In Private Smalley’s case the propaganda backfired

Thursday, October 29th, 2020

This Kind of War by T.R. FehrenbachCaptured up on a hill near the Ch’ongch’on, Private Smalley was ordered into his sleeping bag, T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War):

At dawn, a slender Chinese officer shook him awake. Speaking perfect English, the officer began to question Smalley and the two ROK soldiers who had been taken with him.

Smalley refused to open his mouth. Seeing his example, the two KATUSA’s were silent, also. At last the Chinese officer snapped his fingers. While Smalley watched, horrified, the Koreans were marched a few paces away and shot down.

Then the officer said to Smalley, “We know all about you.” And he did — down to Smalley’s unit, and who commanded it. “Now go back and tell your commander not to use fire bombs — napalm — against us. Your outfit is over there” — he pointed to the river — “take off!”

Fully expecting a bullet in the back, Smalley ran for the river. Though he was forced to hide twice to avoid Chinese patrols, he reached the Ch’ongch’on and splashed across.

During this time the Chinese released many such prisoners as Smalley, undoubtedly for propaganda reasons. In Private Smalley’s case the propaganda backfired. Finding Captain Muñoz, he said bitterly: “I saw what they did to those ROK’s. Gimme a machine gun!”


  1. N.N. says:

    Someone ought to track down Smalley and ask him if being that stupid was worth it.

    Yankees, ever feeling righteous for invading others. Enjoy your floundering country (:

  2. Bomag says:

    “Yankees, ever feeling righteous for invading others. Enjoy your floundering country (: “

    Ouch! Kind of like these guys.

    But, in that South Korea avoided the usual pleasures of communism, it looks like one of our better efforts.

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