[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[KOREAN-WAR-L:11343] Re: Fw: REVIEW: Snead on Bateman, _No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War Incidents_
I landed August 7, 1950. We were on the Naktong in a day or so. We were told
of instances of infiltrators in refugee columns, and that refugees should be
allowed through our lines only when vetted by ROK security troops. If
someone approaches your position and does not stop in spite of challenges
and warning shots, there is no alternative to firing on them. Civilians
should not approach the front line or any engaged army position, but if
they do then they are responsible for the consequences.
Any Feather Merchant who challenges this is welcome to pucker up.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Evanhoe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2004 7:45 PM
Subject: [KOREAN-WAR-L:11334] Fw: REVIEW: Snead on Bateman, _No Gun Ri: A
Military History of the Korean War Incidents_
> >>Here's a good one that came in from Trish Winston. Comments anyone?
> >>You asked about topics. H-War might have some clues. I'm going to
> >>a few other things.
> >>----- Original Message -----
> >>From: "David Silbey" <hwar@COMCAST.NET>
> >>To: <H-WAR@H-NET.MSU.EDU>
> >>Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 5:57 PM
> >>Subject: REVIEW: Snead on Bateman, _No Gun Ri: A Military History of the
> >>Korean War Incidents_
> >> > H-NET BOOK REVIEW
> >> > Published by H-War@h-net.msu.edu (January 2004)
> >> >
> >> > Robert L. Bateman. _No Gun Ri: A Military History of the Korean War
> >>Incident_. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 2002. xvii + 302 pp.
> >>Notes, bibliography, maps, and index. $22.95 (cloth), ISBN
> >> >
> >> > Reviewed by David L. Snead <email@example.com>, Department of
> >>Texas Tech University
> >> >
> >> > Challenging the AP: Clarifying the No Gun Ri Incident
> >> >
> >> > On July 26, 1950, American soldiers from the 2nd Battalion 7th
> >>Regiment opened fire on Korean refugees near No Gun Ri in south-central
> >>South Korea. No one disputes this claim. However, the how and why of
> >>events of that day occurred have been hotly disputed since the
> >>Press (AP) published a story on the incident in late September 1999.
> >>reported that the soldiers of the 2nd Battalion had received direct
> >>to fire on the refugees and that between 300 and 400 Koreans died in the
> >>massacre, including 100 in strafings by the air force. In _No Gun Ri:
> >>Military History of the Korean War Incident_, Robert Bateman enters the
> >>debate by claiming that while American soldiers did indeed kill
> >>that summer day, they did so unintentionally and were largely acting in
> >>"fog of war". He then challenges the AP's research and objectivity by
> >>asserting that it either carelessly or deliberately misled its readers.
> >>Bateman's book represents sound s
> >> > cholarship and shows the danger of the AP's shallow and incomplete
> >> >
> >> > Bateman breaks his study into two distinct parts to describe what he
> >>considers to be the two different stories arising from the No Gun Ri
> >>incident and the AP's story. In the first, he addresses the military
> >>history of the incident by examining the American units that were near
> >>Gun Ri in late July 1950. He details their lack of training, inadequate
> >>leadership, and insufficient supplies. He then describes how the events
> >>surrounding the incident on July 26 unfolded. In the second part, he
> >>provides a primer on how historical research should be conducted by
> >>critiquing the methods utilized by the AP. He concludes that American
> >>soldiers did fire over the refugees' heads to get them to stop and
> >>fire after being shot at by communist guerillas from with the refugee
> >>column. However, he stresses that the AP exaggerated the newness of the
> >>story and casualties suffered by the refugees.
> >> >
> >> > Bateman meticulously traces the situation that led to the incident in
> >>first five chapters. He explores the division of Korea and the civil
> >>that existed in South Korea in the late 1940s. He then examines
> >>faced by the U.S. Army, and the 7th Cavalry Regiment in particular, as
> >>United States demobilized after World War II, yet raised its commitments
> >>around the world. The American occupation force in Japan, including the
> >>Cavalry, was under manned, trained, and supplied. Its men rarely
> >>numbers above the platoon level and its best officers and men were
> >>transferred to other units immediately before the regiment was deployed
> >>Korea. As a result, the soldiers that arrived in Korea in July lacked
> >>training and leadership. To make matters worse, they were thrust into a
> >>battle that had already seen the destruction of several American and
> >>South Korean units.
> >> >
> >> > Bateman describes the fear and confusion that these young, poorly
> >>American soldiers experienced in the summer of 1950. On the night of
> >>25-26, the men of the 2nd Battalion believed they were under attack. In
> >>reality, the supposed enemy of that night was a lost American unit.
> >>Unfortunately, most of the men in the 2nd Battalion broke and ran, many
> >>them abandoning their equipment. The next morning the battalion began
> >>reorganize and recover its equipment. The men were still shaken, and
> >>were growing fears that the North Koreans were trying to infiltrate the
> >>American lines by hiding in the many refugee columns. The situation
> >>tragic when the 2nd Battalion tried to stop a group of refugees
> >>its position.
> >> >
> >> > According to Bateman, the tragedy occurred because of a convergence
> >>events. Poorly trained and led soldiers were placed in a difficult
> >>situation; rumors were rampant that communist forces were using refugees
> >>hide their movements; and several communists did fire upon the Americans
> >>from within the refugee column. After between thirty and ninety seconds
> >>American return fire, up to thirty-five refugees had been wounded or
> >> >
> >> > If not for the AP's 1999 story, Bateman would not have written this
> >>However, the story piqued his interest because he had recently served as
> >>officer in the 7th Cavalry. He knew personally one of the chief
> >>in the AP story, Edward Daily, and wondered how such an event could have
> >>occurred. As his investigation unfolded, however, he increasingly came
> >>conclude that the AP's story was inaccurate and that much of its
> >>was incomplete at best.
> >> >
> >> > The first weak link in the story was the supposed order to shoot.
> >>Although Bateman found some such orders during the Korean War, the 7th
> >>Cavalry did not receive any order to fire on refugees in July 1950.
> >>Instead, it was merely told to _stop_ the refugees from crossing its
> >>This order led to the unit's firing mortar shells in front of the column
> >>shooting rifles over their heads. Although these inadvertently causing
> >>least a few casualties, there was no direct targeting of the civilians.
> >>Bateman also failed to discover any evidence of air force strafing
> >>within several miles of No Gun Ri in late July. There were missions in
> >>August along the railway line near No Gun Ri, but not earlier. Finally,
> >>despite the AP's report of hundreds killed, Bateman could find no graves
> >>the vicinity of the incident. From Bateman's perspective, the AP story
> >>simply could not have been true.
> >> >
> >> > In the second part of the book, Bateman evaluated the stories of the
> >>three main witnesses, Edward Daily, Delos Flint, and Eugene Hesselman.
> >>findings are shocking-"In reality, none of these three men were actually
> >>No Gun Ri during the events of July 26-29, 1950" (p. 136). Bateman
> >>determined that each of these men either lied or had experienced a
> >>failure. Daily's case is most troubling because he claimed to have been
> >>officer and to have personally fired on the refugees. Bateman's
> >>investigation reveals that Daily never rose above the rank of sergeant
> >>only served in the 7th Cavalry in _1951_. Further, Bateman contends
> >>both Delos Flint and Eugene Hesselman were wounded the night of July
> >>and evacuated before the incident ever occurred. The AP, Bateman
> >>had relied on unreliable witnesses.
> >> >
> >> > It is doubtful that anyone will ever describe the No Gun Ri incident
> >>more detail or with more accuracy than Bateman. He has carefully
> >>his evidence and drawn conclusions based on his own military experience
> >>scholarly training. A tragedy did occur on July 26, 1950. American
> >>soldiers panicked under difficult conditions and killed innocent
> >>Bateman, however, shows that their actions, although unfortunate, were
> >>understandable considering their lack of training, inadequate
> >>and the presence of communist guerillas within the refugee columns.
> >> >
> >> > Only a few problems mar this impressive book. Although
> >>Bateman's efforts to unravel the AP's story can cause the reader to
> >>that a tragedy did occur in late July 1950 near No Gun Ri. By Bateman's
> >>estimates, up to thirty-five South Koreans died that day. Even if
> >>unintentional, those losses should always be remembered. Also, Bateman
> >>discounts the testimony of South Korean witnesses as being skewed by
> >>and/or motivated by the desire for reparations. While these accusations
> >>possibly true, Bateman should not have discounted them without making
> >>efforts to determine their validity. Finally, Bateman includes a short,
> >>four-page section on the career of S.L.A. Marshall that has at best
> >>tangential importance to his story. His own account of Edward Daily's
> >>career provides sufficient evidence that some veterans have falsified
> >> >
> >> > Despite these few minor problems, Bateman has written a book that
> >>be a valuable resource for scholars, the media, and the general public.
> >>reveals the pitfalls of drawing conclusions from incomplete
> >>and shows how true historical research should be conducted.
> >> >
> >> >
> >> > Copyright 2004 by H-Net, all rights reserved. H-Net permits the
> >> > redistribution and reprinting of this work for nonprofit, educational
> >> > purposes, with full and accurate attribution to the author, web
> >> > date of publication, originating list, and H-Net: Humanities & Social
> >> > Sciences Online. For any other proposed use, contact the Reviews
> >> > staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
> >Ed Evanhoe, PO Box 916, Antlers, OK, 74523
> >Life Member: Special Forces & Special Operations Associations
> >Author: DARKMOON: Eighth Army Special Operations in the Korean War
> >Web site: http://www.korean-war.com