Korean Climate

Mean Temp 28.6°C 83.48°F at Taegu    

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

Korea Temps - 1950-1953 - Station 143 (Daegu)



February 1, 1950 (Wednesday)

February 2, 1950 (Thursday)

February 3, 1950 (Friday)

February 4, 1950 (Saturday)

February 5, 1950 (Sunday)

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February 25, 1950 (Saturday)

February 26, 1950 (Sunday)

February 27, 1950 (Monday)

February 28, 1950 (Tuesday)






In February 1950, the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Soviet Union signed a strategic alliance treaty in Moscow. Only eight months later, China entered the Korean War to "resist America and assist (North) Korea." How was the Sino-Soviet alliance made? Was the Sino-Soviet alliance related to the coming of the Korean War? What role did the Sino-Soviet alliance play in China's decision to enter the war? In what sense did China's entry into the Korean War, in turn, influence the foundation and future direction of the Sino-Soviet alliance?

These questions, certainly relevant to a deeper understanding of Communist China's foreign policy as well as the Cold War in Asia, have not been properly answered in the past largely (but not exclusively) because of the scarcity of Chinese source materials.

With the support of recently-released Chinese sources, this paper will try to shed some novel lights on (1) the making of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, (2) the Sino-Soviet connection with the outbreak of the Korean War, and (3) contacts between China and the Soviet Union during the days when the CCP leadership made the final decision to enter the Korean War.







Even more so than in the Army, the history of racial equality in the Marine Corps demonstrates the effect of the exigencies of war on the integration of the armed forces. The Truman order, the Fahy Committee, even the demands of civil rights leaders and the mandates of the draft law, all exerted pressure for reform and assured the presence of some black marines. But the Marine Corps was for years able to stave off the logical outcome of such pressures, and in the end it was the manpower demands of the Korean War that finally brought integration.

In the first place the Korean War caused a sudden and dramatic rise in the number of black marines: from 1,525 men, almost half of them stewards, in May 1949, to some 17,000 men, only 500 of them serving in separate stewards duty, in October 1953.1

Whereas the careful designation of a few segregated service units sufficed to handle the token black representation in 1949, no such organization was possible in 1952, when thousands of black marines on active duty constituted more than 5 percent of the total enlistment. The decision to integrate the new black marines throughout the corps was the natural outcome of the service's early experiences in Korea.

Ordered to field a full division, the corps out of necessity turned to the existing black service units, among others, for men to augment the peacetime strength of its combat units. These men were assigned to any unit in the Far East that needed them. As the need for more units and replacements grew during the war, newly enlisted black marines were more and more often pressed into integrated service both in the Far East and at home.

Most significantly, the war provided a rising generation of Marine Corps officers with a first combat experience with black marines. The competence of these Negroes and the general absence of racial tension during their integration destroyed long accepted beliefs to the contrary and opened the way for general integration. Although the corps continued to place special restrictions on the employment of Negroes and was still wrestling with the problem of black stewards well into the next decade, its basic policy of segregating marines by race ended with the cancellation of the last all-black unit designation in 1951.

Hastily embraced by the corps as a solution to a pressing manpower problem, integration was finally accepted as a permanent manpower policy.

This transformation seemed remote in 1949 in view of Commandant Clifton B. Cates's strong defense of segregation. At the time Cates made a careful distinction between allocating men to the services without regard to race, which he supported, and ordering integration of the services themselves .

"Changing national policy in this respect through the Armed Forces, " he declared, "is a dangerous path to pursue as it effects [sic] the ability of the Military Establishment to fulfill its mission. "2

Integration of the services had to follow, not precede integration of American society.

The commandant's views were spelled out in a series decisions announced by the corps in the wake of the Secretary of the Navy's call for integration of all elements of the Navy Department in 1949. On 18 November 1949 the corps' Acting Chief of Staff announce a new racial policy: individual black marines would be assigned in accordance with their specialties to vacancies "in any unit where their services can be effectively utilized," but segregated black units would be retained and new ones created when appropriate in the regular and reserve components of the corps. In the case of the reserve component, the decision on the acceptance of an applicant was vested in the unit commander. 3

On the same day the commandant made it clear that the policy was not to be interpreted too broadly. Priority for the assignment of individual black marines, Cates informed the commander of the Pacific Department, would be given to the support establishment and black officers would be assigned to black units only. 4


Further limiting the chances that black marines would be integrated, Cates approved the creation of four new black units. The Director of Personnel and the Marine Quartermaster had opposed this move on the grounds that the new units would require technical billets, particularly in the supply specialties, which would be nearly impossible to fill with available enlisted black marines. Either school standards would have to be lowered or white marines would have to be assigned to the units. Cates met this objection by agreeing with the Director of Plans and Policies that no prohibition existed against racial mixing in a unit during a period of on-the-job training. The Director of Personnel would decide when a unit was sufficiently trained and properly manned to be officially designated a black organization.[18-5]

Footnote 18-5: DP&P Study 119-49, 14 Nov 49, sub: Designation of Units for Assignment of Negro Marines, approved by CMC, 2 Dec 49.(Back)

The Director of Personnel would decide when a unit was sufficiently trained and properly manned to be officially designated a black organization.

In keeping with this arrangement, for example, the commanding general of the 2nd Marine Division reported in February 1950 that his black marines were sufficiently trained to assume complete operation of the depot platoon within the division's service command.


Cates then designated (p. 462) the platoon as a unit suitable for general duty black marines, which prompted the Coordinator of Enlisted Personnel to point out that current regulations stipulated "after a unit has been so designated, all white enlisted personnel will be withdrawn and reassigned."[18-6]

Footnote 18-6:
Memo, CG, 2nd Marine Div, for CMC, 18 Feb 50, sub: Assignment of Negro Enlisted Personnel;

Memo, CMC to CG, 2nd Marine Div, 28 Mar 50, sub: Designation of the Depot Platoon, Support Company, Second Combat Service Group, Service Command, for Assignment of Negro Enlisted Marines;
MC Routing Sheet, Enlisted Coordinator, Personnel Department, 27 Mar 50, same sub.(Back)


So what happened?

Nor were there any plans for the general integration of black reservists, although some Negroes were serving in formerly all-white units. The 9th Infantry Battalion, for instance, had a black lieutenant. As the assistant commandant, Maj. Gen. Oliver P. Smith, put it on 4 January 1950, black units would be formed "in any area where there is an expressed interest" provided that the black population was large enough to support it.[18-7]

7 Ltr, Smith to Franklin S. Williams, Asst Special Counsel, NAACP, 4 Jan 50, AO-I, MC files.

When the NAACP objected to the creation of another all-black reserve unit in New York City as being contrary to Defense Department policy, the Marine Corps justified it on the grounds that the choice of integrated or segregated units must be made by the local community "in accord with its cultural values."[18-8]

8 Ltr, Roy Wilkins to SecDef, 27 Feb 50; Memo, SecNav for SecDef, 17 Apr 50, sub Activation of Negro Reserve units in the U.S. Marine Corps;both in SecDef 291.2. See also Ltr, Asst CMC to Franklin Williams, 7 Feb 50.

Notwithstanding the Secretary of the Navy's integration order and assignment policies directed toward effective utilization, it appeared that the Marine Corps in early 1950 was determined to retain its system of racially segregated units indefinitely.

But the corps failed to reckon with the consequences of the war that broke out suddenly in Korea in June. Two factors connected with that conflict caused an abrupt change in Marine race policy. The first was the great influx of Negroes into the corps. Although the commandant insisted that race was not considered in recruitment, and in fact recruitment instructions since 1948; contained no reference to the race of applicants, few Negroes had joined the Marine Corps in the two years preceding the war.[18-9]

9 Ltr, CMC to Walter White, 2 Jul 51.

In its defense the corps pointed to its exceedingly small enlistment quotas during those years and its high enlistment standards, which together allowed recruiters to accept only a few men. The classification test average for all recruits enlisted in 1949 was 108, while the average for black enlistees during the same period was 94.7. New black recruits were almost exclusively enlisted for stewards duty.[18-10]

10 Memo, Div of Plans and Policies for Asst Dir of Public Info, 4 Jun 51, sub: Article in Pittsburgh Courier of 26 May 51.






Two months later, General Roberts reported that the Korean
Coast Guard’s requirements had been included among
KMAG recommendations for additional MDAP aid for Korea
for fiscal year 1950.[60] In order to keep the program within
a ceiling of twenty million dollars, it had been necessary to
forego the aircraft requested by Ambassador Muccio in October
and have the Koreans purchase with their own foreign exchange
funds the hulls and main engines of three patrol craft
(for which the United States had borne repair and refitting
expenses) and one patrol craft complete. General Roberts also
noted that the condition of the Coast Guard was “a matter
of growing concern,” and asked that the additional advisors
requested by Mr. Muccio be sent without delay.[61]




1949/12 - Mao arrived in Moscow for 2-month visit with Stalin, resulting in Feb. 1950 Sino-Soviet alliance; Stalin invited Ho Chi Minh to join Mao in Moscow in Feb. 1950: "Let's add to China's population of 475 million, the populations of India, Burma, Indonesia, the Philippines."




South then North


In February 1950 all Korean units in the Chinese Manchurian Army assembled in Honan Province. They numbered about 12,000 men drawn from the CCF 138th, 140th, 141st, and 156th Divisions. Some of them had participated in the Chinese Communist advance from Manchuria to Peiping, and all were veteran troops.





Notes for February 1950 General Observations