The Darkest Summer - Pusan and Inchon 1950

2009 by Bill Sloan

The North Korean People's Army (NKPA) streamed over the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950 with tanks, artillery, and planes, and overwhelmed the poorly equipped and trained Republic of Korea (ROK) army, and their American army allies. By August 1, the NKPA had conquered most of South Korea, surrounding the remaining US and ROK armies within 50 miles of the southeast port of Pusan. Most of the US army units were decimated.

Truman and his defense secretary Louis Johnson are execrated by the author for slashing the military budget and preparing to eliminate the Marine Corps, leaving the United States unprepared for the invasion.

US marines embarked days after the invasion, arriving at Pusan on August 2. Close collaboration between ground troops and Marine air helped stop the NKPA advance, and kill the attacking army. Mastering the air in daylight good weather, Marine air prevented daylight movement by the NKPA; on August 11, they destroyed the NKPA 83rd motorcycle regiment fleeing the battlefield - the "Kos0ng Turkey Shoot". By September, US forces had broken out to chase the NKPA northward, and 70,000 UN soldiers invaded at Inchon on September 15 and took Seoul by September 25. The UN kept going north, taking most of North Korea.

General MacArthur successfully conquered, but ignored Truman and discounted the Chinese. The author implies that if the UN had stopped their advance on the defensible line from Anju to Hungnam, 40 miles north of Pyongang and 80 miles south of the Yalu, the Chinese would not have attacked the UN forces. Instead, the 7th infantry division reached the Yalu on October 26, a provocation that resulted in a massive counterresponse, pushing the UN troops south again, resulting in almost 3 more years of war before the July 27 1953 armistice.

Technically, the Korean War still continues, and in March 2013, North Korea declared the armistice invalid. I fear that in the next 5 years, North Korea will use one of its nuclear weapons as part of an attack, and the western reponse will be the annihilation of the NKPA and the government in Pyongyang, by missiles and drones. Beyond the terrible loss of North Korean lives, and the possible involvement of China, this would teach the wrong lessons to the US government, making similar military responses easier in the future, eventually triggering world war.

I hope that the North Korean populace will get the tools to replace their own government. "Bombarding" the country with information and evidence of western superiority might be a lot easier - millions of tiny earbuds with mask-programmed educational information might get the word to enough people to bring change from within, and would be far less costly than war.

DarkestSummer (last edited 2014-12-23 22:56:32 by KeithLofstrom)