Almost forgotten Korean war
The Vietnam War is often remembered, drawing analogies with modern local conflicts. Today, few of the younger generation remember that sixty years ago another slaughter was going on in Southeast Asia, which claimed millions of lives. Officially in the West, it was for some time called the “police operation.” Then she was named the way she deserved it - the Korean War. The causes of this hotbed of the cold war are rooted in the situation in the region after the defeat of imperial Japan.
Prehistory of the Korean War
During World War II, many countries were in the grip of the Land of the Rising Sun, whose leadership sought to establish complete hegemony over vast areas from Indonesia to Sakhalin. In the zone of Japanese occupation was a large part of Indochina, including Korea. In August 1945, American and Soviet troops met at the 38th parallel. This event triggered a jubilation of the local population, rejoicing in deliverance from the hated invaders, who enforced their orders and ruthlessly exterminated civilians.The meeting on the 38th parallel, as on the Elbe, was warm and cordial, the American GIs and the Soviet soldiers embraced, sang and, as usual during the end of the war, jointly celebrated the victory. Like Germany, Korea was also divided, not only into Western and Eastern, but into the Northern and Southern parts. In 1948, the American occupying forces left the Korean Peninsula, appointing a staunch anti-communist president, Lee Seung Man.
Alignment of forces
The north of the peninsula, ruled by the Soviet military administration, became part of the world socialist system. The leader of the Korean Communists, Kim Il Sung, lived throughout the war in the USSR, and after it headed the DPRK. By virtue of the doctrine of the universal victory of communism inspired to him, he sought to unite the country, naturally, on the basis of a socialist idea. Realizing that he could not solve this problem on his own, he turned to the main world communist leader, Stalin, for help. Visiting Moscow in March 1949, Kim Il Sung was unexpectedly refused. The Soviet leader was busy resolving the Berlin crisis, and he was not up to Korea. But by the end of the year, the situation had changed, the USSR tested its atomic bomb, and China became communist. Mao Zedong, chairman of the People's Republic of China, signed a cooperation agreement with the USSR.A second cold war front opened in Asia.
Beginning of the war
Kim Il Sung received "good" at the beginning of hostilities. On June 25, 1950, with the support of artillery, ten divisions armed with T-34 tanks and guided by Soviet military advisers crossed the line of demarcation and rushed forward, practically without meeting resistance. The Korean War began. The news of the attack on the North caused confusion among the US Department of State and the Pentagon. Military plans for this case has not been developed. The South Korean government turned to the Americans for help, but there was no immediate and immediate military intervention. An extraordinary UN Assembly was convened. The delegation of the USSR, using as a pretext the non-recognition of the PRC by the international community, boycotted the meeting, but without it the resolution was adopted two days later. The Korean War has ceased to be a regional conflict. The contingent formed to defend democracy was international, with sixteen countries taking part. President Truman addressed the nation and announced the mobilization of reservists.
Successes of the Communists
The hero of the Second World War, Douglas MacArthur, was appointed to command the Allied forces, his headquarters were stationed in Tokyo. The American contingent in Japan, relaxed with the victorious euphoria, was not set up for a fierce confrontation. At that time, none of the officers could have imagined that the Korean War would drag on for three long years, full of bloody fights on land, sea and in the sky. Shapkakakatelskie mood reigned, the Americans thought that the Asians, seeing their power, immediately scatter. But everything turned out to be not so simple ... The Korean war in its initial stage proceeded catastrophically. The army of the Southerners retreated in panic, two divisions, throwing their weapons, fled to their homes. Seoul fell after three days. UN troops, mostly American, also had a hard time. The abundance of excellent weapons supplied from the USSR, competent and experienced advisers who have gone through the school of the Great Patriotic War, created a quantitative and qualitative advantage in favor of the Communists. It seemed the war was lost.
However, in September 1950, a large landing of the Allied forces was landed in the port of Incheon. Two weeks later, Seoul was cleared of red.Soon the South Korean army and allied forces crossed the 38th parallel and launched an offensive towards the North. October 19, Pyongyang fell. General Masartur began pursuing the enemy, planning to reach the Chinese border, and there, perhaps, not to stop. Kim Il Sung turned to Mao for help and got it. On Thanksgiving, when American soldiers ate traditional holiday turkey, half a million Chinese “volunteers” entered Korea. Truman refused to use nuclear weapons, believing that the USSR would respond in the same way. The American president often had to restrain MacArthur, who was eager to move the war into China. At about 38 parallels, the front was stabilized.
By the summer of 1951, a situation had arisen which chess players call a stalemate. The positional nature of the hostilities did not allow either side to achieve decisive success. Since 1951, truce negotiations have been conducted, while people have died every day. US aviation dropped almost as many bombs on Korea as it did on Germany during World War II. The death of Stalin and the change of leadership of the USA and the USSR in 1953 led to a change in the political situation in the world.On July 27, the parties signed a truce. The end of the Korean War was accompanied by an exchange of prisoners. 54,000 Americans have not returned home. Losses of civilians were estimated in millions.