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John S. McCain POW CIA-Defense Department Documents

 Korean War History - 12 Volumes


4,750 pages of text covering Korean War history. Twelve volumes of Korean War history produced by historians of the United States Army. A comprehensive account of U.S. Army activities in the Korean War.

Titles included are:

Policy and Direction: The First Year; South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu; Ebb and Flow; Truce Tent and Fighting Front; The Medics' War; Combat Support in Korea; Combat Actions in Korea; Military Advisors in Korea: Kmag in Peace and War; Black Soldier/White Army: The 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea; U.S. Army Mobilization and Logistics in the Korean War: A Research Approach; Korea, 1950; and Korea, 1951 to 1953.


"Describes the initial direction and strategy of the first major, though limited war that the United States was to fight on the continent of Asia in the era of global tension that followed World War II. There are marked similarities as well as some basic differences between the war in Korea and the war that would follow a decade later in Southeast Asia, and certainly the study of both is necessary to understand the limitations on armed conflict under the shadow of nuclear holocaust. One can also discern in this volume the importance of individuals in altering the course of human events and the fate of nations, the wider concerns that preclude the massing by a world power of its military strength in one direction, and many other facets of the nation's recent military history it behooves all thoughtful Americans to ponder."

15 May 1971
James L. Collins, Jr.
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History.


"At the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950, the U.S. Army combat units nearest the scene were the four infantry divisions performing occupation duties in Japan. When the Army of the Republic of Korea, supported only by U.S. air and naval forces, was unable to halt the North Korean aggressors, these divisions, seriously understrength and only partially trained and equipped for fighting, provided the troops that were committed initially to action in response to the call of the United Nations Security Council. Colonel Appleman's narrative portrays vividly the grimness of limited war against a fanatical enemy, and the tragic consequences of unpreparedness. His writing recaptures the dismay that most Americans experienced in the realization that a small, little-known country could achieve military success against a coalition that included this, the world's most powerful nation. Here is the story of how U.S. Army combat units, thrown piecemeal into the battle to slow Communist advances, fought a desperate and heroic delaying action, buying time until the United Nations forces could attain the military strength necessary to take the offensive. When that offensive was launched, it quickly crushed the North Korean forces, only to be met with the massive intervention of a more formidable adversary, Communist China."

15 March 1960
Brigadier General, U.S.A.
Chief of Military History

EBB AND FLOW, by Billy C. Mossman

"Ebb and Flow records an important chapter in the Korean War. It begins with the last weeks of the pell-mell rush of United Nations forces to the Chinese border and goes on to describe in great detail the test of American military leadership and resources posed by the taxing retreat of the Eighth Army and X Corps across the frozen wastes of North Korea. It also examines the special problems posed to a fighting army during the deadly months of stalemate in the summer of 1951. The part of the war described in this volume raises many questions for the military strategist and provides a treasure trove of lessons for the student of the art of war. The book emphasizes the limitations imposed by terrain and weather on the fighting capabilities of an American army facing surprise attack from a large, disciplined enemy. The operations it describes in such careful detail will help vivify the principles of war for those who would study the profession of arms."

8 September 1988
William A. Stofft
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History


"Truce Tent and Fighting Front covers the last two years in the Korean War and treats the seemingly interminable armistice negotiations and the violent but sporadic fighting at the front. The scene therefore frequently shifts from the dialectic, propaganda, and frustrations at the conference table to the battles on key hills and at key outposts. The author presents a solid and meaningful reconstruction of the truce negotiations; he develops the issues debated and captures the color of the arguments and the arguers. The planning and events that guided or influenced the proceedings on the United Nations side are thoroughly explained. The volume abounds in object lessons and case studies that illustrate problems American officers may encounter in negotiating with Communists. Problems encountered by the U.N. high command in handling recalcitrant Communist prisoners of war within the spirit and letter of the Geneva Convention are explained with clarity and sympathy."

18 June 1965
Hal C. Pattison
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History

THE MEDICS' WAR, by Albert E. Cowdrey

"The Medics' War views this conflict from an uncommon angle. It documents the efforts of American Army doctors, nurses, and enlisted medics to save life and repair the damages wrought by wounds and disease. Though the charges of biological warfare made at the time are shown to have no foundation, the disease-ridden environment of wartime Korea aided the side with the best medical care. The real MASH clearly emerges in this study, along with the variety of technical innovations produced by the conflict that have advanced medical science. The perspective of The Medics' War is an enlightening one, showing that the compassionate treatment of both United Nations and enemy wounded pre-served human values in the midst of bitter, unforgiving strife. Civilian and military readers alike will gain from it a deeper understanding of the processes, destructive and reconstructive, that together made up the human experience of the Korean War."

24 March 1986
William A. Stofft
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History


"The contributions of combat service support soldiers to the success of American armies have often been overlooked by both historians and the public. Thus, it is altogether fitting that this first volume in the Army in Action Series should be John G. Westover's compilation of short, but instructive, pieces on service and support activities during the Korean War. While the details of combat actions in America's wars have been studied extensively, comparatively little has been done to enlighten the soldier of today regarding how logistical operations were conducted at the small unit level. This book will serve to repair that omission. Westover compiled this book primarily from a series of interviews conducted with men actually involved in the events at ground level. The oral history technique, which Army historians did much to develop in World War II and later, is now an accepted historical method. The value of oral history as a means of getting to the details is amply demonstrated here."

William A. Stofft
Brigadier General
U.S. Army Chief of Military History

COMBAT ACTIONS IN KOREA, by Russell A. Gugeler


"The mid-twentieth century has added new dimensions to the roles and missions long performed by the United States Army. In many lands whose peoples speak alien tongues and observe strange customs, the American soldier is now living and working as ally, friend, and counselor. As a representative of the American way of life, as a persuasive advocate of his country's modern equipment and tactical doctrine, as partner in a global system of achieving security for the entire free world, he is called upon to demonstrate a variety of talents-patience, tact, linguistic ability, and superior professional knowledge, among others. In all that he does, he must make a supreme effort to understand people and traditions often vastly different from his own. One of the pioneers in this new type of Army endeavor was the Military Advisory Group to the Republic of Korea, commonly known as KMAG. The men and officers who served in KMAG during the early days came to know all the frustrations and triumphs, the problems and partial solutions, the failures and successes that characterize new ventures. Major Sawyer has vividly recaptured the spirit and actions of the men of both nations whose joint efforts established a remarkable record of achievement. Though this volume describes the Army's experience in Korea only, the lessons it contains have great value to an officer assigned to advisory group duty in any nation. The book will also introduce the general public to the manner in which the United States soldier can and does meet the ever-changing tasks demanded of him by his countrymen."

March 1986
William A. Stofft
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History

by William T. Bowers, William M. Hammond, and George L. MacGarrigle

"The story of the 24th Infantry Regiment in Korea is a difficult one, both for the veterans of the unit and for the Army. In the early weeks of the Korean War, most American military units experienced problems as the U.S. Army attempted to transform understrength, ill-equipped, and inadequately trained forces into an effective combat team while at the same time holding back the fierce attacks of an aggressive and well-prepared opponent. In addition to the problems other regiments faced in Korea, the 24th Infantry also had to over-come the effects of racial prejudice. Ultimately the soldiers of the regiment, despite steadfast courage on the part of many, paid the price on the battle-field for the attitudes and misguided policies of the Army and their nation. Several previously published histories have discussed what happened to the 24th Infantry. This book tells why it happened. In doing so, it offers important lessons for today's Army. The Army and the nation must be aware of the corrosive effects of segregation and the racial prejudices that accompanied it. The consequences of that system crippled the trust and mutual confidence so necessary among the soldiers and leaders of combat units and weakened the bonds that held the 24th together, producing profound effects on the battlefield. I urge the reader to study and reflect on the insights provided in the chapters that follow. We must ensure that the injustices and misfortunes that befell the 24th never occur again. Six people deserve special acknowledgment for the roles they played in the production of this study. Secretary of the Army John O. Marsh first recognized the need for this work and monitored its early stages. A concerned veteran, Mr. David Carlisle, pushed continually for its completion. General Roscoe Robinson, before he passed away, read initial drafts of the early chapters and made valuable comments. Col. John Cash collected many of the documents, conducted nearly three hundred oral history interviews, walked the battlegrounds in Korea, and drafted an early account of the regiments history. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Hon. Sara E. Lister, supported our work during the past two years. The Secretary of the Army, Hon. Togo D. West, Jr., approved its publication."

21 August 1996
John W. Mountcastle
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History

by Terrence J. Gough

"In view of their crucial importance to military success, mobilization and logistics deserve thorough attention from historians. Although the Army's ability to mobilize has improved in recent years, much remains to be done, and the Korean War experience can provide valuable insights. Planners involved in the attempt to perfect current automated manpower mobilization systems need to prepare for possible strains and even collapse of those systems. In an emergency, we may have to rely on manual methods such as those that saw us through the Korean War. Industrial preparedness also has received increased emphasis and support in the last decade. But in this area, as well, there is much to be learned from the Korean War's partial mobilization. Finally, we can study with profit the problems encountered in supplying the large forces that we fielded in Korea. Planners who deal with theater logistics could benefit from detailed analysis, solidly grounded in original sources, of those problems and the solutions devised for them during the war."

5 January 1987
William A. Stofft
Brigadier General
Chief of Military History

KOREA, 1950, by John Miller, Jr.

"By its participation in the Korean conflict the Army of the United States, in a determined effort to restore international peace and security, has been for the first time committed to battle under the flag of the United Nations. Confronted by most arduous conditions, the American soldier has fought with traditional bravery and skill against communist aggression in Korea. He has met every test with honor. This volume briefly records, by text and photograph, the first six months of the conflict that began in Korea on 25 June 1950."

Major General, U.S. Army
Chief of Military History

KOREA, 1951 to 1953, by John Miller, Jr.

"This volume records briefly, by text and photograph, the Korean conflict from January 1951 to the cessation of hostilities in July 1953. Like its predecessor, Korea 1950, it attempts to provide an accurate outline of events in order to show the U.S. Army veteran of the Korean conflict how the part he played was related to the larger plans and operations of th United Nations forces. For this reason Korea 1951-1953 focuses on the operations of the United States Army but summarizes the achievements of the sister services and of the other United Nations troops in order to make clear the contributions of all to the successful resistance against armed aggression. The text, which is based upon records and reports of the Far East Command, the United Nations Command, and the Eighth Army, was written by Dr. John Miller, Jr."

A. C. Smith
Major General, U.S. Army
Chief of Military History

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