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An International History
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.
" 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
No Victors, No Vanquished
The Korean War has been termed "The Forgotten War" or the "Unknown War." It is a conflict which never assumed the mythic character of the American Civil War or World War II. However, this book asserts, it would be impossible to understand the Cold War and indeed post 1945 global history without knowledge of the Korean War.
Providing a history of the Korean peninsula before the war and including a detailed analysis of the fighting itself, The Korean War goes beyond the battlefield to deal with the war in the air, ground attack, and air evacuation. The study also evaluates the contributions of the UN naval forces, the impact of the war on various homefronts and issues such as defectors, opposition to the war, racial segregation and integration, POWs and the media.
Recently-released Soviet documents are used to assess the role of China, the Soviet Union, North and South Korea and the allied forces in the conflict. This fascinating work offers a unique analysis of the Korean War and will be invaluable to students of twentieth-century history, particularly those concerned with American and Pacific history.
Combat in Korea, January-February 1951
Many combat veterans refuse to discuss their experiences on the line. With the passage of time and the unreliability of memory, it becomes difficult to understand the true nature of war. In The Line: Combat in Korea, January--February 1951, retired Army colonel William T. Bowers uses firsthand, eyewitness accounts of the Korean War to offer readers an intimate look at the heroism and horror of the battlefront. These interviews of soldiers on the ground are particularly telling because they were conducted by Army historians immediately following combat. Known as the "forgotten war," the action in Korea lasted from June 1950 until July 1953 and was particularly savage for its combatants. During the first few months of the war, American and U.N. soldiers conducted rapid advances and hasty withdrawals, risky amphibious landings and dangerous evacuations, all while facing extreme weather conditions. In early 1951, the first winter of the war, frigid cold and severe winds complicated combat operations. As U.N. forces in Korea retreated from an oncoming Chinese and North Korean attack, U.S. commanders feared they would be forced to withdraw from occupation and admit to a Communist victory. Using interviews and extensive historical research, The Line analyzes how American troops fought the enemy to a standstill over this pivotal two-month period, reversing the course of the war. In early 1951, the war had nearly been lost, but by February's end, there existed the possibility of preserving an independent South Korea. Bowers compellingly illustrates how a series of small successes at the regiment, battalion, company, platoon, squad, and soldier levels ensured that the line was held against the North Korean enemy. The Line is the first of three volumes detailing combat during the Korean War. Each book focuses on the combat experiences of individual soldiers and junior leaders. Bowers enhances our understanding of combat by providing explanatory analysis and supplemental information from official records, giving readers a complete picture of combat operations in this understudied theatre. Through searing firsthand accounts and an intense focus on this brief but critical time frame, The Line offers new insights into U.S. military operations during the twentieth century and guarantees that the sacrifices of these courageous soldiers will not be lost to history.
An Army Surgeon in Korea
" 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.
Defending Outpost Harry
“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
A Tanker's Story
Combat in Korea, April-June 1951
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.