Presentation on theme: "The Forgotten War. The Chinese Civil War After WW1 Japan’s power over China increased By 1919 the Chinese were protesting to gain independence from."— Presentation transcript:
The Forgotten War
The Chinese Civil War After WW1 Japan’s power over China increased By 1919 the Chinese were protesting to gain independence from Japan In the mid 1920’s Jiang Jieshi’s Nationalist Party gained strength in northern China capturing Beijing Communist troops made gains around Shanghai Jiang sent troops to attack the Communists and their supporters causing civil war
After World War II, Japan’s former colony of Korea was divided into two occupation zones along the 38 th parallel with the Soviet zone in the north and the US zone in the south Before the occupation forces departed, an anticommunist regime was established in the south and a communist one in the north
Korea was temporarily divided at the thirty-eighth parallel, the latitude line running through approximately the midpoint of the peninsula.
The US was uncertain as to the extent of its commitment in Asia It knew its umbrella definitely covered Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines, but it was unclear about Taiwan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia Believing the US did not intend to protect South Korea, the USSR allowed the North Koreans to invade the south in 1950 Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s speech to the National Press Club omitted South Korea from the US “defensive perimeter”
North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel with an invasion force totaling over 90,000 troops and 150 Soviet-built tanks By the night of June 28, Seoul had fallen and the South Korean forces were in disarray South Korea appealed to the United Nations for assistance The UN passed a resolution recommending that “the members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area.”
As a member of the UN Security Council, the Soviet Union could have vetoed UN involvement in the war, but instead Moscow was boycotting the Security Council at the time in protest of the UN’s failure to seat a representative of the newly established People’s Republic of China In the absence of the USSR, the UN passed a resolution sending a military force to South Korea The force was predominately American with Douglas MacArthur as the Supreme Commander There were also substantial contributions from the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.
U.S. Armed Forces in 1950 10 Army divisions (4 in Japan) 48 USAF air groups 331 combatants (64 in Pacific) 2 Marine divisions North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) 14 Divisions (9 in invasion force) Soviet trained, armed and advised 150 tanks, almost 100 modern aircraft
To stem the North Korea advance, the US deployed “Task Force Smith,” a delaying force of two reinforced rifle companies to Pusan MacArthur thought this “arrogant display of strength” would cause the North Koreans to take pause and slow their aggression Elements of Task Force Smith arriving at Taejon
Task Force Smith began occupying defensive positions on July 5 at 3:00 am –At 7:00 they began seeing enemy movement –At 8:16 they began firing artillery –At 2:30 the commander decided to withdraw When LTC Smith arrived at Ch’onan on July 6, he counted 185 men –He began with 540 After all stragglers returned, the total loss to TF Smith was 35%
Task Force Smith has become the poster child for the cost of military unpreparedness “No more Task Force Smiths” GEN Gordon Sullivan, Army Chief of Staff, (administered the post Desert Storm Army downsizing)
At first, the war went badly for US/UN. North Koreans pushed the combined South Korean & American forces to the tip of the peninsula. China provided advisors & supplies …& so did Soviets.
Mostly outdated World War II equipment and much of it was unserviceable – Of 18,000 jeeps only 8,000 were serviceable – Of 13, /2 ton trucks, only 4,441 were serviceable Had none of the new 3.5 inch antitank rocker launchers – Only the 2.36 inch Bazooka which had proved inadequate in 1944 – 1945 Hydraulic fluid for recoil mechanisms in the M24 tanks had been on backorder for two years, so most of their 75 mm guns had never been fired Some men were wearing tennis shoes because of a lack of boots ¼ of the small arms were defective
Occupation duties took precedence over training No unit training above the company level had taken place in Eighth Army before April 1949 Limited maneuver area and an annual personnel turnover rate of 43% impeded training The four divisions were rated as 65% to 84% combat ready – Some senior officers felt that 40% was more realistic US troops parade across the Yoshida Bridge
But, MacArthur reversed the war with an amphibious assault behind the North Korean lines. UN forces proceeded to destroy the North Korean army –almost reaching the Chinese border …which really angered the Chinese So, China sent forces across the border & overwhelmed UN forces in one of the worst defeats in US history, driving the UN from North Korea & back across the 38 th
Advances in medical services such as the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) and the use of rapid transport of the wounded to them such as with helicopters enabled the death rate for U.N. forces to be much lower than in previous wars. 1 st racially integrated troops! Exe. Order 9981 in effect
MacArthur repeatedly made public statements that were contrary to official US policy He suggested that Truman Administration policies were responsible for the retreat of the Army MacArthur and Truman meet at Wake Island, Oct 14, 1950
On Dec 6, 1950, Truman published an executive order– aimed at MacArthur– requiring all government officials to clear their public statements on foreign and military policy with the Administration Truman planned to use recent military successes to invite the Communists to negotiate MacArthur broadcast an ultimatum to the enemy which undermined Truman’s authority Sent a letter to Congressman Joseph Martin further criticizing the Administration
“I deeply regret that it becomes my duty as President and Commander in Chief of the United States Military Forces to replace you as Supreme Commander, Allied Powers; Commander in Chief, United Nations Command; Commander in Chief, Far East; and Commanding General United States Army, Far East. You will turn over your commands, effective at once, to Lieutenant General Matthew B. Ridgway.” “But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory.” MacArthur’s Farewell Address Apr 19, 1951
When Ridgway became Commander in Chief, Far East, Lieutenant General James Van Fleet took command of Eighth Army The Chinese attacked in April and again in May, but Van Fleet counterattacked By mid-June 1951, UN forces had regained a line that was for the most part north of the 38 th parallel This last fighting ended the year-long mobile phase of the war
War was at a stalemate along a front just north of the 38 th parallel …where it began. Peace talks began in July The ‘police action’ dragged on for 2 years until an armistice was finally signed in 1953 under Eisenhower. A truce signed in 1953 left Korea again divided near the thirty eighth parallel. 54,000 Americans died in Korea
Post-Korean War Changes in America Warfare — Limited war, limited victory Integration of the Military — First war in which white Americans and African Americans served in the same units Increased Power of the Military — A military-industrial complex developed as the military established links with the corporate and scientific communities. Foreign Policy in Asia — September 1951 peace treaty signed with Japan; relations worsen with Communist China