Tanks and the Korean War: A case study of unpreparedness
Armor; Sep/Oct 2000; George F Hofmann;
Start Page: 7-12
When the US Army went to war with Korea, it found itself unprepared to fight
and win the first and succeeding battles. Hofmann argues that the
unpreparedness was due to massive underfunding and poorly managed
demobilization after World War II.
"I believe we need to read the lessons closely lest we repeat, at
inestimable cost, the mistakes for which we paid so dear a price."
General Matthew B. Ridgway The Korean War (1967)
As the U.S. Army went to war in Korea in June 1950, it once again found
itself unprepared to fight and win the first and succeeding battles._1_ In
order to understand why the Army was unprepared, we must examine the postwar
development of doctrine regarding mechanized warfare with tanks as the main
On the eve of the Korean War, the nation's defense establishment had set
aside much of what had been learned about the conventional combined arms
armor doctrine so successfully demonstrated in Western Europe in World War
II, and instead had begun to depend on nuclear weapons delivered by air
power. As this was happening, the Army was digesting the war's lessons,
attempting significant changes in organizations, weapons systems
development, and doctrine, based on the success of the combined arms
approach developed during the war.
It was quite evident that the tank had revolutionized battlefield dynamics.
The armored force that swept across Europe had learned some important
lessons, chiefly that it was essential for ground forces and tactical air to
fight in combination, and that tanks could not operate independently in
battle. Another lesson was that it was important to have tank units organic
to infantry divisions, and consequently, a tank battalion was made organic
to each infantry division to assist in the assault._2_ Armor was expected to
exploit the breakthrough, then strike out to pursue the enemy. In short, the
Army believed that the combined arms team, built around the tank, could make
operational level exploitation possible.
One doctrinal milestone emerged in January 1946, with the "Report of the War
Department Equipment Board," the Stilwell Board, which was named after its
president, the respected General Joseph W. Stilwell. Based on immediate
postwar reports from Europe on tactical employment of armored and infantry
divisions, one of its many recommendations called for establishment of a
combined arms force to conduct extended service tests of new weapons and
equipment. The board suggested that this proposed combined arms force
formulate a doctrine for its employment, specifically aimed at providing a
ready force quickly available for any military contingency.
The report proposed three types of tanks: a light tank for reconnaissance
and security; a medium tank capable of assault action, exploitation, and
pursuit; and a heavy tank capable of assault action and breakthrough. The
board also recognized the importance of developing components specifically
for tanks rather than relying, as in the past, on standard automotive
components. It was now accepted that the tank was a special vehicle.
Finally, the board based its recommendations on the idea that the next war
would again be total, with the use of air power and atomic weapons, and that
victory could only be achieved by occupying the enemy's territory._3_
Based on another recommendation of the Stilwell Board, the commander of the
Army Ground Forces, General Jacob L. Devers, disbanded the tank destroyer
branch. Tank destroyer doctrine was no more than an early World War II
defensive response to the threat of mechanized warfare and its main ground
maneuver element, the tank. But as the war progressed, tanks improved and
accounted for most of the tank-on-tank combat. By the end of the war, the
M26 Pershing tank offered better armor protection than the openturreted tank
destroyers and mounted a 90mm gun as good or better than the guns on the
As the Army was steeply down-sizing, it would be difficult, if not
impossible, to implement the Stilwell Board's recommendations. The cuts were
so drastic that during his tour as Army Chief of Staff, between November
1945 and February 1948, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked
that implementing the rapid demobilization of the wartime army was more
unpleasant than being head of the occupation forces in Germany. His tenure
as Chief of Staff, Eisenhower noted, was full of frustrations. The wartime
Army was falling apart, rather than demobilizing, while he was struggling
with Congress over budgetary problems and the public outcry to "bring the
boys home." Adding to this dilemma, troop discontent over inequities in
demobilization almost turned into a mutiny. Eisenhower struggled with the
need to redeploy the Army for occupation duties in Germany, Austria, Japan,
and Korea, and there was an ongoing debate over the unification of the
Although the U.S. had developed more modern tanks, the WWII-era Sherman
M4A3E8s carried the burden of much of the fighting early in the Korean War.
Speaking on national security at the Nebraska Fair in Lincoln on August 31,
1947, General Devers observed that during the two years after the end of
hostilities in Europe and the Pacific, the United States demobilized the
Army and Navy, "until it became evident that, with every reduction in the
power at our disposal, there was a corresponding deterioration in the
international situation."_6_ Even before the war had ended in Europe, the
Secretary of State advised the War Department of serious deterioration of
relations with the Soviet Union. A year later, Secretary of State James
Byrnes had painted a very pessimistic picture regarding Soviet aggressive
tendencies in Eastern Europe._7_ These developments made the international
situation more unstable, yet the President was implementing a defense policy
based on deep cuts in conventional military expenditures in favor of
reliance on nuclear power delivered by air.
General Devers reacted with criticism of the nation's policy makers. He
claimed they had missed opportunities to educate the public about world
problems. Regarding the future Army, he said he was disappointed that
Congress was resisting the President's and War Department's plan for
universal military training, which was necessary to fill the ranks of the
National Guard and Organized Reserves. Devers argued that since the bulk of
the Regular Army was on occupation duty and garrisoning United States
territories, there would be a major manpower problem if a war occurred._8_ Two
years later, the Army would be stretched even further by the need to assign
ground troops to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which - along with
the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan - were part of the nation's new policy
of containing Soviet expansionism.
When the economy-minded Republicans gained control of both houses in
Congress in the 1946 elections, the Army's future became even more vague.
Senator Robert A. Taft, an influential Republican isolationist, challenged
the country's postwar role in internationalism, and was a proponent of
limited government. The Ohio senator was not enthusiastic about committing
U.S. ground forces in Europe. Instead he supported the Navy and a policy of
reliance on air power and nuclear weapons for national defense._9_
Adding to the Army's predicament was the influence of atomic bomb scientist
and author Vannevar Bush, who was head of the Office of Scientific Research
and Development during World War II, and beginning in September 1947, the
director of the Joint Research and Development Board, created to resolve
technological differences between the several departments and agencies in
the military establishment. Earlier he had suggested to Congress that the
military limit its work to improvements in existing equipment rather than
perusing technological development. Shortly before the war started in Korea,
Bush wrote the Army Chief of Staff, General Omar N. Bradley, that the day of
the tank's dominance was fading. He argued that for the cost of one tank,
100 antitank guns could be built, using new ammunition to fight and hold
defensive lines in Europe against a preponderance of Soviet tanks._10_
Throughout this period Congress tenaciously held to its illusion of insular
security despite growing Soviet intransigence and aggressiveness. By
controlling the purse, Congress was able to influence a national strategic
policy, limiting military force levels and weapon systems development
programs. The Army suffered the most under the fiscal restraints of the
legislative branch, having its appropriations, especially for research and
development, cut each year until the war broke out in Korea. Before he left
office in February 1948, General Eisenhower warned that the unbalanced
budget situation had rendered the Army increasingly unable to mobilize in a
national emergency. The outgoing Army Chief of Staff stated that the Army
had in essence purchased no new equipment, including tanks, since World War
II. Therefore the Army, he warned, was in no situation to train and arm its
troops adequately to meet demands of emerging international threats.
Consequently, the ground forces reported state of readiness to deal with
contingencies and defensive plans were nothing but "mere scraps of paper,"
Military manpower continued to decline, not for a lack of volunteers, but
due to Army budget cuts. Despite an increasingly turbulent new world order,
the home front was more preoccupied with its move to suburbia, concern over
rising prices and inflation, labor unrest, a crisis in education, housing
shortages, and tax disputes. Meanwhile, the National Defense Act of 1947 had
separated the Air Force from the Army, giving it equal status with the Army
and Navy. The new Defense Department establishment, under a civilian head
with cabinet status, was intended to improve wartime operations of the
services, but instead politicized the process, making it difficult to
establish centralized planning due to multiservice bickering and squabbling
amongst the service chiefs. This increased the competition for military
technology funding during a period of budget constraints.
With the technologically driven air power proponents striving to achieve a
greater nuclear delivery capability and the Navy, traditionally the most
expensive of the military services, fighting for its share, there were
virtually no funds for armor research and development. This weakened the
Army's political situation, depriving the ground forces of the means to
develop a proper relationship between the doctrine and technology required
for mechanized warfighting as envisioned by the Stilwell Board.
The Truman Administration, continually driven by domestic policies that
focused more on the postwar economy and social programs, remained adamant
about defense cuts. In 1948, the Army had to impose an 80 percent reduction
in equipment requirements, thus deferring any equipment modernization. In
1948, when the Joint Chiefs of Staff submitted a $30 billion defense budget
based on their perceptions of national security needs, Truman capped their
budget at the $14.4 billion set in 1947 and progressively reduced in
succeeding fiscal years until January 1950, when it was reduced again to
$13.5 billion. Congress also reduced the authorized Army end-strength from
677,000 to 630,000. When North Korea invaded South Korea, the U.S. Army's
actual strength was only about 591,000 men. And only 6,000 serviceable tanks
remained in 1950 of the more than 28,000 tanks the country had at the end of
World War II._12_
Although President Truman blamed rapid post-World War II demobilization of
America's mighty military force on the people, the press, and Congress, he
also went to great lengths to hold down defense spending._13_ Truman's
ambitious Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, whose economy drive on the
eve of the Korean War again fell heavily on the Army, best illustrated this.
Johnson believed that the best national defense policy rested on nuclear air
power. Unlike Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Acheson favored a more
flexible policy based on deployable military power that would enhance
American diplomacy. This policy found support in a recommendation made
shortly before the invasion of South Korea in a secret National Security
Council study (NSC-68), which called for a stronger ground force to deal
with increasing challenges caused by the spread of communism worldwide._14_
Secretary Acheson, however, defined the country's strategic defensive
perimeter along a line that included Japan and Taiwan but did not include
Korea, a country where the Joint Chiefs of Staff had earlier advised the
President that the United States had little strategic interest. They argued
that military retrenchment and budget cuts forced them to take U.S. military
forces out of Korea._15_ At the same time, there was disagreement between the
Central Intelligence Agency and Army Intelligence over the possible outcome.
The CIA advised that withdrawal of U.S. ground troops from South Korea in
the spring of 1949 would in time be followed by an invasion from the North.
The Army's Intelligence Division disagreed, claiming troop withdrawal would
not encourage a North Korean move._16_
Meanwhile, early in 1949, an advisory panel on armor reported that the U.S.
Army had no tank on production or in development capable of defeating the
types possessed by the country's potential enemies. The panel considered
this situation critical. Unless the Army's tank development situation was
improved, the panel reported, the United States would not have enough tanks
to support a major ground war for a least two and a half years after the
beginning of hostilities. One solution suggested was to take advantage of
America's great industrial capabilities and the mechanical aptitudes of its
A 1949 field manual emphasized the importance of the offensive role of
armor, noting that the faster armor moves and the quicker it accomplishes
its offensive mission of penetration and envelopment, the fewer the losses
and more effective the gains. Exploitation was considered a continuation of
penetration and envelopment. Tankers were expected to plan boldly and
execute their missions with aggressiveness and violence, employing
firepower, mobility, and speed._18_
In March 1950, the Hodge Report named after Lieutenant General John R.
Hodge, the post-World War II Army corps commander in Korea - stated that
armor was more effective when employed as part of the combined arms team of
tank, infantry, artillery, combat engineers, and tactical air power. Armor's
mission with the combined arms team was destruction of enemy forces with
firepower, mobility, and shock action. The report added that attacking
towards deep objectives in pursuit and exploitation over considerable
distances was the role for armor at the operational level. In the design of
tanks, the report stated, firepower, maneuverability, and mobility were more
important than armor protection, although armor remained important. Like the
Stilwell Board, it recommended tanks be organic to infantry regiments and
divisions, and that three types of functional tanks be developed.
Disheartened, the Hodge Report noted that Army research and development had
been curtailed and would likely be further reduced._19_
By 1950, Army doctrine had been revised in many ways; however, it was
basically a refinement of World War II experience. It was Eurocentric,
designed to fight a total war, rather than contingency operations in present
and future less-than-total war situations around the world_20_ Congressional
and White House actions had reduced nine of 10 Army divisions into
ineffective skeletons, impacting training. This was especially true of the
four occupation divisions stationed in Japan. That congested country and its
road conditions did not permit extensive training exercises, especially for
medium and heavy tanks. Moreover, because of the military austerity program,
these divisions were deficient in authorized tank strength. Rather than
having a standard complement of one heavy tank battalion of M26s and three
regimental medium tank companies of M4s, each division had only one company
of M24 Chaffee light tanks, no match for the Soviet-built T34/85 tanks that
the North Koreans Peoples' Army used to spearhead their invasion of South
On the eve of the Korean War, the Army had approximately 3,400 M24 light
tanks in the inventory, most of them unserviceable. In addition, there were
available approximately 3,200 M4A3E8 Sherman medium tanks of World War II
vintage, of which only a few more than half were serviceable._21_ The M4
mediums were the workhorse of U.S. ground troops during World War II. They
were not tactically capable of head-to-head engagement with German tanks.
Their battlefield success was due more to superior numbers and the ability
of U.S. tankers to maneuver to a position where a penetrating round could
find a weak spot._22_ To engage superior German tanks, the Army introduced,
late in the war, the heavier armed and armored M26 Pershing. However, the
first three M26s that were rushed to Korea from the Tokyo Ordnance Depot had
chronic problems, especially overheating engines and defective fan belts._23_
Also introduced to Korea was the M46 Patton. Fielded in 1949, the M46 was an
M26 upgraded in engine reliability and cooling. Accordingly, tankers went to
war in Korea with equipment mostly left over from World War 11. In addition,
many tankers were illtrained and ill-prepared, receiving equipment just days
before engaging the T34/85S._24_
In the beginning, the Korean War was a war of movement. U.S. tank units were
assigned to various infantry divisions, regimental combat teams, and task
forces for mobile fire support and antitank capabilities. No large armor
units - regiments, brigades or divisions - saw service in Korea. After the
counter-invasion by the Chinese Communist forces and what was left of the
North Korean People's Army, the conflict became a defensive war of attrition
and increased firepower to support infantry forces. Despite mountainous
terrain and restricted trafficability, tanks proved to be potent adjuncts in
support of infantry. Often they were used for indirect fire missions or
deployed in fixed defensive positions. Though most armor action was
infantry- and artillery-driven, Korea demonstrated the value of tanks as
infantryaccompanying weapons, and on occasion, achieved spectacular results
in executing fairly deep mechanized task force operations despite
mountainous terrain and trafficability restrictions._25_
A 1954 Johns Hopkins study, "Tankvs-Tank Combat in Korea," recorded that
U.S. tanks were approximately three times as effective as enemy tanks. It
noted that American tanks destroyed about 25 percent of the enemy tank
force, largely due to higher first-round engagements and hits._26_ As a result
of early experiences in Korea, a 1951 policy conference on armor revived the
Stilwell Board's recommendations for three types of functional tanks: a
light gun tank distinguished by its mobility; a medium tank characterized by
its ability to sustain itself in all types of combat action; and a heavy
tank to defeat any enemy on the battlefield._27_ Conversely, the British, who
considered the Patton tank "all too pansy," had indicated that, unlike the
U.S. Army, one all-purpose tank, like their Centurion, was more suitable for
In spite of various armor policy recommendations following the Stilwell
Board Report, battlefield dynamics in a limited war changed the relationship
between maneuver and firepower, emphasizing increased use of air power and
At the 1954 Armor Conference, the question of armor mobility was positioned
within the national strategy of nuclear air power. It rationalized that
mobility and flexibility would become more decisive on a nuclear
battlefield. The conference concluded that armor was more capable of
attaining relatively superior mobility that could provide a decisive
advantage in a European-style battle. The conference accepted the concept of
firepower and attrition but suggested it be integrated with the freedom of
action that armor provided._29_ Naturally, mobility depended upon equipment
characteristics, which required a trade-off between mobility and
survivability. Summarizing, the conference noted that firepower was the
decisive factor, and that armor doctrine be based on the fundamental concept
that power coupled with an unexcelled ability to maneuver firepower at the
decisive time to the decisive place. Yet for the decades following the
Korean War, firepower systems and attrition warfare doctrine dominated. This
doctrine finally gave way to the visionary AirLand Battle doctrine for
warfighting at the operational level that characterized Allied operations
during the Gulf War._30_
Concluding, there are a number of historical observations to consider. First
are the country's political objectives. Until the war in Korea, Congress and
the President were more prone to political and economic containment of the
Soviet Union and collective security through the United Nations rather than
promoting a combat-ready ground force to deal with contingencies, as
suggested by the Stilwell board.
This situation again demonstrated that the country's leadership failed to
adopt a national defense policy that took advantage of technological changes
brought about as a result of World War IL Congress and the President also
lacked the vision to fully understand the importance of the conventional
component of a national military policy. The outcome was that traditional
military heritage once again came in conflict with postwar domestic and
political demands, causing a serious gap between foreign policy and a
suitable military policy.
The second observation deals with the issue of military strategy, which is
how to win the next war. The post-World War II military austerity invoked by
the White House and Congress had a ripple effect, stifling Army research and
development necessary for innovation with a mobile strike force trained and
equipped to fight and win the first and succeeding battles.
At top of page, M46 tanks of the 64th Tank Battalion undergo final
inspection before an operation supporting the 3rd ID in July, 1951. At left,
an M46 rolls down one of country's few high-speed roads. The M-46 at lower
right slowly moves into a village. The knocked-out North Korean vehicle at
center, above, is a 76mm self-propelled field gun.
The Army's post-war doctrine on how to organize and fight its next war was
not in agreement with required modern equipment assets necessary to execute
its mission. Consequently, the strategic, operational, and tactical links
for winning the first battle never materialized. This was due to a national
strategy that did not take into consideration the relationship between
threats and the need for technological advances. As a result, the Army had a
force structure and equipment that did not fit its future warfighting
doctrine that became outmoded in spite of the Stilwell Board's
recommendations. Instead the national defense strategy of the country relied
on nuclear weapons and intercontinental airpower capabilities and the
exercise of coercion called deterrence, America's Maginot Line.
Third, when the U.S. Army entered the Korean War, an innovative tank program
and a visionary mobile combined arms doctrine - suggested by the Stilwell
Board and endorsed by the Hodge Report - were all but forgotten.
As revolutionary as the tank was in World War II, its future full potential
was not to be realized with a ground force whose mission began to change as
a result of America's expanding international commitments to contain
communism. As a result of the Army's lack of preparedness, North Korean
forces, led by their T-34/85s, pushed the allies back to the Pusan
Perimeter, a tiny sliver of the peninsula, before it could accumulate
sufficient strength to stop the North Koreans and launch a counteroffensive.
The neglect of armor research and development and a makeshift organization
led to many frustrations for tankers in Korea, who fought and died there
while employing, in most cases, wornout, World War II equipment. This
experience was a clear example of the importance of readiness and the need
to modernize organization, training, and equipment to deal with the
ever-changing threats and technical advances of warfighting.
Unfortunately, funds that did trickle down for armor research and
development degraded the health of the armor force, a legacy that continued
long after the "Forgotten War" in spite of the changes in warfighting from a
World War II concept of total war to the dynamics of a limited war.
This paper was presented as part of a panel session entitled, "The Korean
War `Tank Crisis' of 1950, " chaired by BG Jack Mountcastle, USA (Ret.) at
the Society for Military History annual meeting at the Marine Corps
University. The commentator at the session was GEN Donn A. Starry. The
author would like to express thanks to GEN Starry and Charles Lemons,
Curator of the Patton Museum, for their assistance while he was researching
The Sherman "Easy-8" was outclassed in tank-to-tank combat by the early
'50s, but was still formidable in its main Korean War role, supporting
infantry. This scene shows an M4 accompanying U.S. and Korean infantrymen
through a nibbled street.
1. Eric C. Ludvigsen, "The Failed Bluff of Task Force Smith: An `Arrogant
Display of Strength'," ARMY, February 1992, pp. 36-45, and William G.
Robertson, "Economy of Force: Repulsing the North Koreans Along the Naktong,
1950," in Roger J. Spiller, gen. ed., Combined Arms in Battle Since 1939
(Fort Leavenworth, Kan: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press,
1992), pp. 97-103.
2. Christopher R. Gabel, "World War II Armor Operations in Europe," in George
F. Hofmann and Donn A. Starry, eds., Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History
of U.S. Armored Forces (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1999),
3. Report of War Department Equipment Board, 19 January 1946, Falkovich
Collection, Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Ky., pp. 8-9,
42-4. Hereinafter cited as Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum. Also see
Jonathan M. House, Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th Century
Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization, Research Survey No. 2 (Fort
Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff
College, August 1984), pp. 146-9, and Philip L. Bolte, "Post-World War II
and Korea: Paying for Unpreparedness," in Camp Colt to Desert Storm, pp.
4. Report of War Department Equipment Board, Falkovich Collection, Patton
Museum, p. 42. For an excellent study on the too-specialized TD doctrine,
see Christopher R. Gabel, Seek, Strike, and Destroy: LLS. Army Tank
Destroyer Doctrine in World War II (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies
Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, September 1985).
5. Dwight D. Eisenhower, At Ease: Stories 1 Tell to Friends (New York:
Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967), pp. 316-20, and R. Alton Lee, "The Army
`Mutiny' of 1946," Journal of American History, December 1966, pp. 555-71.
For a provocative account of mobilization and military unpreparedness, see
Michael Kendall, "An Inflexible Response: United States Army Manpower
Mobilization Polices, 1945-1950" (Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University,
6. Address by General Jacob L. Devers at Veterans' Day Observance, Lieutenant
General George W. Read, Jr. Files in possession of author, p. 2.
7. Samuel P. Huntington, "The Interim Years: World War II to January, 1950,"
in Raymond G. O'Connor, ed., American Defense Policy in Perspective: From
Colonial Times to the Present (London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1965), p.
298, and James F. Byrnes, Speaking Friendly (New York: Harper & Brothers
Publishers, 1947), pp. 277-97.
8. Address by General Jacob L. Devers, pp. 2, 4.
9. Thomas D. Boettcher, First Call: The Making of the Modern U. S. Military,
1945-1953 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992), pp. 116-7.
10. S. Everett Gleason and Fredrick Aandahl, gen. eds., Foreign Relations of
the United States
1950: National Security Affairs; Foreign Economic Policy, Vol. I
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977), pp. 231-33. Also see
Nathan Reingold, "Vannevar Bush," in John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes,
eds., American National Biography, Vol. 4 (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1999), p. 80.
11. Louis Galambos, ed., The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower: The Chief of
Staff, Vol. IX (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), pp.
2254-6. For an excellent study on Congress and its ability to influence the
military through power of the purse, see Edward A. Kolodzeij, The Uncommon
Defense and Congress, 1945-1963 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press,
12. William W. Epley, America's First Cold War Army 1945-1950 (Arlington, Va.:
The Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the United States Army, 1999),
pp. 6, 11.
13. Memoirs by Harry A. Truman: Years of Trial and Hope 1946-1952 (Garden
City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1956), p. 345.
14. Steven L. Rearden, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The
Formative Years 19471950 (Washington: Historical Office, Office of the
Secretary of Defense, 1984), pp. 406-10. For brief discussions of NSC-68,
see Maurice A. Mallin, Tanks, Fighters, & Ships: U.S. Conventional Force
Planning Since WWII (Washington: Brassey's, Inc., 1990), pp. 41-62, and John
Edward Wilz, "Korea and the United States, 19451950," in Stanley Sandler,
ed., The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.,
1995), pp. 176-7.
15. Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department
(New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1969), pp. 349-53, and Eisenhower, At Ease,
16. "Consequences of a U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Korea in Spring, 1949," and
"Appendix," 28 February 1949, in Michael Warner, el., The CIA under Harry
Truman (Washington: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central
Intelligence Agency, 1994), ORE 3-49.
17. Report of Army Field Forces Advisory Panel on Armor, Vol. 1, 18 February
1949, Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 5-7.
18. Department of the Army, FM 17-100 Armored Division and Combat Command,
December 1949, Patton Museum, pp. 85-7.
19. Report of the Army Equipment Board 1950, Fort Monroe, Va., 8 March 1950,
Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 27-9.
20. Robert A. Doughty, The Evolution of U.S. Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76,
Leavenworth Papers (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army
Command and General Staff College, August 1979), p.1.
21. Bolte, "Post-World War II and Korea: Paying for Unpreparedness," p. 204.
22. S. R. Hinds, "Comparison of United States Equipment with Similar German
Equipment," in Major General I. D. White, Commanding General
2d Armored Division, A Report on United States vs. German Armor to General
Dwight D. Eisenhower, Headquarters 2d Armored Division, 20 March 1945,
Patton Museum, p. 1.
23. R, p, Hunnicutt, Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank 720 Series
(Berkeley, Calif.: Feist Publications, 1971), pp. 178-9.
24. For two superb studies on armor's calamity and the excellent adjustments
made by tankers during the war, see Bolte, "Post-World War II and Korea:
Paying for Unpreparedness," pp. 21758, and Arthur W. Connor, Jr., "The Armor
Debacle in Korea, 1950: Implications for Today," Parameters, Spring 1992,
25. Leadership Branch, Armor in Battle, (Fort Knox: Leadership and Training
Division, Command and Staff Department, U.S. Army Armor School, March 1986),
pp. 3-I to 3-27. For additional details, see John F. Antal, "Tanks at
Chipyong-Ni," ARMY, March 1998, pp. 24-32, Scott D. Aiken, "The 72d Tank
Battalion in Operation TOUCHDOWN," ARMOR SeptemberOctober 1992, pp. 44-8,
and Sam Friedman, "Tankers at Heartbreak," ARMOR, SeptemberOctober 1952, pp.
26. Vincent V. McRae and Alvin D. Coox, "Tank-vs-Tank Combat in Korea,"
Operations Research Office (Chevy Chase, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University,
8 September 1954), Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 2-3.
27. Report of U.S. Army Policy Conference on Armor, Fort Monroe, 16-20 October
1951, Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 1-2.
28. "Tanks: How Do They Rate?" 24 March 1952, Newsweek, pp. 30-1.
29. "Effect of Atomic Weapons on the Employment of Armor," in Final Report of
United States Army Policy Conference, 15-19 November 1954, Fort Knox,
Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, 1-3.
30. On This issue, see Robert H. Scales, "From Korea to Kosovo: America's Army
Learns to Fight Limited Wars in the Age of Precision Strikes," Armed Forces
Journal International, December 1999, pp. 36-41.
Dr. George F. Hofmann is a history professor at the University of
Cincinnati, who served in the U.S. Army (Armor). He is the author of The
Super Sixth: A History of the Sixth Armored Division, Cold War Casualty: The
Court Martial of Major General Robert W. Grow, and edited with Donn A.
Starry Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. He is
a contributor to History in Dispute, World War N, and a frequent contributor
to ARMOR and The Journal of Military History.