There are two sides to every story and as I said in Part 5, there are two reasons for the Korean War.
After more than a century of rebellions, wars, and civil war, China was tired of being bullied by Western Imperial powers and Japan. It wasn’t about to make the same mistakes the Qing Dynasty and the Nationalists had made.
After all, the Japanese had invaded Manchuria through Korea. Why not the US?
Since UN forces were driven back from the Chinese border, we will never know if China’s fears were justified. Would the South Korean army (ROK) have invaded Manchuria taking the UN forces with them?
After all, it was the ROK army that earlier led the charge into North Korea while the UN held back waiting for the politicians thousands of miles away to decide what to do.
After losing South Korea’s capital of Seoul to China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the UN’s troops found themselves 35 miles south of the city well below the Han River.
This segment introduces the first use of Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (MASH), which helped keep wounded UN and US troops alive.
MASH units were first used in Korea. They were life saving systems that operated close to the front lines and could quickly relocate.
Each unit was equipped with a helicopter fleet for air rescue, paramedics and cutting-edge medical technology.
The MASH units saved 25% more wounded than in World War II.
By January 1951, the PLA’s supply lines were overextended, which may explain the mystery behind why the Chinese forces started to moved north instead of south about this time.
Since the Chinese were retreating, General Ridgway decided to launch a full-scale offensive called Operation Thunderbolt.
By February, UN troops were overlooking Seoul from across the Han River.
With February came bad weather that turned the earth to mud making it difficult to move and limiting the PLA’s ability to receive much needed supplies to feed and arm their troops. The Chinese were starving.
However, the UN had the US Air force’s huge air transport fleet to deliver food. The winds of war had shifted again and this time it was the PLA that was suffering.
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