or study.


Style in this book has effectively been employed and is in tandem with the title of the book. It is also notable that the beginning of this book is highly captivating and leaves a reader with the desire to read more form the book.

As a matter of fact, such an arousing writing style especially at the initial pages of any piece of literature is vital in maintain the flow and attractiveness of the given piece of writing. Due to clarity of the book from the beginning, a reader is able to tell what to expect in the later sections.

Besides, the planning of the book is quite impressive in the sense that it starts by outlining factual information on the contribution of Canada to peacekeeping and counter measures against incursions by communists. These are terse details that truly equip the reader with some of the most important details in the book.

In addition; further clarity is inferred from the flow of the history (story) details that cumulatively provide increased capacity of the reader to link the main issues being recounted in the events. Of particular importance in the book is emphasis provided by use of statistics and figures as well as clear referencing on time of occurrence of the events which have been illustrated in the book.

Needless to say, provision of timelines in such piece of writing is quite crucial in enlightening the reader with both flow and content of the book in addition to the relevance of each event. However, lack of consistency in the flow of events is a major undoing factor of the book since it the writing appears as a secondary literature that dwells on the analysis of another book.

Review of events in the book

Bjarnason has done an extremely plausible work in reviewing the events that took place during the war in Kapyong and other related matters in the literature of his work. Indeed, every part of this publication adequately provides some systematic flow of events with relevant timelines as well as characters involved.

Nonetheless, the writing seems to be lacking sufficient support of previous works of history. Needless to say, this depicts a clear indication of possible missing links crucial in the book that could be equally crucial towards understanding the book.

While the latter may be considered as lethal weakness in the book, it is imperative to note that building of characters’ attributes in the book has been comprehensively done.

For instance, every concept of charismatic leadership such as that of Brigadier John Rockingham has been manifested in such a creative way that Bjarnason’s work becomes an important building block throughout the book.

Strengths and weaknesses of the book

To begin with, it is worth noting that the book’s key strengths lie in its presentation and succinctness of different ideologies that have been integrated throughout the piece of literature.

From the start, the introduction is very holistic and therefore offers the necessary insight into the rest of the events discussed in the book as indicated earlier. Besides, it further presents key reference points in terms of time of occurrence of events and individuals involved.

It is also worth noting that the presented cases during the war are further analyzed intrinsically to facilitate greater understanding of the logic behind the decisions assimilated by different leaders. It is imperative to mention that the style employed in the article is highly particularistic and simplified without losing key underlying concepts.

On the other hand, the book is apparently lacking the necessary references at the end of the publication which makes the reader to question some of the sources used in the paper. Despite the clear flow assimilated in the book, it is evident that there is inadequate and incomprehensive of the details that happened during the war.

Besides, the book does not have specific section that elaborates on the problem of interest in terms of how that war was critical. In other words, the recount in the book can be dismissed merely as story capturing the history of the war.

Therefore, in terms of elucidating on the significance of war history highlighted in this piece of literature, it is profound to underscore the fact that the book fails to accomplish the ability to bring out clear significance of the event to the reader.

Though by introducing the issue and providing intriguing evidence on its occurrence and possible contribution to Canada involvement maybe considered to generate a sense of purpose, the same consideration may not always be sufficient especially to readers who seek to establish the significance and uniqueness of the war.

To be able to facilitate interest and intrinsic involvement of the reader in book, the author must be able to clearly bring out the significances of the war. This reduces ambiguities in the results interpretations.

Though the author’s style may be considered to be part of the strategy to promote multiple applications of the results, the style can be very misleading to a reader.

While it has been indicated earlier that Bjarnason did an excellent job in describing the events of battle of Kapyong, his work lacks comprehensive reviewing of other literature sources to support his work, propositions and even recommendations.

By strongly supporting the claim on the story, a reader is able to effectively link the purpose of the story and the reason involvement of Canada in the battle at Kapyong.

One cannot fail to mention the great essence of the literature review in drawing better relationship between the battle of Kapyong and the pivotal role of Canada in the war.

In his review of Bjarnason’s work, Cord Scott brings out the existing gaps which he feel that needs to be worked on to enable readers who have no knowledge of the war grasp adequate information on it.

On a final note, this book lacks a holistic theoretical framework which is very crucial for understanding the relationship between various aspects discussed in the book.

By failing to provide a clear framework on the war, maps of movement of soldiers from both Korea and Canada and relevant support from official histories, a reader is left aloof to decide on the relation between the major variables and the main objectives.

This may be less helpful bearing in mind that it can lead to misinterpretations of the book by different readers due to limited information. Implementation of the recommendations also becomes quite cumbersome since the readers are unable to connect theoretically between the causes and the consequences of events depicted in the book.

This book review on Triumph at Kapyong: Canada’s pivotal battle in Korea was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
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IvyPanda. "Triumph at Kapyong: Canada's pivotal battle in Korea." July 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-triumph-at-kapyong-canadas-pivotal-battle-in-korea/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Triumph at Kapyong: Canada's pivotal battle in Korea." July 20, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-triumph-at-kapyong-canadas-pivotal-battle-in-korea/.


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