January 1, 1950 - Korean War

Korean War

            As the Cold War, between the US and Soviet Union, continued to surge throughout the world, more lives were lost compared to any progress of the conflict ending. After the end of the Second World War with the surrender of the Axis powers on September 2, 1945 nations met under the creation of the Paris Peace Treaties. Korea, which is located on the western coast of Asia on a peninsula was one of the many points of address during the negotiations. It was freed from Japan by both the Soviets and Americans during World War 2. Following the peace talks Korea was split into two separate countries along the 38th parallel each believed to be the proper government of Korea. However, the once unified country now became a hostile zone ultimately turning into the Korean War. North Korea, backed by the Soviets as well as China, under the influence of communism, attacked the smaller South Korea supported by the United States and later the UN in 1950.

           Joseph Stalin, communist ruler of Russia, spearheaded the assault in Korea against President Truman’s South Korea. Also known as the forgotten war lasting from 1950-1953 because of small amounts of media coverage, it’s often masked over the topics of World War 2 and the Vietnam war. It became a symptom of the Cold War because it involved the ideals of communism and democracy backed by both America and Soviet Russia. Additionally it was known the first “hot” war because it was first event of bloodshed. In America’s history of wars, the purpose was to defeat the enemy at hand; however, this was titled as America’s the first limited war because not only was the goal to preserve democracy and win the race over the Soviets but it wanted to protect South Korea. Constant back a forth pushed each side to the edge ultimately concluding it into a worldwide conflict.

            Both North and South Korea maintained heavy enforcement on the 38th parallel, the line which served as a border between the two. Soldiers of the north were well trained as they gained absolute support from the communist parties of China and Soviet Russia. On the other hand South Korean soldiers were not a military only trained and relied heavily on American support. As an attempt to create a swift victory, the communist soldiers invaded the South with full force on June 25, 1950. Capturing most of the country, notably the capital city of Seoul, it caught northern forces off guard and pushed American and South Korean troops to the small area of Pusan Perimeter. Fearing a quick defeat General Douglas MacArthur managed to recapture Seoul deep into now occupied communist territory. Seoul was captured and liberated for a total of four times throughout the standstill as each side quickly gained ground before eventually being pushed back. Unfortunately, President Truman fired the World War Two renowned general for disobeying orders. Operation ripped launched on March 6, 1951 became a crucial offensive for recapturing the city of Seoul as well as regaining lost land up to the 38th parallel. UN and American forces pushed hard with infantry, air raids, and artillery in order to force exhausted Chinese troops back across the boarder. Constant back and forth continued to occupy the majority of the skirmish.

            Knowing that victory was futile for the Americans they started to begin talks on a treaty for ending the war in 1951. The war continued to ravage for another two years until North Korea and the United States were able to establish an armistice in 1953. South Korea didn’t agree to the ceasefire therefore the two were still technically at war. This was in part because neither side achieved total annihilation of one side to control all of Korea. In addition to the armistice the 38th parallel was replaced by a Korean Demilitarization Zone stretching 2.5 miles across the newly formed boarder. This boarder reached a distance of 160 miles and gave South Korea an extra 1500 square miles of land. Historians believe that around 4million people died, and well over 50% of those numbers were civilians. The legacy of the Korean War would inevitably lead to the Vietnam war which again invoked both soviet Russia and the United States as a part of the Cold War. Only until 2019 did both North and South Korea officially agree to end the conflict.

By Ethan Anderson

Video links for extra help

https://youtu.be/r9AOyrwkQAg

https://youtu.be/yxaegqvl4aE

https://youtu.be/Y2IcmLkuhG0

Works Cited

Hickey, Michael. “The Korean War: An Overview.” BBC – History. BBC, Mar. 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/

     worldwars/coldwar/korea_hickey_01.shtml. Accessed 25 May 2020.

History.com editors. “Korean War Begins.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 17 July 2019,

     http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/korean-war-begins. Accessed 25 May 2020.

“The Korean War.” American Experience, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/

     bomb-korean-war/. Accessed 27 May 2020.

“The Korean War.” canadiansoldiers.com, CSC, http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/wars/koreanwar.htm.

     Accessed 27 May 2020.

“Korean War.” Gale U.S. History Online Collection, Gale, 2020. Gale in Context: U.S. History,

     link.gale.com/apps/doc/DSRKVO461906646/UHIC?u=seve27129&sid=UHIC&xid=dd38c27d. Accessed 25 May

     2020.

Loudermilk, Ben, editor. “Operation Ripper – Korean War.” World Atlas, 17 Jan. 2019,

     http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/operation-ripper-korean-war.html. Accessed 27 May 2020.

Ray, Michael. “Korean War Timeline.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/list/

     korean-war-timeline. Accessed 27 May 2020.

Stack, Liam. “Korean War, a ‘Forgotten’ Conflict That Shaped the Modern World.” The New York Times,

     1 Jan. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/world/asia/korean-war-history.html. Accessed 25 May

     2020.

Video links for extra help

https://youtu.be/r9AOyrwkQAg

https://youtu.be/yxaegqvl4aE

https://youtu.be/Y2IcmLkuhG0

Works Cited

Hickey, Michael. “The Korean War: An Overview.” BBC – History. BBC, Mar. 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/

     worldwars/coldwar/korea_hickey_01.shtml. Accessed 25 May 2020.

History.com editors. “Korean War Begins.” HISTORY, A&E Television Networks, 17 July 2019,

     http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/korean-war-begins. Accessed 25 May 2020.

“The Korean War.” American Experience, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/

     bomb-korean-war/. Accessed 27 May 2020.

“The Korean War.” canadiansoldiers.com, CSC, http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/history/wars/koreanwar.htm.

     Accessed 27 May 2020.

“Korean War.” Gale U.S. History Online Collection, Gale, 2020. Gale in Context: U.S. History,

     link.gale.com/apps/doc/DSRKVO461906646/UHIC?u=seve27129&sid=UHIC&xid=dd38c27d. Accessed 25 May

     2020.

Loudermilk, Ben, editor. “Operation Ripper – Korean War.” World Atlas, 17 Jan. 2019,

     http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/operation-ripper-korean-war.html. Accessed 27 May 2020.

Ray, Michael. “Korean War Timeline.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannica, http://www.britannica.com/list/

     korean-war-timeline. Accessed 27 May 2020.

Stack, Liam. “Korean War, a ‘Forgotten’ Conflict That Shaped the Modern World.” The New York Times,

     1 Jan. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/world/asia/korean-war-history.html. Accessed 25 May

     2020.