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tv   Lectures in History Joseph Glatthaar on Korean War Civil- Military...  CSPAN  July 24, 2021 8:03pm-9:02pm EDT

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>> today i'm going to talk about the korean war. >> were going to cyprus civil military relations for the last time i met we talked about the cold war and the development of containment. korea was an unusual situation in that it had been a colony in japan since 1910. during the second world war there was fighting in korea, the u.s., and the soviet union joined the occupied korea. they agreed to divide korea. not northern korea what we call today to north korea was a very much communist
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influence. southern influence, we now call south korea was a very different situation. with the assistance of the un they sponsored elections in south korea and south koreans elected a democratic government. north korea however wanted to unite under its terms so it sent insurgents into south korea to try to overthrow that government and they failed to do so. then, on january 1950 the u.s. secretary of state dean acheson had very significant air in a speech talking about the areas of influence and positions that were vital to the united states interest. imagine japan and the philippines and omitted south korea. the north koreans interpreted that as a statement the u.s. would not go to war to defend the south korea.
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so in june of 1950, armed with soviet equipment and aided by the chinese the north korea invaded south korea. as you can see from our map they stormed right across the board are for the south koreans were largely caught off guard and unprepared. the u.s. had military forces in japan under far eastern commander douglas macarthur. the problem was those troops and their units were badly under strain the troops were badly trained. in the equipment they had was carryovers from world war ii. wasn't that useful for them pretty quickly through over some forces. the saddest episodes with task force smith. i was a battalion commanded by a guy named charles smith a lieutenant colonel had extensive combat experience. smith occupied a position under soviet built tanks or
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white throat. one guy lieutenant ali connor fired a bazooka 22 rounds point blank and shoot soviet made tanks and they bounced off. needless to say that was disconcerting for the troops, the tanks pass-through and packets of them continued to pass through eventually north korea infantry came through and smith's people were compelled to retreat. soldiers fell back and occupied a position in blue here on the map that we call the perimeter. there, we were able to stabilize things with american troops republic of korea troops in foreign powers troops. when the invasion took place harry truman presented the issue to the united nations. fortunately for the united states at the time, the soviet
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union was boycotting the un. they were boycotting it because the people's republic of china, which had gained or had been secured and 1949 was not admitted to the un. and so it happened was a soviet boycotted and the u.s. was able to get it passed through the un first a statement of condemnation for the active aggression by north korea and then military forces from un nations to help protect and defend a south korea. all told 21 nations sent either troops or personnel for expertise to aid the war effort. it's actually a united nations expedition. those plays in the overall command of douglas macarthur. macarthur was a great world war ii hero, he was actually a world war i hero so people felt really good about having macarthur in charge.
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fortunately we were able to stabilize our position barely at who's sawn on slowly build up our forces purred we created what was called the eighth army. the eighth army was commanded by walton walker. it is a core commander in patton's army and european theater. it's a really experienced combat soldier in a very fine officer. macarthur however came up with a concept to crush the north koreans. his idea was walker would launch an attack out meanwhile he would launch an amphibious landing newport area for soul. the object was to seize that, sees soul push in land and cut off the north koreans. the problem is multiple.
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has between 29 and 35 -- 36-foot tide differentials. so hire then this ceiling at high tide below our floor at low tide. that is a huge title difference. that makes a dramatic difference when you're trying to land. second leave that mudflaps at low tide that extends 6000 yards, 6000 yards. so, that is 4 miles. the course landing craft and landing ship tanks and things like that are going get stuck in the mud in the mud flats. do not want them of the land at low tide. there also numerous island in the root that you're going to have to occupy. as you advance the waterways a really rough in the winter
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times. if got to make sure the landing takes place before the winter comes on. next, there is a is a fortified island area you have jeff taken otherwise you can't get in for there to see walt and the seawall right at the port. so you have to get over the seawall. then on top of that the city begins right on top of the seawall. so as soon as you enter you are involved in urban warfare. it is very difficult fighting in that regard. a blend of course there's always the question about whether they troops could actually break out. we are so under strange we had the seventh infantry division from the u.s. army, we merge to marine corps divisions to make up a single division. now the first division. those of you are in this class
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of course red dog a six and simmons was in the first as you certainly know. what they did was they designated the tenth court seventh infantry and the first marine division to go in. and of course and classic macarthur fashion he pulled it off. when he's good he's the best. when he's bad he's the worst. in this instance macarthur was at his best. the landing is absolute brilliant calm he pulled it out, pulled it off. strangely enough it came to the perimeter would more troops in the perimeter than the north koreans had.
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so would walker attacked the north koreans showed resistance but eventually broke. many people thought as soon as we landed and secured her way into soul they collapse. but resisted pretty well. unfortunately had to pull back. eventually, let me go to the first slides you can see that again, as he north koreans began falling back there's a big debate as to whether we should pass the 38th parallel. current with the objective was to restore south korea. that is with you and authorized when the you and authorized to place matters largely in control of the united states. and macarthur in charge for the u.s. was largely calling the shots although a number of
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other nations had military personnel who were risking and losing their lives in this adventure. now what they wanted to do is unite the two koreans. they retreated further north, the americans began advancing. at that point macarthur made a critical error pulled out tenth court and senate around by water which is marked on this map here. but by then the republic of korea troops had already passed and cleared it. furthermore it's very mountainous korea is very mountainous. so it happened was the troops got dispersed and compartmentalized for they got split up as they advanced into north korea. not macarthur was euphoric he
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was anticipating victory by getting victory in getting troops back home at christmas time. he was exceedingly optimistic about the sort of thing. they were worried the chinese might get involved. they kept questioning macarthur, questioning macarthur, questioning macarthur. he talked to former, he's now deceased, four-star general who would over the chief of staff of the army, joe collins. they met with macarthur and the entire time macarthur paced back and forth and lectured to them about what had gone on and how successful this was going to be and what was going to happen. they could not get questions in. and finally macarthur broke that meeting off is the chief of staff of the united states army in june with the problem is? he still sees us as captains
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they were captains went macarthur's chief of staff of the army. he still saw himself as their boss when in fact that was not the case, collins was his boss. he just did not get it. and so he pushed further and further north. by october they began to see the presence of chinese troops. and all the sudden they came in huge, huge numbers. by november we were struck, we were isolated, they picked him very strips of we were routed we had a steady retreat southward. the retreat was not mayhem it was organize their systematic as they fell back and then an unfortunate accident occurred, walton walker was killed in a jeep accident and was replaced by an absolutely extraordinary soldier.
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matthew ridgway. ridgeway had been an airborne division commander in world war ii. he had a great reputation as a soldier. everyone admired him. so having ridgeway there was a real asset. we saw how close they got there were troops made it to the river that's the boundary between north korea and the people's republic of china. so we danced away end. those troops as general simmons and his company six their chosen reservoir. really one the most horrific experiences in american military here state. i came of such staggering numbers they simply cannot hold them back. eventually ridgway was able to call a halt in a launch a
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counterattack. keep going the wrong way. and push back across the 38th parallel. quote ridgway did was really interesting. forcibly upgraded firepower. you cannot compensate for chinese manpower. not with equal manpower peak you just cannot compare with chinese with the numbers of people see if the compensate with firepower. that's what he did he upgrade the firepower of u.s. military. that proved a real boon. he also invited fight and roll. they would fight vigorously, punish the enemy and then fall back to the next defensive position. and each time punish the enemy and fall back to another defensive position. there he skillfully done saving american lives and you and lives. in punishing the enemy. he got people off the road if
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troops were on the road they are easy targets for the enemy. he began a knife fighting. americans are not really that keen on night fighting. ridgeway force them to do it and it proved to be really successful. ridgeway really left a mark a positive mark and was able to restore the 38th parallel, technically as you can see from the truce aligned while we are below the 38th parallel on the western part most of korea were above the 38h parallel. we are very strong. they made it clear to not conquer north korea now, macarthur meanwhile wasn't grumbling all along. one of the most interesting things to realize is macarthur had not been in the united states and 12 years.
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he was completely detached from his homeland. as a result of that he really did not have a good feel for what was going on in american life and society. as a result of that, macarthur had created a favorite with the republican party. he really wanted to run for political office. maybe even be elected president of the united states. he was trying to gain favor with republicans. he regulate communicated with republican politicians. unfortunately, he kept challenging the truman administration policies. and that is where he really ran a foul. first of all he gave a talk for the vfw which she opposed the truman policies. you know, you are a general
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firm relates the policies macarthur did not care. the chief of staff instructed macarthur under no uncertain terms are you out to about non- korean troops to reach the yalu river. he reached non- korean troops to reach the river which infuriated the chinese. strictly instructed macarthur as the president not too bomb on the chinese size of various bridges over the yalu river. why? you're fearful of killing chinese citizens or on chinese foil soil. but they did not want to do is expand into a world war. they understood firmly that the u.s. principal responsibility was going to be nato. was going to be europe. we needed to defend western
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europe. by getting dragged into a war with asia that was exactly with the soviet union would want too. the distracted from our principal mission. perhaps one of the more unfortunate episodes though was truman administration notified macarthur on the 20th of march 1951 that it was about to release terms for negotiation. that they were drafting them on the 24th of march macarthur announced his terms for negotiation. any undercut the truman administration. what he did was made it clear there'd be no length between korea and foremost that which upset the truman administration. but truman was stuck with that macarthur had announced. kit clearly by lay truman administration had called for.
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in december of 1950, truman had issued an order to make no announcement on policy without government concurrence. truman reminded macarthur of that statement that came out of the department of defense. and in classic macarthur fashion he completely ignored it. then joseph martin the house minority leader wrote to macarthur and sent him a speech that he had given and which he argued that if the united states was not going to be in it for full victory than the truman administration should be indicted for the murder of thousands of american men. and asked macarthur to comment on that. macarthur wrote back and this was a red in the halls of congress, quote my views and recommendations with respect
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to the situation created by read china's entry into the war against us and korea have been submitted to washington and most complete detail. generally, these views are well known and generally understood as they follow the conventional pattern of meeting force with the maximum counterforce as we have never failed to do in the past. your view with this utilization of the chinese forces is in conflict with neither logic nor this tradition. it seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in asia is where the communist conspirators have elected to make their plate for global conquest. and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield. that here we fight europe's war with arms while diplomats there still fight it with words. that if we lose this war to communism in asia the fall of europe is inevitable. when it and europe most probably would avoid war and
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yet preserve freedom. as you point out we must when there is no substitute for victory. that letter was read on the floor of the u.s. house of representatives. of course the president was furious and what he did was he called in the secretary of defense and secretary of state had conversations with them. they decided they wanted the joint chiefs of staff involved and they brought in omar bradley was the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. the remark call omar bradley was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff during the revolt of the admirals. you remember what he said, that is anyone recall what he said? open rebellion against civil authority, that is what he described the revolt of the admirals. he's a same chairman of the joint chiefs of staff again.
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he made it clear he was bothered by it but he wanted to consult the joint chiefs. the next day he did so and they all came back for another meeting. he presented to the joint chiefs of staff. they were unanimous in their statement that macarthur should be removed. marshall agreed, the secretary state agreed and as a result truman removed macarthur. what you have are pretty flagrant violations of what we call civil military relations. there is omar bradley omar bradley like air, a socket civil merit military relations first about you for the u.s. constitution what does it say about the president's power?
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[inaudible] he's in charge of the militia. >> he is the commander-in-chief right? what does commander-in-chief mean? he is in charge. what responsibilities do congress have? and on and establish regulations. congress declares war, correct. so, clearly truman has the right to issue orders and establish policies. and macarthur what is his responsibility in this? maya? [inaudible] >> he has to listen to them,
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he has to obey them, right? okay. he is got to obey them. so what has he done? has he violated civil military relations? where do we even get this concept? is it exclusively the constitution? those, those in last semester were the first seat civil military relations as we are first talking about? [inaudible] the english hesitation to allow a standing army during the civil war bird. >> that is right. what about george washington, mo, you know all about george. >> he originally had relations. [inaudible] >> that's exactly right. he was very careful not to exceed what he thought was proper behavior for an army officer. what was his justification for that? brooke?
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why was washington so careful about not transgressing the responsibilities of the politicians? >> because he understands the policies of the army in a feedback mode. the other and can go across the board. >> okay. anyone else? come on, aaron? what's the whole reason. [inaudible] and if you were to surpass his role in step then on. >> is very sensitive we don't have some kind of aristocracy. first sensitively don't have some kind of dictatorship. i wanted to make it always clear that the military took their orders on the political leaders. in that it was his responsibility to execute
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those orders to the best of his ability and to advise them. but when they issued the orders, to obey those orders. we call them back washington in the united states even accurately back to the bridge we inherited and we are very sensitive to this. but here comes the complication. how do you get into a military academy? has anyone here applied for admission? how do you get in? >> the nominator by congressman. >> got to be nominate by a politician in other words. say you have been nominated by a politician, wouldn't you feel beholding to that politician? probably so. one my recent phd's as a congressman who nominated him they been friends ever since the congressman no longer serves but they are still friends. i'm in fact my army officer but it was invited to go to the congressman's wedding.
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because they are such close friends over the years. you build a rapport. these people made an important decision that was critical for your career and you feel beholding to them. back on the 19th century remember all of these politicians had connections. even guys like u.s. grant had connections in politics. so you cannot really escape when you are a general officer. furthermore, when you get these positions you get appointed by the president of the united states, right? you have to be ratified by congress? yes you do. you do. and when you go before them and they ask you, if i ask you a question will you guarantee me you will always speak truthfully? and you know that you are not going to get confirmed if you do not say yes congressman or yes senator.
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so that puts you in a bind. what happens when the president says one thing, issued you a directive and you personally feel that is a bad decision and then in front of congressional testimony they ask you about that. if you lie they are going to be livid. if you tell the truth you're going to alienate your president. so what do you do? what would you do andrea? >> i don't know. >> you don't know come on you can take charge. what would you do? >> i would probably stay loyal to the president i guess. >> i think you will stay loyal to the president but you will it in a clever way. so for example, say you want a
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weapons system and the president, the administration decides is too expensive but you really want it. the congressman says to you in testimonial sworn under oath, would you like that weapons system and you say yes i would like that weapon system. i would like lots of different weapon systems but we live in a real-world we do not have unlimited funds. so we can't get everything we would like. that is how you answer it. but you're telling the truth of both parties, right? and respecting the decision of your bosses. see how squishy this world is? now, what do you do if you are a general officer, or any officer and the president of the united states issue issue an order and you find it morally reprehensible but it is not illegal?
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what would you do? no one has an answer? >> reflecting on transfer. [inaudible] [inaudible] didn't believe in the war in iraq so he passed on to serve in the reserve force. asked for different were essentially. [inaudible] you can refuse the orders. >> if you find it morally reprehensible you going to suffer the consequences unless you can demonstrate the order is illegal you're going to suffer consequences. some people think you have no right to resign if you're a military officer. your job is to execute all
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legal orders. q. are not entitled to an opinion on those matters. can you buy that? you know, what you think? >> that's the oath you take as a commissioned officer in the military. you obey the orders of the president and the officers over you. so whether or not you think it is wrong there is no law against if it is a lawful order you are required to obey it. >> that is right that is right. but then we can bring in guys like our man erica is an nco. eric what did you do when you received an idiotic order from a lieutenant or captain? >> you do it obviously. if not make it look like you did it. [laughter] >> surely you got some? surely you got some idiotic
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orders? >> there is no shortage of those. [laughter] no shortage. so you see how complicated this world is. he is exactly right, you take the oath to obey all lawful orders. you know, there is something to be said for that. back in the 19th century and even into the 20th century some individuals did not think it was right to cast a vote. so zachary taylor until he was nominated for president on the whig party ticket had never voted in his life. because see that i am a career army officer. i simply obey the government whoever's in power. i should not have an opinion on these matters. i should simply execute the orders. and when in fact they approached him he said to them, tell me what your party stands for. what are your issues? he did not even of the issues between the democratic party and the whig party. and once they told them he said a guess i'm awake so they
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nominated him as president and he got elected. so, it is a very strange world isn't it? what do you think about these matters? you are going to be an army officer right? >> yes, i think what john said up there you take the oath you got to do what is handed down to you. >> i think your absolute right. you have to execute the orders. there's not much you can do about it. so it is a complicated world and the very difficult one for lots of military people. because sometimes these orders will challenge you to your heart and soul. you're very moral fiber is being tugged on. because you disagree with it. when i was at west point, shortly after the second goal for the original invasion of
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iraq broke out a lot of army officers were bothered by this. because the u.s. does not start wars. we do not invade countries. they felt like when they entered the military they took an oath but there is a passive agreement the u.s. government would utilize them for sensible or important causes insensible causes. many of them felt like there been put into combat in a situation that really did not warrant invasion. now, all of them obeyed it but it bothered them. so you see how simple military relations can be so complicated and so difficult from a moral standpoint. anybody have a questions civil military relations? you guys are awfully quiet today. you are intimidated by the cameras i understand.
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yes? >> beyond a moral standpoint with that be. [inaudible] >> what conscientious objectors usually are opposed to war morally. i think that is really usually the case. yes? >> in the case you found something morally -- as an officer also. [inaudible] what's the procedure you go through to prove the case,. >> does not expressly dictated as a legal thing. the law is the law. >> you have to demonstrate. you could go to a jack officer
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and present evidence that this is an illegal order. i cannot obey it. and the jack officer look at it neither tell you to do the order -- execute you're going the jail or the brig. or yes, you are right that is an unlawful order. yes? [inaudible] >> that is so interesting. so, macarthur got fired came back home to the united states and went on tour around the united states giving speeches in uniform opposing the truman administration in presenting his side of the situation. and insisting this was the right war for world war iii. and of course, congress then held hearings and took testimony from numerous individuals and perhaps the
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most famous statement came from none other than omar bradley this is the wrong time for the wrong fight in the wrong place. and there is a lot to be said for that. the justification once again was our primary mission was protection of europe. we did that would to get embroiled in a huge war against the people's republic of china. do you remember that great movie princess bride, they talk about the second stupidest thing in the world is to get in a land war in asia. [laughter] >> did macarthur ever pursue officer just know it would not work out for them? >> i think it became clear when he became back he did not really have the support that he was helping. remember, he had a tickertape parade in new york city and is 7 million people came out to cheer him.
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this is after the debacle. when eisenhower came home from world war iii only 3 million people came out to cheer him. now, did eisenhower feel snubbed i can't speak to that. but it shows you macarthur had a lot of support. i think as the evidence came out people realize that macarthur really overstepped his bounds, and he did. and of course there's talk about utilizing nuclear weapons against china. this is a pretty tense situation. >> was the media more involved? or was the truman administration see a part of. [inaudible] >> uncovering what macarthur saying? no, macarthur made a public
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himself. there is one episode where the ap picked up information from macarthur's headquarters about things that he was planning that were in violation of jcs rules. but generally speaking is not media investigation that uncovered this it was a carthaginian pretty openly. he is pretty flagrant about the sort of thing. >> to get troops are created to the u.s. just carry over the draft. >> that's a very interesting issue and i'm glad you raised it is a ticklish one. first they recalled all sorts of reservists. get paid get signed up for five years to get a monthly stipend going to worry about
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training or anything there through your tours were about to expire when all of a sudden the korean war broke out they get recalled to active duty. the broader up world war ii veterans and were really disgruntled. after a year they rotated those guys out and brought in draftees. the draftees of course were younger people who were better trained. the old guys had combat experience but they'd gone to seed in the fiber since they had left. you go all of those years without beers you get an opportunity you know what happens you go after them. and of course many had children, had gotten married since then. it was a much more complicated scenario for them. where is the 18th covid 19 -year-olds were being drafted were properly trained and they're much more fit physically and sent overseas for combat. we saw a significant improvement in units. in addition to that you have
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integration issues. they began to integrate but they did it slowly. when you start getting replacements in korea you could not sort them out so you started plugging in troops regardless of race into various units. so for example the 24th infantry regiment which is an army unit was traditionally african-american. at desegregated literally in korea they started putting white guys in and lots of other white units started getting lots more black soldiers. i think as i recall, do not bet the house on this about 20% of all troops coming into the army around that time. were african-american. you saw a significant integration of military forces literally in combat in korea. it's about zero positive step.
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if you learn from the battle of the bulge when black soldiers waved rank to serve it infantry units because they desperately need the manpower, they were and foxhole's race just does not matter. you are just glad to have a good soldier next year. it does not matter race, gender, anything you want someone who is reliable. there's also the line there is no atheists in foxholes. yes? >> officers in the military have an oath to uphold the constitution for there is an oath it's given to them are in operation that is unconstitutional this might be the expansion of bombing in cambodia and the nixon administration, what is their obligation the military officers have? >> that is a tough one what would you do? [laughter] you are going to be in the
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army, what would you do if you know congress passed a law outline bombing in a certain area in the order you to go in and bomb in that area. or so you are a helicopter pilot to convey american troops in that area when you know congress has forbidden it. >> sitting here in an academic standpoint and looking at it i would obviously say that you wouldn't because it would be illegal. but in these scenario, people are into the war and can't really tell how you would act in the situation. there's a culture in that war. >> that is a superb answer you are exactly right. you are in a very difficult predicament. your boss orders you to do it, you notes coming down from way up on high you know it is illegal but everyone is counting on you.
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and then say you are really good pilots, if you pass on it or you are really good at whatever you do, and you say i am not going to do it they let hold joe who's kind of mediocre do it, and then some of your buddies get killed because he blew it, think how guilty you would feel. so then what you do? do take it on? your bosses have ordered you to do it you know if you do it you can probably save some lives. these are tough choices in life. big moral issues. anyone else have any questions or comments about this stuff? >> what about alleging u.s. had more troops. [inaudible] how did that compare. [inaudible] >> i cannot tell you off the top of my head but i can get
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back to on that. >> like how many troops are actually coming in from china? >> at the perimeter chinese forces are not in. i've got statistics on the korean war that are pretty staggering. no, i did not bring them. [laughter] but i brought casualties statistics which i will reach you next class. [laughter] as i recall off the top of my head we lose about 33000 americans killed. that was in korea. of course the loss of republic of korea and north koreans,
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chinese, are staggering, staggering. remember, we just upgraded our firepower dramatically. we were really punishing them. andrew? [inaudible] >> for example we had bazookas that were world war ii vintage 2.36-inch bazookas pick they may upgrade them to a 3.5-inch bazooka. large rounds with large penetration. one of the interesting things we had it i know this sounds harsh but the object is to fire these rounds and have them penetrate the outer skin and a bounce around inside and explode in there. but we found was the quality of the soviet steel was so badly rounds frequently went passed right through the tank and came out the backside before the exploited. so we upgraded in that way. and other equipment. >> why was that. [inaudible]
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>> what was going on as we were trying to expend the excess world war ii ammunition and finish using world war ii equipment. >> were there attempts. [inaudible] >> what's going on is there trying to save money. they're trying to cut back on defense expenditures because they have gone through the roof. in the korean war defense expenditures increased fourfold. it is a huge increase. but prior to that we talked about the revolt of the admirals, they are trying to cut the defense budget and they do so by eliminating a supercarrier. and each of the services suffered pretty heavy losses may be $300 million, stuff like that. marine corps a little less because it's smaller. but the three major services.
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[inaudible] >> the support staff the people on the front lines was at a big point of changing? >> not so much. of course you mean civilian staffer military personnel who aren't carrying weapons? >> yes military. >> it is a steady process. we keep decreasing the tip of the sphere in effect, making it smaller and smaller. because we need so much support for everything that we do. you go to the civil war, everybody in a regiment fights. where virtually everybody in the division fights. by the time to get to world war ii and a division of 15000, 3500 do the fighting on the other 11500 are in some way, shape, form, supporting those 3500. so you see a monumental shift just in that time period.
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[inaudible] >> the forgotten war what is public opinion important? [inaudible] >> you know, there's a lot of rumbling of c when reservist got called. but truman had people in a little bit of a frenzy about this communist takeover and so on. i think the american public generally supported the war. it was easy to justify. and a member this was a faith or at least they hope that the un will be something really successful. by our time now we are jaundiced about the un would and can't do, what it does well and what it doesn't do well. i think there is a level of optimism that the un could be utilized as this institution that would protect countries from these acts of aggression. here is where we have to start
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the practice. so i think that makes a big difference in people's lives. yes? [inaudible] was a soviet while the same thing? >> was a soviet tank of world war ii. >> china was encouraging the war tricks and because they're following equipment to the chinese building up their military soviet equipment as well. yes? >> that odd. >> there were not combat troops. aim? >> high-profile officers who found the that violate their moral code or law and. [inaudible] >> there is a classic story
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during the vietnam war you should read h.r. mcmaster's dereliction of duty where a guy name johnson harold k johnson chief staff of the army is fed up with the johnson administration policies and so he gets in his car and is it driving to the white house to submit his resignation in protest. when he got stuck in traffic in washington. as you stuck in traffic he started thinking well you know, if i resign and nothing changes i have just wasted things it. but if i stay in the game i might be able to alter policies and make things better for the troops. so ultimately convinced himself is making the right decision he turned his car around enter back to the pentagon. the sad part is johnson live to regret that decision for the rest of his life. that is a pretty heavy burden 58000 americans lose their lives in vietnam.
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it's a pretty bad burden to carry. >> if we were fighting chinese troops was the official stance? >> we're fighting them they were fighting us the declaration of war. it was a police action. >> the chinese fight under their own standards? >> yes. they were chinese troops with chinese equipment, chinese officers on and on better memory chinese and koreans do not speak the same language. i write, we've got a few more minutes let me wrap up the korean war. ultimately what happened was i know i am bad with the clicker. ultimately they settled in on roughly the truce line and both sides would attack and
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they would be fighting back and forth. the biggest stumbling block was exchange of prisoners of war. south korea and north korea treated the civilian population pretty brutally. there were large numbers of north koreans who were captured and imprisoned as well as chinese who did not want to be repatriated. they did not want to the back to north korea. the un led by the u.s. felt like they had no right to force anyone to return home especially when the going to authoritarian regime. so that became a huge stumbling block for prisoner exchanges and therefore the troops. when he first got a job out of graduate school i went to fort leavenworth the combat studies institute guy and the office
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next to me had been captured and imprisoned camp. he told me they were treated really badly, fed poorly, conditions were bad. then all of these sudden conditions improved monumentally. what happened was joseph stalin had died. emma stalin's death that open the door for a negotiated solution and he said things were wrapped up in no time. he said it was so noticeable it was so obvious something monumental had happened and they were able to connect it to stalin's death. weatherstone's death open the door for north korean or red that is an opportunity because there is a bit of a power vacuum to act on her own behalf and do this. i do not know. but he noticed a significant difference once and of course by 1953 as well we had a
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presidential election year on dwight d eisenhower was elected president. eisenhower threatened that he would go over too korea and personally and if necessary he would use nuclear weapons to bring this thing to an end. so i think the combination of stalin's death, : : : >> okay, you are here. did you know you listen to the lectures in history on the go so as a podcast anywhere, anytime. you are watching american
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history tv. watch book to be now on sundays on "c-span2", or find it online anytime apple tv .org. it is television for serious readers. this week we are looking back to the state in history. >> my name is geraldine ferraro. [cheering]. i stand before you to proclaim tonight america is the land where dreams can come true for all of us.
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[cheering]. >> is a standard before you now and i think of the honor this great convention has bestowed upon me, i recall the words of doctor martin luther and king jr who made america stronger by making america more brave. he said, occasionally in life, there are moments which cannot be completely explained by words. the meeting can only be articulated by inaudible language of the heart. tonight, the such a moment for me. [clapping and cheering].
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>> follows on social media a c-span history, for more this day in history post. we can spring you the best in american history nonfiction books on american history tv. on the presidency, 650 hours of president lyndon johnson white house conversations are available on website created by the johnson presidential library and the university of virginia. find out with case reveals about his presidencies with historian and university of virginia melody barnes and actor brian williams. in the lectures on history, university of north carolina chapel hill professor. looks back at civil relations during the korean war including general douglas macarthur's removal of command from harry truman pretty much american history tv every weekend and find a full schedule under program guide are

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