This system, with Koreans, had some success

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

This Kind of War by T.R. FehrenbachIn the first week of fighting, because it had exceedingly poor weaponry and bad training at staff levels, the original ROK Army in the west was largely destroyed, T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War):

Most of its men and officers died fighting.


ROK’s would remain weak in artillery and without organic tanks for the balance of the conflict. But they would fight.

All during July 1950, ROK units continued in action. Many fought exceedingly well. A comparison of casualties tells the story: in the first six weeks, American losses amounted to 6,000 men; the ROK’s lost 70,000 killed, wounded, or missing.


When the United Nations reeled behind the Pusan Perimeter, American officers estimated the NKPA had suffered some 30,000 casualties. The actual figure was nearer 60,000, most of which had been inflicted by the ROK’s. On August, many of the Inmun Gun divisions facing the Naktong were at half-strength; the total combat strength of its eleven divisions could not have been more than 70,000. It had no more than forty tanks by 4 August.

Behind the Perimeter on 4 August 1950, the U.N. had a troop strength of 141,808, of which some 82,000 were ROK’s. American combat ground strength was 47,000. By the end of August, when the crucial Perimeter battles began, American strength alone would exceed that of the Inmun Gun. By 19 August there would be 500 American tanks within the perimeter, outnumbering the enemy armor by more than five to one.

The United States Far Eastern Air Force had complete supremacy of the air, and could range over the North Korean supply lines at will. It could concentrate tremendous tactical air power against the ground in front of American troops.

For six weeks, the U.N. forces had been trading space for time. Their space was running out — but time was also running out for the Inmun Gun. In a protracted contest with the potential power of the United States, the North Korean State had no real hope of success.

By August the NKPA was bled white; replacements were fed in, some from the population of South Korea. These new men were hardly soldiers, but they were led by sergeants, officers, and generals who were fanatical veterans of the Chinese Communist Forces. Men who did not obey were shot. This system, with Koreans, had some success. It continued to be a matter of some frustration for American officers serving in Korea that Communist methods often turned out fighting men more quickly than the system employed with the ROK’s.

By 4 August 1950, the Inmun Gun had actually lost every advantage but two: it still held the initiative; though it was running out of men, supplies, and time, its attack spirit was still strong; and of its seventy thousand men, almost every man was available for the line. Given ammunition, the North Korean soldier could fight on three rice balls a day.


  1. Dave says:

    I know a couple who plan to send a tomboy daughter, their only child, into the Navy. They think it’s a great way for her to gain education and career experience. What they don’t realize is that one hypersonic missile from Russia or China immediately ends their bloodline.

    In a peacetime socialist welfare state, the military is either an afterthought (FDR) or a welfare program for black women (today). If you enlist now, you’re signing up for the next Bataan Death March. Feminists, gays, trannies, and the melanin-enriched, who remind us every five minutes that it’s their country now, let them have the honor of dying for it!

  2. Kirk says:


    As they say regarding these issues in the military, “One is none; two is one”. You’ve got one kid as a legacy, you’ve got no legacy. Sad but true.

    And, anyone encouraging their kid to join the military for “…education and career experience…” is a damn fool. The military exists for one fucking purpose, and that’s to defend the nation with blood and human lives. If you’re there for the benefits or the “experience”, you’re a freeloading POS who is more than likely to lack the mental stamina or strength of character to actually be able to “do the necessary” when it comes time to pay the blood price.

    I’m dead set against the draft, and the whole “Join for the benefits” mentality we’ve got going today. Time comes, and you find yourself on some hillside with the sunshine patriot types, life sucks and you’re probably going to lose the engagement. Bennie-boys and girls don’t have the spines you need when it gets down to the fist and blade. No killer instinct; no kills.

    Someone tells me they want their kid to get experience and benefits, I tell them to go find a non-military apprenticeship program, and keep their precious little darlings the hell out of the armed forces; at best, they represent a fraud on the nation, and at worst, they’re the reason we lose all of our initial engagements.

  3. Sam J. says:

    Off topic but I saw this and it tracks with what I said about AI beiong a huge threat to most all work. When I said this there was a lot of nay saying, “computer progress has stalled” etc., etc.

    I say not so and here is,

    “…Intel’s Raja Koduri gave the Monday keynote talk at the Hotchips 32 conference today. He argued in the keynote that within the next 5 years the industry would be able to increase performance by 1000 times…

    …Raja describes a path to 50x Transistor Density…”

    This performance leap is plenty to have most all average work done by a cheap robot. Looking at just the amount of steel and hand full of sensors needed I’m sure you build on these cheaper than a dishwasher in mass production(assuming the processors cost is low).

  4. Wang Wei Lin says:


    Freeloading POSs dying first sounds like a benefit…except for the good guy getting killed also.

  5. Kirk says:

    Wang, the freeloading isn’t the point. The real issue is that the “career minded” are usually lacking in the military virtues. As well, they also lack the will to kill, the essential sociopathic joy in the act.

    In short, they are usually pragmatic little sheepsies, far too self-interested to sacrifice or even risk their lives. Good soldiers need a core of essential insanity in order to dance in the whirlwind, which these career-minded dweebs just don’t have within them. Rationalizers need not apply, because they will rationate their way into doing whatever is in their carefully-reasoned self-interest.

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