The US Army’s 5 Disastrous Wartime Decisions

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4. Across the Partition, 1950

Following the glorious victory on the beaches of Inchon and the victorious defense of Pusan, the US Military and Marine Corps marched deep into North Korea having support from Republic of Korea forces. Their goal was to eliminate the Pyongyang regime and hand over full control of the Korean Peninsula to Seoul.

The United States saw a counteroffensive as a chance to reduce the Communist power gained following the Chinese Revolution and punish the Communist world for assaulting the Korean Peninsula.

This was an operational and strategic disaster. As American forces reached the Chinese border on two different (and mutually impossible to be supported) axes, Chinese troops marched towards the North Korean mountains.

In November 1950, the Chinese counterattacked throwing back US Army and Marine Corps troops with a high number of casualties on both sides. For a time, it seemed as if the Chinese Army’s counteroffensive would entirely annihilate UN forces. However, the events didn’t get any worse leading to what is now known as the Demilitarized Zone.

The invasion resulted in another two years of war, during which neither the US nor China could move beyond the 38th parallel. It also destroyed US-Chinese relations for a long time.

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