*W. Minh Tuan
Part 1: North Korea attack
Korea was invaded by Japan, and in 1945, at the end of World War II, Japan lost the battle, Korea was temporarily divided into North and South, waiting for reunification.
North Korea was occupied by the Soviet Union and was handed over to Kim Il Sung (Kim Il Sung). South Korea was occupied by the United States and was assigned to the pro-American government.
This is exactly like East Germany and West Germany after the end of World War II: East Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union, so it was handed over to the socialist government of Mr. Eric Honecker. West Germany was occupied by the United States and assigned to the pro-American liberal-democratic government.
But if Mr. Honecker of East Germany does not seek to unify Germany by force, Kim Il Sung (Kim Il Sung) wants his greatness to come faster, so he wants to take over the South by force quickly, because nobody know if take it by peace, how long it will take.
Therefore, in early 1950, Mr. Kim Il Sung, flew to Moscow-Soviet Union, and to Beijing-China, to seek advice on the military reunification of Korea.
At that time, all weapons and ammunition of the North Korean army were helped by the Soviet Union. In addition, the North Korean army has its own Taekwondo martial art, swinging its legs like the wind, whoever gets hit will lose their jaws and break their faces!!!
On October 1, 1949, communist China took over the government and drove the Chiang Kai-shek government escapeing to Taiwan. And since then, communist China has also supported Kim Il Sung in terms of military, weapons, and ammunition. That is, the North Korean army is supported by two big countries, the Soviet Union and China, so it is quite large, compared to the South Korean army supported only by the US.
At that time, Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, thought that the US would not get deeply involved in North Korea, because he thought that North Korea was not of great strategic significance to US interests. Second, if the Soviet Union succeeds in supporting North Korea, then Soviet influence in Asia will grow beyond that of the United States.
Therefore, Stalin supported Kim Il Sung’s proposal, but on the condition that China also support North Korea militarily when necessary.
Mr. Kim flew to Beijing to consult with Mao Zedong. China at that time had just won the government after the difficult Long March, everything was lacking. So at first, Mao was also afraid that the US would interfere.
But then, Mao supported Kim, for two reasons:
First, if China supports North Korea, then the Soviet Union will support China. At that time, China desperately needed economic and military aid from the Soviet Union.
Second, Mao also wanted to be a great figure, victory in Korea would help strengthen Mao’s image in China, becoming the greatest leader of all time.
So when Kim returned to Pyongyang, the North Korean capital, both the Soviet Union and China sent military personnel with extensive combat experiences to North Korea to help train the North Korean army. And at the same time sent more weapons and ammunition to Kim.
Kim Il Sung immediately ordered the military to secretly make a plan of an all-out offensive across the 38th parallel to annex South Korea, in a strategy intended to take only a few months to complete.
The dawn of June 25, 1950, was planned by Mr. Kim’s army as the day of the launch of the surprise attack across the 38th parallel.
At that time, the situation in South Korea was dire, worse.
The state of South Korea is a free, multi-party state, so the parties only care about fighting each other for power. In a war to protect the homeland, there should be a strong and unified State, free from factional fighting. In such a war situation, an authoritarian one-party state would be more effective than a free multi-party state.
As a result, North Korea concentrated on building an army of more than 200,000 men, with 210 fighters and 280 tanks, helped by the Soviet Union and China. Meanwhile, South Korea only cares about partisan struggles, not about building an army, so it only has an army of more than 98,000 people, poorly trained, without both tanks and anti-tank guns, and no large cannons, only 22 training and communication aircraft, not fighter aircraft.
And out of this 98,000-strong army of South Korea, at the beginning of the war, only 22,000 were engaged in combat, the rest were deserters, or were on leave, traveling,,,.
And this situation is aggravated even more, because no one in South Korea is paying attention to watch out for movements from the North Korean side. Even the US CIA branch in South Korea, although noticing the unusual situation of troop movements from the North, only subjectively considered that these were just “defensive actions” by North Korea.
In the early morning of June 25, 1950, the North Korean army of about 100,000 troops simultaneously attacked the entire border along the 38th parallel. The South Korean army was completely taken by surprise, resisted weakly, and fled in chaos.
Two days later, on June 27, the South Korean government of President Lee Thua-wan fled the capital, Seoul, which is located only about 50 kilometers from the border. On August 28, the South Korean army fled to the south, and mined the bridge across the Han River, to block the North Korean advance, when there were 4000 people crossing the bridge. Most of these people were killed when bridge was collapsed.
What’s more, during the three-year Korean War of 1950-1953, both South and North Korea carried out atrocities, killing tens of thousands of Koreans who were believed to be followers of opposite side.
In the Vietnam war, there were also murders of one side of the other, many people were killed unjustly, but there were no large massacres of thousands, tens of thousands of people were killed to avenge each other like in the two regions South-North Korea.
On the very first day of the attack on June 25, 1950, the United Nations met, voted to condemn North Korea’s offensive actions, and commissioned the armies of the Allies to assist South Korea.
US President Truman at that time thought of the previous war against Hitler. When Hitler began to attack European countries, the United States remained silent and did not intervene, causing the second world war to spread. Therefore, this time, Mr. Truman was determined to have the US military intervene in North Korea, along with the armies of other countries authorized by the United Nations.
President Truman ordered General Mac Arthur, the commander-in-chief of the US military in the Pacific, based in Tokyo, Japan, to be the commander-in-chief of the Korean War.
While US President Truman, and General Mac Arthur were struggling to mobilize troops to send them to South Korea, the South Korean army, and the 24th division of the US army, which were already in South Korea, were heavily damaged.
American forces encountered North Korean forces for the first time at the Battle of Onsan. On July 5, the US task force Smith (led by Lieutenant Smith) of 540 soldiers ambushed the North Korean army. Although this task group prepared the ambush three days in advance, and the North Koreans were completely taken by surprise, this Smith task group was defeated, lost and scattered. The reason is that the US military underestimated the force, and weapons of the North Korean army. The Smith team didn’t think the North Koreans had tanks. When North Korean tanks appeared, the US troops discovered that they were not carrying heavy anti-tank weapons, only light anti-tank guns to destroy jeeps. North Korean troops hiding behind tanks advanced and attacked. American troops used submachine guns, machine guns, and light anti-tank guns to shoot at tanks, just like scratching scabs.
No North Korean tanks were shot down. As a result, 180 American soldiers were destroyed, more than 200 American soldiers were taken prisoner, and a few escaped.
What a humiliation for an army that had just won a resounding victory in the second world war five years earlier.
Then, from July 14 to 21, 1950, the Battle of Taejon took place. The entire 11,000 men of the 24th Division fought against 15,000 North Koreans. It can be said that such numbers are not very different. If there is a good commander, then these 11,000 troops can fight equally, if not, can defeat the slightly larger number of troops of North Kore.
We know that King Quang Trung of Vietnam commanded 100,000 Vietnamese troops and defeated 200,000 Qing troops in 1789 in Thang Long-Ha Noi in just one week.
But during the Korean War, the commander of the US 24th Division, General William F.Dean, was extremely incompetent.
After the defeat of Smith’s team, the Americans knew the North Korean forces, fighting methods, weapons, and had 10 days to prepare the battlefield. But Major General Dean has no specific plan, just sitting and waiting for the North Korean troops passively.
The talented American general, Mac Arthur, who was the commander-in-chief of the US army against North Korea, sat in Tokyo, puffing on a cigarette, to command the battlefield in Korea.
As a result of the Battle of Taejon from July 14 to 21, the US army lost 3602 people, taken prisoner 2962 people, the 24th division was wiped out.
General Dean was also taken prisoner by the North Koreans, without the North Korean soldiers noticing at first. After the North Koreans found out that their prisoners had General Dean, they treated him quite well, respected him like a prisoner general, feed him to be fat and healthy, and then released him at the end of the war.
This was the first time, and also the only one time, that the US army was taken prisoner by a division commander.
Thus, the twenty-fourth American division was wiped out. The responsibility lies with the Major General, Division Chief Dean, and the General, Commander-in-Chief Mac Arthur.
By September 1950, the US military had sent 100,000 troops to Korea, plus 80,000 South Korea, totally 180,000 troops, compared to the North Korean army only 100,000.
However, the initial situation was not very good. 180,000 American and South Korean troops fought hardly, uneasy against 100,000 North Koreans.
And the reason, again, is at the command level of both the US and South Korea.
The commander-in-chief of 180,000 American and South Korean troops in Korea was 3-star General Walton Walker, a subordinate of Mr. Mac Arthur. This is also a poor, not good general.
General Mac Arthur is a good general, but a movie star, always has a big pipe in his mouth, likes to pose for journalists to take pictures of him.
He sat in Tokyo to lead the war in Korea. So it can be said that he commands the clouds above the wind. When he needed to make a battle plan, Mr. Mac summoned his generals from North Korea to fly to Tokyo, stay at a 5-star hotels, to discuss a battle plan.
Therefore, Mr. Mac Arthur did not equip the Smith task force with heavy anti-tank guns, and there were no specific instructions for the incompetent General Dean, and for Mr. Dean’s superior general, General Walker. So the entire 24th division was wiped out.
As for the North Korean army, they weren’t a very good army either. They have the element of surprise, and have tanks, cannons, and planes, while the American and South Korean armies in the beginning did not have those weapons. Therefore, in the first three months, from June 25 to September 1950, the North Korean army won a great victory, moving south like a storm.
Since September, the US and South Korean troops are nearly twice as large as the North Korean army, and have been reinforced with heavy weapons, including tanks, aircraft, and cannons, so the war situation has gradually changed.
When the war situation changed, the North Korean army did not change the way of fighting, kept the old way of fighting, was rushing to attack directly, without a cover, flanking, rearing,,,,, so it started to fail patheticly, and began to flee quickly northward.
At that time, General Mac Arthur decided to land troops behind the North Korean army, at the port of Incheon, on September 15, in order to form a two-pronged position, the North fought down, the South attacked the North Korean army up.
To this day, many military experts continue to discuss the significance of this landing. Mr. Mac Arthur said that thanks to this landing, the war situation changed, the North Korean army lost quickly.
But there are many criticisms of this Incheon invasion, that it is only meant to strengthen the adventurous personality, and the movie actor of Mr. Mac Arthur. Because after the risk of pouring troops into Incheon, the landing troops stationed at Incheon, and advanced very slowly to the South, lasting more than 10 days to advance, so it did not help the army that was moving up from the South to the North Kore. That is, there is no way to create a two-throated clamp at all.
On October 7, 1950, American and South Korean troops began crossing the 38th parallel into North Korea.
At this time, China warned that if the US crossed the 38th parallel, China would intervene in Korea to protect North Korea.
American General Mac Arthur made a very subjective opinion, that if the Chinese army entered North Korea, it could only bring about 60,000 troops at best. These troops could not fight with 180,000 American and South Korean troops, plus some more Australian, British, French,,,, of United Nations troops.
After that, Mr. Mac Arthur also added with a very military savvy, that if the Chinese troops were larger than that number, on the marching, they would be prey for the most powerful bomber force in the world of the United States, aboard the aircraft carriers of the 7th Fleet, which is off the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Then Mr. Mac Arthur also had a very heroic straw action, was to climb on his own plane, to scout. From the plane, the general directly looked down at the ground, and did not see any Chinese troops moving at all. He landed, and was very proud, saying, “Well, I have no bureaucracy at all, I, the general, the commander-in-chief, have directly scouted, seen with my own eyes, nothing at all. I don’t see any sign of Chinese troops entering North Korea.”
On October 19, 1950, 600,000 Chinese troops, ten times more than General Mac Arthur’s prediction, quietly began to cross the Yalu River into North Korea. When entering North Korea, the Chinese army only marched at night, with strict rules of secrecy, no lights, no smoke, no daytime, so Mr. Mac Arthur could not detect it.
Part 2: Anti-American Resistance, China’s secret tactics, surprise, and human sea.