Fallen Sniper was inspired by several unconnected events from the Korean War that came together here for the story. In the late stages of the war, the conflict entered the stalemate phase described by historian Max Hastings. Instead of fighting back and forth, the two opposing sides were now facing each other across a wide and fluid front. Communist forces still probed and attacked in an effort to gain as much territory as possible for when the negotiations of a truce finally reached a conclusion. Meanwhile, many fought and died as the “peace talks” dragged on.
Outpost Kelly was one of the places where that fighting took place. The background for the battle comes from “Outpost Kelly: A Tanker’s Story,” an engaging memoir by Jack R. Siewert. The story of the 65th Infantry Borinqueneers that resulted in actual court-martial charges comes from the fight over a different hill, which has been combined here with events at Outpost Kelly just to streamline things. There’s no doubt that the Borinqueneers faced many obstacles in terms of training, language barriers, and 1950s prejudice.
The last stand at Outpost Alamo draws upon several incidents but is itself fictitious. Interestingly enough, there really are many ancient mountain forts throughout Korea, which has such a fascinating history. Finally, it’s worth noting that the dogfight against MiGs imagined here was inspired by several accounts. Thank you as always for reading and I hope that you enjoy Fallen Sniper.