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Korean War

Essay by review  •  November 19, 2010  •  Essay  •  2,622 Words (11 Pages)  •  988 Views

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Throughout the history of mankind there has always been war. Nations have always had disagreements with one another and the result is the death of many young soldiers. Although many men die in war, not as many men die if the war was fought to win and not only to stop the enemy. However, the wars that have not been fought to win, but only to stop a force, have had much greater a loss than those fought to win. In the Korean War the United States did not fight to win but just to subjugate the North Korean forces that were annihilating the landscape and its people. Although the Korean War was fought to protect the defenseless people, the casualties and other catastrophes that were brought upon the United States soldiers outweighed the "obligation" to protect those people, and is evidence that the United States should not have gone to Korea.

On June 25, 1950, the Peoples Army of North Korea crossed the 38th parallel into South Korean territory. North Korea plowed through the South Korea forces that were out numbered and out gunned. The United Nations called for an immediate meeting that day and called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities" that same day, and also for the North Korean army to return back over the 38th parallel that separates the two countries (A Short History of the Korean War 56). Even though the United Nations had warned North Korea, they kept cutting through the Southern forces. President Truman later ordered American troops to Korea for a "limited war" meaning we would only stop North Korea, not destroy it. The Korean War lasted from 1950 to 1953 and was the first major conflict that the United Nations had intervened with. Troops from United States, Ethiopia, Colombia, Luxemburg, and Great Britain fought in this war.

United States troops first landed in Pusan, a city in South Korea. These first soldiers were sent to hold off the North Korean troops until more reinforcements could arrive. The troops that were first sent were almost all in between the ages of 18 and 20 years old and were naturally arrogant, having not seen a real battle. They all thought that they would soon see a bunch of farmers with guns walking down and that the enemy would be no match for them. They thought this even though almost all of them were inexperienced. The United States troops engaged the North Korean army first at a spot north of the town Osan. Nothing could have prepared them for what they saw next. Thirty-five heavily armed T34/85 tanks led the North Korean armies march right towards the American troops. Behind those tanks were well over a hundred foot soldiers ready to kill.

The American soldiers tried everything they could to stop the tanks, but it was useless, their M16A1 carbines were no match for the heavy armor of the T45/85 tanks. The American troops tried to hold them off but had to retreat a little further back to escape from the tanks. By that time it was raining and their ammunition was no good along with their communications. But after some fighting it was useless against the North Korean forces so the American troops were given the order to withdraw, but some of them did not get the order and were totally consumed by the awesome power of the North Korean army. The American army withdrew to the Kum River. While they were waiting for reinforcements, General Walker came and told the troops that "if [North Koreans] come across the river, [the Americans] are to stay here and fight to the death" (A Personal Narrative of the Korean War 33). Right after General Walker had said that, he got into his jeep and sped off. Almost all the troops were either out of ammunition or low on it. The American troops held of the North Koreans for a total of seven hours. Everybody was trying to help the guy next to him the best they could against the massive enemy. People stayed behind to lay down cover fire and picked up guys who had been shot in the legs to take them out. They never had a chance.

The United Nations were doing well up until October 1950, as well as the American troops that were led by General MacArthur at age 70. in fact the was looked near end. Then the North Korean troops were reinforced by thousands of Chinese soldiers (ROZ Remembers the Forgotten War Korea 45). but it was not juse the enemy that the American troops faced. The American troops faced a "second" enemy, the brutal weather. During the winter monthes of the Korean War, it would get to sub-zero conditions. But the real problem with the cold was the wind. There were barely any trees are any type of windbreaker at all in the areas they were fighting. All of this while holding of to cold hard steel rifles. The American troops also had the communications working against them. When it rained the radios along with their ammunitions would get ruined, leaving them helpless and unable to call for help.

On March 26, 1953, the Chinese launched an attack with mortar fire while 3500 chinese infantrymen charged at the American troops. Shortly after this battle, there was a cease-fire, which only stopped the gunshots and not the war itself (Korean War Remembered 7). During his first Presidential Campaign General Eisenhower had promised to bring an end to the Korean War if elected. Once elected, Eisenhower set to work on this promise even before he took office. On November 29, 1952, President-elect Eisenhower secretly flew to Korea. The trip was planned with the utmost security to guard against any assassination attempts. Aides to accompany him were quietly picked up at obscure locations scattered throughout New York City. During his absence various dignitaries and staff members made "visits" to his home pretending to see him in his office. While in Korea Eisenhower revived the stalled peace talks and visited American soldiers near the front lines. It was not until December 6th, when Eisenhower was on his way home that the public learned of the trip. As a result of his peace seeking mission an armistice was signed in July 1953, eight months after his return. Under the terms of the Armistice signed in Panmunjom, the two Koreas were separated by a demilitarized zone at the 38th parallel, roughly the same border that existed prior to the war. The war was seen as proof that the United Nations could be counted on to resist aggression and that modem warfare could be conducted without resort to nuclear weapons. Ending the war was also of a personal interest to Eisenhower since John Eisenhower, the President-elect and Mrs. Eisenhower's only living child was serving as an officer in Korea. This was the first American conflict with another country that ended in our defeat.

There were very mixed feelings about this war on if we should have or should have not gone into war. Many people at the time of the war thought that we should have intervened with the countries. People thought that going to war would



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