Korean War 70 years later Win Lose and A draw


weig2000

Senior Member
I humbly apologise for this guys.

No worry. I visited the FB source that you linked. The original poster of the video did not make it clear, I was tricked by it too until I found the guancha.com report, which points out the misinformation. This kind of behavior, no matter his/her intention, is distasteful, and in this particular case, an insult to the bravery soldiers died in that winter.

In this forum, we always see some fake military news created by people somewhere. Stuff happens.
 

gadgetcool5

Junior Member
Registered Member
Hi weig2000,

The contrast between the Chinese performance in the Korean War and the one in the Chinese -Japanese war is mind boggling. The former we fought to a stalemate a superpower and ill equip at that, while the latter being defeated by a 3rd rate power. :mad: with heavy military support from the US. What the heck happen!!!!!:confused:

* In the former the US did not go all out. It did not attack mainland China nor did it use nuclear weapons. Once they suffered a surprise defeat in North Korea, they gave up their objectives of reunifying the peninsula very quickly. The reason why the US did not go all out and instead limited its objectives is because they were afraid the Korean War would spiral into a wider conflict with Soviet intervention, which would lead to WW3. At that time world leaders of that generation lived through two world wars which started as small conflicts that spiraled into WW1 and WW2. The US leaders, especially Truman, did not want to commit to the Korean War too heavily because a higher priority was to defeat Europe from a Soviet attack. If the US went all out trying to defeat China and committed the bulk of its troops, it would be exposed on the European front. For the Americans, Korea was a low priority.

* In contrast, the Japanese did not have any other fronts to worry about in 1937 and committed the full bulk of their forces against China. Initially, they too suffered setbacks and despite having the initiative, it took 3 months to conquer Shanghai. But once Chiang Kai-Shek ran out of imported fighters and tanks and lost air superiority, and lost his best troops, it was over.

In reality, the US army was more powerful than the Japanese army, and if the US had gone all out against China including with nuclear weapons, China would not have stood a chance. But they refrained due to the Soviet Union. (The same thing with the Vietnam War where the North Vietnamese were helped by China and ultimately the Soviet Union).

In both the Korean and Vietnam War the Soviet Union was the "hidden participant". They did not directly send armies to fight, but they were the shadow lurking in the background that limited US commitment to the wars and guaranteed their defeat.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
* In the former the US did not go all out. It did not attack mainland China nor did it use nuclear weapons. Once they suffered a surprise defeat in North Korea, they gave up their objectives of reunifying the peninsula very quickly. The reason why the US did not go all out and instead limited its objectives is because they were afraid the Korean War would spiral into a wider conflict with Soviet intervention, which would lead to WW3. At that time world leaders of that generation lived through two world wars which started as small conflicts that spiraled into WW1 and WW2. The US leaders, especially Truman, did not want to commit to the Korean War too heavily because a higher priority was to defeat Europe from a Soviet attack. If the US went all out trying to defeat China and committed the bulk of its troops, it would be exposed on the European front. For the Americans, Korea was a low priority.

* In contrast, the Japanese did not have any other fronts to worry about in 1937 and committed the full bulk of their forces against China. Initially, they too suffered setbacks and despite having the initiative, it took 3 months to conquer Shanghai. But once Chiang Kai-Shek ran out of imported fighters and tanks and lost air superiority, and lost his best troops, it was over.

In reality, the US army was more powerful than the Japanese army, and if the US had gone all out against China including with nuclear weapons, China would not have stood a chance. But they refrained due to the Soviet Union. (The same thing with the Vietnam War where the North Vietnamese were helped by China and ultimately the Soviet Union).

In both the Korean and Vietnam War the Soviet Union was the "hidden participant". They did not directly send armies to fight, but they were the shadow lurking in the background that limited US commitment to the wars and guaranteed their defeat.

Does everything have to go nuclear to prove a point? If India got its ass kicked by Pakistan and lost an F-16 in a battle and India turns around and says "Well, we didn't lose because we did not use our nuclear weapon." Is this kind of mentality similar to yours above?
 

LawLeadsToPeace

Junior Member
Registered Member
* In the former the US did not go all out. It did not attack mainland China nor did it use nuclear weapons. Once they suffered a surprise defeat in North Korea, they gave up their objectives of reunifying the peninsula very quickly. The reason why the US did not go all out and instead limited its objectives is because they were afraid the Korean War would spiral into a wider conflict with Soviet intervention, which would lead to WW3. At that time world leaders of that generation lived through two world wars which started as small conflicts that spiraled into WW1 and WW2. The US leaders, especially Truman, did not want to commit to the Korean War too heavily because a higher priority was to defeat Europe from a Soviet attack. If the US went all out trying to defeat China and committed the bulk of its troops, it would be exposed on the European front. For the Americans, Korea was a low priority.

* In contrast, the Japanese did not have any other fronts to worry about in 1937 and committed the full bulk of their forces against China. Initially, they too suffered setbacks and despite having the initiative, it took 3 months to conquer Shanghai. But once Chiang Kai-Shek ran out of imported fighters and tanks and lost air superiority, and lost his best troops, it was over.

In reality, the US army was more powerful than the Japanese army, and if the US had gone all out against China including with nuclear weapons, China would not have stood a chance. But they refrained due to the Soviet Union. (The same thing with the Vietnam War where the North Vietnamese were helped by China and ultimately the Soviet Union).

In both the Korean and Vietnam War the Soviet Union was the "hidden participant". They did not directly send armies to fight, but they were the shadow lurking in the background that limited US commitment to the wars and guaranteed their defeat.
The US believed that the Chinese and particularly the Soviets wouldn't intervene. While they didn't put all their effort into the Korean War like what you said, the US wanted to actively contain communism in Asia since they learned their lesson from the Chinese Civil War. So, Korea was definitely a priority, and the war definitely influenced future US anti-Communist policies and may have planted the US's pro-military stance that is prevalent to this day. As for the US not going all out, it wasn't only because of the Soviets. The two reasons why the US didn't go all out was because: 1. The Chinese proved to be a dangerous enemy, especially when they are fully backed by the Soviets. 2. Like what you said, the Soviets would have been dragged in, and the US would have to directly face a multi-front war. As for nukes, you are correct in that regard.
 

solarz

Brigadier
* In the former the US did not go all out. It did not attack mainland China nor did it use nuclear weapons. Once they suffered a surprise defeat in North Korea, they gave up their objectives of reunifying the peninsula very quickly. The reason why the US did not go all out and instead limited its objectives is because they were afraid the Korean War would spiral into a wider conflict with Soviet intervention, which would lead to WW3. At that time world leaders of that generation lived through two world wars which started as small conflicts that spiraled into WW1 and WW2. The US leaders, especially Truman, did not want to commit to the Korean War too heavily because a higher priority was to defeat Europe from a Soviet attack. If the US went all out trying to defeat China and committed the bulk of its troops, it would be exposed on the European front. For the Americans, Korea was a low priority.

* In contrast, the Japanese did not have any other fronts to worry about in 1937 and committed the full bulk of their forces against China. Initially, they too suffered setbacks and despite having the initiative, it took 3 months to conquer Shanghai. But once Chiang Kai-Shek ran out of imported fighters and tanks and lost air superiority, and lost his best troops, it was over.

In reality, the US army was more powerful than the Japanese army, and if the US had gone all out against China including with nuclear weapons, China would not have stood a chance. But they refrained due to the Soviet Union. (The same thing with the Vietnam War where the North Vietnamese were helped by China and ultimately the Soviet Union).

In both the Korean and Vietnam War the Soviet Union was the "hidden participant". They did not directly send armies to fight, but they were the shadow lurking in the background that limited US commitment to the wars and guaranteed their defeat.

Spoken like a true hanjian.
 

weig2000

Senior Member
You would think that MSM had forgotten the Korean War even on its 70th anniversary, in this most unforgettable year. But The Economist didi manage to publish a commemorating piece in its latest issue.

“America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.” -- This is American side estimates; the latest official Chinese death toll is 197,653, plus 20,000+ MIA.

The battle of Chosin Reservoir
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When America and China went to war

SEVENTY YEARS ago this month, Mao Zedong’s peasant army inflicted one of the worst military defeats on America in the country’s history. Over two weeks his “volunteer” fighters drove an army of 350,000 American soldiers and marines and their Korean allies the length of North Korea, from the Chinese border to hasty evacuations by land and sea. Though the Chinese suffered terrible casualties in the process and the war would continue for another three years (and technically has not ended), the American-led UN force never again threatened to reunify the peninsula.

This humiliation was made worse by the fact that General Douglas MacArthur, the force’s megalomaniacal supremo, had only weeks before assured Harry Truman that the Chinese would not cross the Yalu river. His commanders duly denied that they had. When that became incredible, they claimed the cruelly ill-equipped Chinese—wearing cotton uniforms and canvas shoes for a high-altitude war fought at minus 30°C—were not a serious foe. An American general called them “a bunch of laundrymen”.

It was classic superpower hubris, deserving of the contempt expressed by Xi Jinping at a grand 70th-anniversary event in October. Having emerged victorious from the second world war, with fewer casualties than any other major participant (America’s covid death-toll is almost equal to its second-world-war combat toll), America in 1950 had a dangerous sense of impregnability, a racially infused contempt for Asian capability and a few generals with absurdly inflated status, including MacArthur. It might seem little wonder that America, consumed by the contemporary embarrassment of its president’s effort to steal an election, is barely commemorating its first and only war with China.

That does not denote shame, however. Notwithstanding Americans’ dewy-eyed view of their forces, public knowledge of their victories and defeats is similarly thin. American schools do not teach much military history and democracies do not mobilise people through a militaristic view of the past. In the case of the Korean war, the first “limited” war of the nuclear age, before that concept was well-understood, the forgetting has merely been especially pronounced. Yet the war retains cautionary lessons for both sides.

On one level it encapsulated the superpower’s enduring ability to self-correct. This was apparent even amid the debacle—as illustrated by the battlefield recollections Lexington heard this week from Jack Luckett, a 91-year-old retired marine. He was occupying a ridge above Chosin Reservoir, close to the northernmost point of MacArthur’s advance, on the night of November 27th 1950. Awakened by explosions, he saw a column of Chinese—eight men across—advancing in the glow of the defensive flares they had triggered. “We were vastly outnumbered,” he said. “We opened fire but they kept on coming. They were blowing bugles and firing on us while pouring down both sides of the ridge.”

Mao’s intelligence chiefs had assured him that, for all their superior technology, American soldiers lacked the belly for a fight. The ensuing 17-day battle, which Mr Luckett fought through until frostbite laid him low, gave the lie to that. Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese, the 1st Marine Division broke out and made a heroic fighting retreat through the frozen mountains. The marines—and a small British contingent fighting alongside them—suffered terrible casualties; only 11 of Mr Luckett’s company of 250 survived unscathed. Yet they evacuated their wounded and equipment while inflicting a far heavier toll on the Chinese. Mr Luckett’s marine division was reckoned to have disabled seven Chinese ones.

For a military institution whose small size, relative to the US army, has fuelled a tradition of mythologising and introspection, “Frozen Chosin” ranks alongside “Iwo Jima” in importance. “It’s not an overstatement to say marines credit the marines who fought in Korea with ending the debate about whether there should be a marine corps,” says General Joseph Dunford, a former marine-corps commandant (and recently retired chairman of the joint chiefs of staff). His father celebrated his 20th birthday at Chosin reservoir on the day of the Chinese attack.

In the soul-searching that followed the American retreat, notes Max Hastings, a British historian, it is possible to see a familiar debate about the kind of superpower America should be. Deaf to the entreaties of allies, MacArthur refused to accept the limits to American power that his incompetence had helped display. He wanted to nuke the Chinese. Truman resisted and, after MacArthur sneakily appealed to his Republican backers in Congress, sacked the revered general. It may have cost him a second term. It also set a gold standard for civil-military relations that has since prevailed.

Truman’s multilateralism and restraint were also vindicated when his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower, maintained his conduct of the war. Better military leadership had by then stabilised the situation. America and China would both settle for their initial aims: respectively, securing South Korea, which would become one of the big successes of the late 20th century, and securing a Korean buffer against America’s presence in Asia. America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.

First know your enemy
That Americans are not more interested in this momentous past ultimately reflects their restless democracy, which is too consumed by contemporary dramas to dwell on history. Current appearances notwithstanding, it is the source of American strength. Yet it is important to underline two lessons from America’s war with China. In a fog of misunderstanding, each side fatally underestimated the other. And each had a flawed idea of the other’s red lines, the tripwires that turn competition into conflict. The situation today might look very different. The two countries’ interdependence and mutual awareness are on another plane. But their potential for underestimation and misunderstanding is still hauntingly present; and perhaps growing with their rivalry.
 

Aniah

Junior Member
Registered Member
You would think that MSM had forgotten the Korean War even on its 70th anniversary, in this most unforgettable year. But The Economist didi manage to publish a commemorating piece in its latest issue.

“America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.” -- This is American side estimates; the latest official Chinese death toll is 197,653, plus 20,000+ MIA.

The battle of Chosin Reservoir
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

When America and China went to war

SEVENTY YEARS ago this month, Mao Zedong’s peasant army inflicted one of the worst military defeats on America in the country’s history. Over two weeks his “volunteer” fighters drove an army of 350,000 American soldiers and marines and their Korean allies the length of North Korea, from the Chinese border to hasty evacuations by land and sea. Though the Chinese suffered terrible casualties in the process and the war would continue for another three years (and technically has not ended), the American-led UN force never again threatened to reunify the peninsula.

This humiliation was made worse by the fact that General Douglas MacArthur, the force’s megalomaniacal supremo, had only weeks before assured Harry Truman that the Chinese would not cross the Yalu river. His commanders duly denied that they had. When that became incredible, they claimed the cruelly ill-equipped Chinese—wearing cotton uniforms and canvas shoes for a high-altitude war fought at minus 30°C—were not a serious foe. An American general called them “a bunch of laundrymen”.

It was classic superpower hubris, deserving of the contempt expressed by Xi Jinping at a grand 70th-anniversary event in October. Having emerged victorious from the second world war, with fewer casualties than any other major participant (America’s covid death-toll is almost equal to its second-world-war combat toll), America in 1950 had a dangerous sense of impregnability, a racially infused contempt for Asian capability and a few generals with absurdly inflated status, including MacArthur. It might seem little wonder that America, consumed by the contemporary embarrassment of its president’s effort to steal an election, is barely commemorating its first and only war with China.

That does not denote shame, however. Notwithstanding Americans’ dewy-eyed view of their forces, public knowledge of their victories and defeats is similarly thin. American schools do not teach much military history and democracies do not mobilise people through a militaristic view of the past. In the case of the Korean war, the first “limited” war of the nuclear age, before that concept was well-understood, the forgetting has merely been especially pronounced. Yet the war retains cautionary lessons for both sides.

On one level it encapsulated the superpower’s enduring ability to self-correct. This was apparent even amid the debacle—as illustrated by the battlefield recollections Lexington heard this week from Jack Luckett, a 91-year-old retired marine. He was occupying a ridge above Chosin Reservoir, close to the northernmost point of MacArthur’s advance, on the night of November 27th 1950. Awakened by explosions, he saw a column of Chinese—eight men across—advancing in the glow of the defensive flares they had triggered. “We were vastly outnumbered,” he said. “We opened fire but they kept on coming. They were blowing bugles and firing on us while pouring down both sides of the ridge.”

Mao’s intelligence chiefs had assured him that, for all their superior technology, American soldiers lacked the belly for a fight. The ensuing 17-day battle, which Mr Luckett fought through until frostbite laid him low, gave the lie to that. Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese, the 1st Marine Division broke out and made a heroic fighting retreat through the frozen mountains. The marines—and a small British contingent fighting alongside them—suffered terrible casualties; only 11 of Mr Luckett’s company of 250 survived unscathed. Yet they evacuated their wounded and equipment while inflicting a far heavier toll on the Chinese. Mr Luckett’s marine division was reckoned to have disabled seven Chinese ones.

For a military institution whose small size, relative to the US army, has fuelled a tradition of mythologising and introspection, “Frozen Chosin” ranks alongside “Iwo Jima” in importance. “It’s not an overstatement to say marines credit the marines who fought in Korea with ending the debate about whether there should be a marine corps,” says General Joseph Dunford, a former marine-corps commandant (and recently retired chairman of the joint chiefs of staff). His father celebrated his 20th birthday at Chosin reservoir on the day of the Chinese attack.

In the soul-searching that followed the American retreat, notes Max Hastings, a British historian, it is possible to see a familiar debate about the kind of superpower America should be. Deaf to the entreaties of allies, MacArthur refused to accept the limits to American power that his incompetence had helped display. He wanted to nuke the Chinese. Truman resisted and, after MacArthur sneakily appealed to his Republican backers in Congress, sacked the revered general. It may have cost him a second term. It also set a gold standard for civil-military relations that has since prevailed.

Truman’s multilateralism and restraint were also vindicated when his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower, maintained his conduct of the war. Better military leadership had by then stabilised the situation. America and China would both settle for their initial aims: respectively, securing South Korea, which would become one of the big successes of the late 20th century, and securing a Korean buffer against America’s presence in Asia. America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.

First know your enemy
That Americans are not more interested in this momentous past ultimately reflects their restless democracy, which is too consumed by contemporary dramas to dwell on history. Current appearances notwithstanding, it is the source of American strength. Yet it is important to underline two lessons from America’s war with China. In a fog of misunderstanding, each side fatally underestimated the other. And each had a flawed idea of the other’s red lines, the tripwires that turn competition into conflict. The situation today might look very different. The two countries’ interdependence and mutual awareness are on another plane. But their potential for underestimation and misunderstanding is still hauntingly present; and perhaps growing with their rivalry.
This entire essay feels like a bandage for the wound. So many uses of "interesting" words for the Chinese side. I'm getting the mentality of "we didn't lose the war since they lost more men!" from this.
 

Gatekeeper

Brigadier
Registered Member
You would think that MSM had forgotten the Korean War even on its 70th anniversary, in this most unforgettable year. But The Economist didi manage to publish a commemorating piece in its latest issue.

“America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.” -- This is American side estimates; the latest official Chinese death toll is 197,653, plus 20,000+ MIA.

The battle of Chosin Reservoir
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

When America and China went to war

SEVENTY YEARS ago this month, Mao Zedong’s peasant army inflicted one of the worst military defeats on America in the country’s history. Over two weeks his “volunteer” fighters drove an army of 350,000 American soldiers and marines and their Korean allies the length of North Korea, from the Chinese border to hasty evacuations by land and sea. Though the Chinese suffered terrible casualties in the process and the war would continue for another three years (and technically has not ended), the American-led UN force never again threatened to reunify the peninsula.

This humiliation was made worse by the fact that General Douglas MacArthur, the force’s megalomaniacal supremo, had only weeks before assured Harry Truman that the Chinese would not cross the Yalu river. His commanders duly denied that they had. When that became incredible, they claimed the cruelly ill-equipped Chinese—wearing cotton uniforms and canvas shoes for a high-altitude war fought at minus 30°C—were not a serious foe. An American general called them “a bunch of laundrymen”.

It was classic superpower hubris, deserving of the contempt expressed by Xi Jinping at a grand 70th-anniversary event in October. Having emerged victorious from the second world war, with fewer casualties than any other major participant (America’s covid death-toll is almost equal to its second-world-war combat toll), America in 1950 had a dangerous sense of impregnability, a racially infused contempt for Asian capability and a few generals with absurdly inflated status, including MacArthur. It might seem little wonder that America, consumed by the contemporary embarrassment of its president’s effort to steal an election, is barely commemorating its first and only war with China.

That does not denote shame, however. Notwithstanding Americans’ dewy-eyed view of their forces, public knowledge of their victories and defeats is similarly thin. American schools do not teach much military history and democracies do not mobilise people through a militaristic view of the past. In the case of the Korean war, the first “limited” war of the nuclear age, before that concept was well-understood, the forgetting has merely been especially pronounced. Yet the war retains cautionary lessons for both sides.

On one level it encapsulated the superpower’s enduring ability to self-correct. This was apparent even amid the debacle—as illustrated by the battlefield recollections Lexington heard this week from Jack Luckett, a 91-year-old retired marine. He was occupying a ridge above Chosin Reservoir, close to the northernmost point of MacArthur’s advance, on the night of November 27th 1950. Awakened by explosions, he saw a column of Chinese—eight men across—advancing in the glow of the defensive flares they had triggered. “We were vastly outnumbered,” he said. “We opened fire but they kept on coming. They were blowing bugles and firing on us while pouring down both sides of the ridge.”

Mao’s intelligence chiefs had assured him that, for all their superior technology, American soldiers lacked the belly for a fight. The ensuing 17-day battle, which Mr Luckett fought through until frostbite laid him low, gave the lie to that. Surrounded by 120,000 Chinese, the 1st Marine Division broke out and made a heroic fighting retreat through the frozen mountains. The marines—and a small British contingent fighting alongside them—suffered terrible casualties; only 11 of Mr Luckett’s company of 250 survived unscathed. Yet they evacuated their wounded and equipment while inflicting a far heavier toll on the Chinese. Mr Luckett’s marine division was reckoned to have disabled seven Chinese ones.

For a military institution whose small size, relative to the US army, has fuelled a tradition of mythologising and introspection, “Frozen Chosin” ranks alongside “Iwo Jima” in importance. “It’s not an overstatement to say marines credit the marines who fought in Korea with ending the debate about whether there should be a marine corps,” says General Joseph Dunford, a former marine-corps commandant (and recently retired chairman of the joint chiefs of staff). His father celebrated his 20th birthday at Chosin reservoir on the day of the Chinese attack.

In the soul-searching that followed the American retreat, notes Max Hastings, a British historian, it is possible to see a familiar debate about the kind of superpower America should be. Deaf to the entreaties of allies, MacArthur refused to accept the limits to American power that his incompetence had helped display. He wanted to nuke the Chinese. Truman resisted and, after MacArthur sneakily appealed to his Republican backers in Congress, sacked the revered general. It may have cost him a second term. It also set a gold standard for civil-military relations that has since prevailed.

Truman’s multilateralism and restraint were also vindicated when his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower, maintained his conduct of the war. Better military leadership had by then stabilised the situation. America and China would both settle for their initial aims: respectively, securing South Korea, which would become one of the big successes of the late 20th century, and securing a Korean buffer against America’s presence in Asia. America lost 40,000 lives in the process; China maybe ten times as many.

First know your enemy
That Americans are not more interested in this momentous past ultimately reflects their restless democracy, which is too consumed by contemporary dramas to dwell on history. Current appearances notwithstanding, it is the source of American strength. Yet it is important to underline two lessons from America’s war with China. In a fog of misunderstanding, each side fatally underestimated the other. And each had a flawed idea of the other’s red lines, the tripwires that turn competition into conflict. The situation today might look very different. The two countries’ interdependence and mutual awareness are on another plane. But their potential for underestimation and misunderstanding is still hauntingly present; and perhaps growing with their rivalry.

This entire essay feels like a bandage for the wound. So many uses of "interesting" words for the Chinese side. I'm getting the mentality of "we didn't lose the war since they lost more men!" from this.

Surprisingly more "neutral" piece from the economists. However, from my reading of It, is they are still trying to put a gloss on this. Bandages over wounds that won't heal is more like it. And the wound are no longer physical, it's mental psychology of the whole nation.
 

2handedswordsman

Junior Member
Registered Member
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Very interesting read, a perspective from mainland. Also a very nice content on this site if ineterested in mainland pov in general.

*To mister Gadgetcool, no mate, US hesitated to use nukes in Korean war because Soviets had nukes already ;)
 

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