Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp ---°C ------°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

Korean_War

Willoughby, who maintained an extensive intelligence net on the peninsula, filed 1,195 reports between June 1949 and June 1950, [ 3.27 per day] reporting, among other things, that Chinese Communist troops of Korean descent had been entering the Democratic People's Republic in great numbers since the defeat of Chiang, and that a massive buildup of Red shock troops, far in excess of Rhee's forces in the south, was under way north of the 38th Parallel.

[note]

Korean_War

PLAAF deploys its first combined aviation brigade including 38 MiG-15, 39 La-11, 39 Tu-2 bombers, 25 Il-10 ground attack aircraft, and 14 Yak-12 trainers.

[note]

"From August 15, 1948, the doomed little country was under the sole charge of the State Department. But my intelligence section was increasingly aware of the distinct menace of an attack by the North Korean Communists in the summer of 1950.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff reiterated the Administration's unwillingness to commit itself to the defense of South Korea and had recently drawn up a plan of strategic defense in Asia which was based on the assumption that under no circumstances would the United States engage in the military defense of the Korean peninsula.

In vain were my attempts to expose the growing Communist threat in the Far East. From June 1949 to June 1950, constant intelligence reports of increasing urgency were submitted to Washington filed 1,195 reports between June 1949 and June 1950, ] advising of a possible North Korean thrust. But little impression was made against the general apathy and the inspired "agrarian reform" propaganda. One of these reports even suggested that June 1950 would be the likely time for North Korea to cross the 38th Parallel.

[note]

Korean_War

In early June Radio P'yŏngyang began broadcasting propaganda ostensibly aimed at fostering a peaceful unification of Korea. Darrigo's well developed military instinct led him to believe that all these signs, especially the sudden lull in enemy aggression, probably meant the NKPA was making final preparations and troop dispositions for an all-out attack on South Korea, but his analyses and alerts continued to make no impression on KMAG or the Rhee government.[2-75]

[note]

During that same period the actual percentage of Negroes in the Marine Corps almost doubled, rising from 1.3 percent of the 155,679-man corps in June 1946 to slightly more than 2 percent of the 74,279-man total in June 1950.

[10-7]

[note]

For some forty years, suspicions have lingered about the nationality of certain pilots who flew MiG-15s in the Korean War. China long ago confessed the role of its pilots. There also were reports, never confirmed, that the best Communist pilots were in fact from the Soviet Union.

Soviet veterans finally have begun to acknowledge their participation in Korean dogfights, confirming the identity of the mystery pilots who, to Air Force flyers, were known only as "honchos." Soviet involvement in the Korean War is no longer a state secret; since 1989, the truth has poured forth.

Revelations in the Soviet press make it clear that Soviet participation in the war was far more extensive than anyone had imagined. Until now, the assumption was that individual Soviet "volunteer" pilots took part. The new information establishes that Soviet pilots were involved in a large fraction of all MiG-15 battles against US fighters.

The small North Korean Air Force used in the June 1950 invasion had no jets. Its tactical airpower came from a regiment of seventy-eight Yak-9U piston-engine fighters and a regiment of seventy Il-10 piston-engine attack planes. Flown by inexperienced pilots, these planes were quickly decimated by US aircraft.

The United Nations force's successful repulse of North Korean forces led to consultations between Beijing and Moscow over future plans to aid P'yŏngyang. On October 1, North Korean Dictator Kim II Sung urged China's Mao Zedong to throw the weight of the Chinese Army into the war. Mao agreed and sought Soviet aid. For Joseph Stalin, however, the vigor of the US response to the invasion came as an unpleasant surprise.

[note]

Officially activated in February 1948, the NKPA grew rapidly during the next 29 months; by June 1950 the NKPA boasted a fighting strength of approximately 116,400, with 10 infantry divisions and a tank brigade as its major combat elements. North Korea also had a paramilitary Border Constabulary of approximately 18,600 men; this force could conduct limited combat operations and serve as the cadre to form additional NKPA divisions. [38]

[note]

Korean_War

The Seventh Army did not remain active long after World War II. Along with the Third Army, it commanded the U.S. forces of occupation until 31 March 1946. A consolidation of forces then occurred, which saw the Seventh Army inactivated, with Third Army taking over its responsibilities. Seventh Army was reactivated for ten months from 11 June 1946 to 15 March 1947 at Atlanta, Georgia before being inactivated again.

The Seventh Army remained inactive until the Korean War, which proved to be a wake-up call to American policy-makers. As part of the build-up of forces in Germany, Seventh Army was reactivated in November 1950, based at Stuttgart. After the peace treaty with Germany was signed, it remained in the country to control the American ground forces committed

[note]

NATO

At the end of the war, the total U.S. Army strength in Europe was almost 1.9 million: two Army groups (6th and 12th), four field armies (First, Third, Seventh, and Ninth), 13 corps headquarters, and 62 combat divisions (43 infantry, 16 armor, and 3 airborne). Within a year rapid redeployments had brought the occupation forces down to fewer than 290,000 personnel, and many of the larger formations had departed or been inactivated. Seventh Army headquarters remained in control of the western portion of the American zone, and Third Army controlled the eastern portion. In November 1945, the two field army commanders organized district "constabularies" based on cavalry groups, and on May 1, 1946, the zone-wide U.S. Constabulary headquarters was activated at Bamberg. From then until the early 1950s, the structure of the American occupation forces consisted of the 1st Infantry Division, a separate infantry regiment, and the U.S. Constabulary [An armed police force organized like a military unit] of 10 cavalry regiments.


On March 15, 1947, USFET was re-designated as European Command (not to be confused with the present joint command, USEUCOM), and between February and June 1948 the headquarters relocated to the Campbell Barracks in Heidelberg, where it remains to this day.



Cold War


The Berlin Blockade began June 24, 1948 when the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and road access to the sectors of Berlin under Allied control. Even though Allied forces in the city were outnumbered 50-1, General Lucius D. Clay, in charge of the US Occupation Zone in Germany, gave the order for the Berlin Airlift. Headquartered out of Wiesbaden Army Airfield, the Allies supplied almost 9,000 tons per day of supplies to the beleaguered city until the blockade was lifted on May 12, 1949.


From 1948 to 1950, the Cold War began to warm, and the outbreak of hostilities in Korea heightened East-West tensions in Europe. The Seventh Army was reactivated at Stuttgart in late November 1950, the V and VII Corps headquarters were organized, and four divisions were alerted to move back to Europe from the United States. The first to arrive was the 4th Infantry Division in May 1951, followed by the 2nd Armored Division and the 43rd and 28th Infantry Divisions during summer and fall of 1951.


A new joint United States European Command (USEUCOM) was established on Aug. 1, 1952. On that day, the Army headquarters at Heidelberg, formerly known as EUCOM, became Headquarters, United States Army, Europe.


In 1953, the Korean War Armistice was signed, and tensions began to ease in Europe. About 13,500 soldiers manned each of the USAREUR divisions. New equipment fielded at the time included the M-48 tank, the M-59 armored personnel carrier, and tactical nuclear weapons. [Like Honest John.]


[note]

South then North

The 105th Armored Brigade was raised to division status in Sŏul at the end of June 1950 before it crossed the Han River to continue the attack southward. [02-12]

[02-12] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 4 (N.K. 105th Armd Div), pp.27-37.

In addition to the 120 tanks of the 105th Armored Brigade, the better part of another tank regiment appears to have been available to North Korea in late June. Thirty tanks reportedly joined the N.K. 7th (12th) Division at Inje in east central Korea just before it crossed the Parallel. [02-13] This gave North Korea a total of 150 Russian-built T34 tanks in June 1950.

[02-13] Ibid., Issue 99 (N.K. 12th Div), p. 42.
[02-14] DA Intel Rev, Mar 51, Nr 178, p.

In the six months before the invasion, a defensive-type army of 4 divisions and an armored regiment had doubled in strength to form 7 combat-ready divisions and an armored brigade. And there were in addition 3 other newly activated and trained divisions, and 2 independent regiments.

The North Korean ground forces-the NKPA and the Border Constabulary-in June 1950 numbered about 135,000 men. This estimated total included 77,838 men in seven assault infantry divisions, 6,000 in the tank brigade, 3,000 in an independent infantry regiment, 2,000 in a motorcycle regiment, 23,000 in three reserve divisions, 18,600 in the Border Constabulary, and 5,000 in Army and I and II Corps Headquarters.[02-15]

[02-15] The estimate of 135,000 is based on the following tabulation, drawn principally from N.K. PW interrogation reports:
Total 135,438
1st Div 11,000
2nd Div 10,838
3rd Div 11,000
4th Div 11,000
5th Div 11,000
6th Div 11,000
7th (12th) Div 12,000
10th Div 6,000
13th Div 6,000
15th Div 11,000
776th Ind Inf Unit 3,000
12th MTsP (Motorcycle Regt) 2,000[02-a]
105th Armored Brig 6,000
B.C. 1st Brig 5,000
B.C. 2nd Brig 2,600[02-a]
B.C. 3rd Brig 4,000[02-a]
B.C. 5th Brig 3,000[02-a]
B.C. 7th Brig 4,000[02-a]
Army, I and II Corps Hq 5,000[02-a]
[02-a] Indicates the figure is based on U.S. military intelligence or strong inferential data but not on extensive PW reports or order of battle documents. No figure for the strength of II Corps, organized about 12 June 1950 has been found. The strength for Army, I, and II Corps Headquarters possibly should be increased to 6,000-7,000. N.K. I Corps was activated about 10 June 1950. See GHQ fec, History of the N.K. Army pp. 41-43. According to some PW reports, there was a 17th Motorcycle Regiment in the enemy's order of battle at the beginning of the invasion The KMAG report for the semiannual period ending 15 June 1950 gives, a total North Korean ground force estimate of 117,357 men, including 64,372 for the North Korea People's Army and 27,600 for the Border Constabulary. The ROK Army G-2 estimate of North Korean strength, according to Capt. Frederick C. Schwarze (Asst G-2 Adviser to ROK Army in Sŏul when the invasion occurred) was 175,000. Schwarze, Notes for author.

The North Korean infantry division at full strength numbered 11,000 men. It was a triangular division composed of three rifle regiments, each regiment having three battalions.[02-16] The division had as integral parts an artillery regiment and a self-propelled gun battalion.

[02-16] The 12th Division had a strength of 12,000.

There were also medical, signal, anti-tank, engineer, and training battalions, and reconnaissance and transport companies.

The artillery support of the North Korean division in 1950 closely resembled that of the older type of Soviet division in World War II. A division had 12 122-mm. howitzers, 24 76-mm. guns, 12 Su-76 self-propelled guns, 12 45-mm. antitank guns, and 36 14.5-mm. antitank rifles. In addition, the regiments and battalions had their own supporting weapons. Each regiment, for instance, had 6 120-mm. mortars, 4 76-mm. howitzers, and 6 45-mm. antitank guns. Each battalion had 9 82-mm. mortars, 2 45-mm. antitank guns, and 9 14.5-mm. antitank rifles. The companies had their own 61-mm. mortars. A North Korean rifle regiment at full strength numbered 2,794 men-204 officers, 711 noncommissioned officers, and 1,879 privates. [02-17]

[02-17] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 106 (N.K. Arty), Chart, p. 32: Issue 100 (N.K. 9th Div), p. 49; GHQ fec, History of the N.K. Army, Charts 3b,-8.

From the beginning the Soviet Union had been the sponsor for the NKPA and had provided it with the sinews of war. Most important at first were the Russian-built T34 tanks of the 105th Armored Brigade. The T34 was a standard medium tank in the Soviet Army at the end of World War II. The Russians first used this tank against the Germans in July 1941. Guderian gives it the credit for stopping his drive on Tula and Moscow. [02-18] The T34 weighed 32 tons, was of low silhouette, had a broad tread, and was protected by heavy armor plate. It mounted an 85-mm. gun and carried two 7.62-mm. machine guns, one mounted on the bow and the other coaxially with the gun.[02-19]

[02-18] General Heinz Guderian. Panzer Leader (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1952), pp. 162, 233-38.

[02-19] Not until the end of the third week of the war did American intelligence settle on the identification of the T34 tank.

Characteristics of the Russian-built T34 medium tank used by the North Koreans:


Weight (combat-loaded) ................ 35 short tons
Length (not including gun) ............. 19.7 feet
Width (over-all) ............................ 9.8 feet
Width (between track centers) ...... 8.0 feet
Height (to top of turret) ................. 7.9 feet
Ground clearance ......................... 1.3 feet
Turret traverse ............................. 360° hand and electric
Rate of fire (85-mm. gun) ............. 7-8 rounds per minute
Ammunition carried ....................... 85-mm. 55 rounds 7.62-mm. 2,745 rounds
Engine
Type ...................................... 12 cylinder, Diesel
Horsepower ................................ 493
Fuel
Type ...................................... Diesel
Capacity (main tanks) ..................... 143 gallons
Performance
Maximum speed ............................. 30-34 miles per hour

Source: EUSAK WD, 8 Sep 50, an. 1, to G-2 PIR 58.

Other ordnance items supplied to the NKPA by the Soviets included 76-mm. and 122-mm. howitzers; 45-mm. guns; 76-mm. self-propelled guns; 45-mm. antitank guns; 61-mm., 82-mm., and 120-mm. mortars; small arms; ammunition for these weapons; and grenades. From the Soviet Union North Korea also received trucks, jeeps, radios, and fire control, signal, and medical equipment. [02-20]

[02-20] ATIS Res Supp Interrog Rpts, Issue 106 (N.K. Arty), pp. 1-40; DA Intel Rev, Mar 51, Nr 178, pp. 54, 56; Ibid., Jun 51, Nr 181, pp. 26-27; Rpt, USMAG to ROK, 1 Jan-15 Jun 50, sec. III, p. 6.

[note]

Korean_War

By June 1950 every member of the Soviet diplomatic staff in North Korea was either an army or an air force officer. Col. Gen. Terenty F. Shtykov, commander of the Soviet occupation forces in North Korea and, after their withdrawal, the Soviet Ambassador there, apparently functioned as the senior Soviet officer in the country. Intelligence reports indicate that Premier Kim Il Sung received weekly instructions from the USSR through Ambassador Shtykov. [02-2]

[02-2] DA Intel Rev, Apr 51, Nr 179, p. 32; GHQ fec, History of the N.K. Army.

Korean_War

In June 1950 Kim Il Sung was Commander in Chief of the North Korean armed forces. His deputy was Marshal Choe Yong Gun. Both had left Korea in their youth, resided in China for long periods of time, and, ultimately, gone to Moscow for training.

[note]

Korean_War

For all practical purposes the North Korean ground forces in June 1950 comprised two types of units: (1) the Border Constabulary (BC or Bo An Dae ) and (2) the North Korea People's Army (NKPA or In Min Gun).


The Border Constabulary, an internal security force, was organized, trained, and supervised by Soviet officials. It was uncommonly strong in political indoctrination and supported and promoted the Communist party line throughout North Korea. All officer training for the Border Constabulary was under the direct supervision of Soviet advisers on the school staffs. [02-3]

[note]

The North Korea People's Army in June 1950 constituted a ground force of eight infantry divisions at full strength, two more infantry divisions activated at an estimated half strength, a separate infantry regiment, a motorcycle reconnaissance regiment, and an armored brigade. Five of the infantry divisions and the armored brigade had well-trained combat personnel. Many of these soldiers were hardened veterans who had fought with the Chinese Communist and Soviet Armies in World War II.

[note]

Korean_War

The Korean veterans of the Chinese Communist Forces made up about one third of the North Korea People's Army in June 1950 and gave it a combat-hardened quality and efficiency that it would not otherwise have had. Five of the eight divisions in the North Korea People's Army-the

1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th (12th*) Divisions-had in their ranks substantial numbers of CCF soldiers of Korean extraction.

The 5th, 6th, and 7th (12th*) Divisions had the largest number of them. Also, many of the NKPA units that did not have rank and file soldiers from the CCF did have officers and non-commissioned officers from it.[02-7]

[note]

Korean_War

By June 1950, the 105th Armored Regiment had become the 105th Armored Brigade with a strength of 6,000 men and 120 T34 tanks. Its equipment-tanks, weapons, and vehicles-was Russian-made. The brigade had three tank regiments-the 107th, 109th, and 203rd-each with 40 tanks, and a mechanized infantry regiment, the 206th, with a strength of about 2,500 men. A tank regiment had three medium tank battalions, each having 13 tanks. The battalions each had three tank companies with 4 tanks to a company. Tank crews consisted of five men. Battalion, regimental, and division tank commanders each had a personal tank.

[note]

Korean_War

In June 1950 President Syngman Rhee was Commander in Chief of the South Korean Army. Under him was Sihn Sung Mo, the Minister of National Defense. The Deputy Commander in Chief actually in command of the Army was Maj. Gen. Chae Byong Duk.

The origins and development of an armed force in South Korea had their roots, as in North Korea, in the occupation period after World War II. At first the principal objects of the U.S. occupation were to secure the surrender of the Japanese troops south of the 38th Parallel, return them to Japan, and preserve law and order until such time as the Koreans could do this for themselves.

[note]

Korean_War

In June 1950 President Syngman Rhee was Commander in Chief of the South Korean Army. Under him was Sihn Sung Mo, the Minister of National Defense. The Deputy Commander in Chief actually in command of the Army was Maj. Gen. Chae Byong Duk.

The origins and development of an armed force in South Korea had their roots, as in North Korea, in the occupation period after World War II. At first the principal objects of the U.S. occupation were to secure the surrender of the Japanese troops south of the 38th Parallel, return them to Japan, and preserve law and order until such time as the Koreans could do this for themselves.

By June 1950 the Republic of Korea armed forces consisted of the following: Army, 94,808; Coast Guard, 6,145; Air Force, 1,865; National Police, 48,273. When the war began nearly a month later the Army had a strength of about 98,000, composed of approximately 65,000 combat troops and 33,000 headquarters and service troops. [02-26]

Korean_War

[02-Caption] SOUTH KOREAN trOOPS stand for inspection by the Korean Minister of Defense and members of KMAG at Ch'unch'ŏn in July 1949.

In June 1950 the combat troops of the ROK Army were organized into eight divisions: the

Total 64,697
1st Infantry Division 1882 9,715
Col. Paik Sun Yup, CO
11th Regiment 2,527
12th Regiment 2,728
13th Regiment 2,578
2nd Infantry Division 1397 7,910
Brig. Gen. Lee Hyung Koon, CO
5th Regiment 1,895
16th Regiment 2,408
25th Regiment 2,210
3d Infantry Division 1826 7,059
Col. Yu Sung Yul, CO (Brig. Gen. Lee Joon Shik
took command of 3d Div on 10 Jul 50).
22nd Regiment 2,646
23d Regiment 2,587
Kim Chong Won (Tiger Kim) [Col CO ROK23rdIR]
5th Infantry Division 2274 7,276
Maj. Gen. Lee Ung Joon, CO
15th Regiment 2,119
20th Regiment 2,185
1st Separate Battalion 698
Kim Hi Chun [Col CO 17thIR]
6th Infantry Division 2245 9,112
Col. Kim Chong O, CO
7th Regiment 2,411
8th Regiment 2,288
19th Regiment 2,168
7th Infantry Division 2278 9,698
Brig. Gen. Yu Jae Hung, CO
1st Regiment 2,514
3d Regiment 2,487
9th Regiment 2,419
8th Infantry Division 1923 6,866
Col. Lee Jung Il, CO
10th Regiment 2,476
21st Regiment 2,467
Capital Infantry Division 1668 7,061
Col. Lee Chong Chan, CO
2nd Regiment 2,615
18th Regiment 2,778
17th Regiment -2,500
Col. Paik In Yup, CO

Five of them, the 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and Capital, had 3 regiments; two divisions, the 3rd and 8th, had 2 regiments; and one division, the 5th, had 2 regiments and 1 battalion. Only four divisions, the 1st, 6th, 7th, and Capital, were near full strength of 10,000 men.

The organization of the combat divisions and their present-for-duty strength are shown in table 1. For some unknown reason the ROK Army headquarters report, on which table 1 is based, does not include the 17th Regiment. It numbered about w,500 men and was part of the Capital Division in the paper organization of the Army. [02-27]

In the early summer of 1950 the 1st, 7th, 6th, and 8th Divisions, considered the best in the ROK Army, held positions along the Parallel in the order named, from west to east. Beyond the 1st Division at the extreme western end of the line was the 17th Regiment of the Capital Division on the Ongjin Peninsula. The other four divisions were scattered about the interior and southern parts of the country, three of them engaged in anti-guerrilla activity and training in small unit tactics. The Capital Division's headquarters was at Sŏul, the 2nd's at Ch'ŏngju near Taejŏn, the 3rd's at Taegu, and the 5th's at Kwangju in southwest Korea. [02-28]

The South Korean divisions along the Parallel were equipped mostly with the United States M1 rifle, .30-caliber carbine, 60-mm. and 81-mm mortars, 2.36-in. rocket launchers, 37-mm. antitank guns, and 105-mm. howitzers M3. The howitzers had been used in the U.S. infantry cannon companies in World War II. They had a shorter barrel than the regular 105-mm. howitzer M2, possessed no armor shield, and had an effective range of only 7,250 yards (8,200 yards maximum range) as compared to 12,500 yards for the 105-mm. howitzer M2.

There were five battalions of these howitzers organized into the usual headquarters and service companies and three firing batteries of five howitzers each. The 1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 8th Divisions each had a battalion of the howitzers. A sixth battalion was being formed when the war started. [02-29] Of 91 howitzers on hand 15 June 1950, 89 were serviceable. The South Korean armed forces had no tanks, no medium artillery, no 4.2-in. mortars, no recoilless rifles, and no fighter aircraft or bombers. The divisions engaged in fighting guerrillas in the eastern and southern mountains had a miscellany of small arms, including many Japanese Model 99 World War II rifles.

[note]

Korean_War

The ROK Army in June 1950 had among its heavier weapons 27 armored cars; something more than 700 artillery pieces and mortars, including 105-mm. howitzers and 81-mm. and 60-mm. mortars; about 140 antitank guns; and approximately 1,900 2.36-in. bazookas. In June 1950 it had about 2,100 serviceable U.S. Army motor vehicles for transportation, divided between about 830 2 1/2-ton trucks and 1,300 1/4-ton trucks (jeeps). Motor maintenance was of a low order.[02-30]

[02-30] The original U.S. commitment in July 1949 was to supply the Korean Army with an issue of equipment and a six months' supply of spare parts for a force of 50,000. See Memo, Gen Roberts to All Advisers, KMAG, 5 May 50, sub: Korean Army Logistical Situation. The Department of State gives $57,000,000 as the value of military equipment given to South Korea before its invasion by North Korea, with a replacement cost at time of delivery to South Korea of $110,000,000. See The Conflict in Korea, p. 10.

The South Korean Air Force in June 1950 consisted of a single flight group of 12 liaison-type aircraft and 10 advance trainers (AT6). Maj. Dean E. Hess, KMAG adviser to the South Korean Air Force, had a few (approximately 10) old F-51 (Mustang) planes under his control but no South Korean pilots had yet qualified to fly combat missions

[note]

Korean_War

The Border Constabulary in June 1950 consisted of five brigades of uneven size and armament-the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 7th. The 1st Brigade numbered 5,000 men; the 3rd and 7th each had a strength of 4,000. These three brigades were stationed just north of the 38th Parallel. The 7th was in the west, deployed from Haeju to the coast, just above the Ongjin Peninsula; the 3rd was east of the 7th, in the center from Haeju to the vicinity of Ch'ŏrwŏn; and the 1st was at Ansŏng on the east coast.

These three brigades, totaling 13,000 men, were armed and equipped to combat-infantry standards. The brigades each had six or seven battalions composed of three rifle companies each, together with machine gun and mortar companies, an antitank platoon, and the usual headquarters and service units.

The BC 2nd Brigade, with a total strength of only 2,600, was divided into seven battalions. It held positions along the Yalu and Tumen River boundaries separating North Korea from Manchuria and the USSR. This brigade had little heavy equipment and few mortars, machine guns, or antitank guns. The BC 5th Brigade, with a strength of about 3,000 men, had headquarters at P'yŏngyang, the North Korean capital. It was responsible for railroad security. [02-5]

[02-5] Future reference to the two opposed Korean forces generally will be North Korean or N.K. and South Korean or ROK. The abbreviation N.K. will precede a numbered NKPA unit: ROK will precede a numbered South Korean unit.

[note]

Korean_War

General Walker had instituted a training program beginning in the summer of 1949 which continued on through the spring of 1950 to the beginning of the Korean War. It was designed to give Eighth Army troops some degree of combat readiness after their long period of occupation duties in Japan. When the Korean War started most units had progressed through battalion training, although some battalions had failed their tests. [09-10] Regimental, division, and army levels of training and maneuvers had not been carried out. The lack of suitable training areas in crowded Japan constituted one of the difficulties.

[09-10] Schnabel, Theater Command, treats this subject in some detail.

If the state of training and combat readiness of the Eighth Army units left much to be desired on as June 1950, so also did the condition of their equipment. Old and worn would describe the condition of the equipment of the occupation divisions in Japan. All of it dated from World War II. Some vehicles would not start and had to be towed on to LST's when units loaded out for Korea. Radiators were clogged, and over-heating of motors was frequent. The poor condition of Korean roads soon destroyed already well-worn tires and tubes. [09-11]

[09-11] 24th Div WD, G-4 Daily Summ, 7-8 Jul 50.

The condition of weapons was equally bad. A few examples will reflect the general condition. The 3rd Battalion of the 35th Infantry Regiment reported that only the SCR-300 radio in the battalion command net was operable when the battalion was committed in Korea. The 24th Regiment at the same time reported that it had only 60 percent of its table of Equipment allowance of radios and that four-fifths of them were inoperable. The 1st Battalion of the 35th Infantry had only one recoilless rifle; none of its companies had spare barrels for machine guns, and most of the M1 rifles and M2 carbines were reported as not combat serviceable. Many of its 60-mm. mortars were unserviceable because the bipods and the tubes were worn out. Cleaning rods and cleaning and preserving supplies often were not available to the first troops in Korea. And there were shortages in certain types of ammunition that became critical in July. trip flares, 60-mm. mortar illuminating shells, and grenades were very scarce. Even the 60-mm. illuminating shells that were available were old and on use proved to be 50 to 60 percent duds. [09-12]

[09-12] 24th Inf WD,6-31 Jul 50; 1st Bn, 35th Inf (25th Div) Unit Rpt,12-31 Jul, and1-6 Aug 50; 4th Div WD, G-4 Sec, Daily Summ,3-4 Aug 50, p.113, and Hist Rpt,23 Jul-25 Aug 50.

General Walker was too good a soldier not to know the deficiencies of his troops and their equipment. He went to Korea well aware of the limitations of his troops in training, equipment, and in numerical strength. He did not complain about the handicaps under which he labored. He tried to carry out his orders. He expected others to do the same

[note]

Task Force Smith

Political and Democratic System Takes Over

The period following World War II promised prosperity and peace for the American public. Although there were some economic and political issues during the era, American life was mostly uneventful. "With the Depression over, Americans cherished buying cars and going to ball games; they wished no further worries about weighty affairs of state."[77]

.Comfortable with post World War II peace coupled with domestic economic uncertainties, the American people and politicians demanded minimal expenditures on military preparedness. Truman reacted to the American public when they "Cried to 'bring the boys home !' and shipped scores of hundreds of baby shoes to congressmen to emphasize they wanted their husbands and fathers home immediately."[78] Representative John E. Rankin of Mississippi expressed the popular sentiment of the time, by saying:

If the Congress does not get busy and expedite the release of these men from the armed forces - men who are needed at home, who have jobs to go back to, who have wives and children to look after or to have crops to gather, or young men who should finish their education - you will
soon be in the hottest water you have ever been in since you have been in Congress - and you ought to. [79]
who to look after or who have crops who should finish their be in the hottest water you you have been in congress - and
And so, Truman heeded the outcry's of the public and politicians and brought ten and one half million servicemen home by the end of 1948. Military leaders were ineffective in convincing the President that a graduated drawdown was necessary in order to keep a qualified force of officers and enlisted soldiers as a nucleus for a modern well trained Army. Ridgway in his book The Korean War spoke of the American people's mind set of the time: The concept of 'limited warfare' never entered councils. We had faith in the United Nations. And the atomic bomb created for us a kind of psychological Magninot line that helped us rationalize our national urge to get the boys home, the armies demobilized...[80]

As a result of this political pressure, Truman addressed domestic concerns using funds from the Department of Defense. Truman was eager to improve health, education and living conditions. As Roosevelt's successor, he sought to increase the size and coverage of social security. He addressed unemployment, old age, sickness and disability and recommended a system of national prepaid medical insurance under social security." To do anything less, would not pass the voting public's scrutiny.

Truman's Secretary of Defense, Louis B. Johnson, was formerly the Budget Director and determined to reduce military spending. Not only a mandate from Truman motivated Johnson, he had his own aspirations to become President of the United States. Secretary of the Army Frank Pace had also been Budget Director and he had similar motivations for reducing the Army budget. A formidable budget reducing civilian leadership confronted the military.

President Truman lacked respect for many military officers and "knew their prolific tendencies with dollars."[82] However, he gained respect for and sought the counsel of Marshall, Eisenhower, and Bradley who were perceived by him as visionary and not narrow minded about issues confronting the Presidency as well as the military: When Truman became president and inherited some of these renowned figures as advisers, he looked up to them and thought them sincere. As time went on he valued their advice particularly because they were not political partisans."[83]

However, even with Truman's confidence, these senior military leaders failed to develop a combat ready military force. The inability of these leaders to see the need for and obtain congressional and presidential support for the defense department had dramatic repercussions for the Army. Lack of sufficient funds to support the Army's needs in CONUS, the Far East and elsewhere - to provide sufficient men, equipment and supplies - resulted in a "hollow" army that was ineffective and unable to respond to a national crisis.

"In sum, the shortages of men and supplies combined with inadequate training to affect adversely the combat readiness of the Far East Command just as they hindered the effectiveness of the U.S. Army elsewhere."[84]

Collins in his book, War In Peacetime,. describes this paranoia

It would seem that proper planning and budgeting should have obviated these personnel and material shortages. However, military plans and budget limitations except in wartime have invariably been in conflict. The essence of military planning is to look ahead to the requirements of the next war; but this is antithetic to the common American hope that each war will be the last. While war is on, Congress and the people have supported unstintingly the demands of the military services but, once the war is over, political and economic pressures relegate military planning to the background.[85]

Despite the obvious truism of Collins' insight, this is precisely where the leadership earns their money for the job they hold. The post war military leaders failed to gain the support and confidence of Congress. This failure and the reasons for it had a dramatic effect upon the defense posture of the United States in 1950.

[note]

Research and development for better equipment was practically stopped following World War II and there was little to be expected in the future. Procurement, if possible, was even worse. A new heavy tank had been developed, but due to budget constraints only 310 were built; in June 1950, they were all in the United States. The 3.5 inch rocket launcher had been introduced to replace the ineffective World War II 2.36 "bazooka". However, due to budget constraints, only a few 3.5's were available in June 1950; none were available in the Far East.

[note]

In truth the American Army was once again in dreadful shape. In June 1950 it was far below its previously authorized strength of 677,000. It actually numbered only 591,000. Of these, 360,000 were in the United States, and 231,000 were overseas: 108,500 in the Far East; 94,300 in Europe; the rest in Hawaii, Alaska, or the Caribbean. Furthermore, Johnson's new fiscal year 1952 budget guidelines would reduce authorized strength from 630,000 to 610,900, the ten divisions to nine, probably reducing actual strength to the disastrous1948 level of 560,000 and, if the draft was again allowed to lapse (as planned), perhaps below that.[1-48]

[note]

The total of ten "tactical" divisions then authorized was egregiously misleading. In order to stay within budget, Collins had been forced to deactivate one battalion of three in each division's three infantry regiments and one of three firing batteries in each of the four divisional artillery battalions. Inasmuch as Army doctrine and training were rigidly based on the concept of three-battalion regiments, and no substitute doctrine had been (or could be) promulgated, the deactivation gravely impaired—even crippled—the combat capability and "readiness" of the divisions.

As a whole, the Army was not well trained or well manned. In 1948, owing to the shortage of funds, "basic training" had been cut to a mere eight weeks. The cycle was increased to fourteen weeks in March 1949, but that did not include specialty or "branch" training. The 1948, 1949, and 1950 "peacetime" drafts, which provided a total of 300,000 men, had filled the Army with all too many disgruntled, indifferent, or even hostile soldiers. (For the affluent the draft was not difficult to evade.) Nor was the Army combat minded. Most enlisted Army volunteers of that era had not joined to fight. An Army general put it this way in 1951:

"In an attempt to fill their quotas, our recruiting officers had painted a rosy picture: `Join the Army and see the world.' `Have fun in Japan.' `Good pay. Many benefits.' . . . Recruiters didn't stress the obligations of a soldier."[1-49]

Stockpiles of materiel left over from World War II were deteriorating, and the budget cutting had seriously retarded the procurement of new equipment and research and development for ever better equipment. A new heavy tank, the Patton, had been introduced, but in June 1950 the Army had only 310 Patton tanks—all in the States. The inadequate World War II 2.3inch antitank bazooka had been superseded by the new and adequate 3.5inch bazooka; but in June 1950 there were only a few on hand, and none had been sent to the Far East. The Army's new "general manager," the deputy chief of staff for administration, Matt Ridgway, later put it this way:

"We were, in short, in a state of shameful un-readiness."[1-50]

[note]

Before the war broke out in mid-1950, few people in the Western World either knew or cared to know a great deal about Korea or its people. Under the impact of war, knowledge became essential. Old books on the subject were dusted and new ones were quickly rushed to the printers. Maps of Korea filled the newspapers and slowly some of the strange-sounding names became familiar to the man on the street. The candle of indifference was replaced by the searchlight of interest as Korean geography and history assumed new importance.

Korea shares a long, common frontier with Manchuria along the Yalu and Tumen Rivers and touches the Soviet Union at the mouth of the Tumen. From the northernmost bend of the Tumen, Korea extends some 600 miles to the southern tip of the peninsula with a width varying from slightly over 100 miles at the waist to approximately 220 miles at its broadest part. The dominant feature of the topography is the mountainous Taebaek chain covering northeastern Korea and running south along the eastern coast. As one observer has remarked: "There is no spot in the country in which a mountain does not form a part of the landscape. The mountain slopes dip sharply down to the sea in the east, but are more gentle in the west. Roads, railroads, and the communications network follow the valleys and mountain passes in the broken terrain. #1

#1 E. de Schweinitz Brunner, quoted in Andrew J. Grajdanzev, Modern Korea (New York: The John Day Company, 1944) , p. 9.

Korea is an agricultural country raising most of its dry crops in the north and the bulk of its rice in the south. The majority of its heavy industry and hydroelectric development is located in the north. Average precipitation and mean temperatures are similar to those in the Middle Atlantic States of the United States, but the winters are much colder and over 80 percent of the rainfall is concentrated in the seven months between April and October. Floods are fairly frequent during this period.

With such a long salt-water frontier, fishing villages dot the coast of Korea. Ironically, the best ports are on the southern and western coasts, where tidal variations are more extreme. There are few good harbors on the Sea of Japan which has a tidal range of only about three feet.

Located at the strategic crossroads of east Asia, Korea has had a long and checkered history. For many centuries the peninsula experienced a series of petty wars between rival powers seeking to establish hegemony. Finally, during the seventh century, the kingdom of Silla managed with Chinese aid to gain control of most of Korea. The influence of Chinese civilization at this time brought about Korean acceptance of the Confucian system of social relationships and left a lasting imprint upon Korean ethics, morals, arts, and literature. Despite invasions of barbarian hordes during succeeding centuries, Korea remained faithful on the whole to its father-son relationship with China and regarded itself as inferior to its mentor.#2

#2 An excellent account of early Korean history and the Confucian system of association of nations may be found in M. Frederick Nelson, Korea and the Old Orders in Eastern Asia (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1946).

[note]

On the whole, the ROKA had made a beginning by mid-1950, but was far from being a well-trained or well equipped force.

[note]

Across the 38th Parallel the Russians had fashioned a more potent force. Leavened with Korean veterans of the Chinese civil war, the North Korean Army had grown to 135,000 men by June 1950 and included some heavy arms and equipment. Not only did the Communists have heavy artillery, armor, and planes but they were also better trained.

Border clashes broke out along the parallel during early 1950 and Communist political propaganda in South Korea mounted.

[note]

U.S. Air Force

Korean_War

Fortunately MATS fell heir to already established routes across the Pacific, although two of them had been closed down and reopening the way stations would be troublesome.

  1. In June 1950 only the mid-Pacific route was in use: Travis, Hickam, Johnston Island, Kwajalein, and Japan, with a stop at Iwo Jima if necessary;

  2. the great circle route - McChord, Anchorage, Shemya, and Japan -had been used by a contract carrier until June 1949 and then discontinued.

  3. A third route from Hickam to Japan via Wake had been abandoned in May 1950, when the Navy and a civil airline had ceased operating at Wake.

In addition to reopening all three of these routes, MATS Pacific Division was to make several C-97 flights directly from Hawaii to Japan.

[note]

The passing of time had brought changes in FEAF's mission-that statement of assigned duties which governs the allocations of forces, the tables of equipment, the training of personnel, and, in essence, the very life of a military command. As long as the Japanese had fought, FEAF had been recognized as the major air element of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific Area Theater, and it had been expected, in mutually-supporting co-equality with Army and Navy forces, to wage an aggressive war against Japan. In June 1950 General MacArthur was still the American theater commander in the Far East, but his command was now designated the U.S. Far East Command (FEC).

FEAF Operation Area

The primary mission of the Far East Command was the defense of its area of operations, a geographical region including Japan, the Ryukyus, the Marianas, and American bases in the Philippines. As the United States Air Force (USAF) component of the Far East Command, FEAF's primary and only principal mission was to maintain an active air defense of the FEC theater of operations. Among its subordinate missions, FEAF was charged to maintain "an appropriate mobile air striking force" and to "provide air support of operations as arranged with appropriate Army and Navy commanders." The duties of FEAF as the FEC theater air force were thus explicitly stated by General MacArthur as Commander-in-Chief, Far East (CINCFE). General MacArthur's mission was derived from the wishes of the President of the United States, as translated into formal directives by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

[note]

Korean_WarFifth Air ForceKorean_War

one of four

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Fifth Air Force tactical units were deployed in defense of the Japanese home islands.

[note]

Twentieth Air Force

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two of four

Southward from Japan and down off the coast of Asia on the island of Okinawa the Twentieth Air Force, Maj. Gen. A. C. Kincaid commanding, made its headquarters at Kadena Air Base. General Kincaid had already served his tour of duty and was slated for rotation. On 31 July 1950 he would be relieved by Maj. Gen. Ralph F. Stearley. The Twentieth Air Force, which once had controlled the world-wide operations of all B-29 Superfortress bombers, was responsible for the air defense of Okinawa and the Marianas.

[note]

Korean_War

Thirteenth Air Force

three of four

Defending and commanding American installations in the Philippine Islands was the Thirteenth Air Force-an un-superstitious air command which had been activated in the South Pacific at 1300 hours, 13 January 1943. This air force had moved up the island chain with FEAF during World War II, but following the defeat of Japan it had remained in the Philippines. Commander of the Thirteenth Air Force was Maj. Gen. Howard M. Turner, whose headquarters and principal operating site was at Clark Air Base, in central Luzon.

[note]

Korean_War

Far East Air Materiel Command (FEAMCom)

four of four

The fourth major command of the Far East Air Forces was the Far East Air Materiel Command (FEAMCom), which, as its name implied, furnished logistical support for all USAF units in the Far East. Brig. Gen. John P. Doyle commanded FEAMCom, and his command post and principal installation was twenty miles west of downtown Tokyo, at the sprawling factories and airfield where the Tachikawa Aircraft Company had once built Oscar fighters, but which was now the Tachikawa Air Depot.#7

A few other attached air units rounded out FEAF's organizational structure.

Flights of the 2nd and 3rd Air Rescue Squadrons, attached for duty from the USAF Air Rescue Service, were located at the various bases where they could best perform their emergency search and rescue services with SB-29 and SB-17 aircraft.

The 512th and 514th Weather Reconnaissance Squadrons of the 2143rd Air Weather Wing flew synoptic weather reconnaissance missions from Yokota and Andersen.#8

The British Common-wealth air component in Japan was the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 77 Squadron, which flew F-51 Mustangs and occupied Iwakuni Air Base, at the Southwestern end of Honshu. This squadron was available to General MacArthur as Supreme Commander Allied Powers, and it maintained liaison with FEAF, but it was neither attached nor assigned to the American air command.#9

Where FEAF had its stations, watchful radars never ceased to sweep the skies, air-defense control centers were always open, and alert crews stood by, day and night, to scramble combat-ready F-80 and F-82 interceptors. Since [September 23, ] 1949, when Russia had [announced it had] detonated its first atomic burst [on 8/29/1949 ], every-one in FEAF had realized that the Cold War might, at any moment, break into the flames of World War III.

Such a new world holocaust would begin with air attacks against Far East air bases, launched from Communist airfields in Asia. Everyone was tautly ready. No one forgot that for the United States World War II had begun at Hickam Field with an air attack early on a Sunday morning. But, despite a high degree of vigilance, peacetime schedules prevailed, and, except for alert personnel, a Sunday in occupied Japan was not a normal day of duty.

First Six Days 5

Synoptic weather observation A surface weather observation, made at periodic times (usually at 3-hourly and 6-hourly intervals specified by the World Meteorological Organization), of sky cover, state of the sky, cloud height, atmospheric pressure reduced to sea level, temperature, dew point, wind speed and direction, amount of precipitation, hydrometeors and litho-meteors, and special phenomena that prevail at the time of the observation or have been observed since the previous specified observation. Synoptic means "view together" or "view at a common point".

The Soviet Union was the next country to explode a bomb, with a test on 29 August 1949. Other countries followed: Britain's first test was on 3 October 1952; France's on 3 December 1960; China's on 16 October 1964 and; India's on 18 May 1974.

[note]

The Shooting Star fighters were new in the Far East, but they were the oldest of USAF operational jets. They had been designed as counter air interceptors. As interceptors, their primary weapons were six .50-caliber machine guns. FEAF's F-80's also had mid-wing rocket posts, which permitted them to carry up to 16 5-inch high velocity aircraft rockets (HVAR's), but none of them were equipped with pylon bomb racks. With its internal fuel, an F-80C had a radius of action of approximately 100 miles, but each plane was provided with two 165-gallon external fuel tanks which it carried on wing-tip shackles. Loaded with rockets and two 165-gallon tip tanks, an F-80C had an operational radius of approximately 225 miles. Instead of fuel tanks, the plane could carry two 1,000-pound bombs on its shackles, but its operational radius in this configuration was the 100 miles possible with internal fuel. All of these ranges were not only quite short, but they also assumed that the F-80 jet would, for the most part, fly at the high altitudes (above 15,000 feet) where it attained its most favorable rate of fuel consumption. Any length of time spent at low altitudes, either en route to a target or seeking an objective for attack, rapidly exhausted an F-80's fuel and decreased its radius of flight.#75

USAF planners were completely aware of the operational limitations of the F-80 aircraft, but these planes were designed as short-range interceptors and were not meant to be used for ground attack. Specifically adapted for air-ground operations was the Republic F-84E "Thunderjet" FEAF had been scheduled to get some of these more modern F-84's beginning in 1949, but because of the inadequate Japanese airfields General Stratemeyer had been compelled to ask, instead, for nothing "hotter" than F-80C's.#76

But General Partridge had not been content to let the matter rest, for he maintained that he had to get the longest range aerodynamically possible from his F-80's. He had therefore assigned the problem to the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing, and at Misawa Lieutenants Edward R. Johnston and Robert Eckman had devised an improvisation. Two center sections of a Fletcher tank could he inserted in the middle of the standard Lockheed tank, thus making a modified tank which could hold 265 gallons of fuel. These big "Misawa" tanks provided enough fuel for an extra hour of flight and increased the radius of action of an F-80C to approximately 350 miles, depending on the type of combat mission flown.#77

The USAF Air Materiel Command was unwilling to approve the installation, since the 265-gallon tanks stressed the wing tips and shackles, hut early in June 1950 FEAF had established a project to manufacture one pair of the long-range tanks for every F-80 aircraft in the Far East Command.#78

Korean_War

An F-80 pilot prepares to take off in ankle deep water covering the landing strip.

In the several years prior to 1950 USAF budgetary ceilings had severely pared flight training in FEAF. Cross-country trips in Japan had been curtailed, and most navigational flights were accomplished between two well-known bases, where pilots could make full use of radio aids and ranges. The 49th Fighter-Bomber Group later reported that two hours' dead-reckoning practice each month would have qualified its pilots for the hazardous flying conditions they encountered over Korea.#79

Rocket training of FEAF fighter pilots was severely limited by a USAF policy which prohibited the depletion of HVAR reserves. Some practice was possible with sub-caliber aircraft rockets, but pilots, once in combat, found the trajectory of the HVAR to be entirely different from that of the practice projectile. Since few FEAF pilots had ever fired a 5-inch HVAR, they would have to get their rocketry training in the heat of combat.#80

Since its primary mission was air defense, FEAF's unit tactical training had been principally concerned with interception exercises and counter air missions. While the Fifth Air Force had met all Eighth Army requests for joint air-ground training in full, such joint maneuvers had been neither realistic nor extensive.#81

[note]

U.S. Marine Corps

Rear Admiral C. H. McMorris, the new commander at Pearl Harbor, made a fitness report on Puller in June 1950, even more resounding that the one field a year earlier:

“An outstanding Marine officer I every respect who can be relied upon to do a fine job in any circumstances.  I never new a finer or more able officer and I know many.  Immediate promotion is urged.”

Puller’s private reaction:  “Unless we have a war right away, I’ll never make general.”  He had requested, for his next duty, service with the Second Marine Division in the U.S., or at the Corps Schools or Parris Island.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Korean_War

General Board of the US Navy in November, 1947. From left to right:

Photo # NH 74328

  1. Colonel Randolph M. Pate, USMC;
  2. Rear Admiral W.F. Boone, USN;
  3. Vice Admiral Charles H. McMorris, USN;
  4. Admiral John H. Towers, USN;
  5. Rear Admiral Charles B. Momsen, USN;
  6. Captain Leon J. Huffman, USN;
  7. Commander J. M. Lee, USN, and
  8. Captain Arleigh A. Burke, USN

[note]

Korean_War

It is probable that the leaders of the North Korean state were committed early in 1950 to the invasion of the Republic of Korea. At any rate, the training and organization of new units was accelerated during the spring months. From February to June nine new divisions were activated—the 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th Infantry Divisions, 10th Mechanized Infantry Division and 105th Armored Division.[5]

[note]

Korean_War

Captured documents indicate that the aviation training program was speeded up along with other NKPA activities during the last few months before the invasion. In June 1950 each pilot was required to fly 40 training missions and attend 40 hours of lectures. As preparations for the invasion neared completion, a forward displacement of tactical aircraft was put into effect.[14]

[note]

Korean_War

The triangular ROK infantry division was modeled after the United States unit but numbered about 9,500 troops. Eight divisions and a regiment had been organized and partially trained by June 1950. They were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and Capital Divisions and the 17th Regiment.[25] Only 4 of these divisions, the 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 7th, had their full complement of 3 regiments. All the others had 2 except the 5th, which had 2 and a battalion.[26]

ROK military strength was estimated at 98,808 troops by the KMAG in June 1950. About 65,000 of them had been given unit training for combat. They were fairly proficient in the employment of small arms and mortars, but their instruction had not included defense against tanks. Command and staff work were still at a rudimentary stage, and both officers and NCO’s needed seasoning.

[note]

U.S. Navy

Korean_War

In June 1950 the Pacific Fleet was manned slightly below peacetime level, and the naval population of the Western Pacific was of the order of 11,000; within the space of six months this total was to be multiplied by six, and the need for so rapid an increase raised pressing questions of where to find the men.

Finding them involved a series of emergency actions. All hands were recalled from leave, overseas tours of duty and enlistments were indefinitely extended and ship-to-shore rotation halted, shore stations were stripped of all that they could spare and more. But despite all, the situation in the early weeks was often critical, especially in the Amphibious Force. Both at Inch'ŏn and at Wŏnsan ships were manned well below operational requirements, and in some cases even below peacetime allowances; some of the LSTs for Inch'ŏn were recommissioned a bare two weeks before the event with but 30 percent of complement on board, and with the majority of the crews and even some of the commanding officers lacking previous experience with this type.

[note]

Army Policy

Korea, Case History of a Pawn

The Soviet-sponsored government of North Korea, having failed to conquer its southern neighbor by less violent means, invaded the Republic of Korea on 25 June 1950. When the United States, with other United Nations, came to the aid of the South Koreans, a 3-year war resulted that cost more than 142,000 American battle casualties.

The campaigns set in motion by the invasion of South Korea later were characterized as a "limited war." The fighting was deliberately confined in geographic terms, political decisions placed restrictions upon military strategy, and none of the belligerents, with the exception of the two Korean governments, used its full military potential. But there was nothing limited about the ferocity of the battles.

Erupting from the rivalries of great nations, the Korean War was greatly influenced by domestic conditions rooted deep in the history of Korea, and by the topography of the peninsula where it took place.

The Land

Korea is a harsh Asian peninsula inhabited by a hardy, harassed people who rarely if ever had been completely free. War and tragedy form the main theme of Korea's history. Suppression and ill-use have been the heritage of its long-suffering people. Few habitable areas of the earth are more unsuited to large-scale, modern military operations. The rugged landscape, a lack of adequate roads, rail lines, and military harbors, the narrow peninsula, and, not least, climatic extremes restrict and hamper maneuver, severely limit logistic support, and intensify the normal hardships of war.

Jutting from the central Asian mainland, the Korean peninsula has an outline resembling Florida's. In the north, a river-mountain complex separates Korea from Manchuria and the maritime provinces of the USSR. Eastward, across the Sea of Japan, the Japanese islands flank the peninsula. To the west, the Yellow Sea stands between Korea and China. The Korean peninsula stretches south for more than 500 miles, while east and west, it spans only 220 miles at its widest. Thousands of islets, some scarcely more than large rocks, rim its 5,400-mile coastline.

Page 2

In area, Korea equals the combined states of Tennessee and Kentucky, covering about 85,000 square miles. The facetious claim that Korea, ironed flat, would cover the whole world has an element of truth, for the terrain throughout the peninsula is mountainous. Roads and railways wind through tortuous valleys. Ice-free ports exist on Korea's southern and western coasts, but the latter shore is distinguished by some of the most extreme tidal variations in the world. On the eastern shore, there are only a few adequate harbors. Although geographers place Korea in a temperate zone, the classification hardly mitigates the harsh winters, particularly in the wind-swept northern mountains, or the sweltering, dusty, and no less harsh summers in the south.

[note]

The Intelligence Failure

Agencies of the United States Government failed to forecast adequately the North Korean attack. No report sufficiently valid or urgent reached Washington officials before 25 June 1950 indicating that the attack would come when it did. Some information sent to Washington from the Far East reflected a strong possibility of action toward the end of June, but faulty evaluation and dissemination prevented it from reaching the right people in the proper form. The invasion therefore took all the American political and military leaders by surprise.

The reasons for this intelligence failure are easy to understand. The United States had written Korea out of its national defense plans, and as a result indications from Korea received less attention than those from areas considered more vital to American interests. There was nevertheless an intelligence effort in Korea. KMAG officers worked closely with their ROK Army counterparts in assembling data on North Korean activities. They sent this information to Washington periodically and on occasion made special reports. Other agencies and units in the Far East reported to appropriate officials in Washington. [04-2] KMAG, not General MacArthur, had the responsibility of securing intelligence data on Korea. When General Collins visited Tokyo in early 1950, [Autumn 1949 and June 1950?] he asked whether MacArthur could furnish the JCS information on some areas beyond his sphere of responsibility. MacArthur answered that he had promptly furnished such reports whenever specific items had been developed but that he was reluctant to submit unsupported estimates. If the JCS wanted to give him new intelligence responsibilities, he said he would be glad to have them. He was confident that he had enough personnel to handle them.[04-3]

[04-3] This radio message is reproduced in full in Dept of State Pub 3922, United States Policy in the Korean Crisis, Doc. 1, p. 11.

Maj. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby, the FEC G-2, had on his own initiative already established a surveillance detachment in Korea called the Korean Liaison Office. In addition, according to General Willoughby, "The Embassy in Sŏul maintained military attaché groups-Army, Navy, and Air, as well as their own diplomatic and political specialists whose sole business was to gauge the trend of events." [04-4] [Maj. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby and John Chamberlain, MacArthur, 1941-1951 (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1954), p. 354. ]

[04-4] Memo, Maj Gen L. L. Lemnitzer, Director, Off of Mil Assistance, for Secy Defense, 29 Jun 50;

S. Comm. on Armed Services and S. Comm. on Foreign Relations, 82nd Cong., 1st Sess., 1951, Joint Hearings, Military
Situation in the Far East (MacArthur Hearings), pt. III, pp. 1990-92, Testimony of Secretary of State Acheson.

Significant troop movements and concentrations, forward stockpiling of supplies, border evacuation, and North Korean Army reinforcement in men and materiel were some of the meaningful indications reported to Washington from the Far East before the June attack. But this information was poorly evaluated in the field and at higher echelons. Secretary of State Acheson later testified:

   Intelligence was available to the Department prior to the 25th of June, made available by the Far East Command, the CIA, the Department of the Army, and by the State Department representatives here and overseas, and shows that all these agencies were in agreement that the possibility for an attack on the Korean Republic existed at that time, but they were all in agreement that its launching in the summer of 1950 did not appear imminent. [04-5]

[04-5] Albert L. Warner, "How the Korea Decision was Made," Harper's
Magazine, June 26, 1950, pp. 99-106; Beverly Smith, "Why We Went to War in Korea," Saturday Evening Post, November 10, 1951.

Since October 1946, when Maj. Gen. Hodge had first reported that the North Koreans intended to attack South Korea, dozens of such reports had poured into Tokyo and Washington. Upon the outbreak of border fighting, the reports gained credence. By late 1949, talk of a North Korean invasion was almost routine in intelligence circles. [04-6] By early 1950, there was a pattern of growing urgency. But it went undetected, or at least unheeded, against the more riotous background of threatening communist activities in other parts of the world-in Asia, western Europe, and the Middle East.

[04-6] United States Policy in the Korean Crisis, p. 1, n. 5, and Docs. 3,
4, and 5, pp. 12-16.

[note]

By June 1950, the North Korean military machine was ready and the populace was psychologically prepared for war. As part of this build-up, the communist regime conducted a "peaceful unification" campaign. During the spring of 1950 it made a last effort at a guerrilla-led overthrow of the Republic of Korea, but failed.

At this juncture, under cover of two unification proposals to the Republic of Korea, offered on 7 June and 20 June 1950, the final steps for invasion were taken, as the main body of the North Korean Army moved to positions along the parallel. [02-71]

[02-71] Dept. of State, North Korea: A Case Study of a Soviet Satellite, pp. 17-18.

[note]

A strong and effective guerrilla movement in South Korea, subsidized and directed by the North Korean Government, was also functioning under orders to overthrow the Republic of Korea. A series of uprisings on the island of Cheju-do spread to the mainland by late 1948, and keeping the guerrillas under control became a major task for the ROK Army, but, by June 1950, the ROK Army had virtually stamped them out, in some cases after full-scale battles. The ROK Government claimed that its forces had killed 5,000 guerrillas in South Korea in the period from September 1949 to April. [02-70]

[02-70] Statement by Ambassador Muccio, Hearings Before Committee on Armed Services, MDP 1950, 81st Congress, 6 Jun. 50.

Situation in Korea-June 1950

Korea in 1950 was quite different from the country entered by the Allies late in 1945. Two political entities with widely divergent forms of government existed on one small peninsula separated by an artificial boundary. Each government existed only through the support of opposing major powers. Indigenous industrial and economic development remained impossible for either of the two portions of Korea. Political unity seemed out of the question, and bitter hatreds had developed between them.

[note]

Korean_War

In June 1950, the strength of the active Army stood at about 591,000 and included ten combat divisions. About 360,000 troops were stationed within the zone of the interior (ZI). The remaining 231,000 were disposed in overseas commands, most of them performing occupation duties. The largest group overseas (about 108,500) was located in the Far East. In Europe, approximately 80,000 U.S. soldiers were stationed in Germany, 9,500 in Austria, and 4,800 in Trieste. Slightly more than 7,000 were assigned to the Pacific area and about 7,500 to Alaska. In the Caribbean were about 12,200 troops. Several thousand more were assigned to military missions throughout the world. [03-4]

[03-4] (1) STW 1037, Weekly Estimate of Army Command Strength as of 26 June 1950, 2 Jul. 50, AGO Stat and Acc Br, copy in G-3 Deployments Br. (2) These figures are at slight variance with those [03-Continued on next page.]
[4] (1) STW 1037, Weekly Estimate of Army Command Strength as of 26 June 1950, 2 Jul. 50, AGO Stat and Acc Br, copy in G-3 Deployments Br. (2) These figures are at slight variance with those [Continued on next page.]

Page 44

The force designated to carry out the Army's emergency assignments was called the General Reserve. Except for one regimental combat team (RCT) in Hawaii, this force consisted of five combat divisions and certain smaller units in the continental United States. [5] The major General Reserve units on 25 June 1950 were the 2nd Armored Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 3rd Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, 11th Airborne Division (- 1 RCT), 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, 5th RCT (located in Hawaii), and 14th RCT. In addition, there

[Continued from previous page] contained in STM-30, Strength Report of the Army, X July 1950, which gives the following data on Army forces as of 30 June 1950: Total Strength 591,487; Zone of Interior 347,224; Overseas Strength 244,263. (3) Total strength in both compilations excludes the cadet corps at the Military Academy,

[5] For precise definition of General Reserve, see SR 320-5-1, Dictionary of United States Army Terms, Aug. 50. See also Directory and Station List, U.S. Army, 30 Jun. 50, copy in OCMH.

[note]

Levels of supply on hand in the FEC by mid-1950 amounted to a 60-day depot level plus 30-day levels in station stocks. But supply resources were out of balance both in quantity and quality. Some weapons such as medium tanks, 4.2-inch mortars, and recoilless rifles could hardly be found in the command. Only a trickle of supplies was moving through the pipelines. Units deactivated in the command had turned in large quantities of equipment, but most of this was unserviceable. Eighth Army was authorized 226 recoilless rifles, but had only 21.Of 18,000 1/4-ton 4 X 4 vehicles in Eighth Army's stocks 10,000 were unserviceable, and of 13,780 2 1/2-ton 6 X 6 trucks only 4,441 were in running condition.

Total ammunition resources amounted to only 45 days' supply in the depots and a basic load of training ammunition in hands of units. The level of perishable food supplies was also 45 days in depot stocks and operating levels at various stations. Petroleum products on hand included a level of 180 days packaged and 75 days bulk at depots, station levels of 15 days each of packaged and bulk, and 15 days with units. [03-50]

[03-50] MS, Maj. James A, Huston, Time and Space, ch. V, p. 41, and ch. 111, pp. 176, 186, copy in OCMH.

By mid-1950 American forces in the Far East had begun a gradual swing away from their primary concern with occupation duties and had started to look more closely to their combat skills. This shift came about more because of the growing stability of occupied Japan than from any real fear that time was growing short. That these forces were under-strength, inadequately armed, and sketchily trained concerned mainly their commanders. These commanders, within the limits of their resources, sought to overcome the inertia imposed by the years of occupation and the prevailing, if uneasy, peace. But on the eve of the storm the command was flabby and soft, still hampered by an infectious lassitude, unready to respond swiftly and decisively to a full-scale military emergency.

[note]

By June 1950, the North Korean military machine was ready and the populace was psychologically prepared for war. As part of this build-up, the communist regime conducted a "peaceful unification" campaign. During the spring of 1950 it made a last effort at a guerrilla-led overthrow of the Republic of Korea, but failed. At this juncture, under cover of two unification proposals to the Republic of Korea, offered on 7 June and 20 June 1950, the final steps for invasion were taken, as the main body of the North Korean Army moved to positions along the parallel. [02-71]

[note]

By June 1950, the ROK Army reached a strength of 95,000, the bulk of which comprised eight infantry divisions and a cavalry regiment. But only four of the divisions were near full strength of 10,000 men each. In artillery, the South Koreans owned 91 105-mm. M3 howitzers, and in armor, had about two dozen armored cars and about half that many half-tracks. To oppose the 180-plane North Korean Air Force, the ROK Air Force had a dozen serviceable liaison planes and ten trainers. [02-77]

[note]

But, as noted above, the strength of the Far East Command had dwindled to about 108,500 Army troops by June 1950.

The budget limitations and the low enlistment rate forced the Department of the Army to devise a troop program and troop list which could not be manned at 100 percent strength. This reduced over-all personnel ceiling reflected manning levels which, in turn, caused unavoidable reductions either by paring the strength of all subordinate units or by eliminating certain units entirely. Since administrative requirements continued or increased, combat units suffered more than headquarters units. [03-35] As reflected in the FEC, this condition caused the elimination of certain basic elements from combat units in order to maintain the units within the command. Each of MacArthur's infantry divisions had only one tank company instead of a tank battalion, and one antiaircraft battery instead of an antiaircraft battalion. Each infantry regiment was short its table of Organization (T/O) tank company and lacked one infantry battalion; each of the divisional artillery battalions was short one firing battery. Although CINCFE had managed to retain the 4-division structure of Eighth Army, he had had to eliminate the normal corps headquarters and corps special troops (artillery, engineer, and so forth). Service elements of Eighth Army were so inadequate that over 150,000 Japanese personnel were being employed in roles normally performed by service troops. [03-36]

[03-36] fec Papers, Paper 10, p. 7.

The ratio of non-combat to combat personnel in the Far East was excessive. This stemmed from the Army's attempts during the postwar years to make the Army an attractive career by leaving the choice of arm or service largely to the individual. The combat arms, and especially the infantry, failed to attract sufficient men to keep their strength on a par with other arms and branches. Also the fact that a substantial percentage of the already inadequate output of stateside training divisions went to service schools for further training reduced the number of men available for assignment to combat-type units except in specialist capacities. [03-37]

[note]

MacArthur's combat forces in June 1950 comprised 4 under-strength infantry divisions and 7 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Japan, 1 infantry regiment and 2 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Okinawa. The major combat units were the

General MacArthur had registered frequent protests that his missions in the Far East required a minimum force of at least 5 full-strength infantry divisions, 23 antiaircraft artillery battalions, and 1 separate RCT. [03-38]

[03-38] fec Papers, Paper 10.

[note]

By June 1950, the ROK Army reached a strength of 95,000, the bulk of which comprised eight infantry divisions and a cavalry regiment. But only four of the divisions were near full strength of 10,000 men each. In artillery, the South Koreans owned 91 105-mm. M3 howitzers, and in armor, had about two dozen armored cars and about half that many half-tracks. To oppose the 180-plane North Korean Air Force, the ROK Air Force had a dozen serviceable liaison planes and ten trainers. [02-77]

[note]

 But, as noted above, the strength of the Far East Command had dwindled to about 108,500 Army troops by June 1950.

The budget limitations and the low enlistment rate forced the Department of the Army to devise a troop program and troop list which could not be manned at 100 percent strength. This reduced over-all personnel ceiling reflected manning levels which, in turn, caused unavoidable reductions either by paring the strength of all subordinate units or by eliminating certain units entirely. Since administrative requirements continued or increased, combat units suffered more than headquarters units. [03-35] As reflected in the FEC, this condition caused the elimination of certain basic elements from combat units in order to maintain the units within the command. Each of MacArthur's infantry divisions had only one tank company instead of a tank battalion, and one antiaircraft battery instead of an antiaircraft battalion. Each infantry regiment was short its table of Organization (T/O) tank company and lacked one infantry battalion; each of the divisional artillery battalions was short one firing battery. Although CINCFE had managed to retain the 4-division structure of Eighth Army, he had had to eliminate the normal corps headquarters and corps special troops (artillery, engineer, and so forth). Service elements of Eighth Army were so inadequate that over 150,000 Japanese personnel were being employed in roles normally performed by service troops. [03-36]

[03-36] fec Papers, Paper 10, p. 7.

The ratio of non-combat to combat personnel in the Far East was excessive. This stemmed from the Army's attempts during the postwar years to make the Army an attractive career by leaving the choice of arm or service largely to the individual. The combat arms, and especially the infantry, failed to attract sufficient men to keep their strength on a par with other arms and branches. Also the fact that a substantial percentage of the already inadequate output of stateside training divisions went to service schools for further training reduced the number of men available for assignment to combat-type units except in specialist capacities. [03-37]

[note]

MacArthur's combat forces in June 1950 comprised 4 under-strength infantry divisions and 7 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Japan, 1 infantry regiment and 2 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Okinawa. The major combat units were the 1st Cavalry Division (actually infantry) in central Honshu, Japan; 7th Infantry Division in northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan; 24th Infantry Division in Kyushu, Japan; 25th Infantry Division in south central Honshu, Japan; and the 9th Antiaircraft Artillery Group in Okinawa. General MacArthur had registered frequent protests that his missions in the Far East required a minimum force of at least 5 full-strength infantry divisions, 23 antiaircraft artillery battalions, and 1 separate RCT. [03-38]

[note]

Levels of supply on hand in the FEC by mid-1950 amounted to a 60-day depot level plus 30-day levels in station stocks. But supply resources were out of balance both in quantity and quality. Some weapons such as medium tanks, 4.2-inch mortars, and recoilless rifles could hardly be found in the command. Only a trickle of supplies was moving through the pipelines. Units deactivated in the command had turned in large quantities of equipment, but most of this was unserviceable. Eighth Army was authorized 226 recoilless rifles, but had only 21. Of 18,000 1/4-ton 4 X 4 vehicles in Eighth Army's stocks 10,000 were unserviceable, and of 13,780 2 1/2-ton 6 X 6 trucks only 4,441 were in running condition.

Total ammunition resources amounted to only 45 days' supply in the depots and a basic load of training ammunition in hands of units. The level of perishable food supplies was also 45 days in depot stocks and operating levels at various stations. Petroleum products on hand included a level of 180 days packaged and 75 days bulk at depots, station levels of 15 days each of packaged and bulk, and 15 days with units. [03-50]

[03-50] MS, Maj. James A, Huston, Time and Space, ch. V, p. 41, and ch. 111, pp. 176, 186, copy in OCMH.

By mid-1950 American forces in the Far East had begun a gradual swing away from their primary concern with occupation duties and had started to look more closely to their combat skills. This shift came about more because of the growing stability of occupied Japan than from any real fear that time was growing short. That these forces were under-strength, inadequately armed, and sketchily trained concerned mainly their commanders. These commanders, within the limits of their resources, sought to overcome the inertia imposed by the years of occupation and the prevailing, if uneasy, peace. But on the eve of the storm the command was flabby and soft, still hampered by an infectious lassitude, unready to respond swiftly and decisively to a full-scale military emergency.

[note]

MacArthur's combat forces in June 1950 comprised 4 under-strength infantry divisions and 7 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Japan, 1 infantry regiment and 2 antiaircraft artillery battalions in Okinawa. The major combat units were the 1st Cavalry Division (actually infantry) in central Honshu, Japan; 7th Infantry Division in northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan; 24th Infantry Division in Kyushu, Japan; 25th Infantry Division in south central Honshu, Japan; and the 9th Antiaircraft Artillery Group in Okinawa. General MacArthur had registered frequent protests that his missions in the Far East required a minimum force of at least 5 full-strength infantry divisions, 23 antiaircraft artillery battalions, and 1 separate RCT. [03-38]

[note]

Historical_Events_for_June_1950

0000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
9:00 AM
07/30/50
10:00 AM
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM

0100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
10:00 AM
07/30/50
11:00 AM
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/31/50
1:00 AM

0200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
11:00 AM
07/30/50
12:00 PM
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/31/50
2:00 AM

0300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
12:00 PM
07/30/50
1:00 PM
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/31/50
3:00 AM

0400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
1:00 PM
07/30/50
2:00 PM
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/31/50
4:00 AM

0500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
2:00 PM
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/31/50
5:00 AM

0534 Sunrise

0600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
3:00 PM
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/31/50
6:00 AM

0700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
4:00 PM
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/31/50
7:00 AM

0800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
5:00 PM
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
8:00 AM

0900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
6:00 PM
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM

1000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
7:00 PM
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
10:00 AM

1100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
8:00 PM
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/30/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
11:00 AM

1200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
9:00 PM
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
12:00 PM

1300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
10:00 PM
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 PM

1400 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/30/50
11:00 PM
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 PM

1500 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
12:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
3:00 PM

1600 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
1:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
4:00 PM

1700 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
2:00 AM
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 PM

1800 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
3:00 AM
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 PM


1900 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
4:00 AM
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
10:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 PM


2000 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
5:00 AM
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
11:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 PM

2030 Sunset

2100 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
6:00 AM
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
12:00 PM
07/31/50
9:00 PM

2200 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
7:00 AM
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
1:00 PM
07/31/50
10:00 PM

2300 Korean Time

Central East Coast Zulu Korea
07/31/50
8:00 AM
07/31/50
9:00 AM
07/31/50
2:00 PM
07/31/50
11:00 PM


Casualties

SitRep June 1950

Korean_War 0 Casualties

Date USAF USA USMC USN Other Total
Previous
Losses
To Date

Aircraft Losses Today 000

Notes for June 1950 General Observations

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