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The Services

Korean War News

Events

 

Navy

Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

Navy Train with Locals

To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

 

Navy Galleries

 

Source
Source
Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

For additional information contact:
The Navy Department Library
Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
Washington, DC
(202) 433-4132
Navy History and Heritage Command website

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a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Publications [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/273 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [2111] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => last [1] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Graphic Novel [#href] => node/1525 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2111 [plid] => 363 [link_path] => node/1525 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Graphic Novel [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 0 [weight] => -35 [depth] => 2 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 363 [p2] => 2111 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Graphic Novel [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1525 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [#sorted] => 1 [#theme_wrappers] => Array ( [0] => menu_tree__main_menu ) ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 363 [plid] => 0 [link_path] => node/261 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => History [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 1 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -47 [depth] => 1 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 363 [p2] => 0 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => History [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => 1 [access] => 1 [href] => node/261 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => active-trail ) ) ) ) [#children] =>
  • History
  • [#printed] => 1 ) [1152] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Testimonials [#href] => testimonial [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 1152 [plid] => 0 [link_path] => testimonial [router_path] => testimonial [link_title] => Testimonials [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => system [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -46 [depth] => 1 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 1152 [p2] => 0 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => views_access [access_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;a:2:{i:0;s:16:"views_check_perm";i:1;a:1:{i:0;s:14:"access content";}}} [page_callback] => views_page [page_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:11:"testimonial";i:1;s:4:"page";} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => testimonial [title] => Testimonials [title_callback] => t [title_arguments] => [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [href] => testimonial [access] => 1 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) [#children] =>
  • Testimonials
  • [#printed] => 1 ) [426] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => expanded ) ) [#title] => KW60 Events [#href] => node/435 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( [1296] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => first [1] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Events [#href] => node/435 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 1296 [plid] => 426 [link_path] => node/435 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Events [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -50 [depth] => 2 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 1296 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Events [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/435 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [1297] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Events Map [#href] => node/952 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( [title] => Events Map ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 1297 [plid] => 426 [link_path] => node/952 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Events Map [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( [title] => Events Map ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -49 [depth] => 2 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 1297 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Events Map [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/952 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( [title] => Events Map ) ) ) ) [2105] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => expanded ) ) [#title] => Heroes Remembered, July 27 Commemoration [#href] => node/1500 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( [2110] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => first [1] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Heroes Remembered [#href] => node/1500 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2110 [plid] => 2105 [link_path] => node/1500 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Heroes Remembered [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -20 [depth] => 3 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 2110 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Heroes Remembered [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1500 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [2107] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Letters from Korea [#href] => node/1511 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2107 [plid] => 2105 [link_path] => node/1511 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Letters from Korea [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 0 [weight] => 0 [depth] => 3 [customized] => 0 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 2107 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Letters from Korea [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1511 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [2106] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Twilight Tattoo [#href] => node/1513 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2106 [plid] => 2105 [link_path] => node/1513 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Twilight Tattoo [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => 0 [depth] => 3 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 2106 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Twilight Tattoo [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1513 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [2108] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Marine Corps Parade [#href] => node/1510 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2108 [plid] => 2105 [link_path] => node/1510 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Marine Corps Parade [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => 20 [depth] => 3 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 2108 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Marine Corps Parade [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1510 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [2109] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => last [1] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Operation Reckless [#href] => node/1501 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2109 [plid] => 2105 [link_path] => node/1501 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Operation Reckless [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => 30 [depth] => 3 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 2109 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Operation Reckless [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1501 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [#sorted] => 1 [#theme_wrappers] => Array ( [0] => menu_tree__main_menu ) ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 2105 [plid] => 426 [link_path] => node/1500 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Heroes Remembered, July 27 Commemoration [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 1 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => 0 [depth] => 2 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 2105 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Heroes Remembered, July 27 Commemoration [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1500 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [1885] => Array ( [#theme] => menu_link__main_menu [#attributes] => Array ( [class] => Array ( [0] => last [1] => leaf ) ) [#title] => Pentagon Korean War Exhibit [#href] => node/1486 [#localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [#below] => Array ( ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 1885 [plid] => 426 [link_path] => node/1486 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => Pentagon Korean War Exhibit [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 0 [expanded] => 0 [weight] => 30 [depth] => 2 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 1885 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => Pentagon Korean War Exhibit [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/1486 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) ) [#sorted] => 1 [#theme_wrappers] => Array ( [0] => menu_tree__main_menu ) ) [#original_link] => Array ( [menu_name] => main-menu [mlid] => 426 [plid] => 0 [link_path] => node/435 [router_path] => node/% [link_title] => KW60 Events [options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) [module] => menu [hidden] => 0 [external] => 0 [has_children] => 1 [expanded] => 1 [weight] => -45 [depth] => 1 [customized] => 1 [p1] => 426 [p2] => 0 [p3] => 0 [p4] => 0 [p5] => 0 [p6] => 0 [p7] => 0 [p8] => 0 [p9] => 0 [updated] => 0 [load_functions] => a:1:{i:1;s:9:"node_load";} [to_arg_functions] => [access_callback] => node_access [access_arguments] => a:2:{i:0;s:4:"view";i:1;i:1;} [page_callback] => node_page_view [page_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [delivery_callback] => [tab_parent] => [tab_root] => node/% [title] => KW60 Events [title_callback] => node_page_title [title_arguments] => a:1:{i:0;i:1;} [theme_callback] => [theme_arguments] => a:0:{} [type] => 6 [description] => [in_active_trail] => [access] => 1 [href] => node/435 [localized_options] => Array ( [attributes] => Array ( ) ) ) [#children] =>
  • KW60 Events
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  • Media & Press
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  • Resources for Scholars
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  • Apps
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  • Virtual Tours
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  • Contact Us
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    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

    [collapsed title=CLICK FOR MORE CONTENT]

    In July the escort carrier USS Sicily left San Diego, ferrying aircraft to Japan, while the fleet carriers Philippine Sea and Valley Forge were soon in Korean waters. The Royal Navy light fleet carrier HMS Triumph had left Ominato in Japan the day before the North Korean invasion, but was ordered to return to Japan, while the second-in-command of the Far East Fleet, Rear Adm. Andrewes, moved his flagship, the cruiser HMS Belfast, from northern Japan to Yokosuka. On June 28 the Triumph, the cruiser HMS Jamaica, and two destroyers joined the Australian frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and an oiler at Kure.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships.

    The presence of the carriers proved a godsend to the hard-pressed ground forces, because the ground war was still too fluid to permit the construction of large airfields. Bombers based in Japan pounded strategic targets, but the precise tactical support needed by ground troops could only be provided at short notice by naval aircraft. The U.S. Navy reactivated three Essex-class carriers, and by the fall the battleship Missouri was to be joined by her recommissioned sisters Iowa and New Jersey to provide massive fire support with their 16-inch guns. The solitary Royal Navy carrier Triumph was relieved by her sister Theseus and later by the Glory and Ocean. The Royal Australian Navy contributed HMAS Sydney, yet another example of the versatile 14,000-ton British Colossus design. The British carriers suffered from a shortage of suitable aircraft, the Seafire proving yet again that it wasn’t sufficiently robust for carrier landings. The replacement of the Seafires and the Firefly 1s by longer-ranged Sea Furies and Firefly 5s improved efficiency noticeably.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships. Junks laid minefields at night, and several warships were damaged. The Wonsan landings were seriously jeopardized when it was discovered that the latest Soviet magnetic mines could not be swept by World War II vintage non-magnetic minesweepers.

    MacArthur was determined to exploit his forces’ command of the sea. As early as July 4, 1950, he convened a meeting to discuss a proposed landing at Kunsan or Inchon, codenamed Operation “Bluehearts.” It proved impracticable at this early stage, but the 1st Marine Division was brought to readiness in the U.S. and sailed from San Diego in mid-August. The new plan, “Chromite,” selected Inchon as the site, primarily because it was only 25 miles from Seoul, whose liberation would hearten the South Koreans, and 16 miles from Kimpo Airport. On the other hand, it was the worst possible choice for a landing, having a large tidal range, a 7-8 knot tidal stream, and a very constricted approach, among other drawbacks. But boldness won the day, MacArthur reckoning that Inchon’s very unsuitability would lead the North Koreans to neglect its defenses. On September 15, after several days of “softening up” by gunfire and bombing, the Marines went ashore, and by the end of the day 13,000 troops and their equipment were safely landed, at a cost of only 21 dead and 275 wounded or missing. Kimpo fell on September 17, followed by Seoul.

    Navy Mine SweepingThe hard fighting was done by ground troops, backed up by air power, but Inchon changed the course of the war. On September 23, the North Koreans withdrew from the Pusan Perimeter, freeing considerable U.S. forces for offensive action, and by driving the enemy back almost to the 38th parallel MacArthur showed that a proper integration of sea, land, and air power was the only way to get decisive results. However, his decision to pursue the beaten DPRK forces across the old frontier, although sound on paper in that its intention was to destroy the enemy’s army, proved disastrous, both strategically and politically. The UN advance into North Korea on October 9 provoked Chinese intervention, enlarging the war and running the risk of over-extending supply lines. China was simply too big to ignore, and the intervention of its land and air forces changed the diplomatic rules for Washington and its European allies.

    For the navies the first new commitment was to support an amphibious landing at Wonsan on the east coast, intended to capture its steel mills, power station, and port facilities. But the success of Inchon was not to be repeated with such ease. The Soviet Union provided sufficient advanced mines to the DPRK to allow a major trial of defensive mine warfare, not just at Wonsan but also at Hungnam in the north and Chinnampo on the west coast. Both Hungnam and Wonsan had good harbors, with a shallow shelf eminently suitable for mining.

    The 1st Marine Division landed on October 25, five days later than planned, because of the need to sweep the main channels clear of mines. But clearance of the whole area took 15 days in all, and the RoK Army captured the town before the Marines could get ashore. Sweeping had required nine minesweepers, three of which were sunk. The massive advantage of sea power had been nullified, temporarily at least. To quote Adm. Forrest Sherman, “If you can’t go where you want to when you want to, you have not got command of the sea.”

    By November 21, RoK ground forces had reached Hyesan on the Manchurian border, the farthest point reached by any UN forces in the war, and U.S. and other UN forces were only 75 miles from the Yalu River at Sinuiju by November 24. This was to be the limit of the UN advance, however, because two days later the Chinese forces counterattacked in strength, forcing an equally rapid withdrawal. For the first time United Nations aircraft encountered MiG-15s operating from bases on the Chinese side of the border, an irritant which led to calls to bomb their bases. Now it became imperative to extricate the forces as soon as possible. Winter was closing in, making the position of the 1st Marine Division very vulnerable. Once again naval support was essential to cover the withdrawal, as the Marines fought a rearguard action over the 78 miles between the Chosin Reservoir and Hungnam. Close support was provided by the U.S. Navy carriers Badoeng Strait, Leyte and Philippine Sea, flying over 200 sorties a day between them.

    The next big Chinese offensive, known as the New Year Offensive because it was launched on January 1, 1951, soon had UN forces heading back to the 38th parallel. To observers it looked all too like the retreat to the Pusan Perimeter, but this time the U.S. and its allies had the benefit of adequate resources, particularly naval air support. On May 11 the Australian Government agreed to increase its contribution significantly by dispatching the light fleet carrier HMAS Sydney and two destroyers. The fact that the Australian carrier was virtually identical to the Royal Navy carriers already on station, and flew the same types of aircraft, simplified logistics and enabled her to be assimilated into the existing organization very quickly. Similarly the Dutch destroyers Piet Hein and van Galen had been acquired from the Royal Navy, and could use the same spares.

    In addition to providing air support from its carriers, the British Commonwealth ships carried out many subsidiary missions on the east coast, leaving the U.S. Navy carriers to concentrate on west coast operations. East coast operations included interdiction of minelaying in coastal waters by North Korean craft, and supporting raids behind enemy lines by local guerrillas. The maze of small islands were ideal for such clandestine activities, but they were also vulnerable to counteraction by the North Koreans, and it was occasionally necessary to extricate the guerrilla groups or to neutralize attacks. In May 1953 a North Korean attempt to smoke these hornets out of their nests, the islands of Hachwira and Sanchwira in the Chinnampo estuary, was thwarted by massive intervention. On May 25 the battleship USS New Jersey, accompanied by the cruiser HMS Newcastle, arrived on the scene. The giant battleship fired 32 16-inch shells at Amgak and batteries on the north side of the Taedong River, while the cruiser neutralized enemy gun positions with her 6-inch guns. A typhoon caused a number of moored mines to break adrift in the far north, near Changjin and Hungnam. Thirty were sighted and sunk, but the naval salvage tug Sarsi hit one and sank off Hungnam. Attempts to salvage her were abandoned after rescue ships came repeatedly under fire at only 5,000 yards range.

    Winters in Korean waters were stormy, and maintaining a blockade and loitering on station were always wearing on ships and personnel. In October 1952 Hurricane Ruth vented its fury on the Australian carrier Sydney and her escort, the Dutch destroyer van Galen. The carrier received a warning while at Sasebo in Japan, and she left harbor the same morning. By late in the afternoon she was rolling violently (a maximum of 22˚ was recorded), and aircraft on the flight deck were being damaged. Ruptured long-range fuel tanks leaked gasoline fumes into the ship’s ventilation system, and water between decks reached the engine rooms. The hurricane reached its peak of ferocity near midnight, by which time a Firefly had been washed overboard. Not far from the battered carrier a hired U.S. Navy troop transport, the SS Kongo Maru, had run aground on a small island, and another dozen ships were wrecked in the area. Only hard work by tugboats had saved the ships in Sasebo from a similar fate.

    In July 1952 the U.S. Navy changed its policy on west coast bombardments. In future there would no indiscriminate firing, and fire support would only be directed at points where fall of shells could be observed. During the latter half of the year a number of ships were damaged and suffered casualties because the enemy’s artillery became more accurate. Conversely Seventh Fleet doctrine laid great emphasis on interdiction, and there were rarely enough aircraft to spare for air support and air spotting.  Similar conditions prevailed on the east coast, and on August 6 the destroyer USS Pierce was hit seven times and brought to a dead stop.

    On land the Chinese offensive had finally been halted and then pushed back beyond the 38th parallel, and by July 1951 the Main Line of Resistance had been established. The climate was now more favorable to armistice negotiations, but that long drawn-out process is only peripheral to the naval activities of the UN forces.  A bizarre feature of the war was the way in which hostilities continued for another 16 months from February 1952, after the last substantial obstacle to an armistice had been removed by patient negotiation.  In July 1953 the Chinese launched very heavy attacks, and once again TF 77 provided valuable support to South Korean forces in counterattacks. A five-week extension of the war had cost 46,000 casualties, mostly South Koreans, and the Communists had lost an estimated 75,000.

    The Korean War occupies a unique place in history as the first attempt by a superpower in the nuclear age to use limited force to achieve its objectives. There were many who felt that the endless negotiations at Panmunjom were evidence that the U.S. and its allies had been robbed of a victory. But the passage of time lends a fuller perspective to this apparent failure. In fact Korea is now seen as the first test case of the Western Alliance’s determination to face down Communist attempts at subverting small nations. Although we now know that President Truman never had the slightest intention of implementing MacArthur’s views on the use of nuclear weapons against China, this was a dominant fear among America’s allies. In fact it can be claimed that the naval effort not only saved the day when the North Korean land forces first crossed the 38th parallel in 1950, but also contributed overall to the “management” of the conflict. By containing the conflict, the naval forces prevented it from reaching a point where a humiliating defeat for the U.S. could be used as an excuse for a preemptive nuclear strike, or even the lower risk of “hot pursuit” of the Chinese forces across the Yalu River into Manchuria. Against the background of the Cold War, Korea can be seen as a setback for Stalin’s strategy of encouraging surrogates to draw his enemies into piecemeal defeats. Critics of the 1953 armistice also conveniently overlook the fact that the Republic of Korea has prospered in the last 40 years, despite unrelenting hostility from the Pyongyang regime. Indeed, it is the North which has suffered economic collapse, and its incompetence is at last recognized as beyond rescue by Russia or China.

    Korea saw the deployment of the entire range of naval power: aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers, down to small minesweepers and landing craft. Hostile forces were negligible in the sense that they could never offer battle to such an armada of ships, but could and did use local conditions cleverly to inflict inconvenience and even loss on the blockading forces. All arms contributed to the limited victory in 1953, but it was naval power that “held the ring” throughout.[/collapsed]

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

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    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

    [collapsed title=CLICK FOR MORE CONTENT]

    In July the escort carrier USS Sicily left San Diego, ferrying aircraft to Japan, while the fleet carriers Philippine Sea and Valley Forge were soon in Korean waters. The Royal Navy light fleet carrier HMS Triumph had left Ominato in Japan the day before the North Korean invasion, but was ordered to return to Japan, while the second-in-command of the Far East Fleet, Rear Adm. Andrewes, moved his flagship, the cruiser HMS Belfast, from northern Japan to Yokosuka. On June 28 the Triumph, the cruiser HMS Jamaica, and two destroyers joined the Australian frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and an oiler at Kure.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships.

    The presence of the carriers proved a godsend to the hard-pressed ground forces, because the ground war was still too fluid to permit the construction of large airfields. Bombers based in Japan pounded strategic targets, but the precise tactical support needed by ground troops could only be provided at short notice by naval aircraft. The U.S. Navy reactivated three Essex-class carriers, and by the fall the battleship Missouri was to be joined by her recommissioned sisters Iowa and New Jersey to provide massive fire support with their 16-inch guns. The solitary Royal Navy carrier Triumph was relieved by her sister Theseus and later by the Glory and Ocean. The Royal Australian Navy contributed HMAS Sydney, yet another example of the versatile 14,000-ton British Colossus design. The British carriers suffered from a shortage of suitable aircraft, the Seafire proving yet again that it wasn’t sufficiently robust for carrier landings. The replacement of the Seafires and the Firefly 1s by longer-ranged Sea Furies and Firefly 5s improved efficiency noticeably.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships. Junks laid minefields at night, and several warships were damaged. The Wonsan landings were seriously jeopardized when it was discovered that the latest Soviet magnetic mines could not be swept by World War II vintage non-magnetic minesweepers.

    MacArthur was determined to exploit his forces’ command of the sea. As early as July 4, 1950, he convened a meeting to discuss a proposed landing at Kunsan or Inchon, codenamed Operation “Bluehearts.” It proved impracticable at this early stage, but the 1st Marine Division was brought to readiness in the U.S. and sailed from San Diego in mid-August. The new plan, “Chromite,” selected Inchon as the site, primarily because it was only 25 miles from Seoul, whose liberation would hearten the South Koreans, and 16 miles from Kimpo Airport. On the other hand, it was the worst possible choice for a landing, having a large tidal range, a 7-8 knot tidal stream, and a very constricted approach, among other drawbacks. But boldness won the day, MacArthur reckoning that Inchon’s very unsuitability would lead the North Koreans to neglect its defenses. On September 15, after several days of “softening up” by gunfire and bombing, the Marines went ashore, and by the end of the day 13,000 troops and their equipment were safely landed, at a cost of only 21 dead and 275 wounded or missing. Kimpo fell on September 17, followed by Seoul.

    Navy Mine SweepingThe hard fighting was done by ground troops, backed up by air power, but Inchon changed the course of the war. On September 23, the North Koreans withdrew from the Pusan Perimeter, freeing considerable U.S. forces for offensive action, and by driving the enemy back almost to the 38th parallel MacArthur showed that a proper integration of sea, land, and air power was the only way to get decisive results. However, his decision to pursue the beaten DPRK forces across the old frontier, although sound on paper in that its intention was to destroy the enemy’s army, proved disastrous, both strategically and politically. The UN advance into North Korea on October 9 provoked Chinese intervention, enlarging the war and running the risk of over-extending supply lines. China was simply too big to ignore, and the intervention of its land and air forces changed the diplomatic rules for Washington and its European allies.

    For the navies the first new commitment was to support an amphibious landing at Wonsan on the east coast, intended to capture its steel mills, power station, and port facilities. But the success of Inchon was not to be repeated with such ease. The Soviet Union provided sufficient advanced mines to the DPRK to allow a major trial of defensive mine warfare, not just at Wonsan but also at Hungnam in the north and Chinnampo on the west coast. Both Hungnam and Wonsan had good harbors, with a shallow shelf eminently suitable for mining.

    The 1st Marine Division landed on October 25, five days later than planned, because of the need to sweep the main channels clear of mines. But clearance of the whole area took 15 days in all, and the RoK Army captured the town before the Marines could get ashore. Sweeping had required nine minesweepers, three of which were sunk. The massive advantage of sea power had been nullified, temporarily at least. To quote Adm. Forrest Sherman, “If you can’t go where you want to when you want to, you have not got command of the sea.”

    By November 21, RoK ground forces had reached Hyesan on the Manchurian border, the farthest point reached by any UN forces in the war, and U.S. and other UN forces were only 75 miles from the Yalu River at Sinuiju by November 24. This was to be the limit of the UN advance, however, because two days later the Chinese forces counterattacked in strength, forcing an equally rapid withdrawal. For the first time United Nations aircraft encountered MiG-15s operating from bases on the Chinese side of the border, an irritant which led to calls to bomb their bases. Now it became imperative to extricate the forces as soon as possible. Winter was closing in, making the position of the 1st Marine Division very vulnerable. Once again naval support was essential to cover the withdrawal, as the Marines fought a rearguard action over the 78 miles between the Chosin Reservoir and Hungnam. Close support was provided by the U.S. Navy carriers Badoeng Strait, Leyte and Philippine Sea, flying over 200 sorties a day between them.

    The next big Chinese offensive, known as the New Year Offensive because it was launched on January 1, 1951, soon had UN forces heading back to the 38th parallel. To observers it looked all too like the retreat to the Pusan Perimeter, but this time the U.S. and its allies had the benefit of adequate resources, particularly naval air support. On May 11 the Australian Government agreed to increase its contribution significantly by dispatching the light fleet carrier HMAS Sydney and two destroyers. The fact that the Australian carrier was virtually identical to the Royal Navy carriers already on station, and flew the same types of aircraft, simplified logistics and enabled her to be assimilated into the existing organization very quickly. Similarly the Dutch destroyers Piet Hein and van Galen had been acquired from the Royal Navy, and could use the same spares.

    In addition to providing air support from its carriers, the British Commonwealth ships carried out many subsidiary missions on the east coast, leaving the U.S. Navy carriers to concentrate on west coast operations. East coast operations included interdiction of minelaying in coastal waters by North Korean craft, and supporting raids behind enemy lines by local guerrillas. The maze of small islands were ideal for such clandestine activities, but they were also vulnerable to counteraction by the North Koreans, and it was occasionally necessary to extricate the guerrilla groups or to neutralize attacks. In May 1953 a North Korean attempt to smoke these hornets out of their nests, the islands of Hachwira and Sanchwira in the Chinnampo estuary, was thwarted by massive intervention. On May 25 the battleship USS New Jersey, accompanied by the cruiser HMS Newcastle, arrived on the scene. The giant battleship fired 32 16-inch shells at Amgak and batteries on the north side of the Taedong River, while the cruiser neutralized enemy gun positions with her 6-inch guns. A typhoon caused a number of moored mines to break adrift in the far north, near Changjin and Hungnam. Thirty were sighted and sunk, but the naval salvage tug Sarsi hit one and sank off Hungnam. Attempts to salvage her were abandoned after rescue ships came repeatedly under fire at only 5,000 yards range.

    Winters in Korean waters were stormy, and maintaining a blockade and loitering on station were always wearing on ships and personnel. In October 1952 Hurricane Ruth vented its fury on the Australian carrier Sydney and her escort, the Dutch destroyer van Galen. The carrier received a warning while at Sasebo in Japan, and she left harbor the same morning. By late in the afternoon she was rolling violently (a maximum of 22˚ was recorded), and aircraft on the flight deck were being damaged. Ruptured long-range fuel tanks leaked gasoline fumes into the ship’s ventilation system, and water between decks reached the engine rooms. The hurricane reached its peak of ferocity near midnight, by which time a Firefly had been washed overboard. Not far from the battered carrier a hired U.S. Navy troop transport, the SS Kongo Maru, had run aground on a small island, and another dozen ships were wrecked in the area. Only hard work by tugboats had saved the ships in Sasebo from a similar fate.

    In July 1952 the U.S. Navy changed its policy on west coast bombardments. In future there would no indiscriminate firing, and fire support would only be directed at points where fall of shells could be observed. During the latter half of the year a number of ships were damaged and suffered casualties because the enemy’s artillery became more accurate. Conversely Seventh Fleet doctrine laid great emphasis on interdiction, and there were rarely enough aircraft to spare for air support and air spotting.  Similar conditions prevailed on the east coast, and on August 6 the destroyer USS Pierce was hit seven times and brought to a dead stop.

    On land the Chinese offensive had finally been halted and then pushed back beyond the 38th parallel, and by July 1951 the Main Line of Resistance had been established. The climate was now more favorable to armistice negotiations, but that long drawn-out process is only peripheral to the naval activities of the UN forces.  A bizarre feature of the war was the way in which hostilities continued for another 16 months from February 1952, after the last substantial obstacle to an armistice had been removed by patient negotiation.  In July 1953 the Chinese launched very heavy attacks, and once again TF 77 provided valuable support to South Korean forces in counterattacks. A five-week extension of the war had cost 46,000 casualties, mostly South Koreans, and the Communists had lost an estimated 75,000.

    The Korean War occupies a unique place in history as the first attempt by a superpower in the nuclear age to use limited force to achieve its objectives. There were many who felt that the endless negotiations at Panmunjom were evidence that the U.S. and its allies had been robbed of a victory. But the passage of time lends a fuller perspective to this apparent failure. In fact Korea is now seen as the first test case of the Western Alliance’s determination to face down Communist attempts at subverting small nations. Although we now know that President Truman never had the slightest intention of implementing MacArthur’s views on the use of nuclear weapons against China, this was a dominant fear among America’s allies. In fact it can be claimed that the naval effort not only saved the day when the North Korean land forces first crossed the 38th parallel in 1950, but also contributed overall to the “management” of the conflict. By containing the conflict, the naval forces prevented it from reaching a point where a humiliating defeat for the U.S. could be used as an excuse for a preemptive nuclear strike, or even the lower risk of “hot pursuit” of the Chinese forces across the Yalu River into Manchuria. Against the background of the Cold War, Korea can be seen as a setback for Stalin’s strategy of encouraging surrogates to draw his enemies into piecemeal defeats. Critics of the 1953 armistice also conveniently overlook the fact that the Republic of Korea has prospered in the last 40 years, despite unrelenting hostility from the Pyongyang regime. Indeed, it is the North which has suffered economic collapse, and its incompetence is at last recognized as beyond rescue by Russia or China.

    Korea saw the deployment of the entire range of naval power: aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers, down to small minesweepers and landing craft. Hostile forces were negligible in the sense that they could never offer battle to such an armada of ships, but could and did use local conditions cleverly to inflict inconvenience and even loss on the blockading forces. All arms contributed to the limited victory in 1953, but it was naval power that “held the ring” throughout.[/collapsed]

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

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    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

    [collapsed title=CLICK FOR MORE CONTENT]

    In July the escort carrier USS Sicily left San Diego, ferrying aircraft to Japan, while the fleet carriers Philippine Sea and Valley Forge were soon in Korean waters. The Royal Navy light fleet carrier HMS Triumph had left Ominato in Japan the day before the North Korean invasion, but was ordered to return to Japan, while the second-in-command of the Far East Fleet, Rear Adm. Andrewes, moved his flagship, the cruiser HMS Belfast, from northern Japan to Yokosuka. On June 28 the Triumph, the cruiser HMS Jamaica, and two destroyers joined the Australian frigate HMAS Shoalhaven and an oiler at Kure.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships.

    The presence of the carriers proved a godsend to the hard-pressed ground forces, because the ground war was still too fluid to permit the construction of large airfields. Bombers based in Japan pounded strategic targets, but the precise tactical support needed by ground troops could only be provided at short notice by naval aircraft. The U.S. Navy reactivated three Essex-class carriers, and by the fall the battleship Missouri was to be joined by her recommissioned sisters Iowa and New Jersey to provide massive fire support with their 16-inch guns. The solitary Royal Navy carrier Triumph was relieved by her sister Theseus and later by the Glory and Ocean. The Royal Australian Navy contributed HMAS Sydney, yet another example of the versatile 14,000-ton British Colossus design. The British carriers suffered from a shortage of suitable aircraft, the Seafire proving yet again that it wasn’t sufficiently robust for carrier landings. The replacement of the Seafires and the Firefly 1s by longer-ranged Sea Furies and Firefly 5s improved efficiency noticeably.

    Mines were a great threat, for the North Koreans had ample supplies of Soviet mines, both contact and influence types, and showed great ingenuity in trying to deny coastal waters to UN ships. Junks laid minefields at night, and several warships were damaged. The Wonsan landings were seriously jeopardized when it was discovered that the latest Soviet magnetic mines could not be swept by World War II vintage non-magnetic minesweepers.

    MacArthur was determined to exploit his forces’ command of the sea. As early as July 4, 1950, he convened a meeting to discuss a proposed landing at Kunsan or Inchon, codenamed Operation “Bluehearts.” It proved impracticable at this early stage, but the 1st Marine Division was brought to readiness in the U.S. and sailed from San Diego in mid-August. The new plan, “Chromite,” selected Inchon as the site, primarily because it was only 25 miles from Seoul, whose liberation would hearten the South Koreans, and 16 miles from Kimpo Airport. On the other hand, it was the worst possible choice for a landing, having a large tidal range, a 7-8 knot tidal stream, and a very constricted approach, among other drawbacks. But boldness won the day, MacArthur reckoning that Inchon’s very unsuitability would lead the North Koreans to neglect its defenses. On September 15, after several days of “softening up” by gunfire and bombing, the Marines went ashore, and by the end of the day 13,000 troops and their equipment were safely landed, at a cost of only 21 dead and 275 wounded or missing. Kimpo fell on September 17, followed by Seoul.

    Navy Mine SweepingThe hard fighting was done by ground troops, backed up by air power, but Inchon changed the course of the war. On September 23, the North Koreans withdrew from the Pusan Perimeter, freeing considerable U.S. forces for offensive action, and by driving the enemy back almost to the 38th parallel MacArthur showed that a proper integration of sea, land, and air power was the only way to get decisive results. However, his decision to pursue the beaten DPRK forces across the old frontier, although sound on paper in that its intention was to destroy the enemy’s army, proved disastrous, both strategically and politically. The UN advance into North Korea on October 9 provoked Chinese intervention, enlarging the war and running the risk of over-extending supply lines. China was simply too big to ignore, and the intervention of its land and air forces changed the diplomatic rules for Washington and its European allies.

    For the navies the first new commitment was to support an amphibious landing at Wonsan on the east coast, intended to capture its steel mills, power station, and port facilities. But the success of Inchon was not to be repeated with such ease. The Soviet Union provided sufficient advanced mines to the DPRK to allow a major trial of defensive mine warfare, not just at Wonsan but also at Hungnam in the north and Chinnampo on the west coast. Both Hungnam and Wonsan had good harbors, with a shallow shelf eminently suitable for mining.

    The 1st Marine Division landed on October 25, five days later than planned, because of the need to sweep the main channels clear of mines. But clearance of the whole area took 15 days in all, and the RoK Army captured the town before the Marines could get ashore. Sweeping had required nine minesweepers, three of which were sunk. The massive advantage of sea power had been nullified, temporarily at least. To quote Adm. Forrest Sherman, “If you can’t go where you want to when you want to, you have not got command of the sea.”

    By November 21, RoK ground forces had reached Hyesan on the Manchurian border, the farthest point reached by any UN forces in the war, and U.S. and other UN forces were only 75 miles from the Yalu River at Sinuiju by November 24. This was to be the limit of the UN advance, however, because two days later the Chinese forces counterattacked in strength, forcing an equally rapid withdrawal. For the first time United Nations aircraft encountered MiG-15s operating from bases on the Chinese side of the border, an irritant which led to calls to bomb their bases. Now it became imperative to extricate the forces as soon as possible. Winter was closing in, making the position of the 1st Marine Division very vulnerable. Once again naval support was essential to cover the withdrawal, as the Marines fought a rearguard action over the 78 miles between the Chosin Reservoir and Hungnam. Close support was provided by the U.S. Navy carriers Badoeng Strait, Leyte and Philippine Sea, flying over 200 sorties a day between them.

    The next big Chinese offensive, known as the New Year Offensive because it was launched on January 1, 1951, soon had UN forces heading back to the 38th parallel. To observers it looked all too like the retreat to the Pusan Perimeter, but this time the U.S. and its allies had the benefit of adequate resources, particularly naval air support. On May 11 the Australian Government agreed to increase its contribution significantly by dispatching the light fleet carrier HMAS Sydney and two destroyers. The fact that the Australian carrier was virtually identical to the Royal Navy carriers already on station, and flew the same types of aircraft, simplified logistics and enabled her to be assimilated into the existing organization very quickly. Similarly the Dutch destroyers Piet Hein and van Galen had been acquired from the Royal Navy, and could use the same spares.

    In addition to providing air support from its carriers, the British Commonwealth ships carried out many subsidiary missions on the east coast, leaving the U.S. Navy carriers to concentrate on west coast operations. East coast operations included interdiction of minelaying in coastal waters by North Korean craft, and supporting raids behind enemy lines by local guerrillas. The maze of small islands were ideal for such clandestine activities, but they were also vulnerable to counteraction by the North Koreans, and it was occasionally necessary to extricate the guerrilla groups or to neutralize attacks. In May 1953 a North Korean attempt to smoke these hornets out of their nests, the islands of Hachwira and Sanchwira in the Chinnampo estuary, was thwarted by massive intervention. On May 25 the battleship USS New Jersey, accompanied by the cruiser HMS Newcastle, arrived on the scene. The giant battleship fired 32 16-inch shells at Amgak and batteries on the north side of the Taedong River, while the cruiser neutralized enemy gun positions with her 6-inch guns. A typhoon caused a number of moored mines to break adrift in the far north, near Changjin and Hungnam. Thirty were sighted and sunk, but the naval salvage tug Sarsi hit one and sank off Hungnam. Attempts to salvage her were abandoned after rescue ships came repeatedly under fire at only 5,000 yards range.

    Winters in Korean waters were stormy, and maintaining a blockade and loitering on station were always wearing on ships and personnel. In October 1952 Hurricane Ruth vented its fury on the Australian carrier Sydney and her escort, the Dutch destroyer van Galen. The carrier received a warning while at Sasebo in Japan, and she left harbor the same morning. By late in the afternoon she was rolling violently (a maximum of 22˚ was recorded), and aircraft on the flight deck were being damaged. Ruptured long-range fuel tanks leaked gasoline fumes into the ship’s ventilation system, and water between decks reached the engine rooms. The hurricane reached its peak of ferocity near midnight, by which time a Firefly had been washed overboard. Not far from the battered carrier a hired U.S. Navy troop transport, the SS Kongo Maru, had run aground on a small island, and another dozen ships were wrecked in the area. Only hard work by tugboats had saved the ships in Sasebo from a similar fate.

    In July 1952 the U.S. Navy changed its policy on west coast bombardments. In future there would no indiscriminate firing, and fire support would only be directed at points where fall of shells could be observed. During the latter half of the year a number of ships were damaged and suffered casualties because the enemy’s artillery became more accurate. Conversely Seventh Fleet doctrine laid great emphasis on interdiction, and there were rarely enough aircraft to spare for air support and air spotting.  Similar conditions prevailed on the east coast, and on August 6 the destroyer USS Pierce was hit seven times and brought to a dead stop.

    On land the Chinese offensive had finally been halted and then pushed back beyond the 38th parallel, and by July 1951 the Main Line of Resistance had been established. The climate was now more favorable to armistice negotiations, but that long drawn-out process is only peripheral to the naval activities of the UN forces.  A bizarre feature of the war was the way in which hostilities continued for another 16 months from February 1952, after the last substantial obstacle to an armistice had been removed by patient negotiation.  In July 1953 the Chinese launched very heavy attacks, and once again TF 77 provided valuable support to South Korean forces in counterattacks. A five-week extension of the war had cost 46,000 casualties, mostly South Koreans, and the Communists had lost an estimated 75,000.

    The Korean War occupies a unique place in history as the first attempt by a superpower in the nuclear age to use limited force to achieve its objectives. There were many who felt that the endless negotiations at Panmunjom were evidence that the U.S. and its allies had been robbed of a victory. But the passage of time lends a fuller perspective to this apparent failure. In fact Korea is now seen as the first test case of the Western Alliance’s determination to face down Communist attempts at subverting small nations. Although we now know that President Truman never had the slightest intention of implementing MacArthur’s views on the use of nuclear weapons against China, this was a dominant fear among America’s allies. In fact it can be claimed that the naval effort not only saved the day when the North Korean land forces first crossed the 38th parallel in 1950, but also contributed overall to the “management” of the conflict. By containing the conflict, the naval forces prevented it from reaching a point where a humiliating defeat for the U.S. could be used as an excuse for a preemptive nuclear strike, or even the lower risk of “hot pursuit” of the Chinese forces across the Yalu River into Manchuria. Against the background of the Cold War, Korea can be seen as a setback for Stalin’s strategy of encouraging surrogates to draw his enemies into piecemeal defeats. Critics of the 1953 armistice also conveniently overlook the fact that the Republic of Korea has prospered in the last 40 years, despite unrelenting hostility from the Pyongyang regime. Indeed, it is the North which has suffered economic collapse, and its incompetence is at last recognized as beyond rescue by Russia or China.

    Korea saw the deployment of the entire range of naval power: aircraft carriers, battleships, and cruisers, down to small minesweepers and landing craft. Hostile forces were negligible in the sense that they could never offer battle to such an armada of ships, but could and did use local conditions cleverly to inflict inconvenience and even loss on the blockading forces. All arms contributed to the limited victory in 1953, but it was naval power that “held the ring” throughout.[/collapsed]

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [summary] => [format] => full_html [safe_value] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [safe_summary] => ) ) [#formatter] => text_default [0] => Array ( [#markup] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    ) ) [#sorted] => 1 [#children] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [#printed] => 1 ) [#sorted] => 1 [#children] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [#printed] => 1 ) [#block] => stdClass Object ( [bid] => 92 [module] => system [delta] => main [theme] => kw60_inq [status] => 1 [weight] => -52 [region] => content [custom] => 0 [visibility] => 0 [pages] => [title] => [cache] => -1 [subject] => ) [#weight] => 1 [#theme_wrappers] => Array ( [0] => block ) [#children] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

    [#printed] => 1 ) [#sorted] => 1 [#theme_wrappers] => Array ( [0] => region ) [#region] => content [#printed] => 1 [#children] =>

    Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War.

    When the Army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, better known as North Korea) swept across the border along the 38th parallel on June 25, 1950, both the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army and its American allies (in fact only advisors and a small garrison) were taken completely by surprise. The first four days saw the North Korean Army make very rapid progress against inferior forces lacking tanks, armor, and aircraft. By June 27 the government of South Korea under President Syngman Rhee was heading south to Taejon to avoid capture, and soon after a headlong retreat began. The front did not stabilize until a defensive perimeter was established around the port of Pusan, far to the south. 

    Navy Train with Locals

    To the North Korean army commanders, victory must have seemed a foregone conclusion, but they reckoned without sea power. The Republic of Korea (ROKN) Navy was a negligible collection of some 40 small vessels, too weak to resist the DPRK Navy, itself mustering only 50 ships in all. But the geography of the Korean peninsula made communications particularly vulnerable to pressure from the sea, with road and rail links largely avoiding the mountainous interior, and great reliance was placed on coastal shipping. The United States and its principal allies Great Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, maintained substantial forces in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s Seventh Fleet had the inestimable advantage of major bases in Japan. Last but not least, the framework of a joint command already existed, with Gen. Douglas MacArthur commanding U.S. Forces in Japan, although all three services still had their own headquarters. Prompt diplomatic and military action by Washington turned the conflict into a United Nations-backed “police action” to halt what was perceived to be an invasion not only supported but instigated by the Soviet Union.

    President Truman ordered U.S. sea and air forces to support RoK forces, sending the Seventh Fleet to the Formosa Straits to checkmate any attempt by China to threaten Taiwan. Adm. Arthur W. Radford, C-in-C Pacific Fleet, was ordered to form a new task force in the Western Pacific (TF 77). By July 7, MacArthur was given a second “hat,” C-in-C UN Forces, and a Unified Command came into existence. The British government as early as June 27 had signified its willingness to do everything into its power to support “other UN forces” in preventing aggression against South Korea. In practice the UN made no attempt to direct military operations, handing over responsibility to the U.S. president, his Joint Chiefs of Staff, and MacArthur.

     

    Navy Galleries

     

    Source
    Source
    Preston, Antony. Command of the Sea: The Naval Side of the Korean War

    For additional information contact:
    The Navy Department Library
    Washington Navy Yard, first floor, Building 44
    Washington, DC
    (202) 433-4132
    Navy History and Heritage Command website

    Back to Top

     

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  • FAQ
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