U.S. Marines in the Korean Warby Charles R. Smith
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The anthology of articles that follows was compiled by the History and Museums Division during the 50th Anniversary commemoration of the Korean Conflict, 1950–1953. The focus of the various authors who wrote these historically related works on Korea did so to remember those Marines who fought and died in what some historians sometimes characterized as the “forgotten war.” Forgotten or
not, the Korean conflict was without parallel in Marine Corps history and no one who experienced it or lived through this era could ever forget the difficulties that they would encounter there.
The Korean War also represented a milestone in the developmental history of the Marine Corps. For perhaps what could very well be the last time, the Marine Corps made an opposed World War II style amphibious landing against a dedicated enemy. Korea was also the opening salvo in what became known as the Cold War. In reality, Korea represented the beginning of a series of “limited wars” that would be fought by the United States with the express political purpose of keeping such conflicts from developing into full blown world wars. Frustratingly for the men and women in uniform during the Cold War, political considerations frequently overrode military exigencies and logic. Having just successfully concluded a total war against an enemy whose objectives were clearly identifiable, the Korean conflict proved fraught with political twists and turns that made the military’s job immensely more difficult. This was especially evident during the “stalemate” phase of the war,
1952–1953. No less bloody or violent, this period of the conflict saw the Marine Corps incur a significant number of casualties.
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