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The Korean War Begins - This Day in History

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The Korean War Begins - This Day in History


On June 25, 1950 the Korean War began as a civil war when North Korea attacked South Korea competing for control of the Korean Peninsula, which had originally been divided by the post-World War II Soviet and American occupation zones. The war lasted from 1950-1953.


South Korea was supported by the United Nations forces, primarily the United States, with other nations contributing personnel as well. The main support for North Korea was China, with limited assistance from Soviet combat advisors, pilots and weapons.


Brief Background

The invasion of South Korea came as a surprise to the United States and the other western powers. Contacted only hours after the invasion, President Truman was convinced the initial stages of World War III had begun. On June 25, 1950, the United Nations immediately drafted UNSC Resolution 82, which led to direct action by the United States and other U.N. members.


Reasons for U.S. Action:


-The new Truman Doctrine advocated the opposition of Communism wherever it tried to expand.

-President Truman was under domestic pressure for being too soft on Communism.

-After the lessons of Munich in 1938, the U.S. believed that appeasing aggressive states would only encourage further expansion.


Some Key Dates:

July 5 - The American combat unit Task Force Smith, part of the U.S. Army's 24th Infantry Division based in Japan engaged in its first clash with North Korea.


Battle of Pusan Perimeter - American air power arrived in large numbers, engaging in ground support actions, targeting North Korean forces. Naval air power also attacked transportation points. By late August, America had over 500 medium tanks in the Pusan perimeter. As a result, North Korea lost half its invading force.


Sept. 15 - General MacArthur activated the X Corps under General Edward Almond (comprising 70,000 troops of the 1st Marine Division and the Army's 7th Infantry Division and augmented by 8,600 Korean troops) and ordered them to land at Inchon in Operation Chromite.


March 7, 1951 - the Eighth Army pushed forward, in Operation Ripper, and on the 14th expelled the North Korean and Chinese troops from Seoul.


Stalemate (July 1951 - July 1953)

The later years of the war involved little territory change, large-scale bombing of the north and its population, and lengthy peace negotiations, which began on July 10, 1951, at Kaesong. Even during the peace negotiations, combat continued. A cease-fire was established on July 27, 1953.



-The Korean War was the first armed confrontation of the Cold War.

-The war led to a strengthening of alliances in the Western bloc and the splitting of Communist China from the Soviet bloc.

-The Korean War also saw the beginning of racial integration efforts in the U.S. military service.


It is reported that approximately 480,000 U.S. troops fought in the Korean War, with 36,940 killed, 103,000 wounded, 8,142 MIA, and 3,746 POW. China lost 114,000 troops and North Korea 215,000.


On July 27, 1995, the Korean War Veterans Memorial was built in Washington, D.C. and was dedicated to the Veterans of the war. The Korea Defense Service Medal, is a special decoration authorized for U.S. service members who serve a tour of duty in Korea.


VetFriends.com sends our prayers to all who sacrificed, both past and present, living and deceased. Thank You to our Korean War Veterans...along with ALL of our U.S. Veterans and active Military!


We are here to honor and support all of you, our U.S. Veterans, military personnel, family and friends with great services such as Veteran search, post your military photos, reunion information and much more!


For more authentic military photos please visit our collection by clicking on Military Photos. Submit some of your own as well!


Best Regards,


The Veterans at VetFriends.com

Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard

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