But the 2,202 American citizens were evacuated from Korea, without loss of life

Sunday, July 19th, 2020

With its tanks, the North Korean army (Inmun Gun) quickly overran the South (ROK), and the Americans had to flee Seoul, as T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War):

Only the best trained and best led troops can execute an orderly withdrawal under heavy pressure. Outnumbered, outgunned and with no way to counteract the freezing terror — which the Germans call panzer fever — caused by the unstoppable Russian tanks, the 7th took frightful losses.


The ROK plan of maneuver had been hasty, ill advised, and impossible. A competent, adequately trained basic rifleman could be made in eleven months. Competent, well-schooled commanders and staffs could not.


Under American fighter cover from Japan, the civilian and KMAG staff began to fly from Suwon Airfield. Behind them, the American evacuation of Seoul was both hasty and chaotic, and in some respects, tragic.

The fifteen hundred vehicles belonging to Americans, both government and private, were abandoned; no effort was made to turn them over to the ROK Army, which desperately needed them. More than twenty thousand gallons of gasoline were abandoned in the embassy motor pool. A tremendous amount of food, valued at $100,000, and the entire July quota of liquor — $40,000 worth, tax free — were left for the Inmun Gun.


The ghastly mistake made during the early hours of 27 June was that the personnel records of more than five thousand Korean employees of the embassy were left in their files. While the confidential records of the American Mission were burned, no one thought of the dossiers of its loyal Korean workers — or more likely, no one on the embassy staff really understood the nature of the Communist foe they faced.

These files would fall into the hands of the Inmun Gun, and none of the employees who remained at their homes in Seoul would survive the Communist occupation.

But the 2,202 American citizens were evacuated from Korea, without loss of life.


Men falling back from the north told of the terrible tanks that could not be stopped. It must be recalled that Korean soldiers had not even been told much about tanks, let alone given them, and the tanks assumed the proportions of invincible monsters as the tales spread. And the ROK Army had not even one anti-tank mine.

The roadblocks were not defended; the bridges to the north were not blown. Thousands of defeated ROK troops began to pour into Seoul, and as they did so, the rearguard detachments left to delay the enemy melted away.

And now a new menace appeared. Thousands upon thousands of Communists and Communist sympathizers had infiltrated Seoul during the years, and as the Inmun Gun approached, these men came out into the open. Suddenly no one could be trusted; even on the ROK Army Staff men began to shout “Communist!” and “Traitor!” at each other.


  1. Ezra says:

    The ROK army did not have one anti-tank mine as they were not supposed to have one anti-tank mine. The thought was that a self-sufficient ROK force might be used by Rhee to invade the north.

  2. VXXC says:

    Not lost on me why Isegoria is running a This Kind of War series.

    We’ve got a lot of predictable surprises and avoidable errors in front of us, even though the formula is over a century old.

  3. Kirk says:

    If war comes to the Pacific Ocean again, it’s going to rhyme with the opening stages of WWII and Korea all over again. There will be harmonies there with the later stages, as well, once the Chinese over-extend as they inevitably will.

    Big differences, too: China really has no real depth to its military-age cohorts, and a lack of institutional bits and pieces that can overcome the fact that those solitary young men, with no brothers or sisters, represent the actual on-the-hoof retirement plans for their parents. If the CCP expends those young men in some misbegotten military adventure…? Yikes. Can you say “lose the Mandate of Heaven”? I knew you could.

    China is in a horrible bind, demographically and economically. End state for all the issues working their way through the system? I would not even dare to begin answering that question–Three Gorges Dam, for example? Whither China and the CCP, if that hydroelectric nightmare self-destructs under the weight of the rains even now falling. And, that’s not to say that even if it survives this year, what happens further down the line?

    I would not like to be in the shoes of even a low-level CCP official, these days. Things go bad enough, fast enough, they’ll be lucky if they only go through what the Red Guards inflicted on their victims. Cannibalism in the aftermath of a Three Gorges failure is almost a certain outcome for much of its drainage area, and if you’re a card-carrying member of the regime? LOL; first on the table.

  4. Gavin Longmuir says:

    Kirk: “China is in a horrible bind, demographically and economically.”

    Agreed. But what about the horrible bind in which most of the West finds itself? Failing to reproduce; failing to educate the children it does produce; importing largely hostile foreigners; offshoring industry; cutting back on research & technology.

    About 170 years ago in the Opium Wars, England could send a few boatloads of troops half way round the world to China and make the Chinese Emperor say Uncle. Today, England depends on China for help with its nuclear power program and its cell-phone communications. That worm has turned!

    The West and China both have serious problems. The challenge is who can fix his own problems first.

  5. Dave says:

    The State Department has been infested with commies for a century. State always ignored and lied to the White House while making sure their fellow Communists had the weapons and material they needed to win and anti-Communists did not.

  6. Kirk says:


    The State Department has always been infested with the least competent and least intelligent of our nation. Part of that is due to the fact that after the Revolution, we didn’t really need much competence in that department of government, and we had no real overall “grand strategy” of diplomacy, other than to foster commercial opportunity and keep our trade going.

    Frankly, you look at the track record going back to the Revolution, and you have to wonder whose side the State Department has been on, all these years. My take on it is that the diplomatic service of these United States may as well have been run by a coalition of our enemies, for all the good it has done “the rest of us” whose names and families do not infest the Ivy League schoolyards.

    Positive diplomacy might have forestalled WWII; it could certainly have defused many of the issues with both Germany and Japan, but it did not. More recently, the US could well have avoided the acts that stirred up issues in the former Yugoslavia, which many of us don’t even know about. US State Department pressure kept Tito and his ministers from crushing Izetbegovic when he started agitating for Muslim resurgence, which is what triggered the rise of men like Milosevic. Had we had diplomats that weren’t historical ignoramuses, they’d have recognized what the hell was going on, and stayed well clear of that issue. As it was, even the Brits were smart enough to ignore the Muslim pleas to “do something…” about the issue. We weren’t–And, Yugoslavia exploded not even a generation after Tito was dead, mostly due to our malign influence.

    Frankly, I think we would be better off without a State Department. Contract with a PR firm, call it good…

  7. Kirk says:


    Portions of the “West” are in a demographic bind; mostly, the bits that have embraced socialism. The rest…? Not so much.

    I think that in a few hundred years, people are going to look back at socialism as a bit of a trap; you go in, but you don’t come back out. The inimical effects of things like social benefits and locked-in supports do everything to discourage things like family formation and lead to inevitable demographic suicide. The socialist “reef structure” chokes out individual choices and leads to the spread of long-term social trends that discourage reproduction even at replacement rates, and a whole lot of other things that are necessary to long-term social system survival. Europe is undergoing the pressures created by end-state socialism as we speak, and will probably not survive in a recognizable form much past about the 2070s. Rude awakenings are in store for them, as they realize that all the migrants they’ve brought in are not going to assimilate (not least because the Europeans do not really believe in assimilation and don’t have the institutions to enable any such thing…), and that they are, instead, going to supplant the European ethnicities themselves. This ain’t going to go over well with the plebs, and when it’s all become clear to those plebs who made the decisions…? Don’t expect to see peaceful acquiescence to it all. Brexit will be seen as a relatively minor and peaceful reaction; elsewhere, expect social dislocation resulting in mass deaths on a scale we really won’t believe until it happens. I am not at all sanguine about Europe, particularly the western regions thereof.

    The US? Will likely muddle through, as always. No idea of the end state, and we may be due for a really nasty civil war whose results I wouldn’t venture to predict, but I think the US is well-positioned to at least survive in a recognizable form. The rest of the world? Not so much.

  8. Albion says:

    Kirk: “Don’t expect to see peaceful acquiescence to it all. Brexit will be seen as a relatively minor and peaceful reaction”

    For those of us who voted Brexit, and cannot yet see an end to the process because so many civil servants (who one presumes have holiday homes in France or do not like the idea of taxes on French wine imports) have done everything they can to block the actual leaving. More, there are numerous MPs whose loyalty appears not to be to Britain but to some vague, money-gobbling empire who have thrown open Europe’s doors to tens of millions of (mostly young men) who actively hate Europe.

    The lesson here is obvious: the will of the people (we were promised in 2016 whatever we decided would be implemented, which has turned out to be a crock of lies) will never be important. Cameron’s mid-range socialist government was so shaken that all the pro-EU propaganda did not work that Cameron fled office, to be replaced by someone who said they would follow the will of the people yet didn’t.

    What we are learning, if it isn’t already obvious, is that what is said by the high ups and what is done are two different things. This is becoming obvious all over the West, though equally I have increasing hope that Eastern Europe has the spine to say no to it all. For us in the UK–an island which does not even know how big its population is thanks to unfettered immigration (do you know we actually escort illegals in to ensure their ‘safety’ and then bow to their demands for more ‘extras’ when illegally here?) and could not feed itself when it was more agrarian in the early 1940s with a smaller population.

    It won’t get any better for us, and if Brexit was a small chance we could make our own way in the world on our terms, we were sadly mistaken. Mostly Brits are pragmatic but no matter how we vote, we don’t seem to be able to get a government that thinks of its people first and foremost. London is majority foreigners now, and soon we may as well abandon it to the newcomers who don’t see anything worth saving there.

    I hope the US does survive what’s coming, but I doubt we won’t. France, Germany and then us will go, though funnily enough when there is no native whites propping it all up and the money is all gone, the hordes may go back to where it’s warmer and leave the ruins to in western Europe to those few natives who survive. it will be tough rebuilding and we won’t know for a long time how to build a cathedral like Nantes again, but we can hope.

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