The Korean War (1950–armistice, 1953) was a military conflict between the Republic of Korea, supported by the United Nations, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China (PRC), with military material aid from the Soviet Union. The war began on 25 June 1950 and an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. The war was a result of the physical division of Korea by an agreement of the victorious Allies at the conclusion of the Pacific War at the end of World War II. The Korean peninsula was ruled by Japan from 1910 until the end of World War II. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, American administrators divided the peninsula along the 38th Parallel, with United States troops occupying the southern part and Soviet troops occupying the northern part. The failure to hold free elections throughout the Korean Peninsula in 1948 deepened the division between the two sides, and the North established a Communist government. The 38th Parallel increasingly became a political border between the two Koreas. Although reunification negotiations continued in the months preceding the war, tension intensified. Cross-border skirmishes and raids at the 38th Parallel persisted. The situation escalated into open warfare when North Korean forces invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950. It was the first significant armed conflict of the Cold War. The United Nations, particularly the United States, came to the aid of South Korea in repelling the invasion. A rapid UN counter-offensive drove the North Koreans past the 38th Parallel and almost to the Yalu River, and the People's Republic of China (PRC) entered the war on the side of the North. The Chinese launched a counter-offensive that pushed the United Nations forces back across the 38th Parallel. The Soviet Union materially aided the North Korean and Chinese armies. In 1953, the war ceased with an armistice that restored the border between the Koreas near the 38th Parallel and created the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a 2.5-mile (4.0 km) wide buffer zone between the two Koreas. Minor outbreaks of fighting continue to the present day. With both North and South Korea sponsored by external powers, the Korean War was a proxy war. From a military science perspective, it combined strategies and tactics of World War I and World War II: it began with a mobile campaign of swift infantry attacks followed by air bombing raids, but became a static trench war by July 1951.
Korean War - 1950-1953
In the predawn hours of Sunday, June 25, 1950, the North Korean forces, spearheaded by tanks and self-propelled guns, unleashed all-out attacks across the 38th parallel. The Korean War consisted of four distinct phases. * Initially, the Communist army advanced against increasing resistance as it forced the United Nations defenders into the Pusan perimeter in the most southeastern part of South Korea. * The second phase began in 1950 when the North Koreans suffered a complete reversal of fortune when the UN forces landed at Inchon, far beyond the battle line; burst from the Pusan perimeter; shattered the North Korean Army; and pursued its remnants northward. * The third phase began when China intervened in force in November 1950, surprising the scattered United Nations armies as they approached North Korea’s northern border and driving them back to the vicinity of the 38th parallel. * Finally, the fourth phase was a stalemate, during which neither side would risk vast casualties in an attempt to gain a complete victory. Truce talks began in July 1951, but the fighting continued until July 1953, when the negotiations at last bore fruit and the conflict ended in a cease-fire agreement. Unlike after its previous wars, the United States did not fully and immediately demobilize after the fighting subsided in Korea. Production and spending continued at a relatively high level. In this respect, the Korean War was the most important event in...
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