Posts Tagged ‘Korea’

The Korean War – 25 June1950 to Present

Thursday, 25 June 2020

The war came suddenly. It was a sunny Sunday morning on 25 June 1950, when the peace was shattered by an agitated radio announcer screaming that there was an all-out attack by the North Korean army all along the 38th parallel. Within two days, the distant rumbles of cannons could be heard from our house in Seoul, and on the third day North Korean tanks and soldiers appeared on our streets. It was incredible. The radio had been repeating President Syngman Rhee’s message that brave South Korean army soldiers were repulsing the communist army and that the capital city never would be abandoned to the invaders.
[…]
The bridges across the Han River—the only escape routes—were blown up by the retreating South Korean army. There was no question that it was a full-scale invasion. The communist occupation of Seoul lasted for 90 days while the North Korean thrust expanded rapidly southward down the narrow peninsula, despite the U.S. and United Nations participation in the conflict.

The North Koreans in Seoul now engaged in methodical hunts for able-bodied men to be impressed into their various “volunteer” units. I moved nine times from relatives’ houses to friends’ places to stay a step ahead of the occupation soldiers—who were spreading their dragnets ever wider. We heard rumors about “kangaroo courts” held at city squares where any “reactionaries” were bludgeoned to death. I was undoubtedly a “reactionary” by their definition. For the first time I knew fear and hunger, as food was extremely scarce. This was the darkest and most helpless period in my life. I was convinced that all the shocking events were caused by the communist aggression. Along with some schoolmates, I decided to do my part in defending my homeland. – John K. C. Oh

Mr. Oh’s account from USNI Naval History Magazine June 2000, Volume 14 Number 3 [read more here].

Image of members of the “Frozen Chosin” found here.

The Greatest Warship of All Time? [Survey Says…]

Sunday, 1 May 2016

USNI News asked its readers, “What is the greatest warship of all time and why?” Though what makes a warship great is highly subjective, our readers offered their education and expertise to put forth their ideas as to what the answer to that question should be. And with nearly 900 reader-generated answers and more than 26,000 votes, the results are in.

The results are interesting, and this one amazed me.

turtleship

Readers also held particular esteem for the uniquely Korean “turtle boats” that came into form under Admiral Yi Sun-Shin, who in 1591 resurrected and modified the best features from designs from nearly two centuries prior to produce the Kohbukson — “turtle ship” — whose convex-covered decks resembled a turtle shell. Averaging in length from 70-110 feet, these flat-bottomed, boats, studded with spikes to prevent board and spaced with gunports, loopholes for muskets, and sporting a a powerful psychological weapon — a smoke-spewing dragon’s head at the bow — were not only virtually impenetrable, but also fast and maneuverable. The ships played a decisive role in defeating regent Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s numerically-superior fleets during Japan’s invasion of the Korean peninsula of the Imjin War of 1592-1598. The ramifications of that defeat still resonate to this day.

More on the Turtle Ships (including a link to a History Channel vid) here. See the rest of the poll winners here.

The Rebel Flag

Sunday, 12 July 2015

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