Welcome to Korean War Forum.

I thought i would extend out site to other wars. Please feel free to start in here and let me know in Site feedback if you want another war forum. Thanks.

i sent this post because they say many things about korean war but the dont explain . can anyone sent any details or info about this war

the only think i know is that us and other nato forces were involved in it

Well, I’m not sure how much English you can digest in one sitting. But the Wiki page is a good place to start. And Max Hastings wrote an excellent overview of the war in “The Korean War.”

The Greeks were one of the most respected units by US soldiers in the Korean War.

During the Korean War, the 5th Regimental Combat Team went further north than any other Unit. Eight miles from the Yalu river, they captured prisoners who told them the Chinese had crossed the river in strength. When E Co CO radioed BN Hq, they did not believe it.

We sent the prisoners back for interrogation. They notified Regiment, same story, they sent them back. Intel. did not believe the Chinese would cross the river, they would not accept that they had. It was not until our prisoners got all the way back to Japan, they finally believed and notified MacArthur. By then, it was too late, if I remember correctly 142 Chinese Divisions were across the River.

It may have been a defeat at the River, but it was not due to the Infantry or Marines.

Unlike the ones evac’d at Hungnam, the 5th fought rear guard all the way back by road to the 38th Parallel… Someone asked how to compare wars. Only one way I know, but many figures on the Internet are incorrect. They vary from 30,000 KIA in Korea, to 34,000, to 53.000 who died. The Korean War Veterans Memorial has it carved into Granite, as 53,000 US troops. BUT, that is not the whole story, 35 countries participated, and the South Koreans Military and Police lost over 170,000. Then, there were over 6 million civilians who died in this “Police Action” as Truman called it, trying to fool America into thinking it was not a real war.

One out of every 12 men who served in WWII was Killed in Action.
One out of every 16 men who served in NAM was Killed in action in ten years.
One of every NINE men who served in Korea, was Killed in action in three years.
NAM fortunately had a lot of Medical Evac Helicopters, to lower the KIA, by getting them to MASH units faster than possible in WWII or Korea…
For a really BAD War, check the Civil War, where 54,000 died in the Gettysburg in three days.

IF One man dies in a War, it is a tragedy for that family.
Some think of War like its a game, those who fight them, do not play the games.

Yes, we fought both the NK and the Chinese, and kicked them both our of S.Korea. We ended the war where it began, at the 38th Parallel. It was not a “heroic defeat,” as some have said. Many call it, “The Forgotten War” but those who were there will never forget, neither will their families. In fact, we are STILL at war with NK, a cease fire was signed, but no armistice was ever signed. US Soldiers have died every year since fighting formally ended, defending the Main Line of Resistance or MLR.

The cold in Korea introduced problems and injuries that didn’t apply in Vietnam, although I don’t know to what extent it contributed to deaths. I’d expect a lot of troops who would have survived in temperate or tropical climates would have succumbed to wounds and shock with the additional burden of severe cold.

Apart from battle-related wounds, weather was a major factor in poor health, particularly among the ground troops who were forced to live in the cold of winter and in the extreme heat of summer. During the first year of the war, casualties were caused roughly in equal numbers by enemy action and the cold.

[quote]“Cold! I thought I knew it but Korea taught me otherwise. Cold so intense that even the ground was frozen solid and rivers iced up whilst a bone-chilling variable wind swept over the barren landscape. A weak sun rarely appeared in the leaden sky, vegetation withered and all animal life, with the exception of rats that infested our hoochies in plague proportions, vanished.”

Private Desmond Guilfoyle, 1 RAR

The incidence of frostbite was so severe in the first winter of 1950-51 that many of those afflicted had to be evacuated to Japan for treatment, which sometimes included amputation. It was particularly difficult to prevent because soldiers were on the move all the time and unable to take proper care of their feet, to change their socks daily, and give their feet rest.

Medicines, including penicillin, froze, and medical personnel expecting casualties warmed phials of medication in their pockets. [/quote]


See also http://www.koreanwar-educator.org/topics/weather/weather.htm

You are correct, we had more casualties that first winter from wounds, who died due to the cold and very slow Evac. Some may have survived though, as their blood froze and it stopped the bleeding.

Saw a documentary on the Military Channel of an agent in Siberia. Well dressed in winter gear, he had hypothermia at 40 below 0. We had summer sleeping bags, no special cold weather clothing, regular leather boots, and temperatures to 40 below 0 in the mountains of NK. It was not until much later we learned there was also a wind chill factor which varied up to -100 degrees. We had to keep moving all night, and sleep days when it was warmer.

We sure wished later we had all the choppers they had in NAM, but it was so cold they probably could not have flown. Ive heard the ones we had would come apart in those temps. We had one chopper for the entire regiment for Med Evac. Sometimes it took 6-17 hours to get wounded down from positions in the mountains, as there were no roads, and when they were one lane most of the way.

The 5th RCT also went to NAM, but though had intended to stay in for a career, I’d had enough and had been discharged after 9 years in 1955. Went to DC after “The Wall” was built, and was shocked to find so many friends who had stayed in, on “The Wall.” One had been my First Sgt, others had been in my Platoon. Probably others, but the terrain was so bad we seldom got to know anyone who was in other Platoons.

The 5th RCT was in combat 94% of the time in Korea. The time we were not in combat, we were behind the lines in trucks. We were headed to some other place in Korea where the Chinese had attacked with a heavy force or had broken through, and they needed us. The 5th RCT had its own trucking company to move us around to Hot Spots. They began calling us, “The Fire Brigade.”

While you are reading books, you could read “Hills of Sacrifice” the only book about an Army Regiment, written by a Marine Colonel. He had intended to write another book about the Marines. While studying the history of the 1st Marines in Korea, he came across reports in Mariner history about the 5th RCT and decided to write it instead. H

We had been attached to the 1st Marines for Logistics and Intelligence when we were both the Point Units in the breakout from Pusan. Where on the flank of the 1st, the 5th wiped out an entire Division. At the time they did not know that, and were complaining they had to wait for us to catch up. :slight_smile: After the breakout, they pulled the 1st Marines for the landing in Inchon, and we were point for the 1st CAV, and then the 24th, and 25th Div.

A Marine General compared the 5th RCT to the
Wolfhounds, 442nd, and 1st Marines in WWII.

“Cold! I thought I knew it but Korea taught me otherwise. Cold so intense that even the ground was frozen solid and rivers iced up whilst a bone-chilling variable wind swept over the barren landscape. A weak sun rarely appeared in the leaden sky, vegetation withered and all animal life, with the exception of rats that infested our hoochies in plague proportions, vanished.”

Private Desmond Guilfoyle, 1 RAR"

That is putting it mildly. What he did not specify, when trying to dig foxholes, many times it was frozen over 3 feet deep.

Thanks for those posts Bar Gunner, they were informative.


It’s good to have you aboard.

For some reason the Korean War is largely overlooked and almost regarded as not a ‘real’ war in some quarters, but at least as far as Australia was concerned it was a more costly and vicious conflict than Vietnam, with KIA rates about 75% higher than Vietnam .

339 Australians killed in three years of Korean War = 113 a year.

520 Australians killed in eight years of battalion or greater commitment (ignores earlier training team involvement) = 65 a year.

It’s been noted by historians here that life continued in Australia during the Korean War as if nothing was happening. Compare that with the political and social turmoil here during the Vietnam War, which mirrored that in America.

Do you think an element of war weariness from WWII flowed into attitudes to Korea, coming so soon after WWII ended?

What was your experience of American civilian attitudes to the Korean War at the time?

Thanks for the excellent posts BAR Gunner. Its really fascinating to read about the real file experiences of someone who was there.

Real file?

He wasn’t a clerk. :smiley:

Nor are you, judging by your typo. :slight_smile:

We loved to go on R&R with Australians, we wound up with their hats, and they went home with ours. That hat was the most desired souvenir to have. Aussies made good combat troops, along with the Greeks and Turks, holding a position better than a few of US units that I could name.

American civilians had pretty much the same attitude, like for them was normal, at the time there was little or no TV coverage. In small towns like the one I was from, many did not know any were dying in Korea. When we came home, no parades, no attention or awareness, and not even recognition from the American Legion, etc. One of my best friends said, “What do you mean, what war?” Not even headlines for days in many papers.

Worst Experience, was caused by munitions employees who went on Strike in the US. We wound up with rationing of all ammo. When they tell you “you can only use two grenades a day, etc.” and have mass attacks by the Chinese so you are outnumbered 20 or more to 1, you want to kill the strikers. One night our 105 BN, 555th or Triple Nickle, had to fire over 6000 rounds, to set up a curtain around our position to protect our BN from over 50,000 Chinese. The CO finally had to ask them to fire on our position. It was a good thing ammo was not rationed that night, it was the only thing which saved us…

Did you know they have carved in Granite at the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the name of every country that went to Korea?

Those who paid most attention, were WWII Vets in our family. My Uncles who served, had a big homecoming party for me, inviting all the relatives. As I come from a very big family, and almost all showed up, it was quite an occasion. Home recovering from wounds, they were shocked to hear I was volunteering to return. They thought that I was crazy. :shock:

All of these casualties could have been prevented if we only used the H-bomb to neutralize the North. So many lives lost and nothing to show for it. The whole travesty of the Korean war will remain forever cause we were to wimpish to use te H-bomb on the Commies.

Um, “we?” Aren’t you Canadian? And secondly, had “we” used the bomb in Korea, the Soviets might well have decided that we’ve gone insane and that they were next and retaliated. Firstly with a bomb in the South. Then, who knows where it goes from there…

If one is to be so cavalier about destroying hundreds of thousands of civilian lives, the you’d best be prepared to lose those of your relatives…

Gen. MacArthur’s complete ignoring of the obvious signs of the Chinese PLA “Volunteers” entering the War was a major failure, and signaled an ignominious end to his career.

Quite possibly as set out in Nick’s third sentence in the post before yours.

Unfortunately, no they could not have been prevented.

First, the terrain was not conducive to an A or H-bomb. Perhaps the only place it could have been dropped, would have been on the valley of the Yalu River. If so, it would have contaminated with radiation for months, the land and water. With the training we got in the army about what the radiation alone would do, that alone was a reason not to drop it there. Compared to today, the A-Bomb then, was a very dirty bomb.

Secondly, no_target other than that area. There are no major cities the size of those in japan, lots of very small cities, towns, hamlets, etc… Even an A-bomb would have been a waste. Would have had to drop several, to get the same effect in Japan. N.Korea is split with lots of mountains, you drop a bomb in one of those valley’s even on the largest city, the force of the bomb goes UP not out, as in Japan. Reducing the effect dramatically. It would not stop NK and China from going around the contaminated area.

Third, if we had dropped in the Yalu river valley, the other side of the River is China. Officially we were not at war with China. Supposedly the Chinese troops were “volunteers.” The UN would not have, approved it, as we had so many UN countries involved, it would have been a major disaster. Would have lost support of probably all the countries.

Could have been the beginning of WWIII.

MacArthur, should have kept his big mouth shut, and obeyed orders. If one of us in the Far East had disobeyed a direct order like he did, we would have spent the next 20 years in Leavenworth Prison. Truman had given him a direct order at a conference, just prior to him talking about dropping it, NOT to reveal anything which had been discussed. It was all labeled “Top Secret.”

He knew Korea would not be a good target, if he did not, he was stupid, and I’ll never believe that. He just wanted all the publicity, and made a grave mistake, when he did not believe Truman would can him. Of all the things Truman did in the Korean War, that is the one of the best decisions he made. The guys in the 5th talked about it, and the majority felt the same.

No, must be a Freudian slip or something as I have sort of ended up as one!

So we have all heard about POWS being held after the war in vietnam but were there any American POW’s after the Korean war being held in what is now called North Korea? I never heard of it and Chuck Norris never starred in any movies in Korea!