Today marks the 65th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. Most of us here know that the war itself has not ended, that the DPRK and the ROK remain in a state of war, temporarily becalmed by an armistice signed in July of 1953.
The war was fought by Veterans of World War II, as well as their little brothers. There were more than 36,000 US killed in action among the more than 130,000 American casualties in that war, many times the order of magnitude of Iraq and Afghanistan combined. In just over three years. There are lessons aplenty from that war regarding preparedness, combat training, leadership, and budget-driven assumptions.
There are several superlative works on the Korean War, fiction and non-fiction. Here are some I recommend highly:
T. R. Fehrenbach’s This Kind of War
James Brady’s The Coldest War
Two Martin Russ works, The Last Parallel, and Breakout.
S. L. A. Marshall’s The River and the Gauntlet
Pat Frank’s magnificent novel Hold Back the Night
P. K. O’Donnell’s Give me Tomorrow
Clay Blair’s The Forgotten War
There are many, many others, including some incredibly good Army monographs, but those are among my favorites. I lent out Marshall’s book some years ago (you know who you are!!) and never got it back. So that may be my next purchase.
Anyway, the first test of the Strategy of Containment began in the early hours, sixty-five years ago this morning.