The Korean War
June 25, 1950 - July 27, 1953
Member Article: 1127 Days of Death – a Korean War Chronology – Part 1, 1950
by Anthony J. Sobieski
The Korean War, forever known as the ‘Forgotten War’ by many, lasted a total of 1127 days, from June 25th 1950 through July 27th 1953. A total of 38 months. A little over three years in length, but encompassing four years on a calendar. With a beginning that was unlike any other beginning of a ‘war’ up until then, the term ‘Police Action’ became its moniker for many years, with some in the United States and other countries looking to call it anything other than what it really was. It was just too short a time after the end of World War II, with the sacrifices by many, the devastation of so much, burned into people’s memories all too readily. And during the war, who could have guessed there would be an ending that harkened back to the days of World War I, the war to end all wars. Trench warfare and bunkers, large amounts of artillery, and a set day and time to stop shooting. The Korean War was and is a difficult war to describe. Most of the weapons, equipment and tactics were WWII era. Yes, there were some new innovations to the art of killing another human being and to the survival from being killed. But they were far and few between. Personal body armor made its first appearance, and winter ‘Mickey Mouse’ boots, and of course Korea was the first truly jet-age war. Helicopters made their debut, performing search & rescue along with speedy transportation of the wounded. But other than those and a few more, the war was fought with WWII era rifles, artillery, ships (excluding the newer carriers), and at least in the very beginning of the war, fighters, bombers and tanks. Even some of the first men to serve in combat were WWII veterans, many of whom who had already given ‘a pound of flesh’ in the service to their country.
Member Article: Korean War Outbreak: A Study in Unpreparedness
Review by Dale S. Marmion
The outbreak of the Korean War is a classic example of an army facing battle totally unprepared. Numerous histories of the Korean War have been written and many historians have discussed the outbreak of the Korean War. A point they nearly all agree upon is that the combined forces south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea were unprepared for what turned out to be a long and extremely grueling war. That is, war, and most certainly not “police action,” as it has sometimes been referred to, raised catastrophic havoc with soldiers on the ground during the initial stages of the action that devastated the Korean Peninsula and Korean people.
Member Article: Perceptions of Victory: Differing Views of Success by Nations and Echelons at the Chosin Reservoir
by Mark E. Bennett, Jr.
Victory is a perception. Its contours shift with every conflict, as does its definition, within every warrior culture.
In the fall of 1950, two vastly different cultures met for the first time on the field of battle in North Korea.
The battles that raged around the Chosin Reservoir, between the United States 1st Marine Division and the Peoples'
Volunteer Army of Communist China, were but a small part in the overall contest of the Korean War, but they have become legend in both countries.
Part of the proud history of the United States Marine Corps, the Chosin Reservoir campaign is labeled by many historians as one of the greatest
defeats in United States military history. Due to dissimilar objectives and desired effects, the perceptions of victory differed between states
and echelons of command in the Chosin Reservoir campaign. Examining the Chosin Reservoir campaign from both Chinese and American perspectives
through the lens of the strategic, operational, and tactical commanders shows that for the United States Marine Corps, the great defeat was not
a defeat at all.
The Role of the Forward Observer and Artillery during the Korean War
by Anthony J. Sobieski
To understand the role and importance that the artillery Forward Observer
played during the Korean War, you must first understand a few basic facts and
figures about the overall strategy and use of artillery during the war. With
its rolling hills and valleys, high-peaked mountains, large irrigated farming
areas, brutal winters and boiling summers, Korea presented all the worst
for the U.S. to deal with in the United Nations' first effort dealing with the
attempted expansion of communism.
Korea: The First War We Lost (Book Excerpt - Preface & Chapter 1)
by Bevin Alexander
Who would have thought that the only important conflict of the Cold War that would cast its terrible shadow into the twenty-first century would be Korea? All the other major problems that seemed more intractable at the time have been resolved for years---the Soviet Union has ceased to exist, the Iron Curtain has disappeared, Germany has reunified, Red China is back in the comity of nations, even the United States and Vietnam have reconciled. But the problem of a divided Korea seems as intransigent today as it did that fateful day of June 25, 1950, when North Korean tanks rolled over the 38th parallel and commenced a war exceeded in violence, death, destruction, and despair only by the First and the Second World Wars.
A Hill Called White Horse
October 6, 1952 - October 15, 1952
by Anthony J. Sobieski
No other battle during 1952 in the Korean War could match the Battle for White
Horse Mountain, otherwise known as Hill 395, either in voracity or intensity.
This action goes largely unaccounted for in the annals of American military
history from the Korean War. Why? Mainly because it was a battle between the
Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and the CCF (Chinese Communist Forces). The extent
of involvement by United Nations units was regulated to armor units, artillery
battalions, and other support units. The defense of White Horse Mountain was in
the hands of the commander of IX Corps, Lt. Gen. Reuben E. Jenkins. IX Corps was
tipped off about an impending attack in the White Horse area when a Chinese
Officer had surrendered to the ROKs in the area of Observation Post 'Roger',
which was located on Hill 284, a small hill mass on the right of White Horse,
and which overlooked a portion of the Chorwon Valley. The American artillery
Forward Observer, 2nd Lt. Paul Braner of the 213th Field Artillery Battalion
brought the prisoner to the attention of IX Corps after he discovered that the
ROKs were torturing the prisoner not far from his bunker;