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1951 - Korean War

1951_Korean War_min.JPG

Title: 1951 - Korean War

About: After initial defeats the tide of the war began to turn and the North Korean forces were pushed back towards the Yalu River and the border with China.  However, the intervention of Chinese troops forced UN troops into a retreat back to the 38th parallel, followed by stalemate as neither side was capable of a decisive breakthrough.

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War.


The South Koreans were initially over-whelmed, but in July American troops entered the war in an attempt to stem the tide of communism that they feared would sweep through Asia.  By September 1950, an American-led breakout had the North Korean forces in disarray, and UN troops pushed deep into North Korea.  As they approached the border with Manchuria, there were ominous signals from Peking that communist China would intervene to defend its territory, and indeed, in November the Chinese unleashed their armies. The UN forces recoiled in disorder and, by the new year, were defending a line well to the south of Seoul, the capital of South Korea.


Despite low morale, the UN line held, then moved north again. This time, there was no reckless advance into the north. After some back-and-forth advances and retreats across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them. The remaining two years of fighting consisted of near-static operations as both sides fought from heavily fortified positions, using artillery, mines and wire to deny the enemy access to strategically important ground.


Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to cobble together an armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many refer to as “the Forgotten War”.

Decade: 1950s

Year: 1951

Region: Asia

Country: South Korea + North Korea + China + USA

Conflict: Cold War

Conflict: Civil War

Type: Historical Event

Impact: 9

Artist: Jaroslaw Marcinek


Group: Genesis

Number: 51/100

Price: 0.9 ETH


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