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Thread: US Unpreparedness 1945-1950

  1. #1
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    Default US Unpreparedness 1945-1950

    America certainly did not seem terribly determined or effective in the Korean conflict. If provoking the United States is such a big mistake why did Americans allow themselves to be humiliated by the Chinese and North Koreans only a few years after the conflict with Japan?

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    Default Re: Biggest mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945 View Post
    America certainly did not seem terribly determined or effective in the Korean conflict. If provoking the United States is such a big mistake why did Americans allow themselves to be humiliated by the Chinese and North Koreans only a few years after the conflict with Japan?
    Well, this isn't the forum for that. But you seem to fail to appreciate that the Korean War was the last thing that anyone in America expected. She merely arrogantly sent in half-trained troops softened by years of guarding Japanese girls, Sapporo beer, and sushi. They were expecting the North Korean soldiers to drop their rifles and run, but US soldiers found that they had absolutely no means to destroy the Soviet supplied T-34 tanks as their 2.75" bazookas that were already obsolete by 1943 were even more ineffective and many of the weapons were literally pulled out of storage they had been in since 1945. And the tanks that the Americans had in occupation Japan were M-24 Chaffees chosen for their low weight and not combat effectiveness for an erroneous rapid deployment concept. In short, the US conventional forces had deteriorated since WWII basically due to the over reliance on nuclear deterrence and had become a "tripwire force" that lacked training for defense-in-depth warfare (very ironically, since that's exactly what they would have to engage the Soviets in during a potential European conflict. It took one of America's finest generals of the 20th century, Matthew Ridgway, and a couple of years of on-the-job retraining and reequipping for the conscript US Army to overcome all this. There are several sources that detail this. I suggest Max Hastings' book on "The Korean War."

    http://www.amazon.com/Korean-War-Max.../dp/067166834X

    Here are some links:

    http://korea50.army.mil/history/fact.../tfsmith.shtml

    http://www.korean-war.com/Archives/2.../msg00044.html

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Tanks and the Korean War: A case study of unpreparedness
    Armor; Sep/Oct 2000; George F Hofmann;

    ISSN: 00042420

    Abstract:
    When the US Army went to war with Korea, it found itself unprepared to fight
    and win the first and succeeding battles. Hofmann argues that the
    unpreparedness was due to massive underfunding and poorly managed
    demobilization after World War II.


    "I believe we need to read the lessons closely lest we repeat, at
    inestimable cost, the mistakes for which we paid so dear a price."

    General Matthew B. Ridgway The Korean War (1967)

    As the U.S. Army went to war in Korea in June 1950, it once again found
    itself unprepared to fight and win the first and succeeding battles.1 In
    order to understand why the Army was unprepared, we must examine the postwar
    development of doctrine regarding mechanized warfare with tanks as the main
    maneuver element.

    On the eve of the Korean War, the nation's defense establishment had set
    aside much of what had been learned about the conventional combined arms
    armor doctrine so successfully demonstrated in Western Europe in World War
    II, and instead had begun to depend on nuclear weapons delivered by air
    power. As this was happening, the Army was digesting the war's lessons,
    attempting significant changes in organizations, weapons systems
    development, and doctrine, based on the success of the combined arms
    approach developed during the war.

    It was quite evident that the tank had revolutionized battlefield dynamics.
    The armored force that swept across Europe had learned some important
    lessons, chiefly that it was essential for ground forces and tactical air to
    fight in combination, and that tanks could not operate independently in
    battle. Another lesson was that it was important to have tank units organic
    to infantry divisions, and consequently, a tank battalion was made organic
    to each infantry division to assist in the assault.2 Armor was expected to
    exploit the breakthrough, then strike out to pursue the enemy. In short, the
    Army believed that the combined arms team, built around the tank, could make
    operational level exploitation possible.

    One doctrinal milestone emerged in January 1946, with the "Report of the War
    Department Equipment Board," the Stilwell Board, which was named after its
    president, the respected General Joseph W. Stilwell. Based on immediate
    postwar reports from Europe on tactical employment of armored and infantry
    divisions, one of its many recommendations called for establishment of a
    combined arms force to conduct extended service tests of new weapons and
    equipment. The board suggested that this proposed combined arms force
    formulate a doctrine for its employment, specifically aimed at providing a
    ready force quickly available for any military contingency.

    The report proposed three types of tanks: a light tank for reconnaissance
    and security; a medium tank capable of assault action, exploitation, and
    pursuit; and a heavy tank capable of assault action and breakthrough. The
    board also recognized the importance of developing components specifically
    for tanks rather than relying, as in the past, on standard automotive
    components. It was now accepted that the tank was a special vehicle.
    Finally, the board based its recommendations on the idea that the next war
    would again be total, with the use of air power and atomic weapons, and that
    victory could only be achieved by occupying the enemy's territory.3

    Based on another recommendation of the Stilwell Board, the commander of the
    Army Ground Forces, General Jacob L. Devers, disbanded the tank destroyer
    branch. Tank destroyer doctrine was no more than an early World War II
    defensive response to the threat of mechanized warfare and its main ground
    maneuver element, the tank. But as the war progressed, tanks improved and
    accounted for most of the tank-on-tank combat. By the end of the war, the
    M26 Pershing tank offered better armor protection than the openturreted tank
    destroyers and mounted a 90mm gun as good or better than the guns on the
    TDs.4

    As the Army was steeply down-sizing, it would be difficult, if not
    impossible, to implement the Stilwell Board's recommendations. The cuts were
    so drastic that during his tour as Army Chief of Staff, between November
    1945 and February 1948, General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower remarked
    that implementing the rapid demobilization of the wartime army was more
    unpleasant than being head of the occupation forces in Germany. His tenure
    as Chief of Staff, Eisenhower noted, was full of frustrations. The wartime
    Army was falling apart, rather than demobilizing, while he was struggling
    with Congress over budgetary problems and the public outcry to "bring the
    boys home." Adding to this dilemma, troop discontent over inequities in
    demobilization almost turned into a mutiny. Eisenhower struggled with the
    need to redeploy the Army for occupation duties in Germany, Austria, Japan,
    and Korea, and there was an ongoing debate over the unification of the
    military services.5

    Although the U.S. had developed more modern tanks, the WWII-era Sherman
    M4A3E8s carried the burden of much of the fighting early in the Korean War.

    Speaking on national security at the Nebraska Fair in Lincoln on August 31,
    1947, General Devers observed that during the two years after the end of
    hostilities in Europe and the Pacific, the United States demobilized the
    Army and Navy, "until it became evident that, with every reduction in the
    power at our disposal, there was a corresponding deterioration in the
    international situation."6 Even before the war had ended in Europe, the
    Secretary of State advised the War Department of serious deterioration of
    relations with the Soviet Union. A year later, Secretary of State James
    Byrnes had painted a very pessimistic picture regarding Soviet aggressive
    tendencies in Eastern Europe.7 These developments made the international
    situation more unstable, yet the President was implementing a defense policy
    based on deep cuts in conventional military expenditures in favor of
    reliance on nuclear power delivered by air.

    General Devers reacted with criticism of the nation's policy makers. He
    claimed they had missed opportunities to educate the public about world
    problems. Regarding the future Army, he said he was disappointed that
    Congress was resisting the President's and War Department's plan for
    universal military training, which was necessary to fill the ranks of the
    National Guard and Organized Reserves. Devers argued that since the bulk of
    the Regular Army was on occupation duty and garrisoning United States
    territories, there would be a major manpower problem if a war occurred.8 Two
    years later, the Army would be stretched even further by the need to assign
    ground troops to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which - along with
    the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan - were part of the nation's new policy
    of containing Soviet expansionism.

    When the economy-minded Republicans gained control of both houses in
    Congress in the 1946 elections, the Army's future became even more vague.
    Senator Robert A. Taft, an influential Republican isolationist, challenged
    the country's postwar role in internationalism, and was a proponent of
    limited government. The Ohio senator was not enthusiastic about committing
    U.S. ground forces in Europe. Instead he supported the Navy and a policy of
    reliance on air power and nuclear weapons for national defense.9

    Adding to the Army's predicament was the influence of atomic bomb scientist
    and author Vannevar Bush, who was head of the Office of Scientific Research
    and Development during World War II, and beginning in September 1947, the
    director of the Joint Research and Development Board, created to resolve
    technological differences between the several departments and agencies in
    the military establishment. Earlier he had suggested to Congress that the
    military limit its work to improvements in existing equipment rather than
    perusing technological development. Shortly before the war started in Korea,
    Bush wrote the Army Chief of Staff, General Omar N. Bradley, that the day of
    the tank's dominance was fading. He argued that for the cost of one tank,
    100 antitank guns could be built, using new ammunition to fight and hold
    defensive lines in Europe against a preponderance of Soviet tanks.10

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Throughout this period Congress tenaciously held to its illusion of insular
    security despite growing Soviet intransigence and aggressiveness. By
    controlling the purse, Congress was able to influence a national strategic
    policy, limiting military force levels and weapon systems development
    programs. The Army suffered the most under the fiscal restraints of the
    legislative branch, having its appropriations, especially for research and
    development, cut each year until the war broke out in Korea. Before he left
    office in February 1948, General Eisenhower warned that the unbalanced
    budget situation had rendered the Army increasingly unable to mobilize in a
    national emergency. The outgoing Army Chief of Staff stated that the Army
    had in essence purchased no new equipment, including tanks, since World War
    II. Therefore the Army, he warned, was in no situation to train and arm its
    troops adequately to meet demands of emerging international threats.
    Consequently, the ground forces reported state of readiness to deal with
    contingencies and defensive plans were nothing but "mere scraps of paper,"
    Eisenhower concluded.11

    Military manpower continued to decline, not for a lack of volunteers, but
    due to Army budget cuts. Despite an increasingly turbulent new world order,
    the home front was more preoccupied with its move to suburbia, concern over
    rising prices and inflation, labor unrest, a crisis in education, housing
    shortages, and tax disputes. Meanwhile, the National Defense Act of 1947 had
    separated the Air Force from the Army, giving it equal status with the Army
    and Navy. The new Defense Department establishment, under a civilian head
    with cabinet status, was intended to improve wartime operations of the
    services, but instead politicized the process, making it difficult to
    establish centralized planning due to multiservice bickering and squabbling
    amongst the service chiefs. This increased the competition for military
    technology funding during a period of budget constraints.

    With the technologically driven air power proponents striving to achieve a
    greater nuclear delivery capability and the Navy, traditionally the most
    expensive of the military services, fighting for its share, there were
    virtually no funds for armor research and development. This weakened the
    Army's political situation, depriving the ground forces of the means to
    develop a proper relationship between the doctrine and technology required
    for mechanized warfighting as envisioned by the Stilwell Board.

    The Truman Administration, continually driven by domestic policies that
    focused more on the postwar economy and social programs, remained adamant
    about defense cuts. In 1948, the Army had to impose an 80 percent reduction
    in equipment requirements, thus deferring any equipment modernization. In
    1948, when the Joint Chiefs of Staff submitted a $30 billion defense budget
    based on their perceptions of national security needs, Truman capped their
    budget at the $14.4 billion set in 1947 and progressively reduced in
    succeeding fiscal years until January 1950, when it was reduced again to
    $13.5 billion. Congress also reduced the authorized Army end-strength from
    677,000 to 630,000. When North Korea invaded South Korea, the U.S. Army's
    actual strength was only about 591,000 men. And only 6,000 serviceable tanks
    remained in 1950 of the more than 28,000 tanks the country had at the end of
    World War II.12

    Although President Truman blamed rapid post-World War II demobilization of
    America's mighty military force on the people, the press, and Congress, he
    also went to great lengths to hold down defense spending.13 Truman's
    ambitious Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, whose economy drive on the
    eve of the Korean War again fell heavily on the Army, best illustrated this.
    Johnson believed that the best national defense policy rested on nuclear air
    power. Unlike Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Acheson favored a more
    flexible policy based on deployable military power that would enhance
    American diplomacy. This policy found support in a recommendation made
    shortly before the invasion of South Korea in a secret National Security
    Council study (NSC-68), which called for a stronger ground force to deal
    with increasing challenges caused by the spread of communism worldwide.14

    Secretary Acheson, however, defined the country's strategic defensive
    perimeter along a line that included Japan and Taiwan but did not include
    Korea, a country where the Joint Chiefs of Staff had earlier advised the
    President that the United States had little strategic interest. They argued
    that military retrenchment and budget cuts forced them to take U.S. military
    forces out of Korea.15 At the same time, there was disagreement between the
    Central Intelligence Agency and Army Intelligence over the possible outcome.
    The CIA advised that withdrawal of U.S. ground troops from South Korea in
    the spring of 1949 would in time be followed by an invasion from the North.
    The Army's Intelligence Division disagreed, claiming troop withdrawal would
    not encourage a North Korean move.16

    Meanwhile, early in 1949, an advisory panel on armor reported that the U.S.
    Army had no tank on production or in development capable of defeating the
    types possessed by the country's potential enemies. The panel considered
    this situation critical. Unless the Army's tank development situation was
    improved, the panel reported, the United States would not have enough tanks
    to support a major ground war for a least two and a half years after the
    beginning of hostilities. One solution suggested was to take advantage of
    America's great industrial capabilities and the mechanical aptitudes of its
    people.17

    A 1949 field manual emphasized the importance of the offensive role of
    armor, noting that the faster armor moves and the quicker it accomplishes
    its offensive mission of penetration and envelopment, the fewer the losses
    and more effective the gains. Exploitation was considered a continuation of
    penetration and envelopment. Tankers were expected to plan boldly and
    execute their missions with aggressiveness and violence, employing
    firepower, mobility, and speed.18

    In March 1950, the Hodge Report named after Lieutenant General John R.
    Hodge, the post-World War II Army corps commander in Korea - stated that
    armor was more effective when employed as part of the combined arms team of
    tank, infantry, artillery, combat engineers, and tactical air power. Armor's
    mission with the combined arms team was destruction of enemy forces with
    firepower, mobility, and shock action. The report added that attacking
    towards deep objectives in pursuit and exploitation over considerable
    distances was the role for armor at the operational level. In the design of
    tanks, the report stated, firepower, maneuverability, and mobility were more
    important than armor protection, although armor remained important. Like the
    Stilwell Board, it recommended tanks be organic to infantry regiments and
    divisions, and that three types of functional tanks be developed.
    Disheartened, the Hodge Report noted that Army research and development had
    been curtailed and would likely be further reduced.19

    By 1950, Army doctrine had been revised in many ways; however, it was
    basically a refinement of World War II experience. It was Eurocentric,
    designed to fight a total war, rather than contingency operations in present
    and future less-than-total war situations around the world.20 Congressional
    and White House actions had reduced nine of 10 Army divisions into
    ineffective skeletons, impacting training. This was especially true of the
    four occupation divisions stationed in Japan. That congested country and its
    road conditions did not permit extensive training exercises, especially for
    medium and heavy tanks. Moreover, because of the military austerity program,
    these divisions were deficient in authorized tank strength. Rather than
    having a standard complement of one heavy tank battalion of M26s and three
    regimental medium tank companies of M4s, each division had only one company
    of M24 Chaffee light tanks, no match for the Soviet-built T34/85 tanks that
    the North Koreans Peoples' Army used to spearhead their invasion of South
    Korea.

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    On the eve of the Korean War, the Army had approximately 3,400 M24 light
    tanks in the inventory, most of them unserviceable. In addition, there were
    available approximately 3,200 M4A3E8 Sherman medium tanks of World War II
    vintage, of which only a few more than half were serviceable.21 The M4
    mediums were the workhorse of U.S. ground troops during World War II. They
    were not tactically capable of head-to-head engagement with German tanks.
    Their battlefield success was due more to superior numbers and the ability
    of U.S. tankers to maneuver to a position where a penetrating round could
    find a weak spot.22 To engage superior German tanks, the Army introduced,
    late in the war, the heavier armed and armored M26 Pershing. However, the
    first three M26s that were rushed to Korea from the Tokyo Ordnance Depot had
    chronic problems, especially overheating engines and defective fan belts.23

    Also introduced to Korea was the M46 Patton. Fielded in 1949, the M46 was an
    M26 upgraded in engine reliability and cooling. Accordingly, tankers went to
    war in Korea with equipment mostly left over from World War 11. In addition,
    many tankers were illtrained and ill-prepared, receiving equipment just days
    before engaging the T34/85S.24

    In the beginning, the Korean War was a war of movement. U.S. tank units were
    assigned to various infantry divisions, regimental combat teams, and task
    forces for mobile fire support and antitank capabilities. No large armor
    units - regiments, brigades or divisions - saw service in Korea. After the
    counter-invasion by the Chinese Communist forces and what was left of the
    North Korean People's Army, the conflict became a defensive war of attrition
    and increased firepower to support infantry forces. Despite mountainous
    terrain and restricted trafficability, tanks proved to be potent adjuncts in
    support of infantry. Often they were used for indirect fire missions or
    deployed in fixed defensive positions. Though most armor action was
    infantry- and artillery-driven, Korea demonstrated the value of tanks as
    infantryaccompanying weapons, and on occasion, achieved spectacular results
    in executing fairly deep mechanized task force operations despite
    mountainous terrain and trafficability restrictions.25

    A 1954 Johns Hopkins study, "Tankvs-Tank Combat in Korea," recorded that
    U.S. tanks were approximately three times as effective as enemy tanks. It
    noted that American tanks destroyed about 25 percent of the enemy tank
    force, largely due to higher first-round engagements and hits.26 As a result
    of early experiences in Korea, a 1951 policy conference on armor revived the
    Stilwell Board's recommendations for three types of functional tanks: a
    light gun tank distinguished by its mobility; a medium tank characterized by
    its ability to sustain itself in all types of combat action; and a heavy
    tank to defeat any enemy on the battlefield.27 Conversely, the British, who
    considered the Patton tank "all too pansy," had indicated that, unlike the
    U.S. Army, one all-purpose tank, like their Centurion, was more suitable for
    armor operations.28

    In spite of various armor policy recommendations following the Stilwell
    Board Report, battlefield dynamics in a limited war changed the relationship
    between maneuver and firepower, emphasizing increased use of air power and
    artillery.

    At the 1954 Armor Conference, the question of armor mobility was positioned
    within the national strategy of nuclear air power. It rationalized that
    mobility and flexibility would become more decisive on a nuclear
    battlefield. The conference concluded that armor was more capable of
    attaining relatively superior mobility that could provide a decisive
    advantage in a European-style battle. The conference accepted the concept of
    firepower and attrition but suggested it be integrated with the freedom of
    action that armor provided.29 Naturally, mobility depended upon equipment
    characteristics, which required a trade-off between mobility and
    survivability. Summarizing, the conference noted that firepower was the
    decisive factor, and that armor doctrine be based on the fundamental concept
    that power coupled with an unexcelled ability to maneuver firepower at the
    decisive time to the decisive place. Yet for the decades following the
    Korean War, firepower systems and attrition warfare doctrine dominated. This
    doctrine finally gave way to the visionary AirLand Battle doctrine for
    warfighting at the operational level that characterized Allied operations
    during the Gulf War.30

    Concluding, there are a number of historical observations to consider. First
    are the country's political objectives. Until the war in Korea, Congress and
    the President were more prone to political and economic containment of the
    Soviet Union and collective security through the United Nations rather than
    promoting a combat-ready ground force to deal with contingencies, as
    suggested by the Stilwell board.

    This situation again demonstrated that the country's leadership failed to
    adopt a national defense policy that took advantage of technological changes
    brought about as a result of World War IL Congress and the President also
    lacked the vision to fully understand the importance of the conventional
    component of a national military policy. The outcome was that traditional
    military heritage once again came in conflict with postwar domestic and
    political demands, causing a serious gap between foreign policy and a
    suitable military policy.

    The second observation deals with the issue of military strategy, which is
    how to win the next war. The post-World War II military austerity invoked by
    the White House and Congress had a ripple effect, stifling Army research and
    development necessary for innovation with a mobile strike force trained and
    equipped to fight and win the first and succeeding battles.

    At top of page, M46 tanks of the 64th Tank Battalion undergo final
    inspection before an operation supporting the 3rd ID in July, 1951. At left,
    an M46 rolls down one of country's few high-speed roads. The M-46 at lower
    right slowly moves into a village. The knocked-out North Korean vehicle at
    center, above, is a 76mm self-propelled field gun.

    The Army's post-war doctrine on how to organize and fight its next war was
    not in agreement with required modern equipment assets necessary to execute
    its mission. Consequently, the strategic, operational, and tactical links
    for winning the first battle never materialized. This was due to a national
    strategy that did not take into consideration the relationship between
    threats and the need for technological advances. As a result, the Army had a
    force structure and equipment that did not fit its future warfighting
    doctrine that became outmoded in spite of the Stilwell Board's
    recommendations. Instead the national defense strategy of the country relied
    on nuclear weapons and intercontinental airpower capabilities and the
    exercise of coercion called deterrence, America's Maginot Line.

    Third, when the U.S. Army entered the Korean War, an innovative tank program
    and a visionary mobile combined arms doctrine - suggested by the Stilwell
    Board and endorsed by the Hodge Report - were all but forgotten.

    As revolutionary as the tank was in World War II, its future full potential
    was not to be realized with a ground force whose mission began to change as
    a result of America's expanding international commitments to contain
    communism. As a result of the Army's lack of preparedness, North Korean
    forces, led by their T-34/85s, pushed the allies back to the Pusan
    Perimeter, a tiny sliver of the peninsula, before it could accumulate
    sufficient strength to stop the North Koreans and launch a counteroffensive.

    The neglect of armor research and development and a makeshift organization
    led to many frustrations for tankers in Korea, who fought and died there
    while employing, in most cases, wornout, World War II equipment. This
    experience was a clear example of the importance of readiness and the need
    to modernize organization, training, and equipment to deal with the
    ever-changing threats and technical advances of warfighting.

    Unfortunately, funds that did trickle down for armor research and
    development degraded the health of the armor force, a legacy that continued
    long after the "Forgotten War" in spite of the changes in warfighting from a
    World War II concept of total war to the dynamics of a limited war.

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    This paper was presented as part of a panel session entitled, "The Korean
    War `Tank Crisis' of 1950, " chaired by BG Jack Mountcastle, USA (Ret.) at
    the Society for Military History annual meeting at the Marine Corps
    University. The commentator at the session was GEN Donn A. Starry. The
    author would like to express thanks to GEN Starry and Charles Lemons,
    Curator of the Patton Museum, for their assistance while he was researching
    the article.
    The Sherman "Easy-8" was outclassed in tank-to-tank combat by the early
    '50s, but was still formidable in its main Korean War role, supporting
    infantry. This scene shows an M4 accompanying U.S. and Korean infantrymen
    through a nibbled street.

    Notes
    1Eric C. Ludvigsen, "The Failed Bluff of Task Force Smith: An `Arrogant
    Display of Strength'," ARMY, February 1992, pp. 36-45, and William G.
    Robertson, "Economy of Force: Repulsing the North Koreans Along the Naktong,
    1950," in Roger J. Spiller, gen. ed., Combined Arms in Battle Since 1939
    (Fort Leavenworth, Kan: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College Press,
    1992), pp. 97-103.
    2Christopher R. Gabel, "World War II Armor Operations in Europe," in George
    F. Hofmann and Donn A. Starry, eds., Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History
    of U.S. Armored Forces (Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 1999),
    pp. 179-80.
    3Report of War Department Equipment Board, 19 January 1946, Falkovich
    Collection, Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Ky., pp. 8-9,
    42-4. Hereinafter cited as Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum. Also see
    Jonathan M. House, Toward Combined Arms Warfare: A Survey of 20th Century
    Tactics, Doctrine, and Organization, Research Survey No. 2 (Fort
    Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff
    College, August 1984), pp. 146-9, and Philip L. Bolte, "Post-World War II
    and Korea: Paying for Unpreparedness," in Camp Colt to Desert Storm, pp.
    218-20.
    4Report of War Department Equipment Board, Falkovich Collection, Patton
    Museum, p. 42. For an excellent study on the too-specialized TD doctrine,
    see Christopher R. Gabel, Seek, Strike, and Destroy: LLS. Army Tank
    Destroyer Doctrine in World War II (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies
    Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, September 1985).
    5Dwight D. Eisenhower, At Ease: Stories 1 Tell to Friends (New York:
    Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1967), pp. 316-20, and R. Alton Lee, "The Army
    `Mutiny' of 1946," Journal of American History, December 1966, pp. 555-71.
    For a provocative account of mobilization and military unpreparedness, see
    Michael Kendall, "An Inflexible Response: United States Army Manpower
    Mobilization Polices, 1945-1950" (Ph.D. dissertation, Duke University,
    1982).
    6Address by General Jacob L. Devers at Veterans' Day Observance, Lieutenant
    General George W. Read, Jr. Files in possession of author, p. 2.
    7Samuel P. Huntington, "The Interim Years: World War II to January, 1950,"
    in Raymond G. O'Connor, ed., American Defense Policy in Perspective: From
    Colonial Times to the Present (London: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1965), p.
    298, and James F. Byrnes, Speaking Friendly (New York: Harper & Brothers
    Publishers, 1947), pp. 277-97.
    8Address by General Jacob L. Devers, pp. 2, 4.
    9Thomas D. Boettcher, First Call: The Making of the Modern U. S. Military,
    1945-1953 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1992), pp. 116-7.
    10S. Everett Gleason and Fredrick Aandahl, gen. eds., Foreign Relations of
    the United States
    1950: National Security Affairs; Foreign Economic Policy, Vol. I
    (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977), pp. 231-33. Also see
    Nathan Reingold, "Vannevar Bush," in John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes,
    eds., American National Biography, Vol. 4 (New York: Oxford University
    Press, 1999), p. 80.
    11Louis Galambos, ed., The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower: The Chief of
    Staff, Vol. IX (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978), pp.
    2254-6. For an excellent study on Congress and its ability to influence the
    military through power of the purse, see Edward A. Kolodzeij, The Uncommon
    Defense and Congress, 1945-1963 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press,
    1966).
    12William W. Epley, America's First Cold War Army 1945-1950 (Arlington, Va.:
    The Institute of Land Warfare, Association of the United States Army, 1999),
    pp. 6, 11.
    13Memoirs by Harry A. Truman: Years of Trial and Hope 1946-1952 (Garden
    City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1956), p. 345.
    14Steven L. Rearden, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense: The
    Formative Years 19471950 (Washington: Historical Office, Office of the
    Secretary of Defense, 1984), pp. 406-10. For brief discussions of NSC-68,
    see Maurice A. Mallin, Tanks, Fighters, & Ships: U.S. Conventional Force
    Planning Since WWII (Washington: Brassey's, Inc., 1990), pp. 41-62, and John
    Edward Wilz, "Korea and the United States, 19451950," in Stanley Sandler,
    ed., The Korean War: An Encyclopedia (New York: Garland Publishing, Inc.,
    1995), pp. 176-7.
    15Dean Acheson, Present at the Creation: My Years in the State Department
    (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1969), pp. 349-53, and Eisenhower, At Ease,
    pp. 319-20.
    16"Consequences of a U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Korea in Spring, 1949," and
    "Appendix," 28 February 1949, in Michael Warner, el., The CIA under Harry
    Truman (Washington: Center for the Study of Intelligence, Central
    Intelligence Agency, 1994), ORE 3-49.
    17Report of Army Field Forces Advisory Panel on Armor, Vol. 1, 18 February
    1949, Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 5-7.
    18Department of the Army, FM 17-100 Armored Division and Combat Command,
    December 1949, Patton Museum, pp. 85-7.
    19Report of the Army Equipment Board 1950, Fort Monroe, Va., 8 March 1950,
    Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 27-9.
    20Robert A. Doughty, The Evolution of U.S. Army Tactical Doctrine, 1946-76,
    Leavenworth Papers (Fort Leavenworth: Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army
    Command and General Staff College, August 1979), p.1.
    21Bolte, "Post-World War II and Korea: Paying for Unpreparedness," p. 204.
    22S. R. Hinds, "Comparison of United States Equipment with Similar German
    Equipment," in Major General I. D. White, Commanding General
    2d Armored Division, A Report on United States vs. German Armor to General
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, Headquarters 2d Armored Division, 20 March 1945,
    Patton Museum, p. 1.
    23R, p, Hunnicutt, Pershing: A History of the Medium Tank 720 Series
    (Berkeley, Calif.: Feist Publications, 1971), pp. 178-9.
    24For two superb studies on armor's calamity and the excellent adjustments
    made by tankers during the war, see Bolte, "Post-World War II and Korea:
    Paying for Unpreparedness," pp. 21758, and Arthur W. Connor, Jr., "The Armor
    Debacle in Korea, 1950: Implications for Today," Parameters, Spring 1992,
    pp. 66-76.
    25eadership Branch, Armor in Battle, (Fort Knox: Leadership and Training
    Division, Command and Staff Department, U.S. Army Armor School, March 1986),
    pp. 3-I to 3-27. For additional details, see John F. Antal, "Tanks at
    Chipyong-Ni," ARMY, March 1998, pp. 24-32, Scott D. Aiken, "The 72d Tank
    Battalion in Operation TOUCHDOWN," ARMOR SeptemberOctober 1992, pp. 44-8,
    and Sam Friedman, "Tankers at Heartbreak," ARMOR, SeptemberOctober 1952, pp.
    24-7.
    26Vincent V. McRae and Alvin D. Coox, "Tank-vs-Tank Combat in Korea,"
    Operations Research Office (Chevy Chase, Md.: The Johns Hopkins University,
    8 September 1954), Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 2-3.
    27Report of U.S. Army Policy Conference on Armor, Fort Monroe, 16-20 October
    1951, Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, pp. 1-2.
    28"Tanks: How Do They Rate?" 24 March 1952, Newsweek, pp. 30-1.
    29"Effect of Atomic Weapons on the Employment of Armor," in Final Report of
    United States Army Policy Conference, 15-19 November 1954, Fort Knox,
    Falkovich Collection, Patton Museum, 1-3.
    30On This issue, see Robert H. Scales, "From Korea to Kosovo: America's Army
    Learns to Fight Limited Wars in the Age of Precision Strikes," Armed Forces
    Journal International, December 1999, pp. 36-41.

    [Author note]
    Dr. George F. Hofmann is a history professor at the University of
    Cincinnati, who served in the U.S. Army (Armor). He is the author of The
    Super Sixth: A History of the Sixth Armored Division, Cold War Casualty: The
    Court Martial of Major General Robert W. Grow, and edited with Donn A.
    Starry Camp Colt to Desert Storm: The History of U.S. Armored Forces. He is
    a contributor to History in Dispute, World War N, and a frequent contributor
    to ARMOR and The Journal of Military History.

    Link

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    BTW, I do not agree totally with the thesis of the above article that "it was Truman's fault." The writer fails to account for the high costs in terms of command-and-control, security, and vigilance of America's Nuclear arsenal and how many in the Army simply thought that conventional forces were largely useless for more than guarding and occupying...

    It not just simply a case of the US Army being underfunded, as the much higher initial performance of the US Marine Corp, which showed immense tactical superiority over their largely demoralized, half-trained US soldier counterparts, is evidence that the US Army was poorly trained for real combat and simply trained for the expectation of repeating the Autumn 1944 to Spring 1945 into Germany while "rolling along." The US Army had simply forgot how to defend, and devalued the notions of rigorous combat training and rigorous cohesion inspired by good, qualified leadership. Their leadership had become complacent and had reverted to allowing incompetent mid-level officership which WWII had done a good deal to purge in a Darwinian sense. And much of this began at the top with Douglas MacArthur.

    But he raises a lot of interesting points regarding the directionless post-WWII US doctrine regarding the use of conventional forces.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Well, this isn't the forum for that. But you seem to fail to appreciate that the Korean War was the last thing that anyone in America expected. She merely arrogantly sent in half-trained troops softened by years of guarding Japanese girls, Sapporo beer, and sushi. They were expecting the North Korean soldiers to drop their rifles and run, but US soldiers found that they had absolutely no means to destroy the Soviet supplied T-34 tanks as their 2.75" bazookas that were already obsolete by 1943 were even more ineffective and many of the weapons were literally pulled out of storage they had been in since 1945. And the tanks that the Americans had in occupation Japan were M-24 Chaffees chosen for their low weight and not combat effectiveness for an erroneous rapid deployment concept.
    Hardly the T-34 that was obsolet already in the 1944 were so invincible for US army in 1950.
    Remember Europe 1944- even when US army had nothing simular to the newest GErman heavy tanks - the USAAF very effectively knocked them out . The P-51 relatively easy destroed and neitralized the German Panthers and Tigers.
    So there is no doubt- the reason of initual failure of US army in Korea wasn't military.
    I rather think it was a psychological-in fact the Korean war started as inner civil war of Koreans.
    But after involving to it the US army - this has been international conflict where a lot of states like China and USSR would have been inevitably involved.
    I think the initial lack of American- they simply didn't wish to fight and die on Alien war.The entire Korean war was an alien for them.
    What did they fight for here?
    For "democracy"?
    But if the absolute majiority of Koreans didn't wish it.
    But the SOuthern Korean democracy hardly differ from Nother one in 1950.They also killed a political opponents and civils , suspected in symphaties for commis.
    For virtual Americans "interests"?
    Probably, but anyway they were not so motivated as the N.Koreans who fought for their land.
    Besides don't forget - in fact this war for N/Korean was a sort of "anti-colonian" it has been portrayed as "liberation" in their propogand.
    Therefore they were so strong and Southern Koreans - such weak. They would lose for sure if not the DIRECT American military support.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan
    Hardly the T-34 that was obsolet already in the 1944 were so invincible for US army in 1950.
    Let me clarify. It was invincible to the men of "Task Force Smith," the first troops deployed directly from Japan. They did not have access to the newer 3.5" Bazooka rocket launcher which would destroy the T-34. And the weapon's issuance was slowed simply because it was not a priority. Most of their weapons were from WWII, making the T-34/85 more than adequate. I think they had artillery that was about 105mm and there were some Chaffee tanks that were considered light tanks designed for reconnaissance that still mounted the ineffective 75mm gun. The NK Army had about 150 T-34s and they simply, in the initial contact, drove past US infantry after they had shot down most of the North Korean infantrymen who then found themselves leap frogging in full retreat with tanks and greater numbers of NK reinforcements in pursuit or simply ignoring them...

    Remember Europe 1944- even when US army had nothing simular to the newest GErman heavy tanks - the USAAF very effectively knocked them out . The P-51 relatively easy destroed and neitralized the German Panthers and Tigers.
    Oh contraire. It is now generally recognized that VERY FEW German panzers were hit from the air. It was mostly their support vehicles and horses, but few panzers were hit by the "jabolts." They mostly moved at night. Most German tanks were in fact destroyed by Shermans, Tank destroyers, anti-tank wielding infantry, mines, or indirect fire artillery..

    So there is no doubt- the reason of initual failure of US army in Korea wasn't military.
    I rather think it was a psychological-in fact the Korean war started as inner civil war of Koreans.
    But after involving to it the US army - this has been international conflict where a lot of states like China and USSR would have been inevitably involved.
    I think the initial lack of American- they simply didn't wish to fight and die on Alien war.The entire Korean war was an alien for them.
    What did they fight for here?
    For "democracy"?
    But if the absolute majiority of Koreans didn't wish it.
    But the SOuthern Korean democracy hardly differ from Nother one in 1950.They also killed a political opponents and civils , suspected in symphaties for commis.
    For virtual Americans "interests"?
    Probably, but anyway they were not so motivated as the N.Koreans who fought for their land.
    Besides don't forget - in fact this war for N/Korean was a sort of "anti-colonian" it has been portrayed as "liberation" in their propogand.
    Therefore they were so strong and Southern Koreans - such weak. They would lose for sure if not the DIRECT American military support.
    We'll, you're over politicizing it a bit. The American Army's performance dramatically improved by mid-1951 as more rigorous tactical unit training was re-instituted by request of Ridgway. The US Marines greatest issue was their use of mass infantry human wave assault tactics which caused them heavy casualties on counterattacks, but the fought much better than their US Army counterparts. And as for air support, that was one of the major reasons they were not pushed into the sea to begin with. But things took a while to reposition in Japan and there speed of the NK advance overran many potential US airfields as the attack almost caught the US completely by surprise. And while South Korea was governed by tin pot dictators, there was absolutely far more tolerance given to opposition as S. Korea was authoritarian with a political opposition while the North was autocratic under complete state control..

    The war as an "anti-colonial" one is a sham, since North Korea was no less a colony than South Korea was and Sung was simply installed after the Soviets decided they wanted to control the northern half. There is much blood on the hands of both sides, but the Northern ones' are far bloodier. In fact, we'd be hard pressed to find any US colonists as even the army really didn't want to be there. And it was little more than a cynical power grab by Kim il Sung who was never democratically elected, and unlike Ho Chi Minh, probably never would have been accepted in the South of the country. Not without a pluralistic, factional gov't...

    And I think 99.9% of humanity would prefer to be South Korean over being a starving, fearful North Korean at this point as we all know which "colony" evolved into a vibrant, economic powerhouse of a democracy. You can say whatever one wants about US policies which are often shitty, but in Korea, they were resisting a war of aggression, not an armed struggle of national liberation.

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    The biggest problem the US forces had when first sent to Korea was a very simple one - they weren't soldiers. They were civilians, who dressed up in pretty uniforms while running the occupation of Japan. When deployed overseas to face soldiers - even very bad ones such as the North Koreans were - they fell to pieces. A few still fought (largely the senior ones with WW2 experience) but the majority fell to pieces.
    The follow-on forces who had actually been trained properly and turned into soldiers did rather well...

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Quote Originally Posted by pdf27 View Post
    The biggest problem the US forces had when first sent to Korea was a very simple one - they weren't soldiers. They were civilians, who dressed up in pretty uniforms while running the occupation of Japan. When deployed overseas to face soldiers - even very bad ones such as the North Koreans were - they fell to pieces. A few still fought (largely the senior ones with WW2 experience) but the majority fell to pieces.
    The follow-on forces who had actually been trained properly and turned into soldiers did rather well...
    I agree. But even more than the soldiers overall fitness and training, their tactical training seem to involved little more than a mechanized army on holiday. There was little defensive training conducted by the US Army by 1948, and the Army was gutted from 1945 levels in terms of manpower as there were less than 600,000 US soldiers from I think a peak Wartime level of over seven million (without checking, I could be wrong)...

    The main problem is that US commanders and politicians from both parties saw future war as push button.

    I would contest the notion that the North Koreans were "bad" soldiers though. Many had been in combat since the thirties fighting the Japanese and both North and South Korea sparred over the years. They were actually a pretty experienced force that was vastly better equipped than the South and even the Americans initially. However, they were annihilated after Inchon and most of the better units were destroyed in the siege of the Pusan peninsula. That goes double for the Chinese, who were very good and well trained soldiers with an enormous amount of experience to draw on.

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Let me clarify. It was invincible to the men of "Task Force Smith," the first troops deployed directly from Japan. They did not have access to the newer 3.5" Bazooka rocket launcher which would destroy the T-34. And the weapon's issuance was slowed simply because it was not a priority. Most of their weapons were from WWII, making the T-34/85 more than adequate. I think they had artillery that was about 105mm and there were some Chaffee tanks that were considered light tanks designed for reconnaissance that still mounted the ineffective 75mm gun. The NK Army had about 150 T-34s and they simply, in the initial contact, drove past US infantry after they had shot down most of the North Korean infantrymen who then found themselves leap frogging in full retreat with tanks and greater numbers of NK reinforcements in pursuit or simply ignoring them...
    Oh so Yanks had noting to stop the T-34
    But can ignore the rest of NK army
    That's most fanny explanation tht i've even heard
    Oh contraire. It is now generally recognized that VERY FEW German panzers were hit from the air. It was mostly their support vehicles and horses, but few panzers were hit by the "jabolts." They mostly moved at night. Most German tanks were in fact destroyed by Shermans, Tank destroyers, anti-tank wielding infantry, mines, or indirect fire artillery..
    Oh Nick this is really revelation for me.
    The US aviation wasn't so effective endeed as it was portrayed in West?
    Really just FEW tanks has been destroyed?
    We'll, you're over politicizing it a bit. The American Army's performance dramatically improved by mid-1951 as more rigorous tactical unit training was re-instituted by request of Ridgway. The US Marines greatest issue was their use of mass infantry human wave assault tactics which caused them heavy casualties on counterattacks, but the fought much better than their US Army counterparts.
    You can't ignore the political and patriotic motivation of NK army, Nick.
    I'm agree the US army capabilities to fight rised seriously during the conflict.
    But it was still alien war for them, wasn't it?
    And as for air support, that was one of the major reasons they were not pushed into the sea to begin with. But things took a while to reposition in Japan and there speed of the NK advance overran many potential US airfields as the attack almost caught the US completely by surprise. And while South Korea was governed by tin pot dictators, there was absolutely far more tolerance given to opposition as S. Korea was authoritarian with a political opposition while the North was autocratic under complete state control..
    What difference between the Two dictators states if one have the opposition ( but periodically executed them, we all saw the photos) and other - that forbid the opposition at all?
    Take a look at the modern S Korea.
    I hardly doubt that they have more democraty then for instance the communist China- both states enough autocratic and have own "formal" opposition. ( In China this is ComParty opposition)
    The war as an "anti-colonial" one is a sham, since North Korea was no less a colony than South Korea was and Sung was simply installed after the Soviets decided they wanted to control the northern half.
    Nick , every time when you are going to use the academic style, you make a simle mistakes.
    Soviets NEVER controlled neither the N Korea in 1951 nor China during the Civil war 1946-49.
    Thay simple helped them with wearponry and specialists.
    The both just use the simular communist ideoligy - but this wasn't nessesary they were the firends( remember the SOviet-Chinas military comflicts in 1970)
    The N Korean Forces have not been managed by the Soviets.
    TO the contrast in the SOuthern Korea there were american contingent and the UNION Alles command was under full American controll ( MacArtur). The OWN S. Korean forces were subordiated to the American command.
    Soviets never "controlled" the Koreans as much as Yanks controlled the SOuth, just helped them.
    There is much blood on the hands of both sides, but the Northern ones' are far bloodier.
    And now you use the pure propogand
    Hardly the N Koreans killed more own peoples then the Americnas who started the new Firebombing compain.
    And I think 99.9% of humanity would prefer to be South Korean over being a starving, fearful North Korean at this point as we all know which "colony" evolved into a vibrant, economic powerhouse of a democracy. You can say whatever one wants about US policies which are often shitty, but in Korea, they were resisting a war of aggression, not an armed struggle of national liberation.
    You always "resisted of agression" .
    Even in dirty war in Vietnamwhere according the US "reports" 99.9% of peoples in Nother Vietnam "being a starving" and "treating" by the commie...
    I hope you understand that this is a matter of propogand
    Be sure N/Koreans also portrays as they resisted of an "American Imperialism"
    I/m not going to insult the american fellows who so greatly fought in Korea ( even in Sky against "Soviet Inviders" But this was a alien war for them.
    As and most of other post ww2 conflict where the USA has been involved.
    Last edited by Chevan; 06-02-2008 at 01:57 AM.

    "I decide who is a Jew and who is an Aryan "- Hermann Goering

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    Oh so Yanks had noting to stop the T-34
    They had plenty of things that could deal with the T-34, but none of them were given to Task Force Smith in Korea.

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    Default Re: US Unprepardness 1945-1950

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevan View Post
    That's most fanny explanation tht i've even heard.
    Mate, you asked me in another thread why I didn't help you improve your English.

    This could be the time to start.

    Because they don't speak normal English there, 'fanny' in America means bottom, backside, arse.

    In Australia, much to the amazement of Americans shocked by the reaction of my primitive people when Americans use the term in polite society (I'm going on what people tell me about polite society as I have no experience of it ), fanny means the opposite anatomical orifice on the front of a lady.

    I think you mean funny.

    Unless you want to make a fanny of yourself.

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    Default Re: US Unpreparedness 1945-1950

    You can be a funny fanny when you want to be RS

    Regards digger

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