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Re: History paper: What effect did the war have on the world today?
I was with the 1st Marine Division in Korea during Inchon, Seoul, Chosin, and the Punchbowl.
In answer to your questions: It is my belief that the Soviet UNion instigated the war to test the American resolve- If we did not stand up to them in Korea they felt we would not stand up to them when they moved into West Germany.Consequently, by fighting in Korea we saved Europe from total domination by the Soviet Union.
The early year of the war indicated that the US Army (NOT the Marines) were woefully unprepared for war. They suffered from a Lack of training, lack of modern equipment, and poor leadership, all the result of the cut backs after WW2. Just about every man who survived the battle of the Chosin Reservoir suffered from frostbite- the result of not having proper cold weather gear. The North Koreans were brutal, whereas, the Chinese were more or less humane.
Did we win or lose? Well, I believe it was Sun Tzu who wrote that if a nation enters into a war with an objective in mind, and if they accomplish that objective- then they have been victorious, if not- they have lost the war. Since our objective was to prevent a communist take over of South Korea, and since we accomplished that objective- then we were victorious. We won the war.
Lee N. Mead