Fire Power: Artillery in the Korean War

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thefilmarchive.org The North Korean Army launched the "Fatherland Liberation War" with a comprehensive air--land invasion using 231000 soldiers, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu, and Ongjin. Their forces included 274 T-34-85 tanks, some 150 Yak fighters, 110 attack bombers, 200 artillery pieces, 78 Yak trainers, and 35 reconnaissance aircraft. In addition to the invasion force, the North Korean KPA had 114 fighters, 78 bombers, 105 T-34-85 tanks, and some 30000 soldiers stationed in reserve in North Korea. Although each navy consisted of only several small warships, the North Korean and South Korean navies fought in the war as sea-borne artillery for their in-country armies. In contrast, the ROK Army defenders were vastly unprepared, and the political establishment in the south, while well aware of the threat to the north, were unable to convince American administrators of the reality of the threat. In South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu (1961), RE Appleman reports the ROK forces' low combat readiness as of 25 June 1950. The ROK Army had 98000 soldiers (65000 combat, 33000 support), no tanks (they had been requested from the US military, but requests were denied), and a 22--piece air force comprising 12 liaison-type and 10 AT6 advanced-trainer airplanes. There were no large foreign military garrisons in Korea at invasion time, but there were large US garrisons and air forces in Japan. Within days of the invasion ...

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