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1 MH-20: The Korean War. 2 Korean War-Overview North Korea invaded the South 0430 25 June 1950: –Advanced rapidly down SK Peninsula=> Pusan –NK showed.

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Presentation on theme: "1 MH-20: The Korean War. 2 Korean War-Overview North Korea invaded the South 0430 25 June 1950: –Advanced rapidly down SK Peninsula=> Pusan –NK showed."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 MH-20: The Korean War

2 2 Korean War-Overview North Korea invaded the South June 1950: –Advanced rapidly down SK Peninsula=> Pusan –NK showed Maneuver warfare was alive & well At least for the first year of the war North Korea’s invasion caught US unprepared –SECDEF Johnson had gutted military readiness –He had cut all but Air Force’s strategic budget US resolve was watched closely by entire world –Failure of the US to act would discourage allies & encourage foes (to threaten Europe) Gen MacArthur would turn things around: –Established Pusan Perimeter & Inchon Landing –But Truman, tempted fate by expanding US/UN war aims to unify Korea under So. Korea –Result: US threat to Yalu prompted China to act MacArthur’s attempt to expand war prompted Truman to replace him with General Ridgeway –Ridgeway’s counter-offensive pushed NK back –Armistice talks drew War out for 2 more years NTL direct military & nuclear escalation avoided

3 3 Military Strategy serving Political Goals Military strategy then became aligned w/political negotiations –Small limited engagements made for small advantage –Used as bargaining chips for truce talks at Panmunjom As result: Korean War’s strategic aim limited => –Attain political goals primarily at bargaining table –Instead of tactical or operational advances on the Battle Field –Military strategy & tactics limited to serve political goals only This different approach was a major change from that of WWII –The reason had much to do with the state of US military readiness following WWII

4 4 Post-WWII Demobilization & Military Readiness US Readiness to deal with limited conflict quickly –US post-War focus in Pacific: Occupation duty in Japan Unit training & combat cohesion virtually nonexistent Combat readiness woefully inadequate Political & diplomatic status of Korea given lower status: –Korea was outside US stated defense perimeter in Pacific –US focus in Pacific: Japan (for Asia) –US 1st priority globally? Meanwhile: NK (Kim Il Sung) establish well trained Army –135K capable & trained Army –Prepared for invasion & (eventual) unification of Korea Soviets concurred with North Korea’s invasion plan: –Also both surprised by US reaction & response: Misled by Dean Rusk’s ill advised public policy statement on Asia –Both US & South Korea totally unprepared for NK invasion Germany

5 5 North Korean Invasion (25 June 1950) North Korea crosses 38 th parallel and invades on broad front: –3rd & 4th NK Divisions attack South Korean west coast –Operational & tactical Objectives: Take Seoul & rout South Korean Army => push them to the south –2nd/7th Divisions drive south Yoju & Wonju to East –5th Division attacks to take Samch’ok Second echelon regiments follow initial invasion forces: –Prepare for deep penetration through lead elements –Objective: South Korean rear areas Result: ringing tactical success: –Quickly rout ROK defenders

6 6 U.S. Response US & ROK forces fall back in disarray –Outgunned by North Korea –Attempt to delay NK advance US political response: –Surprise, embarrassment, anger, & resolve: –Truman determined US (w/UN) will defend South Korea –Problem? (with what & when– how soon?) UN designates US as executive agent –Who does Truman assign as his commander?

7 7 Mission & Operational Strategy CINCUNC’s mission? –Halt North Korea’s advance & eject its forces from South Korea What is CINCUNC’s Operational Strategy for this mission? –Slow NK advance to provide time (time for what?) –Re-enforcement from Japan to build up on Pusan Peninsula Then counterattack on NK’s rear & flanks

8 8 Concept of Operations & Execution Operational Concept: –Delay NK‘s advance at Suwon-Taijon Axis – How- with what? Task Force ?___________ –(1/2 Battalion!) to defend line: –Make stand 5km North of Osan –Against tanks? Level of (over) confidence? Execution: –5 July: NK attacks w/2nd wave follow-on frontal attacks high casualties all around –TF Smith forced to withdraw (surrounded – flee – many MIAs) Later TF Smith’s sacrifice became symbol of what? –Initial ?______ ___________ –Lack of adequate support & ?___________

9 9 Establishing Pusan Perimeter NK forces advances while US & ROK forces resist: –Sacrifice of TF Smith buys time to organize delay LTG Walker’s 8th Army –24th, then 25th Divisions delay NK advance –Fighting withdrawal to form perimeter around Pusan Pusan becomes vital port for re-enforcements & re-supply –Rushed in a race against time

10 10 Inchon Landing MacArthur’s high risk Inchon invasion w/10th Corps: –USMC 1 st Division w/untrained 7th division in reserve Attitude of JCS, Navy amphibious experts & Landing force Commander? –Difficulties surrounding attempted landing? –Timing of 30 foot ?_____ ______ –Wolmi-do island also posed potential threat to invading forces flank

11 11 Inchon Landing Execution For the most part- as planned: –Benefit of high risk operations: –Strategic & tactical surprise NK caught totally by surprise & now out gunned & cut off –Offer stiff resistance – but soon forced to retreat back to 38 th ll

12 12 Inchon Landing: Results Results: Total success- –NK LOCs completely cut off Strategic situation completely reversed –Strategic initiative now shifts to US

13 13 Changing War Aims Initial War Aims? –Eject NK from South Korea –Force them back over When changed & how? 38 th parallel –Following Inchon & radically changed strategic situation –NSC council’s advice to Truman –DOD (JCS & MacArthur) position & advice? ?___ ___ _____! Mission Creep? –Expanded aim: unify Korean Peninsula under South Korea –Strategy: Drive north & attack & destroy NK Army

14 14 The China Card China’s response & unheeded warnings & intelligence –CICUNC intelligence (J-2) breakdown –Selective perception Discounts Korean recon team reports of Chinese build-up –“Chinese volunteers at the Yalu” MacArthur’s assurances to Truman at Wake –Chinese won’t attack –When Chinese attack => who’s surprised now?

15 15 Strategic Situation Reversed Nov’50- Jan’51: strategic situation reversed (again) –Americans & SK forces fall back in retreat (8 th Army in West ) –10 th Corps (1 st USMC & 7 th in East (retreat: Chosin Reservoir) –Only US CAS allow 8th Army & 10th corps to barely escape Col Chesty Puller, USMC, would lead with distinction

16 Chosin Reservoir- The Retreat 16

17 17 US Global Strategic Priorities MacArthur’s reaction & desired response? –Expand and ?___________ the War=> bomb ?___________ US (Truman/JCS) strategic priorities: –Europe! View NK invasion as diversion sanctioned by USSR –Confine conflict to Korean Peninsula (at least Asia): Truman determined not to allow war to spread or escalate (Avoid spread to China & especially Europe As Operational situation in Korea grows grim: –Truman hints: potential A-bomb use NATO (Britain) allies become seriously concerned –British PM Attlee visits Truman to gain assurances –Questions US direction of the War

18 18 War Aims & Strategy “Adjustments” Result: War aims & strategy changed again: –PM Attlee & Truman reach compromise agreement: –Europe first! => Asia (Korea) distant second Adjusted aims & grand strategy: –Both confirm commitment to fight along side South Korea –1. Operational Aim: establish strong defense line & hold it –2. Negotiate settlement from position of strength –3. Finally – throughout conflict: keep the war limited Both in intensity and geographic region Impact on MacArthur’s desired Operational Strategy? –Mac’s operational objectives in direct conflict w/this compromise –And therefore with US (Truman) & UN political & strategic aims Truman ordered Mac to change his Op strategy to what?

19 19 Strategic Defense From Strategic Offense to Strategic Defense: –Korean unification shelved –Political negotiated settlement now pursued MacArthur’s reaction & response: –Goes head to head with the Commander in Chief (Not recommended) –Undermines President’s political aims for (MacArthur’s) military objectives Criticized Truman’s “defensive” strategy in letter to GOP Congressman “There is no substitute for victory” –He would soon be relieved and sent back home- into retirement

20 20 Ridgeway & Operation Killer LTG Ridgeway takes 8th Army following Walker’s death –Reinvigorates troops –Waits for opportunity to strike –Seizes opening & launches counter-attack –Pushes NK back & digs in to await another opening –Launches several follow-on operations –Pushes North Korean back over 38th parallel Meanwhile Truman seeks to take advantage of Ridgeway’s success –Plans speech to offer negotiated settlement w/China –Mac had undermined presidential prerogative & paid the price Command changed result: –Ridgeway replaced Mac & Gen Van Fleet takes 8 th

21 21 Mobile Warfare Ends Chinese & NK counterattacks April 1951: – Drive X-corps & 2 ROK Corps south of 38 th Parallel Van Fleet seizes opportunity & counterattacks in West into right flank of advancing enemy –8th Army attacks along entire line –Chinese surprised & withdraws into NK north of 38 th Parallel Mobile warfare ends (May’51) at established front Battle line

22 22 End Game – Negotiations & Stalemate Truman-Attlee agreement precluded conventional victory –Implicit war aim: cease-fire in place June 1951: Negotiations start: –Bog down for awhile over protocol issues July 1951: Agenda finally set: –Fix demarcation line (DMZ) –Set terms for Truce supervision –Protocols for POW return –Recommendations to warring parties UN Forces attempt to take tactical advantage: –Establish strong defensive position –Capture key terrain point => –Objective: establish strong negotiating position –Then => conduct active defense & hold gains

23 23 Communist Response Communist take advantage of UN’s proposed 30 day deadline: –Dig in & establish strong in-depth defense line –Creates stalemate => static warfare (WW1) –Ensured static situation for rest of war –Therefore Chinese & NK outmaneuvered US politically Result: ground action & mobility deteriorates –NTL Air & Naval interdiction continues to apply pressure on NK

24 24 Small Units Actions Both sides compete for small incremental gains in difficult terrain: –Purpose: gain small advantage at bargaining table : Series of night actions & patrol level firefights at fwd outposts: –Pork Chop Hill, T-Bone Hill, White House, etc

25 25 Operation Erie Operation Erie => –Violent Chinese assault on fwd US position –Typical example of tactics serving politics –(And troops paying the price as bargaining chips for political ends)

26 26 Obstacles to Truce & POWs Truce talks at Panmunjom: –Most all issues settled except? –?____________ disposition: (issue?) UN insists ?_________________ should decide where to go following truce China & NK position? Forced ?_________________ Results of Red Cross poll: remain in SK –China & NK reaction=> incredulous (many former captured SKs) –Koje-do incident involving hardcore NK (inhibit defectors) –China & NK exploit as propaganda against UN (embarrassed)

27 27 Ike’s Election &Its Impact Ike concurred with Truman’s strategic aim: –Agreed to negotiated settlement in principle –But with incentives to Chinese (?) Strategic bombing of NK ?__________ authorized –JCS directed to plan for mobile plans –Widen war geographically (into China) & in intensity –Signals his intent to use A-Bomb (B-29 Bombers deployed) Stalin’s death changes focus & strategic priorities for Soviets –ALCON decide it is time to settle –Concentrate on next USSR leadership

28 28 Assessing Limited War Review of Policy, Doctrine, & Strategy: –Kennan’s Long Telegram & Truman Doctrine –Containment Policy & associated strategy –Marshall Plan, NATO, & NSC-68 Korean War costs: –Casualties: Chinese & NK estimated combined causalities:1.5-2M –1 million civilian deaths UN: 88K KIA (23,300 US) & 300K SK; –DMZ: remains tense potential battle ground- even today NK raids & agent infiltrations continued throughout –Terrorism, sabotage, abduction, WMD development War by Proxy: –Korean War intensified conflict between superpowers Potential to escalate to Nuclear level conflict at hand Threat of spreading to other theaters => Europe

29 29 Rising Defense Spending High costs for military unpreparedness: –NSC-68 validated by North Korea’s invasion: –US caught by surprise & unprepared => decided never again DOD Budget dramatically increased: –Permanent US standing armed forces established: –Largest in US history –(No more Task Force Smiths type trip wires) Combat Ready Force trained & ready to deploy –No mobilization time required –European forward deployment (& to South Korea) –Peacetime Draft until after Vietnam Military scientific industrial complex expanded & nurtured –National & global economic impact ($$ for defense contracts)

30 30 End Result Korean War became a model for future wars: –Established major precedence: Limited War (w/o A-Bomb) now considered possible Conflict of limited scope & violence for limited aims Communist exploitation of limited war: –Stressed a Political vice military strategy –Delay & propaganda used very effectively –Win at bargaining table what can’t be won in combat Political aims of limited war must be a calculated priority –When confronting future conflicts- especially in Asia

31 Back-up Slides 31

32 32 Korean War ( ) North Korea invaded the South June 1953: –As they advanced rapidly down Korean Peninsula => –Demonstrated Maneuver warfare was alive & well At least for the first year of the war Both sides maneuvered back & forth for 1st year => –then entrenched stalemate like WW1 re-emerged Overview of the course of the war… in a “nutshell:”

33 33 Strategic Overview of Key Events

34 34 Korean War From a US perspective, the Soviets engaged the US indirectly through NK & China


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