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The Cold War

Korean War

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The Korean War was the most serious conflict that took place during the cold war. Korea was freed from the Japanese after WWII and had been divided down the 38th parallel into Communistic North Korea and non-Communistic South Korea. The North invaded the South on June 25, 1950 and attempted to unite the pennisula under Communist rule. Truman made a bold move to this act of agression by going through the Security Council of the U.N. instead of Congress. The USSR could have vetoed this action but because the U.S. would not acknowledge Communist China the Soviets were absent from the meeting. America sent the most men and military forces even though there were fourteen other nations that sent troops, and General Douglas Mac Arthur, a hero during WWII in the Pacific, was in charge of military forces.
 
At the Beginning North Korea easily defeated the unorganized resistance of the south and the first few troops sent by America. However, Mac Arthur devised a brilliant plan that would turn the tables in their favor. He launched an amphibious invasion behind North Korean lines at a seaport halfway up the western coast of Korea called Inchon. This amazing manuever cut off the North Korean supply lines and began to destroy their forces. They were soon pushed back behind the 38th parallel and forced to unify everything south of that as non-Communist. Mac Arthur began to boast that the boys would be home by Christmas.
 

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Things, however, took an unexpected turn when Communist China sent thousands of troops to aid the North Korean effort. They sent the UN into a retreat back down the peninsula and Mac Arthur who had downplayed the Chinese intervention admitted  that "We face an entirely new war." Almost immediately trench warfare had begun again as it had in WWI, with both sides fighting frantically for only a few miles of useless land. The war had become a stalemate.
 
Mac Arthur was all for expanding the war into China, but Truman believed in limited war, which only had a limited objective short of total victory over the enemy. Truman refused to expand the conflict thiking that it might led to WWIII. Mac Arthur publically vocalized his disagreement with Truman's decision, so Truman removed him from his command. Neither North nor South gained any advantage and began truce talks in 1951. Yet the fighting continued for two more years until a truce was agreed upon on July 27, 1953. Over 33,000 Americans had died in a war that had left Korea in the exact same position that it had been in before. However, the U.S. had saved South Korea from Communism and kept it from spreading even more.