Weather

Korean Climate

Mean Temp 24.9°C 76.82°F at Taegu

Heavy Overcast

1950 Pacific Typhoon Season

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


Overview

Army Policy

 

6 June 1950 The United States Government received a clear warning that the ROK Army was not strong enough when Ambassador Muccio, in the same month South Korea was attacked, told the Senate Committee on Armed Services that the materiel superiority of the North Korean forces, particularly in heavy infantry support weapons, tanks, and combat aircraft which the USSR had supplied, would provide North Korea with the margin of victory in any full-scale invasion of the republic. Ambassador Muccio told the legislators that it was vital that the ROK Army be maintained on an effective defensive level of equality in manpower, equipment, and training, in relation to those forces which immediately threatened it. [02-75]

In opposition to Ambassador Muccio's testimony was that of William C. Foster, then deputy administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA), given before the Senate Appropriations Committee one week later. Speaking about the ROK Army, Mr. Foster said: The rigorous training program has built up a well-disciplined force of 100,000 soldiers, one that is prepared to meet any challenge by North Korean forces, and one that has cleaned out the guerrilla bands in South Korea in one area after another. If American legislators were somewhat confused at this point they could scarcely be blamed. [02-76]

 

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CIA

 

Daily Summary Excerpt, 6 June 1950, Possible Kremlin Conference on Southeast Asia

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KMAG

 

 

Early in 1950 the chief of KMAG appointed a board of three advisors to consider the advisability of moving the Korean Military Academy to another location. The board advised against the move, then went on to recommend that the academy secure instructors from Sŏul National University and begin a four-year academic course in June 1950 patterned closely after the U.S. Military Academy’s curriculum.

For military training, the board recommended that cadets take a three-month basic course during the first summer, a three-month advanced course during the second summer, and a three-month course to include battalion tactics during the third summer. In event of war during the four years, all cadets thus would have had at least the equivalent of a regular officer candidate course.

The chief of KMAG, the Korean Army G–3, and President Rhee approved these recommendations, and a class of 350 cadets entered the academy on 6 June 1950. Upon graduation they were to be awarded bachelor of science degrees and commissioned as second lieutenants in the Republic of Korea Army.[55]

55 (1) Ltrs, Col Grant, 2 Jun 53, 20 Jul 53. (2) SA Rept, KMAG, 15 Jun 50, sec. V, p. 10. (3) See Korean Military Academy, OFldr, sec. III.

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Look

 

 

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Task Force Smith

 

In contrast to these optimistic reports [see 6/11 & 9/47] by Roberts and Foster, Ambassador Muccio provided statements to the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 6, 1950, stating:

"The undeniable materiel superiority of the North Korean forces would provide North Korea with the margin of victory in the event of a full-scale invasion of the Republic... [132]

By materiel superiority, Muccio was talking about heavy infantry support weapons, such as tanks and artillery --to include aircraft. It was a known fact that the nearly 100,000 man ROK army was under strength and under equipped. The "South Korean forces had no tanks or medium artillery whatsoever. Nor could South Korea field any fighter or bomber aircraft.[133]

Contrary to Foster's and Roberts' statements, it was obvious that the South Korean Army was not prepared to meet the horde of the NKPA crossing over the 38th parallel. Senior military leadership did not control these various sources of information, but it is clear that they should have been aware of the disparities and possible consequences. Also the civilian leadership in Washington must bear responsibility for neglecting to take appropriate action. Presidential advisors kept crucial information from the President even when intelligence information made its way back to Washington. The advisors simply chose not to believe the reports coming from Korea. In retrospect, the misjudgment was astonishing. Intelligence reports to Washington provided an almost classic description of enemy preparations for imminent war. North Korean civilians were being evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the parallel. Non military freight deliveries in the area had been halted. transport was being restricted to military purposes, including large shipments of weapons and ammunition . .. the intelligence reports were greeted by Washington officials with all sorts of rationalizations. Forgetting the same kind of misjudgment before, at the time of Pearl Harbor, they hoped and believed that the North Koreans were unlikely to do that which they had the capacity to do. Washington was simply not persuaded that the North Korean's intended to involve themselves in armed conflict.[134]

There are no records that show any of Truman's advisers, civilian or military ever went to him in the month of June, 1950, to tell him of the serious developments near the 38th parallel.[135]

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As early as September of 1947, Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer investigated the military conditions that existed at that time in Korea. His assessment of the military situation noted that the North Korean Army was a potential threat to the peace of Korea - especially if the United States were to withdraw its troops.[126] He concluded in his report to President Truman that the United States would suffer an "immense loss in moral prestige among the peoples of Asia...."[127] if troops were withdrawn as South Korea was being invaded.: He also noted in the document that he considered Korea as "strategically important" and he cautioned that Lieutenant General John R. Hedge's two
divisions could not hold back invading North Korean forces if attacked.128

Wedemeyer's report had clearly shown that Korea was a hot spot that should not be overlooked. The indications were clear that future actions and policies regarding U.S. involvement in Korea should have been formulated based upon the possibility of conflict with the North Koreans. Nevertheless, Truman apparently did not take Wedemeyer's report seriously; one year later tactical U.S. troops under General Hodge were withdrawn from Korea.

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Brigadier General William Lynn Roberts, head of the Korean
Military Advisory Group (KMAG) under Ambassador Muccio, rendered
contrary and misleading intelligence reports to the Pentagon. He
believed tank warfare in Korea was impossible because the roads
were too narrow and the rice paddies were too soft. lB General
Roberts' reports were taken seriously and, in fact, were the
basis of the testimony given to a congressional hearing in June
1949 defending the withdrawal of American troops from Korea. On
that subject, Major General Charles L. Bolté testified before
Congress:
55

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We feel that the [native] forces in Korea now are
better equipped than the North Korean troops...the Army
as the Executive agent for the Joint Chiefs of Staff
for the Far East is not only agreeable to the
withdrawal of the tactical formations from Korea, but
is heartily in favor of it as they [sic] feel that the
point has been reached in the development of South
Korean forces and in the supplying of material aid to
the South Korean forces that it has reached a point
[sic] where the tactical units can and should be
withdrawn.[130]

Reports and testimonies such as this were pervasive and show the ineptness of the leadership to ascertain and interpret the reality that existed prior to the invasion. For example, two weeks before the invasion, William C. Foster, as the Deputy Administrator of the Economic Cooperation Administration, testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee regarding the ROK's ability to meet an attack from the North. He told the committee:

The rigorous training program [of the ROK Army] has built up a well-disciplined army of 100,000 soldiers, one that is prepared to meet any challenge by the North Korean forces, and one that has cleaned out the. guerilla bands in South Korea in one area after another.[131]

All these reports were being digested by Congress who were allowed to believe that all was well.

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 Notes for Tuesday June 6, 1950

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