By Spencer Farris, Tanya Foster, Nick McGinley, Kathryn Schuchardt
What Was The Cause Of The War? The Korean War was the division of Korea into North and South Korea. The North was under Communist rule and the South was Democratic. They both wanted to unite the peninsula under their government. On June 25, 1950 North Korea finally decided to take what they thought was rightfully theirs.
What Caused U.S. Involvement? The US was part of the United Nations at the time. When North Korea invaded, South Korea called the United Nations to their aid. After a vote to go to war at the UN conference, President Truman sent troops over.
Who Were the Key Leaders in the War and What Role Did They Play? Kim Il Sung (Leader of Communist North Korea) Syngman Rhee (Leader of Capitalist South Korea) President Truman (President of US of A) Joseph Stalin (General Secretary of Communist Party) Mao Zedung (Leader of Communist China) General MacArthur (American General) President Eisenhower (Another President of US of A)
Kim Il Sung Communist Wanted to take over South Korea He developed a massive personality cult around himself Ruled till his death in 1994
Joseph Stalin Leader of Communist Soviet Union Sent troops, weapons, vehicles and war machines to North Korea Increased tension between USA and Soviet Union
Mao Zedong Leader of Communist China Sent troops to North Korea Stopped the US from advancing at the 38th Parallel
Syngman Rhee Leader of South Korea Tried to defend his country from Communist rule President from 1948 to 1960
President Harry S. Truman President of USA Came into war as an ally of South Korea Part of United Nations
General Douglas MacArthur Served as Supreme Allied Commander during most of the war Successfully led the invasion of Ichon Had many victories on the battlefield
Who Were the Soldiers? 5,720,000 American Soldiers served in the war –(36,574 deaths) 2,834,000 of them were in the Army 1,177,000 of them were in the Navy 424,000 of them were in the Marines 1,285,000 of them were in the Air Force
What Were the Key Battles? November 26 - December 2, 1950 (Deadliest US week (KIA 3,628)) 27 July 53 - Cease fire signed - fighting ends 12 hours later Battle of Inchon Battle of Bloody Ridge The Hadong Ambush Battle of Andong Battle of Pork Chop Hill
Battle of Inchon September 15-17 1950 >Amphibious assault >40 to 1 troop ratio in favor of UN >Later UN recapture of Seoul (nearby town) severed North Korean Army supply lines
Battle of Bloody Ridge August 26-september 5 1951 > 10-day battle >Assault made by 9th infantry of 2nd division >UN victory (North Koreans retreat)
How Were The Soldiers Affected? When soldiers returned, it was difficult for them to readjust to normal life. Prisoners of war were taken on both sides, most of them if not all of them mistreated and terribly abused. Soldiers were beaten, starved, put to forced labor, marched to death, and summarily executed. Men came home limping or with missing limbs due to harsh weather conditions. Korean war veterans, like many soldiers from wars before, suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, causing the little things in normal, every day life, to return them to the harshness and fearful environment of the war in Korea.
The Veterans 4.9 million Korean War veterans in the U.S. 4.5 million white (92 percent) 339,400 African American (7 percent) 30,400 American Indian (less than 1 percent), Eskimo or Aleut 39,300 Asian or Pacific Islander (less than 1 percent) 35,000 of other races (less than 1 percent). There were an estimated 133,500 Hispanics (3 percent), who may be of any race
What was the Public Opinion? The basic western opinion that was held by the majority of people during the war portrayed Communism as the major threat against Democracy and what was often referred to as „the free world“. The Soviet Union, the civil war of the Chinese Communist party against the Guomindang, as well as the Soviet-Chinese treaty of friendship and North Korea’s attack on South Korea were all seen as a consistent aggressive strategy of International Communism, led by Moscow, aiming at conquering the “free world.” Therefore, the U. S. came into the war to South Korea’s aid in defense against the machine that threatened it’s life style, and intervening in the Korean War was thus seen by the public as being part of a damming strategy against the advance of Communism. Truman said on the subject that "Communism was acting in Korea, just as Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese had ten, fifteen, and twenty years earlier. I felt certain that if South Korea was allowed to fall Communist leaders would be emboldened to override nations closer to our own shores. If the Communists were permitted to force their way into the Republic of Korea without opposition from the free world, no small nation would have the courage to resist threat and aggression by stronger Communist neighbors."
How Were Foreign Relations Affected? - The UN defended South Korea - Korean peninsula split on 38th parallel - Continued tention between U.S. and Soviets - 2.5 mile (4 Km) Demilitarized zone established between North and South Korea