The Korean War Lasted From 1950 to _____

The Korean War Lasted From 1950 to _____

The Korean state of war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the N Korean People’south Army poured beyond the 38th parallel, the boundary betwixt the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military activity of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South korea’s behalf. Equally far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. Later some early on back-and-along across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the Northward Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider state of war with Russia and Cathay–or fifty-fifty, every bit some warned, Earth War 3. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean State of war came to an stop. In all, some five one thousand thousand soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.South. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and 2 and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

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North vs. Due south Korea

“If the best minds in the globe had ready out to find us the worst possible location in the globe to fight this damnable state of war,” U.Southward. Secretary of State Dean Acheson (1893-1971) once said, “the unanimous choice would accept been Korea.” The peninsula had landed in America’s lap well-nigh by accident. Since the beginning of the 20th century, Korea had been a part of the Japanese empire, and later on Earth War II it fell to the Americans and the Soviets to make up one’s mind what should be done with their enemy’s imperial possessions. In August 1945, two young aides at the State Department divided the Korean peninsula in half along the 38th parallel. The Russians occupied the area northward of the line and the Usa occupied the area to its south.

By the end of the decade, ii new states had formed on the peninsula. In the south, the anti-communist dictator Syngman Rhee (1875-1965) enjoyed the reluctant support of the American government; in the n, the communist dictator Kim Il Sung (1912-1994) enjoyed the slightly more enthusiastic support of the Soviets. Neither dictator was content to remain on his side of the 38th parallel, yet, and border skirmishes were common. Near 10,000 Due north and S Korean soldiers were killed in boxing before the war even began.

The Korean War and the Cold War

All the same, the N Korean invasion came as an alarming surprise to American officials. As far every bit they were concerned, this was non merely a border dispute between 2 unstable dictatorships on the other side of the world. Instead, many feared it was the outset step in a communist campaign to have over the world. For this reason, nonintervention was not considered an option by many tiptop decision makers. (In fact, in April 1950, a National Security Quango report known as NSC-68 had recommended that the United States utilise military machine force to “comprise” communist expansionism anywhere it seemed to exist occurring, “regardless of the intrinsic strategic or economical value of the lands in question.”)

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“If nosotros let Korea down,” President Harry Truman (1884-1972) said, “the Soviet[s] will keep right on going and swallow up one [place] afterwards another.” The fight on the Korean peninsula was a symbol of the global struggle between east and due west, expert and evil, in the Cold War. As the North Korean army pushed into Seoul, the Southward Korean majuscule, the United States readied its troops for a war against communism itself.

Roll to Go on

At start, the war was a defensive one to get the communists out of Republic of korea, and it went desperately for the Allies. The North Korean army was well-disciplined, well-trained and well-equipped; Rhee’s forces in the South Korean army, by contrast, were frightened, dislocated and seemed inclined to flee the battleground at any provocation. As well, it was one of the hottest and driest summers on record, and desperately thirsty American soldiers were oft forced to drink water from rice paddies that had been fertilized with man waste product. As a consequence, dangerous intestinal diseases and other illnesses were a constant threat.

By the end of the summer, President Truman and General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), the commander in charge of the Asian theater, had decided on a new set of war aims. Now, for the Allies, the Korean War was an offensive 1: Information technology was a war to “liberate” the Northward from the communists.

Initially, this new strategy was a success. The Inch’on Landing, an amphibious assault at Inch’on, pushed the North Koreans out of Seoul and back to their side of the 38th parallel. But as American troops crossed the purlieus and headed north toward the Yalu River, the border between Due north Korea and Communist Prc, the Chinese started to worry nigh protecting themselves from what they called “armed aggression against Chinese territory.” Chinese leader Mao Zedong (1893-1976) sent troops to North Korea and warned the United States to keep away from the Yalu boundary unless it wanted full-scale war.

“No Substitute for Victory”

This was something that President Truman and his advisers incomparably did not want: They were sure that such a war would lead to Soviet aggression in Europe, the deployment of diminutive weapons and millions of senseless deaths. To Full general MacArthur, even so, annihilation curt of this wider state of war represented “appeasement,” an unacceptable knuckling under to the communists.

Every bit President Truman looked for a mode to forestall war with the Chinese, MacArthur did all he could to provoke information technology. Finally, in March 1951, he sent a alphabetic character to Joseph Martin, a House Republican leader who shared MacArthur’s back up for declaring all-out war on China–and who could be counted upon to leak the letter to the printing. “There is,” MacArthur wrote, “no substitute for victory” against international communism.

For Truman, this alphabetic character was the last straw. On April 11, the president fired the general for insubordination.

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The Korean War Reaches a Stalemate

In July 1951, President Truman and his new armed forces commanders started peace talks at Panmunjom. Notwithstanding, the fighting continued forth the 38th parallel as negotiations stalled. Both sides were willing to accept a ceasefire that maintained the 38th parallel boundary, but they could not agree on whether prisoners of war should be forcibly “repatriated.” (The Chinese and the Due north Koreans said yep; the U.s.a. said no.)

Finally, after more than than two years of negotiations, the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, 1953. The agreement allowed the POWs to stay where they liked; drew a new boundary nigh the 38th parallel that gave South Korea an actress 1,500 foursquare miles of territory; and created a 2-mile-wide “demilitarized zone” that yet exists today.

Korean War Casualties

The Korean War was relatively short but exceptionally bloody. Nearly v 1000000 people died. More than half of these–about 10 percent of Korea’south prewar population–were civilians. (This rate of civilian casualties was college than Globe State of war 2’s and the Vietnam State of war’due south.) Almost forty,000 Americans died in action in Korea, and more than 100,000 were wounded. Today, they are remembered at the Korean War Veterans Memorial near the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., a series of xix steel statues of servicemen, and the Korean War memorial in Fullerton, California, the first on the Due west Coast to include the names of the more than thirty,000 Americans who died in the war.


The Korean War Lasted From 1950 to _____