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Korean War News



Marine Corps

Crucible of the Marines

Historians like to argue that the conflict in Korea ended with no victors, a virtual stalemate, no winners and no losers. In the black-and-white world of the 1950s, and even today, Americans had a hard time understanding the Korean War – or even remembering it – because there was no definitive ending, no “Victory-in-Korea” Day parades, no John Wayne-like endings. Unlike other wars, bookstores rarely have a “Korean War” section, and instead generically lump books about the war into a “military history” section. The truce signed in 1953 effectively declared that neither side could claim victory. Although United Nations Command forces pushed North Koreans back out of South Korea, the UNC left Korea much the way it was before the war began. Perhaps the historians are right.

Yet one group of Americans did emerge from three years of battle with something to show for themselves. The Marine Corps, which was much reduced in size after World War II, came home from Korea standing proud. For Marines and their Corps, the significance of the Korean conflict couldn’t have been more meaningful, because it burnished forever the reputation of the Corps. Only after the conflict did the military begin to see the Corps, already 175 years old, as its new best friend.   

Marines Galleries


Lubold, Gordon. Crucible of the Marines

For additional information contact:
United States Marine Corps History Division
3078 Upshur Avenue
Quantico, Virginia 22134
Museums Division-National Museum of the Marine Corps website; (703) 784-2606 or 2607
Marine Corps Education Command website; (703) 784-4685


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