Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Three-score and four years ago...

..north Korea invaded the Republic of Korea.

The commie still claim that the ROKs invaded them, but when the USSR collapsed the Kremlin revealed that, in fact, Kim Il Sung asked Stalin for permission to move, and Stalin said "Go ahead."  US Secretary of State Dean Acheson had just laid out the US Sphere of Interest, and neglected to include the Korean Peninsula...

Acheson did persuade President Harry Truman to intervene, sending in elements of the US Occupation Forces from Japan.  Unfortunately, the US forces in Japan were pretty hollow, despite the prevailing feeling that, in the aftermath of defeating both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, that America was unbeatable.\

Said feeling, coupled with the idea that the Atomic Bomb had made war "impossible", may have had something to do with the stripping of all combat units in Japan to the bare bones: Regiments having three battalions on paper had two, battalion had two companies instead of three, companies had two platoons.  Worse, weapons and equipment were either not present, or not maintained, and the troops were similarly poorly trained and in poor shape, mostly garrison troops.

Furthermore, the US Army military advisors in Korea had pronounced it "not tank country", and had therefore not only deprived the nascent ROK Army of armored fighting vehicles, but also of anti-tank weapons.

Which left the ROK Army with little but bundles of dynamite to fight Kim Il Sung's T-34s.  They worked, sort of, but the ROKs petty much ran out of soldiers willing to do that sort of thing about the same time they ran out of dynamite.  Unfortunately, the commies still had some tanks left, which came as a shock to the troops of the U S Army's Task Force Smith. That they were heavily outnumbered didn't help, but the fact that the commies were better equipped and better trained would undermine the confidence of the US forces for months to come.

Driving the commies to the Am Nok River  and then being pushed back by every Chinaman in the world didn't help.

Previous posts from 6/25:
Also of possible interest:
Plus, of course, all the other posts tagged "Korea" at left.

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