Island Dweller has some thoughts on the Czars mercurial rant on Korea:
Most esteemed Czar
A close examination of the photo of that poor man on that lonely Korean hilltop will disclose some deep slash wounds on the palm of his visible hand. My law enforcement experience tells me those are defensive wounds. This man was trying frantically to stave off lethal thrusts from a Chinese or North Korean bayonet or knife. It would appear someone ended the struggle in a more direct manner as shown by the bullet hole in the helmet. The Korean War was the beginning of the phase of American military operations where, once it proved impossible to gain ground on the enemy, success in Korea would subsequently be measured in numbers of enemy killed or wounded (Operations Killer and Ripper), vice ground gained. This would reach its zenith in the “body count” mania in Vietnam.
Korea was an especially brutal and vicious war, fought against enemies who were heedless of their own losses, on some of the most mountainous terrain in the world, and in some of the most brutal weather imaginable. The killing and dying went on long after it should have stopped, once the line on the 38th parallel had stabilized. What happened in the first few months of the war can be traced to failures of military and diplomatic management (not leadership), shared at the top by HST and his Secretary of Defense, Louis S. Johnson. Remember that Truman asked for the resignation of James V. Forrestal in 1949, this after some heated disagreements between Truman and JVF over the defense budget. JVF wanted them increased, HST didn’t. Johnson got the post after apparently agreeing slavishly to implement any cuts Truman desired. The end result was the debacle in Korea. How interesting Johnson was fired by HST on September 19, 1950. I hope he lost a lot of sleep after he left office.
It is sobering to reflect the same mentality regarding relations with the US exists north of the 38th Parallel today as it did in July, 1953 when that armistice went into effect. It’s almost like a time warp exists in that unhappy land. it’s not called the “Hermit Kingdom” for nothing, I guess.
The Czar does not know the provenance of the photograph; it could be genuine or it could have been done outside Van Nuys in 2008. But either way, it serves its purpose.
Trumanhowever the Czar wound up defending Harry lately is a little oddlargely sought to bring the military expenditures under control. Truman perpetually assumed that money was being wasted in the military that could have been spent better. Of course, as a Democrat, Truman was convinced evil big business was wasting the money (which, in the 1940s, it often was). Let us not forget that when Eisenhower was stepping down, he realized how insanely deep the Department of Defense was embedded within big business interests.
Whichever; the disaster of Korea was not of course caused by Truman cutting the budget, but by letting the Department fester into idleness. We can excuse a lot, but make no mistake: Truman severely underestimated the lethality of communism.
Little appreciated fact: when the North invaded South Korea, our reaction time was terribly slow thanks to our ignorance of communism. As calls came in from Seoul, the DEW line in Canada saw nothing. Troops in Germany saw no Soviet tanks. Troops in Taiwan saw nothing. Nothing. Perhaps Seoul was mistaken about the invasion, because the communists everywhere else werent attacking.
We had no idea that North Korea, China, and the Soviet Union were competing and often mutually hostile entities. We thought communists were all one big, nasty government and that an invasion of North Korea meant the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Taiwan, and Japan would ipso facto be under simultaneous attack. When one Seoul-based company commander proved to the Pentagon that Seoul was under attack by allegedly holding his phone out the window to hear the shelling, the assumption by the Joint Chiefs was that North Korea simply jumped the gun and advanced too soon. Rather than respond in force, we waited for hours in order to watch the Soviets and China to see if they were mobilizing.
Okay, the point of this historical tidbit is that at the time, Truman believedas did nearly everyone elsethat communists everywhere were ready to act in concert. Yet, he continued to let the military become indolent and untrained…despite the fact that he thought we were badly outnumbered and subject to imminent invasion.
Truman, whatever his strengths were, handled Korea either incompetently or ignorantly. You pick which. The Czar picks both.
Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.