Understanding the Korean War

The Participants, the Tactics, and the Course of Conflict

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About the Book

This is a study of the Korean War of 1950–1953 from the inside—the nuts and bolts of armed conflict. The perspective is American, with the principal focus on the relationships of the people involved: North and South Koreans, the Chinese and Soviets, and how the U.S. and its allies engaged with them all. The lives of ordinary soldiers are examined—U.S. forces, with attention paid to the other side as well. The book examines such important aspects of military operations as supplies, equipment and weapons, tactics and strategy, intelligence, and psychological warfare, as well as the effective elimination of racial segregation in the U.S. military. Also studied is the vexing matter of prisoners of war, on both sides. Finally, there is an effort to fit Korea into the generalities of American military experience in Asia, from the war with Japan to Vietnam.

About the Author(s)

Arthur H. Mitchell is a distinguished professor of history at the Salkehatchie Campus of the University of South Carolina. He lives in Allendale, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Arthur H. Mitchell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 308
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6857-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0133-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface: The Evolution of a Reluctant Soldier 1
Introduction 7
One. Prelude to War 11
The Korean Past (by Joseph Bibb Siren) 12
Two Koreas 18
An Army at Rest 27
A First World Army 42
White Allies 43
Two. Participants in War 64
Conflicting Koreans 64
Americans and Koreans 74
Chinese and American Soldiers 95
Communist Bloc: Russians, Chinese and Koreans 104
United States and Other United Nations Supporters 109
Race in War 111
GI Joe and Other Soldiers 121
Three. Aspects of a War 143
Uncle Sam’s Supplies 143
Contrasting Tactics and Weapons 149
On the Sea and in the Air 162
Intelligence and Special Operations 179
Psychological Warfare 187
Prisoners of War 195
Back Home 215
Four. Peninsula War, International Consequences 230
China Confronts America 230
Cease Fire 232
Strategies and Outcomes 234
United States 237
People’s Republic of China 238
Republic of China (Formosa Annex) 241
USSR 242
Japan 243
Britain 244
France and Vietnam 246
Turkey 247
Conclusion: The Measure of It All 253
Reference Notes 261
Bibliography 284
Index 295

Book Reviews & Awards

Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“of the many works on the Korean Conflict, this may be among the most balanced…high praise must also go to Mitchell for his analyses. A lucid writing style, thorough documentation, and a superb up-to-date bibliography make this a required purchase…essential”—Choice.