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Chinese Communist fortifications and camouflage used to prvent aerial detection. April 1951. Korea.

Note how little camouflage is actually considered necessary: mostly just a minimum-width slit trench, its length broken up by a chunk of vegetation which doubles as cover for the observer, and a (probably earth-colored) tent pack. Firing effectiveness is not impaired, e.g. the gunner has easy access to tha ammo can.

For Korea, 1950 was a year of aggression, hubris, and tragedy.

Before daylight on Sunday, June 25, 1950, the North Korea People's Army attacked south across the 38th parallel. North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung's eight combat-ready divisions, mostly veterans of WWII and China's Civil War, led by 120 Soviet T34 medium tanks and extensive mobile artillery, crushed the ill-equipped and greatly outnumbered ROK forces.

The United States and United Nations quickly came to South Korea's aid. We stopped North Korea at the Pusan Perimeter, cut them off with General MacArthur's brilliant amphibious assault at Inchon, and drove the enemy back to the Yalu, almost winning the war at a single stroke.

But, in November, China entered the war in force. Our armies were ambushed, routed, and driven back into South Korea.

In early 1951, both sides had savage reverses, the year ending with Talks which dragged on for two years to an inconclusive Cease Fire.

Our major adversary, the Chinese army, was well led at the small unit level, disciplined, and industrious. They were incredibly brave. American troops were also brave, but during the first 10 months or so of the war we were not well led at the company and field grade levels, or above. But, we learned. We re-defined and re-established the leadership requirements of our officer corps. Our combat units again developed into teams, as we had in WWII. We fought the Chinese to a standstill, and then drove them back to about the original national boundaries.

South Korea is free today, because of the valor of men like those in these photos.

Causes of the Korean Tragedy ... Failure of Leadership, Intelligence and Preparation

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