tennyson, on Jan 12 2007, 09:47 PM, said:
Truman didn't "give back half of Korea." The UN forces in Korea were pushed back by more than a hundred thousand Chinese troops crossing the border and overwhelming them. The North Koreans were all but beaten until the Chinese intervened and made it a completely new war.
Remember Truman and NATO had to balance out the fight in Korea with the possibility that the Soviet Union could widen the war by attacking Western Europe, leaving the understrength allied forces there with no options other than using nuclear weapons or surrender. As it was the Soviets armed, trained and even fought alongside the North Koreans and Chinese, attacking the UN forces that had been sent in response to North Korea's war of aggression.
We had all of Korea and we gave it back to them and had to fight a police action for the next three years, kind of like what's going on in Iraq right now.
In late November, the Chinese struck in the west, along the Chongchon River, and completely overran several ROK divisions and landed a heavy blow to the flank of the remaining UN forces. The resulting withdrawal of the U.S. Eighth Army was the longest retreat of any American military unit in history.
Historian and Korean War veteran Bevin Alexander had this to say about Chinese tactics in his book How Wars Are Won:
The Chinese had no air power and were armed only with rifles, machineguns, hand grenades, and mortars. Against the much more heavily armed Americans, they adapted a technique they had used against the Nationalists in the Chinese civil war of 1946–49. The Chinese generally attacked at night and tried to close in on a small troop position — generally a platoon — and then attacked it with local superiority in numbers. The usual method was to infiltrate small units, from a platoon of fifty men to a company of 200, split into separate detachments. While one team cut off the escape route of the Americans, the others struck both the front and the flanks in concerted assaults. The attacks continued on all sides until the defenders were destroyed or forced to withdraw. The Chinese then crept forward to the open flank of the next platoon position, and repeated the tactics.
Historian Bruce Cumings noted that when Chinese soldiers and officers saw how Americans fought the war, they were surprised by how gratuitously the Americans would resort to what the Chinese considered to be excessive and unnecessary force. One Chinese soldier stated that if the Americans encountered a single sniper hiding in a village or house, they would invariably call in massive artillery and air attacks, destroying the entire village and killing everyone in it. He asked, "Why do they do this instead of simply sending in soldiers to kill the sniper?" American superiority in military hardware had profound consequences for the Korean people on the peninsula as well as the soldiers fighting the war.
The stalemate meant making a country of North Korea again which in my mind means we gave it back to them.
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