Korean War by: Henry Waldrop

Korean War

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Welcome to my wiki page! On my page you will find an introduction about events leading up to the conflict, the role of the United Nations, the first battles, China's part in the war, and the resolution.

1. An Introduction

2. The United Nations Act

3.The Beginning of The Fighting

4.China's Part In The War

5.The Resolution

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An Introduction

Since the beginning of the century, Korea was under Japanese rule. Because the Korean's had little experience governing their own country, the United States and the Soviet Union decided to help govern the country. It was decided that the United States would govern the south while the Soviet Union would assist with the north. The boundary between the two sides was known as the 38th parallel. Both countries wanted Korea to resolve their conflicts and unite as one country. On the night the Japanese surrendered to the U.S. to end World War II, Joseph Stalin and President Harry Truman agreed on the plan. Given that the U.S. and the Soviet Union could not agree on a government for the country, Korea was divided in to two separate states in 1948. In early 1949, fighting broke out along the border of the two states (along the 38th parallel). On June 25, 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea, supported by the Soviets.

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The 38th parallel was the dividing line between north and south Korea. This line played a vital role in this war.The United Nations Act

Since North Korea was under strict control from the Soviet Union, the United Nations viewed the attack as aggression from the Soviets. Because they didn't want to start a third World War, the UN decided not to invade. Instead, they chose to send thousands of troops from different countries. General Douglas MacArthur and the U.S. army were chosen to lead the multinational army. The number of troops deteriorated to 591,000, even though the U.S. Army had the UN on its side. Because of this small number, MacArthur felt he should send troops little by little. During this time the U.S. could prepare a large scale attack.

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General Douglas MacArthur was the commander for the U.S. troops for most of the conflict.

The Beginning of the Fighting

The first of the large scale battles took place on July 19th, 1950 in Taejon, South Korea. The United States did not know just how prepared North Korea was. They were prepared and set up a roadblock on the end of town trapping U.S. soldiers. A full scale battle soon devastated the town. Although the U.S. received reinforcements, they were forced to retreat to the Naktong River.

General MacArthur, after much planning, decided to attempt one of the riskiest invasions in military history. On September 15th, 1950, the United States attempted to land in Inchon, South Korea by water. Once the U.S. made it to the shore, they would push on toward Seoul, the capital of North Korea. More than 70,000 troops moved toward Seoul from Inchon to the east and up the river Patkong. President Truman did not approve of MacArthur's plan but he pushed the plan on through. The invasion worked and there were less than 200 casualties as a result of the fighting. The success of the invasion made North Korean troops panic. They quickly retreated back to the 38th Parallel. Within a few weeks, Seoul was recaptured and it looked like the war would soon end. To end the war, the U.S. would have to push further past the 38th Parallel and take out more than 30,000 remaining North Korean troops if they would not surrender. Even if they were able to do that, it would be impossible not to attract China's attention. Ending the war would be a very difficult task.

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This is a picture of the capital city Seoul.

China's Part In the War

Although General MacArthur did not have the full backing of the U.S., he continued with his plan to move troops toward the North. In fact, this move was a direct violation of his orders. On October 25th, China attacked South Korean troops. The southern troops were nearly wiped out. General MacArthur was not fazed by this turn of events and continued to believe that the Chinese troops could be overtaken. More than 200,000 Chinese soldiers had invaded the area and on November 1st, Chinese troops attacked the United States for the first time in the war. United States troops were in the town of Unsan, North Korea. Chinese troops moved in to the town and trapped the American soldiers in the Chosin Reservoir. MacArthur took 10,000 Marines north and was met with 120,000 Chinese troops ready to attack. The 31st Infantry lost over 3000 men during the attack.

The Resolution

After General MacArthur continued to go against the orders given to him from President Truman, the decision was finally made to replace MacArthur with General Matthew Ridgway on April 11, 1951. Peace talks finally began July 10, 1951 between the United States and the Communists. Fighting continued as both sides refused to respect the talks that had gone on and one of the bloodies battles took place in an area called the "Punchbowl." Another 6000 U.S. lives were lost in and around the areas now known as "Heartbreak Ridge" and "Bloody Ridge." After an unsuccessful land attack, the war went to the air. The Communist troops dug in and refused to give in to the United States efforts to end the fighting. In 1952, U.S. troops bombed the city of Pyongyang hoping to move Soviet forces. In early 1953, Stalin died, again giving hope to the U.S. forces. On June 27, 1953, an armistice was signed that finally ended the Korean War.

Works Cited:
"Korean War" Answer.com http://www.answers.com/korean%20war Edwards, Paul M. Korean War Almanac (2006) Accessed December 8, 2009
"Korean War" Tramanlibrary.com http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/korea/large/world.htm Last updated: December 11, 2009 Accessed December 9, 2009

"The Korean war" Korean-war.com http://www.korean-war.com/ Information compiled by Ed Evanhoe Last Update: 09/25/2009 Accessed December 8, 2009