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Early Cold War and the Korean War from Pusan through Inchon


Early Cold War and the Korean War from Pusan through Inchon Lsn 19 Cold War A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations that stops short of full ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Cold War and the Korean War from Pusan through Inchon

Early Cold War and the Korean War from Pusan
through Inchon
  • Lsn 19

Cold War
  • A state of political tension and military rivalry
    between nations that stops short of full-scale
    war, especially that which existed between the
    United States and Soviet Union following World
    War II

Iron Curtain
  • From Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the
    Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across
    the continent. Behind that line lie all the
    capitals of the ancient states of central and
    eastern Europe Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna,
    Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Sofia. From
    what I have seen of our Russian friends and
    allies during the war I am convinced that there
    is nothing they admire so much as strength and
    nothing for which they have less respect than
    military weakness.
  • Winston Churchill March 5, 1946

George Kennan and Containment
  • Kennan was a Soviet expert and director of the
    State Departments Policy Planning Staff
  • In the July 1947 issue of Foreign Affairs he
    wrote an article under the pen name Mr. X
    titled The Sources of Soviet Conduct.
  • He described the USSR as being driven by an
    aggressive and uncompromising ideology that would
    stop only when it meets some unanswerable force.

George Kennan and Containment
  • Kennan wrote that the US must adopt a policy of
    firm containment designed to confront the
    Russians with unalterable counterforce at every
    point where they show signs of encroaching upon
    the interests of a peaceful and stable world.

Greek Civil War
  • During the German occupation of Greece during
    WWII, the Communists and other parts of the Greek
    Left formed a resistance army called the National
    People's Liberation Army (ELAS)
  • By 1944, ELAS controlled large areas of the
    country and continued to have success against the
    British liberation force after the war

Truman Doctrine
  • On Feb 21, 1947, the British informed the US that
    they were pulling out of Greece.
  • On March 3, the Greek government requested US
  • On March 12, President Truman announced the
    Truman Doctrine
  • I believe that it must be the policy of the
    United States to support free peoples who are
    resisting attempted subjugation by armed
    minorities or by outside pressures.

Harry Truman
  • On 22 May, Truman signed a bill authorizing 400
    million in aid to Greece and Turkey.
  • By 1952, Greek forces would receive 500 million
    in US aid.
  • Even more important was LTG James Van Fleet and
    his 350-man Joint US Military Advisory and
    Planning Group.

Grumman Avengers and Curtis Helldivers aboard the
USS Leyte preparing for operations over Greece in
  • Van Fleet set out to retrain and reorganize the
    Greek Army and cut off the flow of supplies
    reaching guerrillas from Yugoslavia, Albania, and
  • On Oct 16, 1949, Greeces Communist leaders
    announced a cease-fire

As in Greece, the enemy strikes from sanctuary
Occupied Berlin
Berlin Airlift
  • In June 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to
    control all of Berlin by cutting surface traffic
    to and from West Berlin.
  • The Truman Administration initiated a daily
    airlift which brought much needed food and
    supplies into West Berlin.
  • The airlift lasted until the end of September
    1949 -- although on May 12, 1949, the Soviet
    government had yielded and lifted the blockade.

(No Transcript)
Berlin Airlift
The maximum effort of the airlift was the Easter
Parade on April 16, 1949 when 1,398 sorties (one
landing in Berlin every minute) delivered 12,940
short tons.
Berlin Airlift
NATO and Warsaw Pact
  • In 1949 the US, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France,
    Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the
    Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal formed the
    North Atlantic Treaty Organization to provide
    collective security against Soviet aggression
  • Provided a military and political complement to
    the Marshall Plan
  • Greece and Turkey joined in 1952
  • NATO admitted West Germany in 1954 and allowed it
    to rearm
  • The Soviets responded by creating the Warsaw Pact.

NATO and Warsaw Pact
Divided Korea
  • After World War II, Japans former colony of
    Korea was divided into two occupation zones along
    the 38th 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

US in Asia
  • 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 Achesons speech to the
National Press Club omitted South Korea from the
US defensive perimeter
North Korea Attacks June 25, 1950
  • 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
  • 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

United Nations
  • 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
    UNs failure to seat a representative of the
    newly established Peoples Republic of China
  • In the absence of the USSR, the UN passed a
    resolution sending a military force to South
  • The force was predominately American with Douglas
    McArthur as the Supreme Commander.
  • There were also substantial contributions from
    the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

Force Comparison
  • 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 Peoples Army (NKPA)
  • 14 Divisions (9 in invasion force)
  • Soviet trained, armed and advised
  • 150 tanks, almost 100 modern aircraft

Task Force Smith
  • 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
  • Task Force Smith began occupying defensive
    positions on July 5 at 300 am
  • At 700 they began seeing enemy movement
  • At 816 they began firing artillery
  • At 230 the commander decided to withdraw
  • When LTC Smith arrived at Chonan on July 6, he
    counted 185 men
  • He began with 540
  • After all stragglers returned, the total loss to
    TF Smith was 35

Implications of Task Force Smith
  • 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,
    1991-1995 (administered the post Desert Storm
    Army downsizing)

Hollow Army
  • World War II peak Army strength was 8,268,000
  • 89 combat divisions in June 1945
  • June 1950 strength was about 591,000 (1/14 the
    peak World War II size)
  • 10 active combat divisions
  • But to keep them fielded, one battalion from
    each infantry regiment and one firing battery
    from each field artillery battalion had been
  • This move effectively reduced combat power by

Far East Command (FEC)
  • 108,500 troops under MacArthur
  • 4 infantry divisions in Japan (7th, 24th, 25th
    and 1st Cavalry)
  • Authorized peacetime divisions strength was
    12,500 (13,500 for the 25th )
  • Authorized wartime strength was 18,900
  • 3 of the 4 divisions in Japan had about 11,000
  • In addition to the missing infantry and
    artillery battalions each
  • Lacked three anti aircraft artillery batteries
  • Lacked the regimental tank companies
  • Had only a company of M24 Chaffee light tanks in
    place of the divisional tank battalion
  • Estimated the divisions could field 62 of
    normal infantry firepower, 69 of normal
    anti-aircraft capability, and 14 of armored

Equipment in FEC
  • Mostly outdated World War II equipment and much
    of it was unserviceable
  • Of 18,000 jeeps only 8,000 were serviceable
  • Of 13,780 2 1/2 ton trucks, only 4,441 were
  • Had none of the new 3.5 inch antitank rocker
  • 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 had taken precedence over
  • 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

US troops parade across the Yoshida Bridge
Pusan PerimeterJune 27 to Sept 15
  • The American forces were unprepared for the North
    Korean attack.
  • By the end of July, the North Koreans had pushed
    the U.N. forces to the southeast corner of the
    peninsula, where they dug in around the port of

Inchon (Operation Chromite) Sept 15
  • MacArthur completely changed the course of the
    war overnight by ordering -- over nearly
    unanimous objections -- an amphibious invasion at
    the port of Inchon, near Seoul.
  • The Americans quickly gained control of Inchon,
    recaptured Seoul within days, and cut the North
    Korean supply lines.
  • American and ROK forces broke out of the Pusan
    Perimeter and chased the retreating enemy north.

Inchon and Selected Principles of War
  • Surprise
  • Inchon was an unlikely landing site because of
    strong tides and mud flats
  • Maneuver
  • Amphibious turning movement
  • Offensive
  • Had to do something to reverse Pusan situation
    and gain the initiative
  • Objective
  • Landing at Inchon facilitated capture of Seoul
    both the South Korean capital and the site of
    important road and railroad intersections

Elements of Operational Design
  • Synergy
  • Simultaneity and depth
  • Anticipation
  • Balance
  • Leverage
  • Timing and tempo
  • Operational reach and approach
  • Forces and functions
  • Arranging operations
  • Centers of gravity
  • Direct versus indirect
  • Decisive points
  • Culmination
  • Termination

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Operational reach and approach
  • The distance over which military power can mass
    effects and be employed decisively.
  • As the North Koreans moved south, they
    overextended their lines of communication.
  • Conversely, shorter American lines of
    communication allowed the strengthening of the
    Pusan perimeter.

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Culmination
  • The point in time and space at which an
    attackers combat power no longer exceeds that of
    the defender
  • Because of operational reach, by August 23,
    numerical parity between the two forces north of
    Pusan was surpassed in favor of the Americans
  • The NKPA had reached its culminating point while
    Eighth Army was getting stronger
  • UN combat forces at this point outnumbered the
    North Koreans, 92,000 to 70,000

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Direct versus indirect
  • Where direct attack means attacking into an
    opponents strength, commanders should seek an
    indirect approach.
  • MacArthurs concept was to rely upon strategic
    maneuver to overcome the great odds against me
    The alternative is a frontal attack which can
    only result in a protracted and expensive
  • Amphibious turning movement

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Center of gravity
  • Those characteristics, capabilities, or sources
    of power from which a military force derives its
    freedom of action, physical strength, or will to
  • If the enemy CoG was the North Korean Peoples
    Army, how did Operation Chromite succeed when it
    took place some 140 miles north of the main NPKA

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • .. by focusing on a critical vulnerability, the
    enemy lines of communication
  • The vulnerability of the enemy is his supply
  • Douglas MacArthur

Seoul railroad yards burning after Air Force
dropped napalm, September 26, 1950.
Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Critical vulnerabilities are critical
    requirements or components thereof which are
    deficient, or vulnerable to neutralization,
    interdiction, or attack (moral/physical harm) in
    a manner achieving decisive or significant
    results, disproportional to the military
    resources applied.

Bombed North Korean railcars Sept 21, 1950
Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Decisive points
  • A point, if retained, that provides a commander
    with a marked advantage over his opponent.
  • Seoul was decisive both for its symbolic value as
    the capital and as the most critical node in the
    supply line of the enemy attack.

Seoul railroad yards burning after Air Force
dropped napalm, September 26, 1950
Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Simultaneity and depth
  • The simultaneous application of power against key
    adversary capabilities and sources of strength.
  • Air Force, Navy, and Marine Air struck targets
    ranging from the enemys strategic marshalling
    areas to tactical forces
  • Included both the amphibious turning movement and
    the breakout from Pusan

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Simultaneity and Depth
  • The deep envelopment based on surprise, which
    severs the enemys supply lines, is and always
    has been the most decisive maneuver of war. A
    short envelopment which fails to envelop and
    leaves the enemys supply system intact merely
    divides your own forces and can lead to heavy
    losses and even jeopardy.
  • Douglas MacArthur

Inchon and Selected Elements of Operational Design
  • Termination
  • Knowing when to terminate military operations and
    how to preserve achieved advantages.
  • Success led MacArthur to continue attack into
    North Korea a strategic miscalculation that
    ultimately leads to his relief.

  • On 26 June 1948, Truman signed Executive Order
    9981 calling for the equal treatment and
    opportunity of blacks in the military
  • The Army initially moved slowly to follow this
    order, but military necessity brought on by the
    Korean War accelerated the process
  • By 1952 integration was a fate accompli in the
    Far East Command

Segregated Units
Integrated Units
  • The Armys integration was the great victory
    of the Korean War
  • -- The Compact History of the Korean War,
    Middleton, 1965, p. 90.
  • Jim Crow died on the hills of Korea
  • -- A Short History of the Korean War,
    Stokesbury, 1988, p. 232.

Military Integration in Context
  • 1948 Executive Order 9981
  • 1954 Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education
  • 1957 Little Rock Central High School desegregated
  • 1961 James Meredith becomes first black to enroll
    at Ole Miss
  • 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • 1965 Voting Rights Act
  • 1965 First black students enroll at Southern Miss
  • 1967 Loving v. Virginia rules that prohibiting
    interracial marriage is unconstitutional
  • 1971 Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of
    Education upholds busing

Clyde Kennard, a former Army paratrooper, tried
unsuccessfully to enroll at USM in 1957, 1958,
and 1959
  • Describe the post-World War II international
    relations environment.
  • What were the training, personnel, and equipment
    readiness problems with Task Force Smith and the
    post-WW II Army in general?
  • Describe Inchon in terms of the principals of war
    of surprise, offensive, maneuver, and objective.
  • What is a critical vulnerability and what was the
    critical vulnerability MacArthur attacked at
  • What were the broader social implications of the
    Armys integration policy?

  • Korea
  • Relief of MacArthur
  • Stalemate
  • Armistice
  • Cuba
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