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The Korean War Cover

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The Korean War

An International History

William Stueck

This first truly international history of the Korean War argues that by its timing, its course, and its outcome it functioned as a substitute for World War III. Stueck draws on recently available materials from seven countries, plus the archives of the United Nations, presenting a detailed narrative of the diplomacy of the conflict and a broad assessment of its critical role in the Cold War. He emphasizes the contribution of the United Nations, which at several key points in the conflict provided an important institutional framework within which less powerful nations were able to restrain the aggressive tendencies of the United States.

In Stueck's view, contributors to the U.N. cause in Korea provided support not out of any abstract commitment to a universal system of collective security but because they saw an opportunity to influence U.S. policy. Chinese intervention in Korea in the fall of 1950 brought with it the threat of world war, but at that time and in other instances prior to the armistice in July 1953, America's NATO allies and Third World neutrals succeeded in curbing American adventurism. While conceding the tragic and brutal nature of the war, Stueck suggests that it helped to prevent the occurrence of an even more destructive conflict in Europe.

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The Korean War in World History

William Stueck

" The Korean War in World History features the accomplishments of noted scholars over the last decade and lays the groundwork for the next generation of scholarship. These essays present the latest thinking on the Korean War, focusing on the relationship of one country to the war. William Stueck’s introduction and conclusion link each essay to the rich historiography of the event and suggest the war’s place within the history of the twentieth century. The Korean War had two very different faces. On one level the conflict was local, growing out of the internal conditions of Korea and fought almost entirely within the confines of a small Asian country located far from Europe. The fighting pitted Korean against Korean in a struggle to determine the balance of political power within the country. Yet the war had a huge impact on the international politics of the Cold War. Combat threatened to extend well beyond the peninsula, potentially igniting another global conflagration and leaving in its wake a much escalated arms race between the Western and Eastern blocs. The dynamics of that division remain today, threatening international peace and security in the twenty-first century. Contributors: Lloyd Gardner, Chen Jian, Allan R. Millett, Michael Schaller, and Kathryn Weathersby

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An Army Surgeon in Korea

Otto Apel

" When North Korean forces invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950, Otto Apel was a surgical resident living in Cleveland, Ohio, with his wife and three young children. A year later he was chief surgeon of the 8076th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital constantly near the front lines in Korea. Immediately upon arriving in camp, Apel performed 80 hours of surgery. His feet swelled so badly that he had to cut his boots off, and he saw more surgical cases in those three and a half days than he would have in a year back in Cleveland. There were also the lighter moments. When a Korean came to stay at the 8076th, word of her beauty spread so rapidly that they needed MPs just to direct traffic. Apel also recalls a North Korean aviator, nicknamed ""Bedcheck Charlie,"" who would drop a phony grenade from an open-cockpit biplane, a story later filmed for the television series. He also tells of the day the tent surrounding the women's shower was ""accidentally"" blown off by a passing helicopter. In addition to his own story, Apel details the operating conditions, workload, and patient care at the MASH units while revealing the remarkable advances made in emergency medical care. MASH units were the first hospitals designed for operations close to the front lines, and from this particularly difficult vantage, their medical staffs were responsible for innovations in the use of antibiotics and blood plasma and in arterial repair. On film and television, MASH doctors and nurses have been portrayed as irreverent and having little patience with standard military procedures. In this powerful memoir, Apel reveals just how realistic these portrayals were.

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A Morning in June

Defending Outpost Harry

Written by James W. Evans and foreword by John S. D. Eisenhower

By June 1953 the Korean War, marked at the outset by extremely fluid advances and retreats up and down the peninsula, had settled into position warfare very near the original pre-war demarcation line between North and South Korea. At this point both sides were fighting to win a peace, to achieve incremental advantages that could be translated into gains at the peace negotiations in Panmunjom. These last days of the war saw savage battles for control of important local terrain features, and in the trench warfare of the Chorwon Valley a young U.S. Army lieutenant was assigned to lead an infantry company charged with holding Outpost Harry against a determined Chinese assault.
The battle devolved into hand-to-hand combat during a period of constant, intense fighting that lasted two days. The author, although seriously wounded that night, refused evacuation and remained on the hill to successfully lead his company in defense of the outpost. It wasn’t romantic; it wasn’t chivalrous; and many died or were badly wounded. Some of the survivors never fully overcame the mental and physical damage they suffered during the nightmare.
With this book, one of those scarred by that experience recounts the events of the battle and his lifelong efforts to deal with the residual horrors. The Korean Conflict may be called “the forgotten war” by some, but not by those who were on the front lines.

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The Naval Air War in Korea

Richard P. Hallion

“In The Naval Air War in Korea, Dr. Hallion has captured the fact, feel- ing, and fancy of a very important conflict in aviation history, in- cluding the highly significant facets of the transition from piston to jet-propelled combat aircraft.”—Norman Polmar, author of Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, 18th Edition

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Outpost Kelly

A Tanker's Story

Written by Jack R. Siewert and foreword by Paul M Edwards

In the second year of the Korean War, Jack Siewert commanded a platoon of five M-46 tanks. Temporarily assigned to provide fire support for an infantry battalion on the front, he eventually found himself in the midst of intense fighting for a relatively unknown and unimportant hill, code named Outpost Kelly.
Those four days of battle against Chinese forces form the heart of this memoir, which is unique in its focus on the hill fighting that dominated two thirds of the Korean War. Trained to take advantage of his tanks’ mobility, his orders—to provide direct fire support for advancing infantry—along with the mountainous terrain and the torrential monsoon rains that created shin-deep fields of impenetrable mud, forced him to abandon doctrine and improvise.
At the height of the fighting, Siewert was able to bring to bear the guns from only one of his five tanks against the enemy. Nevertheless, his platoon played a key role in allowing members of the 15th Infantry to retake Outpost Kelly, and he offers an excellent analysis of how theory and experience come together in a point-of-the-spear military situation.
Siewert's platoon played a key role in allowing members of the 15th Infantry to retake Outpost Kelly, and he offers an excellent analysis of how theory and experience come together in a point-of-the-spear military situation. Outpost Kelly also paints a fascinating picture of the type of fighting, often overlooked, that characterized the second and third years of the Korean War. With truce talks proceeding in Panmunjom, both sides fought to claim incremental pieces of real estate along the demarcation line between North and South.
In the grand scheme of the war, the battle for Outpost Kelly might not ahce meant much. But for 3rd Infantry Division, and the men, like Jack Siewert, who fought there, it was the entire focal point of the war during the last four days of July, 1952.

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Passing the Test

Combat in Korea, April-June 1951

edited by William T. Bowers and John T. Greenwood

For U.S. and UN soldiers fighting the Korean War, the spring of 1951 was brutal. The troops faced a tough and determined foe under challenging conditions. The Chinese Spring Offensive of 1951 exemplified the hardships of the war, as the UN forces struggled with the Chinese troops over Line Kansas, a phase line north of the 38th parallel, in a conflict that led to the war’s final stalemate. Passing the Test: Combat in Korea, April–June 1951 explores the UN responses to the offensive in detail, looking closely at combat from the perspectives of platoons, squads, and the men themselves. Editors William T. Bowers and John T. Greenwood emphasize the tactical operations on the front lines and examine U.S. and UN strategy, as well as the operations of the Communist Chinese and North Korean forces. They employ a variety of sources, including interviews conducted by U.S. Army historians within hours or days of combat, unit journals, and after action reports, to deliver a comprehensive narrative of the offensive and its battles. Passing the Test highlights the experiences of individual soldiers, providing unique insights into the chaos, perseverance, and heroism of war. The interviews offer a firsthand account that is untainted by nostalgia and later literature, illuminating the events that unfolded on the battlefields of Korea.

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The Quiet Professional

Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces

Alan Hoe

Major Richard J. “Dick” Meadows is renowned in military circles as a key figure in the development of the U.S. Army Special Operations. A highly decorated war veteran of the engagements in Korea and Vietnam, Meadows was instrumental in the founding of the U.S. Delta Force and hostage rescue force. Although he officially retired in 1977, Meadows could never leave the army behind, and he went undercover in the clandestine operations to free American hostages from Iran in 1980. The Quiet Professional: Major Richard J. Meadows of the U.S. Army Special Forces is the only biography of this exemplary soldier’s life. Military historian Alan Hoe offers unique insight into Meadows, having served alongside him in 1960. The Quiet Professional is an insider’s account that gives a human face to U.S. military strategy during the cold war. Major Meadows often claimed that he never achieved anything significant; The Quiet Professional proves otherwise, showcasing one of the great military minds of twentieth-century America.

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Slinging the Bull in Korea

An Adventure in Psychological Warfare

John Martin Campbell With an introduction by Katherine Kallestad

Campbell's time in Korea became an extended adventure in applied psychology. Among the many useful features of this rare Korean War memoir are Campbell's insights into the philosophies of Communist and democratic countries that would shape each other throughout the Cold War as the superpowers struggled for the hearts and minds of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The psy-ops struggles to manipulate America's adversaries set the stage for forty years of subtle and not-so-subtle attempts to sway the enemy by nonlethal means.

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Spare Not the Brave

The Special Activities Group in Korea

The Special Activities Group (SAG) and its subordinate companies have received little attention from historians, despite being an elite combat unit and participating in highly classified and dangerous missions in Korea. Rarely receiving more attention than a footnote, their story usually begins and ends on the night of September 12, 1950, with an amphibious raid near Kunsan. Until their inactivation on March 31, 1951, SAG simply disappears from most Korean War histories. Spare Not the Brave corrects this omission.

Spare Not the Brave tells the story of the extraordinary missions carried out by this group of extraordinary soldiers. Recruited primarily from the Far East Command headquarters, these men received six weeks of training and then were thrust into combat in Korea. Boarding rubber boats in the Yellow Sea and paddling to shore far behind enemy lines, they conducted a diversionary landing near Kunsan, then landed at Inchon, and sailed to the Wonsan area of North Korea. There, SAG was augmented with a battalion of South Korean soldiers. Together they conducted counter-guerrilla operations until overwhelming Chinese intervention forced all Allied units to withdraw from the North. Those critical missions continued into the difficult fighting of early 1951.

Much of this volume is based upon the words of the participants themselves. Using previously obscure primary sources, oral histories, and official records, author Richard L. Kiper tells this unit’s riveting tale. Wherever possible, first-person accounts have been verified and supplemented with official reports, maps, and documents. Drawing on his twenty-six years of infantry and special forces experience, Kiper brings critical analysis and insight to this previously untold story. Spare Not the Brave fills a gap in the historiography of the Korean War and adds a valuable chapter to the history of U.S. Army special operations.

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