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The Mission

By the Thanksgiving holiday in 1950, an autumn offensive had carried the United Nations Command (UNC) deep into North Korea. Opening the advance in South Korea, UNC forces had moved some three hundred miles to a front slanting northeastward across the Korean peninsula from the mouth of the Ch'ongch'on River on the Yellow Sea to the southern outskirts of the city of Ch'ongjin on the Sea of Japan.1 A full resumption of the offensive was set for Friday, 24 November, to clear the remaining hundred miles or less that lay between the front and Korea's northern border. Despite recent encounters with fresh forces from Communist China, there was considerable optimism for the success of renewed advance and even some speculation that UNC forces would reach the border and end the Korean War by Christmas, the date on which the war would be exactly six months old.

The Battleground

Until the war had begun during the past summer, Korea had received world attention only briefly, when the Allied victory over Japan in World War II released Korea from forty years of Japanese rule. After American and Soviet military forces entered the land to take the surrender of Japanese troops stationed there, most of the world outside Asia gave scant notice to the further course of events in Korea. When the outbreak of war in June 1950 again drew attention, few could recall with any certainty just where this country was located or what it looked like.

Shaped much like the state of Florida, the Korean peninsula, measuring about two hundred miles at its widest, reaches some six hundred miles southeastward from the central Asian mainland. (Map 1) In the north it borders on Manchuria, the northeastern most region of China, and for a few miles in the far northeast on the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). To the west, the Yellow Sea separates Korea from northcentral China. To the east, the Sea of Japan stands between the peninsula and the islands of Japan. Less than a hundred fifty miles off the southeastern tip of the peninsula, across the Korea and Tsushima Straits, lies Kyushu, Japan's southernmost main island.2

Map 1

The Axial Taebaek Mountains Along The East Coast
The Axial Taebaek Mountains Along The East Coast.

As the UNC troops now deep in North Korea could attest from experience, Korea's steep, ubiquitous mountains, inferior communications system, and severe climate sharply inhibited the conduct of military operations-most sharply the operations of a modern, highly mechanized force such as the United Nations Command. Extending south from a high, jumbled mountain mass in the country's far north and northeast (the Northern Korea Highlands), the main Taebaek Mountains run the length of the east coast without interruption except for a narrow northeast-southwest corridor (the WonsanSeoul corridor) in central Korea that divides the Taebaeks into northern and southern ranges. (Map 2) From this axial spine, spur ranges spread southwestward across most of the peninsula. The few existing lowlands, themselves dotted by imposing mountain masses, lie principally along the west coast. This mountain framework made movement in any direction difficult, particularly crosscountry and east-west.

Map 2

Poor lines of communication complicated the movement of UNC troops and supplies into and inside Korea. All harbors were year-round, warm-water ports, but few were good, and extreme tidal ranges limited the use of those on the west coast. Airfields were dated. Although they were numerous and well located for troop transport and cargo planes, putting and keeping them in condition to handle the heavy aircraft (tactical aircraft, as well) often required more than available UNC engineer crews could provide. The railroad, Korea's chief means of overland commercial transportation, had suffered from hard use and inadequate maintenance in recent years, and by late 1950 heavy war damage to bridges, tracks, and rolling stock had further reduced its capacity. The road net, which had been designed primarily to serve and supplement the railways, was a primitive system of narrow, one-lane, mostly gravel-surfaced roads with steep grades, sharp curves, and equally narrow bridges with low load capacities. Because of poor construction, few lateral routes, and vulnerability to weather damage, the road system was scarcely suitable for UNC military traffic.

Hardly a lesser obstacle was Korea's monsoonal climate with its characteristic reversal of prevailing wind direction in summer and winter. Marked by variable winds and changeable precipitation and temperature, spring and autumn are transitional periods for the wind shift. In summer the prevailing winds generally move northward off the Pacific Ocean, and in winter the principal flow of air comes southward out of the Asian interior. Consequently, summers are typically rainy, humid, and hot, winters relatively dry and cold. But the summer of 1950 had been one of drought-only about one-fourth the usual amount of rainfall. This phenomenon had increased the number of days of high temperatures, many over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and several as high as 120 degrees. In some summer actions heat exhaustion caused more UNC casualties than did enemy gunfire. By late November 1950 UNC forces also had had a taste of Korea's winter weather. Snowfall began in mid-November, and in the higher mountains in the far northeast the heaviest falls made roads dangerous or impassable. Although snow was light elsewhere, bitter cold intensified by brisk northern winds created problems all along the UNC front, disabling vehicles and weapons and causing numerous cases of frostbite among the troops. As UNC forces restarted their advance toward the northern border, they could anticipate a winter of few deeper snows but still stronger winds and decidedly lower temperatures.3

Typical Terrain Near The 38th Parallel In The West
Typical Terrain Near The 38th Parallel In The West

The Initial Mission

The northern border of Korea was not the original objective of UNC operations. The initial decision on the purpose of these operations, made concomitantly with the fundamental decisions of the United States and the United Nations (U.N.) to enter the war, had limited the mission to repelling the North Korean invasion of South Korea. On the ground, this meant driving the North Koreans back beyond the 38th parallel of north latitude crossing the peninsula at its waist. This was the line that for three years after World War II had served as a boundary first between American and Soviet forces taking the surrender of Japanese troops, then between U.S. and USSR occupation zones, and finally between the Communist Democratic People's Republic of Korea founded by the Soviets north of the parallel and the Republic of Korea (ROK)established under U.S. and U.N. sponsorship in the south.4

The Port Of Pusan
The Port Of Pusan

The hardening of the division of Korea at the 38th parallel had begun with an impasse in U.S.-USSR negotiations convened in 1946 and 1947 as an early measure in honoring Allied wartime declarations that Korea, once liberated from Japanese rule, would eventually be restored as a sovereign nation. The final evolution grew out of a Soviet refusal to permit the United Nations to include the northern people in a U.S.instigated 1948 attempt to supervise the election of a national assembly as the first step in establishing a government. By autumn of that year the parallel represented a confirmed political division between two governments of opposing ideologies.5

The partition of Korea reflected a broad realignment of international power resulting from World War II. Emerging with this realignment was a cold war between power blocs, West versus East, anti-Communists against Communists, nations aligned under the leadership of the United States confronting those assembled under the Soviet Union. In Europe, the Soviets opened a campaign of intimidation and subversion to consolidate control of territories occupied during the war. Whatever the impulse behind that campaign, whether a search for national security or a desire to promote Communist world revolution in keeping with Marxist-Leninist doctrine, the strategy appeared to be one of expansion. In response, the United States adopted a policy of containment and led attempts, primarily through economic assistance pacts and military alliances, to prevent the Soviet Union from expanding its influence beyond the borders acquired in wartime military operations.

Although centered in Europe, the cold war was also visible in Korea. After Soviet and American occupation forces withdrew in 1948 and 1949, the regime north of the parallel and the government in the south competed in cold war terms for urisdiction over the entire peninsula.6 The Soviet Union assisted its satellite in the north, particularly in equipping and training an army. The U.S. policy toward Korea, established in 1948 as cold war tensions mounted in Europe and after demobilization and budgetary restrictions sharply reduced American military resources, was to avoid becoming "so irrevocably involved in the Korean situation that an action taken by any faction in Korea or by any other power in Korea could be considered a 'casus belli' for the United States."7 Nevertheless, the United States provided economic and military assistance to the southern republic, and Korea's unification and full independence remained a matter of interest, if of little hope, to both the United States and the United Nations.

Airfield Maintenance

All airfields required heavy maintenance.
Above, loaded C-46 is pushed to solid ground after runway collapsed.

Below, main rail lines were standard gage and reasonably well built.
Roads were narow and poorly constructed.


The North Korean invasion of the republic on 25 June 1950 and the inability of South Korean forces to check it prompted an abrupt reversal of the American position. Behind the change was a belief that the invasion was not simply an extension of a local jurisdictional dispute but a break in the wider cold war. Viewing the attack in this light, President Harry S. Truman and his principal advisers concluded that it had to be contested on grounds that inaction would invite further armed aggression, and possibly a third world war.

The immediate American response was to label the invasion as a threat to world peace before the United Nations. This step was not taken primarily to produce troop and materiel support, although such support was forthcoming. The ease and speed with which the North Korean invasion force was driving south made clear that there was not enough time to assemble a broadly based U.N. force. Only the United States could commit troops in any numbers immediately, these from occupation forces in Japan. Nor were North Korean authorities, who anticipated a quick victory, expected to submit to U.N. political pressure. Rather, the United States sought the moral support of the United Nations and the authority to identify resistance to the North Korean venture with U.N. purposes. Resolutions adopted by the U.N. Security Council on 25 and 27 June 1950, worded almost exactly as American representatives offered them, gave the sanction and support desired.

Soldier during winter weather
Soldier Enduring Winter Weather

President Truman sought no congressional declaration of war but committed American forces as a response to the U.N. resolution under his authority as commander in chief of the armed forces and under his general powers to conduct the foreign relations of the United States.8 Partly out of these conditions of entry, the president avoided the word war in references to operations in Korea in favor of police action. He also used the euphemism to dramatize the limited scope of UNC operations. As formally resolved by the U.N. Security Council, the purpose was "to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area.9 As explained on 29 June by U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, American actions taken in response to the U.N. resolutions of 25 and 27 June were "solely for the purpose of restoring the Republic of Korea to its status prior to the invasion from the North."10 In line with this limitation, President Truman intended to avoid heavy commitments of American resources in Korea and to take no steps that would prompt the Soviet Union or the People's Republic of China, the newly risen Communist state on the mainland, to enter the conflict.
Haberdasher Harry
Haberdasher Harry
Secretary of State Dean Acheson

Acknowledging the United States as the major contributor to the effort in Korea, the U.N. Security Council on 7 July 1950 recommended that other nations supplying forces and materiel contribute them to a single command under the United States.11 President Truman formally accepted the responsibilities of leadership on 8 July.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff. Left to Right:
Adm. Forrest P. Sherman; General of the Army Omar N. Bradley (chairman);
General Hoyt S. Vandenberg; General J. Lawton Collins

The evolving command structure placed Truman in the role of executive agent for the U.N. Security Council, although he had no obligation to clear his decisions with that agency. Assisting him in this role were the U.S. National Security Council and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), who helped develop the strategic concept of operations in Korea. In the strictly military channel, the joint Chiefs issued instructions to the unified command in the field through its Army member.12 This method followed an existing Department of Defense agreement whereby the chief whose service was playing the primary role in a command area, in this case Army Chief of Staff General J. Lawton Collins, would serve as executive agent for the joint Chiefs. The command in the field, the United Nations Command, was formally established on 24 July 1950 under General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, who superimposed its headquarters over that of his existing Far East Command in Tokyo.

General J. Lawton Collins
General J. Lawton Collins
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur

While the top echelons of command were being shaped, General MacArthur assigned control of air operations in Korea to the air arm of the Far East Command, the Far East Air Forces, commanded by Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, and allotted control of naval operations to Naval Forces, Far East, under Vice Adm. C. Turner Joy.13 He assigned all UNC ground forces entering Korea to Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker's Eighth U.S. Army, then on occupation duty in Japan with headquarters in Yokohama. After moving to Korea in mid July, General Walker also assumed control of the operations of the ROK Army at the offer of South Korea's president, Syngman Rhee.

Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer
Adm Joy
Vice Adm. C. Turner Joy

In the van of forces from other U.N. members, American ground troops began entering Korea in July to join the ROK Army in blunting the invasion, only to be shoved back into the southeastern corner of the country by the surprisingly strong North Korean People's Army. But there, in defenses based on the Naktong River and arching around the port of Pusan, General Walker through August and the first half of September successfully countered further North Korean attacks. General Stratemeyer's air command meanwhile all but eliminated North Korea's small air forces and severely interdicted traffic on the enemy's long overland supply lines. Admiral joy's force wiped out what little naval opposition the North Koreans could offer and clamped a tight blockade on the Korean coast to prevent the movement of enemy troops and supplies by water.

As the costs of repeated attempts to penetrate the Pusan Perimeter gradually reduced the North Koreans' ground strength, the favor of the war shifted to the United Nations Command. On the west coast, far behind North Korean lines, the U.S. X Corps, commanded by Maj. Gen. Edward M. Almond and operating separately from the Eighth Army, made an amphibious landing at Inch'on on 15 September and drove inland through Seoul, the South Korean capital. In concert, the Eighth Army opened an overland offensive on the 16th. The X Corps' operation and the Eighth Army's frontal effort forced a North Korean retreat that quickly degenerated into a rout. By the end of September, although some bypassed North Korean troops remained in the southern mountains, the enemy ceased to exist as an organized force anywhere in the Republic of Korea.

General Walker
Lt. Gen. Walton H. Walker
General Arnold
Maj. Gen. Edward M. Almond

The Mission Expanded

From mid-July into September, President Truman and his aides weighed the advisability of crossing the 38th parallel. The principal question before them was whether such a move might spark the active intervention of the Soviet Union or Communist China. Both of these governments issued warnings against a UNC entry into North Korea in August and September as the balance of power in the conflict shifted. But U.S. intelligence agencies believed that intervention by either was "improbable, barring Soviet decision to precipitate global war," and there was some direct, if ambiguous, evidence that the Soviet Union would not intervene.15At the end of June the United States had appealed to the Soviets to stop the North Korean attack. They replied that their "Government adheres to the principle of the impermissibility of interference by foreign powers in the internal affairs of Korea."16 American officials interpreted the reply as an indication that the Soviet Union would not actively enter the conflict. In sum, while the possibility of Soviet or Chinese intervention remained the chief contra-argument in deliberations on crossing the parallel, the warnings heard in August and September were regarded as attempts to discourage the U.N. Command, not as genuine threats to enter the war.

In any case, incentives for carrying the war into North Korea were strong. One was a considered need to destroy the North Korean Army completely so that there could be no recurrence of the June invasion. The military occupation of North Korea also could set the stage for achieving the long-standing U.S. and U.N. goal of unifying Korea.

Indeed, the possibility of enabling the United Nations to bring about the unification of Korea under a single, acceptable government provided a powerful inducement to cross the parallel and became the theme of deliberations opened in the U.N. General Assembly on 19 September to consider a U.S. bid for specific endorsement of an entry into North Korea. (General authority was considered to exist in the phrase "restore international peace and security in the area" in the resolution of 27 June.) Speaking before the assembly, Secretary Acheson made clear that he had dropped his June view by urging that the future of Korea "be returned where it belongs-to the custody of its own people under the guidance of the United Nations. The assembly responded on 7 October with a resolution recommending that steps be taken to "ensure conditions of stability throughout Korea" and to establish "a unified, independent and democratic government in the sovereign State of Korea."20 Thus, tacitly, the General Assembly recommended crossing the parallel.

Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall

Instructions expanding the UNC military objective were issued while the U.N. resolution was being debated. On 27 September the Joint Chiefs of Staff notified General MacArthur that he was to destroy the North Korean armed forces, and on 29 September Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall supplied the final word authorizing him to send troops into North Korea. MacArthur could conduct operations north of the parallel, however, only if there was "no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist Forces, no announcement of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily in North Korea," and he was enjoined neither to cross the Manchurian and USSR borders of Korea nor to use other than South Korean forces in the Korean territory adjacent to the northern boundary.22 The prospect of victory, however bright, had not diminished the determination of President Truman, who had personally approved the instructions to MacArthur, to avoid a battlefield confrontation with the Soviet Union or China.

MacArthur directed the Eighth Army, upon moving into North Korea, to capture Pyongyang, the North Korean capital 120 miles north of Seoul, and ordered the X Corps, still a separate force, to make an amphibious landing eighty miles north of the 38th parallel at Wonsan, North Korea's major east coast seaport. After seizing these objectives the two ground arms were to march toward each other over a lateral road connecting Pyongyang and Wonsan, a move designed to trap any North Korean forces still straggling northward through the Taebaek Mountains. But because of the manner and speed of the Eighth Army's plunge over the parallel, the latter plan was not executed.

On the Eighth Army right, a South Korean corps crossed the parallel on 1 October and started a fast march along the eastern shore. The corps entered Wonsan nine days later and by the last week of October pushed northward another hundred miles to a line reaching inland from the coastal town of Iwon to positions within twenty miles of the huge Changjin Reservoir atop the Taebaek Mountains. West of the Taebaek divide, Eighth Army forces moved into North Korea between 6 and 9 October, entered Pyongyang on the 19th, and by the last week of the month reached and crossed the Ch'ongch'on River within sixty-five miles of the Yalu River, the boundary between Korea and Manchuria. The X Corps meanwhile outloaded for the landing at Wonsan but did not reach its objective until after the port had fallen to the Eighth Army. With an assault landing obviated, the need to clear the heavily mined Wonsan harbor prevented the X Corps from going ashore until the last week of October.

The Eighth Army's strides into North Korea stimulated new warnings from China. At midnight on 2 October, after South Korean but as yet no American forces had crossed the parallel, Foreign Minister Chou En-lai formally summoned Indian Ambassador Kavalam M. Panikkar to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peking. Dismissing the South Korean advance as inconsequential, Chou declared that if American or other U.N. forces crossed the parallel, China would enter the war.

After Panikkar relayed Chou's warning through diplomatic channels to Washington, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with President Truman's approval, authorized General MacArthur to engage any Chinese forces encountered in Korea "as long as, in your judgment action by forces now under your control offers a reasonable chance of success." Behind this departure from the president's stand against involvement with China was a strong inclination to dismiss the threat. Truman distrusted Panikkar because of the latter's leaning toward Communist China, and since the U.N. resolution of 7 October was then under consideration in the General Assembly, the president believed that Chou was simply attempting "to blackmail the United Nations by threats of intervention in Korea."

Similar warnings in the Chinese press and on Radio Peking also were discounted. There was no denying China's ability to intervene quickly. Twenty-four Chinese divisions had been identified near Yalu River crossing points and another fourteen had been located elsewhere in Manchuria. But the consensus of officials privy to the highest level of intelligence appeared to be much as General MacArthur reported during a conference with Presisdent Truman at Wake Island on 15 October: there was "very little" chance of intervention. It appeared that both the Chinese and Soviets, "in spite of their continued interest and some blatant public statements, [had] decided against further expensive investment in support of a lost cause."

Lending support to this evaluation, the Eighth Army by 24 October had entered Korean provinces adjacent to Manchuria without discovering any battlefield evidence that Chinese forces intended to engage. The North Koreans meanwhile put up little resistance, let alone any cohesive front. The remnants of the North Korean Army seemed eager only to escape into the interior mountains along the Yalu River in central North Korea or into the sanctuary of Manchuria. These circumstances gave rise to a belief that the war was all but ended, indeed that it could be ended before the onset of winter weather with an accelerated drive to the northern border.

Maintaining the Eighth Army and X Corps as separate commands, MacArthur on 24 October drew a boundary between them generally along the Taebaek divide and, after reassigning the South Korean corps operating along the east coast to General Almond, directed Walker and Almond each to proceed to the northern border with all forces available. His last instruction violated the restriction against using any but ROK forces along the northern boundary of Korea, but, although the joint Chiefs questioned the order, they did not countermand after MacArthur told them that the South Koreans were incapable of handling the advance by themselves.

In the west, the Eighth Army moved toward the Yalu River in several columns, each free to advance without regard for the progress of the others. On the opposite side of the peninsula, General Almond sent columns up the east coast and through the mountains toward the Changjin Reservoir and the Yalu. UNC columns moved steadily along both coasts, and South Korean reconnaissance troops with an interior Eighth Army column reached the Yalu at the town of Ch'osan. But almost everywhere else, UNC forces encountered stout resistance and on 25 October discovered they were being opposed by Chinese. In the X Corps zone, Chinese defenses slowed Almond's column on the road climbing the Taebaeks to the Changjin Reservoir until 6 November, when the Chinese withdrew from contact. In the Eighth Army zone, Chinese attacks forced back the columns in the center and on the east. Although the columns near the coast were not attacked, the loss of ground elsewhere compelled General Walker to recall his western forces lest they be cut off. Walker's pursuit thus came to a complete halt. As the Eighth Army fell back to regroup in positions astride the Ch'ongch'on River, Chinese forces continued to attack until 6 November and then- as in the X Corps sector- abruptly broke contact.

The Mission Reconsidered

In Washington, the twelve-day engagement drew attention to the want of a precise course of action to be followed if the U.N. Command met Chinese forces. Earlier instructions from the joint Chiefs of Staff had authorized General MacArthur to continue operations against any Chinese encountered if he thought he could succeed, but they had not prescribed or required him to develop the exact lines of action that continued operations against the Chinese might follow. The Joint Chiefs, in any case, now considered the actual introduction of Chinese forces as reason to reexamine and possibly change the UNC mission.

The reexamination was complicated by difficulty in judging the extent and purpose of the Chinese intervention. Intelligence from the field placed the Chinese strength involved in the recent engagement at no more than five divisions, or about 50,000 troops. This relatively small force and its voluntary withdrawal from contact on 6 November scarcely supported any conclusion that China had decided on an all-out effort in Korea, nor could other intelligence and diplomatic agencies offer conclusive evidence of such a decision. The Joint Chiefs of Staff considered more limited interests, such as a Chinese wish to protect Yalu River electric power plants on which Manchuria heavily depended, but this reasoning rested more on speculation than on evidence.

The Joint Chiefs also heard strong objections to any change of mission from General MacArthur. In his view, not only did the reasoning behind the current mission remain valid, but "it would be fatal to weaken the . . . policy of the United Nations to destroy all resisting armed forces in Korea and bring that country into a united and free nation." He considered the existing situation to be satisfactorily covered by the earlier instructions allowing him to judge whether his forces had a reasonable chance of success. He did not claim to have determined the strength of the Chinese in Korea with any precision. On the contrary, he declared that only by advancing could he obtain "an accurate measure of enemy strength." He nevertheless believed that his command could defeat the Chinese forces currently in Korea, and he was certain that his air power could prevent Chinese reinforcements from crossing the Yalu into Korea in any substantial numbers.

Unconvinced themselves that China had decided on full intervention, uncertain about any other purpose of the Chinese entry, and feeling both justified and obligated to accept their field commander's appraisal, the joint Chiefs of Staff were willing to await clarification of Chinese objectives in Korea before deciding whether to recommend a change in the UNC mission. President Truman approved this position, presented in a meeting of the National Security Council on 9 November. MacArthur could continue toward the border, and the forces and plans for a full resumption of the UNC offensive were ready by Thanksgiving Day.


1 For a detailed account of ground operations in Korea during 25 June-24 November 1950, see Roy E. Appleman, South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu, U.S. ARMY IN THE KOREAN WAR (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1961).

2 So shaped and located, Korea is a strategic crossroads in the Far East, a fact long and well appreciated by the geopoliticians of the country's stronger neighbors, China, Russia, and Japan. Past rivalries among these nations for control of Korea are described in George M. McCune, Korea Today (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950); Andrew J. Grajdanzev, Modern Korea (New York: The John Day Co.,1944); M. Frederick Nelson, Korea and the Old Orders in Eastern Asia (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1946); and Edwin O. Reischauer, Japan: The Story of a Nation, rev. ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf', 1974).

3 For additional information on Korea's relief, ports, airfields rail system, roadnet, and climate, see Korea Handbook (Washington: Department of the Army, Office, Assistant Chief of Staff, G-2, September 1950). For the effect of weather conditions on past operations, see Appleman, South to the Naktong.

4 The two areas of the divided land acquired their commonly used names, North Korea and South Korea, during the occupation.

5 See Dept of State Pub 8004, Far Eastern Series 101, The Record on Korean Unification, 1943-1960 (Washington, 1960).

6 See D. M. Condit, et al., Challenge and Response in Internal Conflict, vol. I, The Experience in Asia, ch. 17, "South Korea, 1946-1954," by B. C. Mossman (Washington: Center for Research in Social Systems, The American University, 1968).

7 State-Army-Navy-Air Force Coordinating Committee (SANACC) 176/39, 22 Mar 48, title: U.S. Policy in Korea. President Truman approved this policy on 4 April 1948.

8 See J. Lawton Collins, War in Peacetime (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969), pp. 31-35.

9 U.N. doc. S/1511, reprinted in Dept of State Pub 3922, Far Eastern Series 34, United States Policy in the Korean Crisis (Washington, 1950), p. 24.

10 Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1969), p. 450.

11 The council also authorized the new command to fly the U.N. flag in the course of operations against North Korean forces.

12 The Joint Chiefs of Staff included General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman; General J. Lawton Collins, Army Chief of Staff; Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations; and General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Air Force Chief of Staff. Although the Joint Chiefs instructed the U.N. Command, not all directives originated with them, nor did the directives in every case represent their recommendations. For an account of operations at the joint Chiefs of Staff and U.N. Command headquarters levels during the first year of the war, see James F. Schnabel, Policy and Direction: The First Year, U.S. ARMY IN THE KOREAN WAR (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1972).

13 It was not until 27 August 1950, however, that General MacArthur officially designated these air and naval organizations as parts of the U.N. Command. He issued this order primarily to clarify the relationship of the air and naval commands to him as UNC commander in chief.

14 On 15 July 1950 President Rhee wrote to General MacArthur: "I am happy to assign to you command authority over all land, sea, and air forces of the Republic of Korea during the period of the continuation of the present state of hostilities; such command to be exercised either by you personally or by such military commander or commanders to whom you may delegate the exercise of this authority within Korea or in adjacent seas." See Dept of State Pub 4263, Far Eastern Series 44, United States Policy in the Korean Conflict, July 1950-February 1951 (Washington, 1951), p. 10.

15 Secretary of State Acheson, quoted in U.S. Congress, Senate, committee on Armed Services and committee on Foreign Relations, Hearings on the Military Situation in the Far East . . . (hereafter cited as MacArthur Hearings), 82d Cong., 1st sess., 1951, p. 1832.

16 Soviet statement, 29 Jun 50, quoted in Dept of State Bulletin, vol. XXIII, no. 575, 10 Jul 50, p. 48.

7 For a full discussion of the decision on crossing the 38th parallel, see Schnabel, Policy and Direction, pp. 177-84. For documents pertaining to the matter, see Dept of State Pub 8859, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1950, vol. VII, Korea (Washington, 1976).

18 For a discussion of occupation planning, see Schnabel, Policy and Direction, pp. 219-21.

19 See Dept of State Bulletin, vol. XXIII, no. 587, 2 Oct 50, p. 526.

U.N. doc A/1435, quoted in Dept. of State Pub 4263, Far Eastern Series 44, U.S. Policy in the Korean Conflict, pp. 17-18.

1 Marshall became secretary of defense on 21 September 1950, replacing Louis A. Johnson.

22 Rad, JCS 92801, JCS to CINCUNC, 27 Sep 50.

23 UNC forces best knew the Changjin Reservoir as the Chosin Reservoir, its Japanese name.

24 K. M. Panikkar, In Two Chinas (London: Allen and Unwin, 1955), pp. 109-10.

25 Schnabel, Policy and Direction, p. 200; Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, vol. II, Years of Trial and Hope (Garden City: Doubleday, 1956), p. 362.

26 Allen S. Whiting, China Crosses the Yalu (New York: Macmillan, 1960), p. 115; Appleman, South to the Naktong, pp. 760-61.

27 For a discussion of this exchange, see Schnabel, Policy and Direction, p. 218.

28 One prophetic warning that seems not to have received serious consideration came from Karl Lott Rankin, ambassador to Nationalist China. In a telegram dispatched to the Department of State on 6 November, Mr. Rankin advised: "Chinese military intelligence forwarded to Washington by the Embassy's service attach├ęs during the past few days lends strong support to the assumption that the Chinese communists plan to throw the book at the United Nations forces in Korea and in addition to step up their pressure in Indochina. Allowance evidently should be made for wishful thinking among the Chinese military, most of whom regard a general conflict as the only means of liberating China from the communists. In the present instance, however, such a caveat still leaves an imposing array of apparently established facts, as well as evidence of sincerity among the best informed Chinese, such as to render quite possible the correctness of their consensus of opinion that all-out action in Korea by the Chinese communists should be expected." Quoted in Rankin's book, China Assignment (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1964), p. 65.

29 Rad, C 68572, CINCFE to DA for JCS, 9 Nov 50.

30 Rad, C 68465, CINCFE to DA for JCS, 7 Nov 50.

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