Event Page

Korean War


The Korean War began when North Korea invaded South Korea in June 1950. North Korea’s communist leaders desired a unified, communist Korea, but they did not anticipate President Truman’s fierce dedication to his policy of containment and a quick U.S. military response. The Korean War, defined by two years of stalemate along the 37th parallel, became the heated conflict of the Cold War and showed the world that the United States would defend all democracies against Communist invasion.


Related Pages

Inchon, Korea



General Douglas MacArthur Dismissed

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When the Korean War started in June 1950, Truman called on General Douglas MacArthur, the hero of the Pacific in WWII, to lead the troops in Korea. MacArthur made a successful amphibious campaign, landing behind the enemy’s lines at Inchon. His invasion began on September 15, 1950, and by November the U.S. Army had crossed the 38th parallel, taking control of the greater part of Korea. Although MacArthur’s actions were approved by Washington, the U.S. invasion northward provoked the Chinese. Prior to the invasion, MacArthur assured President Truman that China would not get involved, but he was proved wrong when the Chinese mobilized their troops The Chinese Army invaded Northern Korea and MacArthur pushed for a counter-offensive, but Truman and others in Washington disagreed. They felt that Europe and the Soviet Union were the priority and not war with China. An enraged MacArthur publicly denounced the President’s orders and Truman had no choice but to remove him from duty. Truman’s decision was not well received by the public. MacArthur came home a hero while Truman looked like a Communist appeaser. Without MacArthur, the war fell into a stalemate. For two more years the war continued and men died on the battlefield while Washington tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a cease-fire with China.

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Event Details

South Korea: 984,400 1
United States of America: 169,325 1
Major Persons Involved:
General Douglas MacArthur: In charge of U.S. forces until April 1951 2
General Mathew Ridgway: Became leader of U.S. forces after MacArthur was removed 2
Lt. Col. Charles Smith: Led the U.S. forces against the first conflict with North Korea 2
Battle of Inchon:
15 Sep 1950 2
Battle of Inchon:
Inchon, Korea 2
Battle of Pusan:
05 Sep 1950 2
Battle of Pusan:
Pusan, Korea 2
Battle of Seoul:
25 Sep 1950 2
Chinese Enters War:
08 Oct 1950 2
General MacArthur dismissed:
April 1951 2
Korean War Begins:
25 Jun 1950 2
Korean War Ends:
27 Jul 1953 2
Marines reach Seoul capital building:
27 Sep 1950 2
Operation Thunderbolt begins:
25 Jan 1951 2
U.S. & Chinese forces meet:
01 Nov 1950 2
Location: Seoul, South Korea 2

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