The NKPA was a tight 10 division army. Well trained. They had wanted another tank division but fraternal relations only went so far. They lacked strategic reserves. They had also been fooled by their politicians that a revolutionary movement in the south was capable of directly seizing major objectives independently

The early NKPA advances were an example of the culminating point of victory. They burnt through their supplies and reserves historically. They were highly motivated well trained and ready, but fragile.
The NKPA started the war with 10 divisions, but added more to the invasion force.

According to the first official census in 1949 the population of North Korea numbered 9,620,000,[132] and by mid-1950 North Korean forces numbered between 150,000 and 200,000 troops, organized into 10 infantry divisions, one tank division, and one air force division, with 210 fighter planes and 280 tanks, who captured scheduled objectives and territory, among them Kaesong, Chuncheon, Uijeongbu and Ongjin. Their forces included 274 T-34-85 tanks, 200 artillery pieces, 110 attack bombers, and some 150 Yak fighter planes, and 35 reconnaissance aircraft. In addition to the invasion force, the North had 114 fighters, 78 bombers, 105 T-34-85 tanks, and some 30,000 soldiers stationed in reserve in North Korea.[77] Although each navy consisted of only several small warships, the North and South Korean navies fought in the war as sea-borne artillery for their armies.

During the course of the fighting July-September the NKPA suffered the following estimated casualties.

By 1 October 1950, the UN Command repelled the KPA northwards past the 38th Parallel; the ROK advanced after them, into North Korea.[199] MacArthur made a statement demanding the KPA's unconditional surrender.[200] Six days later, on 7 October, with UN authorization, the UN Command forces followed the ROK forces northwards.[201] The X Corps landed at Wonsan (in southeastern North Korea) and Riwon (in northeastern North Korea) on 26 October, but these cities had already been captured by ROK forces.[202] The Eighth US Army drove up western Korea and captured Pyongyang on 19 October 1950.[203] The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team made their first of two combat jumps during the Korean War on 20 October 1950 at Sunchon and Sukchon. The mission was to cut the road north going to China, preventing North Korean leaders from escaping from Pyongyang; and to rescue US prisoners of war. At month's end, UN forces held 135,000 KPA prisoners of war. As they neared the Sino-Korean border, the UN forces in the west were divided from those in the east by 50–100 miles (80–161 km) of mountainous terrain.[204] In addition to the 135,000 captured, the KPA had also suffered some 200,000 men killed or wounded for a total of 335,000 casualties since the end of June 1950, and had lost 313 tanks (mostly T-34/85 models). A mere 25,000 KPA regulars retreated across the 38th Parallel, as their military had entirely collapsed. The UN forces on the peninsula numbered 229,722 combat troops (including 125,126 Americans and 82,786 South Koreans), 119,559 rear area troops, and 36,667 US Air Force personnel.[205]

Using these as rough figures if the North invaded the South with 200,000 men in June, and in October had 25,000 left, after suffering 335,000 casualties they somehow picked up 160,000 reinforcements. So where did they come from? I've read estimates that 30,000 POW's claimed they were South Koreans forced to fight for the North, and say another 10,000 of these were KIA, the other 100-120,000 must have been new drafts from the North, or ethnic Koreans from China, so a lot of reinforcements went South following the initial invasion.

Once back in NK they continued a fighting withdraw, linking up with the PLA, and joining them in the First Phase Offensive. So after suffering operational loses in the 90% range, they still continued to offer effective organized resistance, and then counterattacked, so just how fragile were they?
 
Once back in NK they continued a fighting withdraw, linking up with the PLA, and joining them in the First Phase Offensive. So after suffering operational loses in the 90% range, they still continued to offer effective organized resistance, and then counterattacked, so just how fragile were they?
As your source acknowledges 200% tank replacement and incapable of independent politically decisive action after the first offensive drive. Compare to the contrefragility of the PLAF and PAVN who returned to politically decisive action once and three times in the American war.

I’m in no way criticising the capacity expressed and developed by the KPA itself, but rather comparing their resilience against forces designed for the class war their masters forecast: the KPA was hopefully designed. Capitalism wasn’t going to roll over and ask for its belly rubbed. The joke about revolutionary cells far less advanced than the Vietnamese revolution just ices the cake.
 
As your source acknowledges 200% tank replacement and incapable of independent politically decisive action after the first offensive drive. Compare to the contrefragility of the PLAF and PAVN who returned to politically decisive action once and three times in the American war.

I’m in no way criticising the capacity expressed and developed by the KPA itself, but rather comparing their resilience against forces designed for the class war their masters forecast: the KPA was hopefully designed. Capitalism wasn’t going to roll over and ask for its belly rubbed. The joke about revolutionary cells far less advanced than the Vietnamese revolution just ices the cake.
Well the situation in the Korean War was very different then what it was over a decade later in Vietnam. The NKPA was similar to the NVA, pretty much a conventional army, designed to fight another army. The ROK's fought a ruthless war in 1948 with Communist Gorillas, killing thousands of them, along with many civilians. After the UN Forces liberated SK in the Fall of 1950 the ROK's brutally punished any elements that had even sympathized with the DPRK, killing thousands more. With battle lines running from coast to coast, and the waters around Korea controlled by UN Naval Forces the NK's had no way of directly supporting any Communist forces in the South, they were on their own.

The ROK's maintained a tight internal security regime, and protected UN lines of communications. The ROK's received little international criticism of their brutal methods, and were give a free hand by the UN Command. The conditions during the Vietnam War were completely different. Communist Forces controlled the border areas in Laos, and Cambodia, and it was impossible for the ARVN to prevent infiltration of supplies, and troops into the South Vietnam. Allied Forces were subject to international scrutiny for human rights abuses, during their Counter Insurgency Campaign. The Communist Forces in the Vietnam War had many advantages they lacked in the Korea War.
 
I am enjoying this time line. I always felt that if the UN forces had held the line at the Taedong river in the west and a line running North from Hungman along a mountain ridge until they could cut across to the Taedong river that the world and many Korean people would be better off.

I understand that there were Koreans in China but were there any Koreans in the Soviet Union? If so were they volunteered to fight in the North Korean army?

Also, it is my understanding that there was a large Korean population in Japan. Most came over as laborers during the time that Japan ruled Korea. Was there any effort to utilize them in the Korean war as soldiers or otherwise?
 
I am enjoying this time line. I always felt that if the UN forces had held the line at the Taedong river in the west and a line running North from Hungman along a mountain ridge until they could cut across to the Taedong river that the world and many Korean people would be better off.

I understand that there were Koreans in China but were there any Koreans in the Soviet Union? If so were they volunteered to fight in the North Korean army?

Also, it is my understanding that there was a large Korean population in Japan. Most came over as laborers during the time that Japan ruled Korea. Was there any effort to utilize them in the Korean war as soldiers or otherwise?

There was a fairly sizable population of Koryo-saram (Koreans in the Soviet Union) that started fleeing to the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union after Korea was conquered by Japanese. However, Stalin believed that these ethnic Koreans could be a front for Japanese spies and signed an order exiling them en masse to modern Uzbekistan. Beyond that it seems that Korean advisors and immigrants would arrive after the war was over.

As for the Zainichi (Koreans in Japan) many of them were ignored throughout the war, once it was over however it was actually North Korea that did a better job of reaching out to them than South Korea did. Even today many of their schools and cultural institutions maintain a closer relationship to the North Korean identity than the South Korean one, although this is slowly changing as North Korea continues to struggle.
 
Part II, Chapter 14
CHAPTER 14

I remember all the suffering
Of those arrows in my neck.
Yet, I stabbed a grinning savage
As I died upon my back.

September 20, 1950

So this is how a fifty year career in the Army comes to its bitter end.
Douglas MacArthur could not think of any other reason that Harry Truman would want to meet with him and Patton here in Midway. He’d already sent his congratulations for the capture of Seoul on the teletype several days ago, and a press stunt for the upcoming midterm elections would have better served the Democratic Party if the President had visited the front lines himself. No. Truman was here to sack him for Inchon. No other explanation seemed possible. Sure enough, Truman was already pointing at a map on the wall, his finger on the city.
“What happened here?” he asked. “I was told this operation would be a landing deep behind enemy lines, not deep behind our own.”
“We conducted an amphibious operation that was successful in every sense possible.” MacArthur said, trying to put as positive a spin on the operation as he could (he’d had practice too – every reporter in Tokyo had asked him by now!). “Inchon was secured with an absolute minimum of casualties, and the port’s facilities have already been restored to a fully operational status. The supply burden on Eighth Army has been eased considerably thanks to the efforts of the X Corps and our South Korean allies.”
“These are of course results that could have been obtained without the additional risk of a naval landing, had Eighth Army instead been reinforced directly?” Truman asked. Yes, he definitely wanted to be given a reason to take the five stars of a general of the army away.
“We can say that now, with hindsight.” MacArthur grudgingly admitted. “On the day that I proposed the venture however, that was not the outcome suggested by the information I had at hand. For weeks my intelligence officer repeatedly told me that we were greatly outnumbered by the North Korean forces, and it was only two days before the first invasion ships left Japan that Patton reported anything close to a collapse in their lines. By then, it would have been too late to cancel the operation without a disastrous disruption to our supply efforts.”
Truman raised an eyebrow but didn’t say anything. Instead, it fell to Averell Harriman to ask Patton if he had anything to add.
Patton made a small show out of putting his cigar – it must have been at least his third in the last fifteen minutes – down in a nearby ashtray. Then he said something nobody in the room could have expected. “Inchon was a plan that could only have come from a master strategist. Hell, I wish I’d come up with it myself. By landing behind the enemy lines, we could have cut the Huns off before they had a chance to run back into Seoul.”
“Yet you launched your attack early?” Harry Vaughan – Truman’s military aide – noted.
“I didn’t launch anything.” Patton said. “I was merely continuing the attacks I’ve been launching against their lines ever since we threw the…” MacArthur noticed Patton catch himself before coming out with some choice insult for the North Koreans “…enemy out of Taejon. I did so to draw as many of their reserves away from Seoul as possible before the landing could go ahead. It seems they ran out of reserves earlier than we anticipated, but the fog of war is a curious beast. The only thing to do was chase them north, which is why half of Eighth Army sits on the 38th parallel. We seek your permission to cross immediately in our full strength, Mr President. A glorious victory lies on the horizon, and we need only be brave enough to take it.”
Patton’s speech seemed to have stunned the room into silence. MacArthur knew Patton had written poetry in the past, and could avoid speaking in language of the barracks if he made half an effort, but it was rare for him to come out with anything truly eloquent these days. This was a surprise.
“How did I know you were going to ask to launch another attack?” Vaughan said to break the silence.
“Have you read my book?” Patton asked, provoking laughter across the room. “Eighth Army knows only one direction, and that is forward. We must go forward. Anything else would surrender the initiative to the enemy after we worked so hard to seize it.”
Truman waited for the room to quieten again before giving his reply. “With all due respect, general, I cannot allow it yet.” MacArthur expected Patton to immediately launch into a rage, but for a wonder, he didn’t. “There are political issues at play, far more pressing than any that you dealt with in Europe. The United Nations has only given us a mandate to liberate South Korea, not to invade the North. Unless this mandate expands, the war cannot.”
Patton was putting his cigar down again – not a good sign – when his aide Meeks came into the room. “Terribly sorry, sirs, but I have an urgent message for the general.” Truman nodded, and Patton rushed out of the room. For about thirty seconds, no-one inside said anything. Then a roar came from just outside. “Those dirty sons of goddamn bitches!”
“What is it?” Truman asked when Patton returned.
“Rhee’s just thundered over the border with six divisions.” Patton explained. “Apologies for my outburst just then.”
“Think nothing of it.” Truman said. “Unfortunately, for now at least, that does not change what I said earlier. We cannot go against the mandate given to us by the United Nations, no matter what Rhee does.”
MacArthur made sure he spoke before Patton had a chance to. “Mr President, I’m sure you understand that the prestige of this nation could not survive such a humiliation as to wait behind the parallel for the war to be over. By failing to cross it, and support our allies, we would be sending a message to the entire communist world that there are no consequences for their aggression. If we hold back here, we would become nothing more than a laughing stock in the eyes of Red China and the Soviet Union.”
“I agree completely.” Truman said. “Yet we cannot rule out the possibility that either of those nations may intervene in the war should we be too aggressive in an invasion of North Korea. Have either of you received any information suggesting that this is a possibility?”
“No.” Patton and MacArthur said together. Patton then added “I did get told of a Russian pilot being downed a couple of weeks ago, flying over our territory at the time. Since the Koreans didn’t have an air force at all until a few years ago, I’m surprised we haven’t found more.”
Truman just waved that off. “Volunteers aren’t a problem. We’ve sent them before ourselves, and the Abraham Lincoln Brigade didn’t spark a war with Spain. That being the case, and seeing as the State Department has heard nothing either, I feel that the situation is such that we should proceed north.” Patton’s face lit up. “To that effect, I’ve already asked the United Nations for authorisation to use American forces north of the parallel but south of the Yalu. Of course, in light of the political risk, I cannot allow you to push all the way to the river.”
“What do you have in mind?” Patton asked.
“Upon receiving authorisation to proceed north of 38, which I am certain will come within days, I am prepared to allow the Eighth Army to occupy territory as far as the 39th parallel, as well as the key cities of Wonsan and of course Pyongyang, which is expected to bring about an unconditional surrender of North Korea.” Truman said.
“If I may?” Patton asked, his eyes already scanning the large map laid out on the table.
“Go ahead.” Truman allowed.
“Such a line, from a military standpoint, would leave our forces exposed and divided, in the event that Pyongyang’s capture does not lead to an immediate capitulation.” Patton said. “Germany carried on writhing around a good while after Hitler shot himself, and if we have to overrun the entire country we’re going to have to do it from the south. There’s no second front here.”
“If you’re asking permission to storm all the way to the Yalu, I cannot allow that.” Truman said. “You already have a reputation for wanting to destroy the communists outright, and Red China is going to see your army near the Yalu as one intending to cross it. Need I remind you that Red China is not our enemy?”
“I understand that, sir.” Patton said dismissively, “but I am saying we need to be ready if they do enter anyway. We’ve heard nothing of their intentions whatsoever. Mao could have decided he wanted to intervene two months ago for all we know, and just hasn’t scraped up the troops to do so yet. If he has, my troops shouldn’t be stuck holding a line that doesn’t make any military sense just to appease a bunch of cowards in the United Nations.”
“I presume, then, that you have an alternative line in mind?” Truman asked.
“As a matter of fact I do.” Patton said, before pulling a marker out of his pocket and drawing a thick red line over a railroad running between Sunchon and Kowon. “I want this railroad, and a few miles north of it. It would be foolish to leave this avenue of supply in our enemy’s hands, while in ours it would allow us to more rapidly respond to any move they might make.”
“That’s almost half a degree north of 39!” Truman said. Then he took a closer look at the map – it was the first, and really only, lateral railroad in North Korea. Still, moving so far north could be quite the provocation to Red China. Finally, and quite reluctantly, Truman made his decision. “Very well, once I have approval from the UN, you may move Eighth Army to no more than ten miles north of that rail line, on the condition that ROK troops lead the advance north of Pyongyang and Wonsan.”
Patton flicked another bit of ash off his cigar. “Another request, Mr President?”
“I’ll hear it.” Truman said.
“I’d like 600,000 complete winter uniforms to be made available for my troops no later than November 1st.” Patton said.
“The war will be over by then.” Harriman said.
“That will be ideal.” Patton agreed, “But I have heard that promise before myself, and it does not always come true. If it doesn’t, I would not like to have to explain to the grieving parents, siblings and wives of our men that their loved ones died of an easily preventable case of frostbite because we couldn’t send a few thousand greatcoats to the front. If we send them and the war ends early, we’ve wasted a few cubic metres of space on a ship or two. If we don’t and it doesn’t, we’ll have wasted ten thousand lives.”
“Fair enough.” Truman allowed, although he clearly wasn't promising anything. “If I may ask, who promised you that a war would be over before winter? I was never told such a thing until very late in the Great War.”
“That would be Murat.” Patton said. MacArthur just shook his head – Murat had been dead for seventy years before Patton was even born.

***

September 23, 1950

The afternoon had been wet and cold. Patton had visited the front in the morning, in X Corps’ sector, the only part of Eighth Army that was still moving. Across half of Korea, his troops stood proudly mere metres short of the parallel. Near Chongdan, X Corps still had enough space to continue driving to the west. By nightfall tomorrow at the very latest, they would reach the point where the Yellow Sea met the 38th parallel. Then there would be no attacks left to mount. What spirits the miserable weather didn’t dampen, the prospect of a halted offensive finished off.
As he tossed another piece of wood into the fireplace, he wondered if he had been right to offer MacArthur his full support back at Midway. MacArthur, he was sure, must have been angry that he had been robbed of any glory at Inchon, and if his entourage in Tokyo was anything to go by, he didn’t like anyone who wasn’t a blind follower, something Patton knew he certainly was not.
“Meeks, do you mind coming out with me for a minute?” he called out to his aide.
“What is it, sir?” Sergeant Meeks asked once they were out of the headquarters – thankfully the rain had stopped for now.
“You saw back at that meeting how I gave MacArthur my full and unconditional support?” Patton said.
“Have to be blind to miss it. Deaf too.” Meeks said.
“Yes, yes. Well, before we left for Midway I prayed to the Lord for guidance, and during my rest on the plane, He answered with a vision. I was standing on the frozen bank of the Yalu, about to piss in it, when some Red bastard shot a bullet through my nose. And the first medic on the scene was MacArthur.” Patton explained. “Do you think I did the right thing?”
“I cannot comment on your relations with the Lord,” Meeks said, “but at Midway it looked to me like MacArthur and Truman disagree on a lot of things. One way or another, you would have to pick a side eventually, and I think you would be more likely to agree with MacArthur’s viewpoint than Truman’s. He is eager to drive north, as much as you are, and if I understand MacArthur right, he’ll remember your loyalty for a long time.”
“And Truman will hate the both of us now.” Patton said, more to himself than to Meeks.
“He may well, but he has to consider affairs in Washington as well. If he sacks the both of you, there will undoubtedly be some kind of fallout. I don’t think he’d be willing to take that risk.” Meeks said.
“Thank you, Sergeant.” Patton said, slapping his aide on the back and leading him back inside.
“Message from Tokyo, sir. Just came in.” Colonel Landrum said as Patton and Meeks stepped through the door.
“What is it?” Patton asked.
“Washington has given permission for us to move north, effective midnight tonight.” Landrum said.
“Excellent!” Patton said. “Give the orders, I want every division in this army moving north at dawn tomorrow, in accordance with the plan we discussed before.”
“I’ll do it, sir.” Landrum said.
“The die is cast.” Patton remarked. Two thousand years ago, Julius Caesar had said the same thing to him.

- BNC
 
I have been lucky to speak with many Korean war veterans... the one thing they all had in common?

How ungodly cold it was. "Coldest I have ever been" is a common refrain.

Maybe we can spare them of that here.
 
Well the Advance has been called. March forth Men at Arms, and may you be allowed to turn as you left.

Though the opposite will be asked for the Enemy.

With Patton at the advance, might the Chinese jump forward their plans to intercede?
 
How ungodly cold it was. "Coldest I have ever been" is a common refrain
My Dad didn't think it that bad from the typical upper Midwestern Winter, while my Uncle said, 'No worse than Minnesota, if Minnesota had mountains all over the place'.
Maybe they were more used to it.
I recall staying at Grandma's House, and sleeping in the upstairs in February, would have frost on the inside walls, only heat was from a grate on the floor, from the gravity flow furnace that had just recently been converted from Coal to Gas.

But some guy not used to it, like below the Mason-Dixon Line? Yah, you betcha, coldest ever.
 
The die is cast indeed, the North can't hold on much longer and for their armed forces its all over bar the singing really but now its how the PRC will react.
 
There’s a tendency here for people in love with the United States to forget actual history.

a highly trained professional equipped 10 div army steam rolled an unequipped 10 division corruption fest. Through all evil chicken shaking workers in colours held the line and then a proto fascist rear ended them due to the US navy being really really good at opposed landings.

this isn’t quite a wank, but, the US is showing its best colours due to a HRM genius shoving his screwdriver in all the worst possible spots for the KPA.

If you forget how effective the KPA were in the first offensive and first retreat then you diminish allohistorical Patton’s contribution.

Allo-Patton is probably trying to determine the interrelationship between Classical Chinese history and classical Korean history right now so he can read their book.
 

nbcman

Donor
Would it be possible to just send people that would be used to that kind of weather, or would that kind of sorting be too hard?
The US Army doesn't care about the soldier's backgrounds like that when deploying large units. You'll either freeze or sweat when performing missions.
 
Would it be possible to just send people that would be used to that kind of weather, or would that kind of sorting be too hard?
Identifying personnel who are, so to speak, used to that kind of weather, would not terribly difficult for the Army. In this period, military personnel were tracked by means of IBM punch cards which contained, among other data entries, their state of origin. Be very easy to identify and locate all such personnel. Implementing a policy of reassigning soldiers on a basis of origin, while not without precedent, would, however, cause severe logistical and administrative issues, and the army is already overburdened with manpower issues as it is (like the issue of desegregation). I suspect the idea would be a non-starter.
 
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The US Army doesn't care about the soldier's backgrounds like that when deploying large units. You'll either freeze or sweat when performing missions.
A doubt: Weren't deployed to and/or fighting in Korea some National Guard units from the Northern States or Army Units which 'd has theirs bases on States with a more similar weather in North Korea?
 
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