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tv   Lectures in History Joseph Glatthaar on Korean War Civil- Military...  CSPAN  October 22, 2017 12:00am-1:01am EDT

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special session of the united states court of appeals for the second circuit having that congress, this court is adjourned. please join me and my colleagues in a reception in the main lobby on the first floor the courthouse, and as was alluded to, i invite you to visit the exhibit highlighting some of the history of the second circuit in the north corridor of the lobby. we are adjourned. thank you. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] you're watching american history tv among all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. to join the conversation, like us on facebook at c-span history. >> up next on lectures in
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history, university of north korea at chapel hill professor joseph glatthaar teaches about the korean war and civil - military relations. the class is about an hour. prof. glatthaar: today i'm going to talk about the korean war and we're going to talk a little bit about civil military relations. last time we met, we talked about the cold war and the development of containment. korea was an unusual situation in that it had been a colony of japan's sense 1910. during the second world war, there was fighting in korea, the u.s. and the soviet union jointly occupied korea and they agreed to divide korea. now, northern korea, that is what we call today north korea , was very much communist influenced. southern korea, which we now call south korea, was a very
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different situation. with the assistance of the u.n., they sponsored elections in south korea and south koreans elected a democratic government. north korea, however, wanted to unite under its terms and so it sentin sergeants -- insurgents into south korea to try and overthrow that government and they failed to do so. then, in january of 1950, the u.s. secretary of state dean ach ison made a significant error. in a speech talking about the areas of influence and positions that were vital to the united states's interest, he mentioned japan and the philippines and omitted south korea. the north koreans interpreted that as a statement that the u.s. wouldn't go to war to defend south korea, and so in june of 1950, armed with soviet equipment and aided by the
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chinese, the north koreans invaded south korea, and as you can see from our map, they stormed right across the border. the south koreans were largely caught off-guard and unprepared. the u.s. had military forces in japan under our far eastern commander douglas macarthur. the problem was that those troops and their units were badly under strain, the troops were badly trained and the was aent they had carryover from world war ii. it wasn't useful for them. we quickly threw over some forces, the saddest episode was task force smith. task force smith was a unit, a weak battalion that was commanded by a guy name charles smith who had extensive combat experience. he occupied a position and the soviet built tanks roared right through it. one guy fired fired a bazooka 22
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rounds point-blank into soviet made tanks and they bounced off. needless to say that was disconcerting for the troops, the tanks passed through, and eventually north korean infantry came through and smith's people were compelled to retreat. soldiers fell back and occupied a position in blue here on the map that we call the pusan perimeter. there we were able to stabilize things with american troops, republic of korea troops and foreign powers troops. when the invasion took place, harry truman presented the issue to the united nations. fortunately for the united states at the time, the soviet
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union was boycotting the u.n. they were boycotting it because the peoples republic of china was not admitted to the u.n. and so what happened was the soviets boycotted and the u.s. was able to get it passed through the u.n., first a statement of condemnation for the act of aggression by north korea, and then military forces from u.n. nations to help protect and defend south korea. all told, 21 nations sent either troops or personnel with expertise to aid the war effort. so it's actually a united nations expedition but it was placed under the overall command of douglas macarthur. he, of course, was a great world war ii hero. he was actually a world war i hero. so people felt really good about having macarthur in charge. fortunately, we're able to stabilize our position barely at pusan and slowly build up our
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forces. we created what was called the eighth army, and it was commanded by walton walker. he was a corps commander in patton's army. he is a really experienced combat soldier and a very fine officer. macarthur, however, came up with a concept to crush the north koreans. his idea was that walker in the pusan perimeter would launch an attack out. meanwhile, he would launch an amphibious landing at inchan the port area for seoul. the object was to seize seoul , push inland, and cut off the north koreans. the problem was multiple. inchan has between 29 and 35 -- 36 foot tide differentials.
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so, you know -- higher than this ceiling at high tide, below our floor at low tide. that's a huge tidal difference and that makes a dramatic difference when you're trying to land. secondly, you've got mud flats at low tide that extend 6,000 yards. 6,000 yards. so they're going to have -- that is four miles. and of course landing craft and ships and tanks are going to get stuck in the mud so you're not going to be able to land at low tide. there are numerous islands en route that you'll have to occupy. as you advance, the waterways are really rough in the wintertime, so you've got to make sure the landing take place before the winter comes on.
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next, there's a four to five island and welmedo has to be taken or you can't get in. there's a sea wall and the sea wall enters right at the port. so you have to get over the sea wall. then on top of that, the city begins right on top of the sea wall. so as soon as you enter into inchon, you're involved in urban warfare. so it's very difficult fighting in that regard. and then of course there were always the question about whether the troops at pusan could actually break out. we were so under strength that we had the 7th infantry division from the u.s. army. we merged two marine corps divisions to makeup a single division, now the first division. those of you who are in this class, of course, read dog
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company six and simmons was in the first marine division and landed at inchon as you certainly know. what they did was, they designated the tenth corps seventh infantry and the first marine division go in, and of course, in classic macarthur fashion, he pulled it off. what you will discover if you study the career of macarthur, when he's good, he is the best. when he is bad, he is the worst. and in this instance, macarthur was at his best. the inchon landing is brilliant. he pulled it out. pulled it off. strangely enough, when we came to the pusan perimeter, we had more troops in the pusan perimeter than the north koreans had, so when walker attacked the north koreans showed resistance but eventually broke. many people thought as soon as we landed in inchon and secured
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our way into seoul that the north korean army would collapse but, in fact, it resisted pretty well but ultimately it was forced to fall back. eventually, let me go to the first slide so you can see that again. oops. as the north koreans began falling back, there was a big debate as to whether we should pass the 38th parallel. remember the objective was to restore south korea and that's what the u.n. authorized and that was the 38th parallel but when the u.n. authorized it, it placed matters largely in control of the united states. and macarthur in charge. so the u.s. was largely calling the shots, although a number of other nations had military personnel who were risking and losing their lives in this adventure.
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we elected to let them cross over and macarthur saw this as a great opportunity. what he now wanted to do was unite the two koreas and he began pushing forward. the north koreans retreated farther north, the americans began advancing. at that point, macarthur made a critical error. he pulled out the tenth corps and sent it around by water to wonsan, which is marked on this map here. but by then the republic of korea troops had already passed won san and cleared it. so those troops came in. furthermore, it's very mountainous. korea's very mountainous so what happened was the troops got dispersed and compartmentalized. they got split up as they advanced into north korea.
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now, macarthur was euphoric. he was anticipating victory by getting the victory and getting the troops back home at christmas time and he was exceedingly optimistic about this sort of thing. unfortunately things didn't work out that way. americans were worried that the chinese might get involved. and they kept questioning macarthur, questioning macarthur, i talked to a former -- he's now deceased, four-star general who went over with the chief of staff of the army joe collins. and they went and met with macarthur and the entire time , macarthur paced back and forth and lectured to them about what had gone on and how successful this was going to be and what was going to happen, and they couldn't get questions in. and finally macarthur broke the and they started leaving. this is the chief-of-staff of the united states army and collins turned to general bolty and he said, you know what the problem is? he still sees us as captains, because they were captains when macarthur was chief-of-staff of the army and he still saw
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himself as their boss when, in fact, that wasn't the case. collins was his boss. he just didn't get it. and so he pushed farther and farther north. by october, they began to see the presence of chinese troops , and all of a sudden, they came in huge, huge numbers and by november, we were struck, we were isolated, they picked on various pockets of troops and we were routed. we began a steady retreat southward. the retreat wasn't mayhem, it was organized. they were systematic as they fell back and then an unfortunate accident occurred, walton walker was killed in a jeep accident and he was replaced by an absolutely extraordinary soldier named matthew ridgeway. ridgeway had been an airborne division commander in world war ii, he had a great reputation as a soldier.
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everyone admired him, so having ridgeway there was a real asset. you can see how close we actually got. there were troops who made it to the yalu river. it's the boundary between north korea and the peoples republic of china. so we advanced way in. those troops, the people at the chosen reservoir, that was general simmons in his book dog company six. they were at the reservoir. really one of the most horrific experiences in american military history. so you see how far north they advanced, but when the chinese came, they came in with such staggering numbers that we simply couldn't hold them back. eventually ridgeway was able to call a halt and launch a counter attack. oops. keep going the wrong way.
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and push back across the 38th parallel. what ridgeway did was really interesting. first of all, he upgraded fire power. you cannot compensate for chinese manpower with equal manpower. you just can't compete with the chinese when it comes to numbers of people. so you have to compensate with firepower, and that's what he did. he upgraded the firepower of u.s. military. that proved a real boon. he also adopted what we call fight and roll. they would fight vigorously, punish the enemy and then follow -- then fall back to the next defense position and each time punish the enemy and fall back to a defensive position. very skillfully done, saving american lives and u.n. lives and punishing the enemy. he got people off the roads.
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if troops were on the road , they're easy targets for the enemy. you get them off the road. and lastly, he began night fights. night fighting. americans are not really that keen on night fighting and ridgeway forced them to do it and it proved to be really successful. so ridgeway really left a mark, a positive mark, and he was able to restore the 38th parallel technically, as you can see from the truce line, while we're below the 38th parallel on the western part, most of the -- most of korea were above the 38th parallel and what we did was we occupied positions that were really strong defensively. but they had made it clear not to try and conquer north korea. now, macarthur meanwhile was grumbling all along. one of the most interesting things to realize is that macarthur had not been in the united states in 12 years. he was completely detached from his homeland.
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and as a result of that, he really didn't have a good feel for what was going on in american life and society. as a result of that, macarthur had curried favor with the republican party. he wanted to run for political office, maybe even be elected president of the united states , and he was trying to gain favor with republicans. so he regularly communicated with republican politicians. unfortunately, he kept challenging the truman administration policies and that's where he really ran afoul. first of all, he gave a talk for the vfw in which he opposed the truman administration's policy with regard to formosa. you're a general, the president is the commander in chief. the president formulates the policies. macarthur didn't care. the joint chiefs of staff
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instructed macarthur, under no uncertain terms are you to allow nonkorean troops to reach the yalou river. macarthur allowed nonkorean troops to reach the yalou river. which infuriated the chinese. joint chiefs of staff specifically instructed macarthur, as well as the president, not to bomb over the bridges because you're fearful of killing chinese civilian or chinese soil. what the joint chiefs of staff and the president of the united states did not want to do is expand this into a world war. they understood firmly that the u.s. principal responsibility was going to be nato. was going to be europe. we needed to defend western europe. and by getting dragged into a
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war in asia, that was exactly what the soviet union would want. because then we'd be distracted from our principal mission. perhaps one of the more unfortunate episodes, though, was truman administration notified macarthur on the 20th of march, 1951 that it was about to release terms for negotiation, that they were drafting them. on the 24th of march, macarthur announced his terms for negotiation and he undercut the truman administration, and what he did was, he made it clear that there would be no link between korea and formosa which really upset the truman administration but truman was stuck with what macarthur had announced. he violated what the truman administration called for. december of 1950, truman
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reminded, had issued an order, "to make no announcements on policy without government concurrence." truman reminded macarthur of that statement that came out of the department of defense and of coarse in classic macarthur , fashion, he completely ignored it. then joseph martin, the house minority leader, wrote to macarthur and sent him a speech that he had given in which he was -- in which he argued if the united states was not going to victory, thenull the truman administration should be indicted for the murder of thousands of american men. and asked macarthur to comment on that. macarthur wrote back, and this was read in the halls of congress. "my views and recommendations with respect to the situation created by red china's entry into the war against us in korea have been submitted to
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washington in most complete detail. generally these views are well-known and generally understood as they follow the conventional pattern of meeting force with the maximum counterforce as we have never failed to do in the past. your view with respect to the utilization of the chinese forces on formosa is in conflict with neither logic or tradition. it seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in asia is where the communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield. that here we fight europe's war with arms while diplomats there still fight it with words. that if we lose this war to communism in asia, the fall of europe is inevitable. win it and europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom. as you point out we must win. ,there is no substitute for
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victory." that letter was read on the floor of the u.s. house of representatives. of course the president was furious and what he did was he called in the secretary of defense and secretary of state, had conversations with them. they decided that they wanted the joint chiefs of staff involved so they brought in omar bradley. you recall that he was chairman of the joint chiefs of staff during the revolt of the admirals and you remember what he had said? that is, anyone recall what he had said? yes, open rebellion against civil authority. that's what he described. and he's the same chairman of the joint chiefs of staff again , and he made it clear he was bothered by it but he wanted to consult the joint chiefs. the next day, he did so, and
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then they all came back for another meeting and presented the joint chiefs of staff, they were unanimous in their statement that macarthur should be removed. marshall agreed, the secretary of state agreed and as a result , truman removed macarthur. what you have are pretty flagrant violations of what we call civil military relations. there's omar bradley. missourian, like eric. let's talk about civil military relations. first of all, all of you have read the u.s. constitution. what does it say about the president's power? >> [inaudible]
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-- and he's in charge of the militia and the navy and he can call them only when they're in actual service of the united states. prof. glatthaar: he's commander in chief, right? what does that mean? he's in charge. what responsibilities does the congress have? abe? >> [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: and establish regulations. >> congress declares war. prof. glatthaar: congress declares war, correct. so clearly truman has the right to issue orders and established policies, and macarthur, what's his responsibility in this? mya? >> he has to listen to them. prof. glatthaar: he has to listen to them and obey them, right? he's got to obey them. so what has he done?
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has he violated civil military relations? where do we even get this concept? is it exclusively the constitution? those of you who -- you were in last semester, where do you first see civil military relations as we're talking about? >> [indiscernible] -- the high middle ages in england and to the english sort of hesitation to allow a standing army, particularly after the english civil war. prof. glatthaar: that's right. and what about george washington? emma. you know all about old jorge. >> he earn couraged good relations between congress and his army. prof. glatthaar: that's exactly right. he was very careful not to exceed what he thought was proper behavior for an army officer. what was his justification for that? brook? what was -- why did washington -- why was washington so careful
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about not transgressing the responsibilities of the politicians? >> because he understands that the politicians and the army are in a sort of feedback mode and if you cause problems with one then the other -- he can cause problems across the board and disrupt the whole system. prof. glatthaar: ok. anyone else? come on. erin? >> he didn't -- the whole reason for the revolution is that they didn't want a monarchy and if he were to surpass his role and step on the toes of politicians, then that's pretty much what he'd be doing. prof. glatthaar: yeah. he's very sensitive that we don't have some kind of aristocracy, don't have a dictatorship. he wanted to make it always clear that the military took their orders from the political leaders. and that it was his responsibility to execute those orders to the best of his ability, and to advise them, but when they issued the orders to obey those orders.
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so we go all the way back to washington in the united states, even actually back to the brits that we inherited and of course we were very sensitive to this. but here comes the complications. how do you get into a military academy? has anyone here applied for admission? how do you get in? >> you have to be nominated by a congressman, senator or vice president. prof. glatthaar: you have got to be nominated by a politician, in other words. so say you had been nominated by a politician, wouldn't you feel beholden to that politician? probably so. one of my recent phd's, the congressman who nominated him , they have been friends ever since. the congressman no longer serves, but they're still friends. and, in fact, my army officer buddy was invited to go to the congressman's wedding. because they're such close friends over the years.
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i mean you just -- you build a rapport. these people made an important decision that was critical for your career and you feel beholden to them. back in the 19th century, you remember, all these politicians had connections. even guys like grant had connections in politics. you can't really escape when you're a general officer. furthermore, when you get these positions, you get appointed by the president of the united states, right? do you have to be ratified by congress? yeah, you do. you do. and when you go before them and they ask you, if i ask you a question, do you -- will you guarantee me that you will always speak truthfully and you know you're not going to get confirmed if you don't say, yes, senator. so that puts you in a bind. what happens when the president
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says one thing, issue you a directive, and you personally feel that that's a bad decision , and then in front of congressional testimony they ask you about that? if you lie, they're going to be livid. if you tell the truth, you're going to alienate your president. so what do you do? what would you do, andrea? >> i have no idea. prof. glatthaar: you don't know? come on. you can take charge. what would you do? >> i'd probably stay loyal to the president, i guess. prof. glatthaar: i think what you will stay loyal to the president, but you'll do it in a clever way. so for example, say you want a weapons system and the president
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-- the administration decides that it's too expensive but you really want it and the congressman says to you in front of in testimony sworn under oath, would you like that weapon system and what you say is, yeah, i'd like that weapons system. i'd like lots of different weapon systems, but we live in a real world where we don't have unlimited funds. and so we can't get everything that we would like. that's how you answer it. that way you're telling the truth to both parties, right? and respecting the decision of your bosses. see how squishy this world is? now, what do you do if you were a general officer or any officer and the president of the united states issues you an order and you find it morally reprehensible but it's not illegal? what would you do?
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no one has an answer. >> you can request a transfer so you receive a commission to [indiscernible] -- didn't believe in the war in iraq so he asked not to serve. he asked to stay in the reserved force, so that is an option good -- an option [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: if you find it morally reprehensible but you'll suffer the consequences unless you can demonstrate that the order is illegal you're going to suffer consequences. now some people think that you have no right to resign if you're a military officer, that your job is to simply execute all legal orders, you're not entitled to an opinion on those matters. can you buy that?
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what do you think? >> that is the oath you take as a commissioned officer. you obey the orders of the president and the officers appointed over you so whether or not you think it's wrong, if there's no law -- if it's a lawful order then you are required to obey it. prof. glatthaar: that's right. that's right. but then we can bring in guys like our man eric, who is an nco. eric, what did you do when you received an idiotic order from a lieutenant or captain? >> i mean do it, obviously. prof. glatthaar: you did it? >> if not, make it look like you did. [laughter] prof. glatthaar: surely you got some idiotic orders. >> there's no shortage of those, absolutely. prof. glatthaar: no shortage.
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so you see how complicated this world is. he's exactly right. you take the oath to obey all lawful orders. there's something to be said for that. back in the 19th century and actually even into the 20th century, some individuals didn't think that it was right to cast a vote. so zachary taylor, until he was nominated for president, had never voted in his life because
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he thought i'm a career army officer, i simply obey the government whoever's in power and i shouldn't have an opinion on these matters. i should simply execute the orders. and when, in fact, they approached him, he said to them, well, tell me what your party stands for, what are your issues? he didn't even know the issues between the democratic party and the whig party. and once they told him, i guess i'm whig, so they nominated him for president and he got elected. so it's a very strange world, isn't it? what do you think about these matters? you're going to be an army officer, right? that oath, you got to do what's handed down to you. prof. glatthaar: i think you're absolutely right. you have to execute the orders. there's not much you can do about it. so it's a complicated world and it's a very difficult one for lots of military people, because sometimes these orders will challenge you to your -- to your heart and soul, your very moral fiber is being tugged on, because you disagree with it. when i was at west point shortly after the first -- after the second gulf war, the invasion of iraq broke out, a lot of the army officers there were bothered by this, because the u.s. doesn't start wars.
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we don't invade countries and they felt like when they entered the military, they took an oath, but there is a tacit agreement that the u.s. government would utilize them for sensible -- for important causes and sensible causes and many of them felt like they were being put in combat in a situation that really didn't warrant invasion. now, they all of them obeyed it but it bothered them. so you see how civil military relations can be so complicated and so difficult from a moral standpoint. anybody have any questions about civil military relations? you guys are awfully quiet today. you're intimidated by the cameras. i understand.
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yeah? >> so if you decided that you didn't agree on a moral standpoint, would that be when you would like call yourself a conscientious objector or is that something different? prof. glatthaar: well conscientious objectors usually are opposed to war morally, period. i think that's really usually the case. yeah? >> in the case that you found something morally reprehensible as an officer or as an enlisted person but you also believe that it was illegal, what would be the procedure you would go through in order to prove the case? >> find where it's illegal and if it's not expressly dictated as illegal then -- yeah, the law is the law. prof. glatthaar: yeah. you would have to demonstrate -- you could go to a jag officer and present evidence that this is an illegal order and i can't -- i can't obey it and the jag
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officer will look at it and either tell you -- execute or you're going to the jail or the brig or, yeah, you're right. that is an unlawful order. yeah? >> [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: that's so interesting. macarthur got fired, came back home to the united states and went on tour around the united states giving speeches in uniform opposing the truman administration and presenting his side of the situation and insisting that this was the right war for world war iii. and of course, congress then held hearings and took testimony from numerous individuals and perhaps the most famous statement came from none other than omar bradley, this is the wrong time for the wrong fight in the wrong place.
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and there's a lot to be said for that. and the justification, once again, was that our primary mission was protection of europe. and we didn't want to get embroiled in a huge war against the people's republic of china. you remember that great movie "princess bride," and they talk about the second stupidest thing in the world is to get in a land war in asia. >> did macarthur ever seriously pursue [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: i think it became clear when he came back that he didn't really have the support that he was hoping. remember, he had a parade, a ticker tape parade in new york city and 7 million came out to cheer him. this is after this debacle. and when eisenhower came home from world war ii, only 3 million people came out to cheer
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him. now did eisenhower feel snubbed? i can't speak to that. but it shows you that macarthur had a lot of support, but as the evidence came out, people realized that macarthur really overstepped his bounds, and he did. of course there was talk about utilizing nuclear weapons against china. this was a pretty tense situation. >> was the media more involved in unraveling the narrative from [indiscernible] -- the truman administration, the cia, the department of defense, the government more responsible for this? prof. glatthaar: uncovering what macarthur was saying? macarthur made it public himself. there was one episode where the ap picked up information from
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macarthur's headquarters about things that he was planning that were in violation of jcs rules. but generally speaking, it wasn't media investigation that uncovered this. it was macarthur doing it pretty openly. he's pretty flagrant about this sort of thing. >> to get troops for korea, did the u.s. just carry over the peacetime draft? prof. glatthaar: that's a very interesting issue and i'm glad you raised it because it's a ticklish one. first they recalled all sorts of reservists. people were coming home from world war ii, and you don't know if you have a job or not, and they said, why don't you come into the reserves, you'll get paid, you sign up for five years, we'll give you a monthly stipend, you're a combat veteran, you really don't need to worry about training or anything, and most of these
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five-year tours were about to expire when all of a sudden the korean war broke out and they got recalled to active duty. so these were -- first they brought in lots of world war ii veterans and they were disgruntled. after about a year they rotated those guys out and they brought in draftees, and they were younger people who were better trained, the old guys had combat experience but they had gone to seed in the five years since they left. you go all those years without beers and you get an opportunity, you know what happens. you go after them. and many of them had children, had gotten married since then. it was a much more complicated scenario for them. whereas the 18, 19-year-olds who were being drafted, they were properly trained and much more fit physically and they were sent overseas for combat. you saw a significant -- actually a significant improvement in the units. in addition to that, you have integration issues. they began to integrate but they did it slowly and as a result, when you started getting
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replacements in korea, you couldn't sort them out so you started plugging in troops regardless of race into various units. so for example, the 24th infantry regiment, which is an army unit, which traditionally was african-american. it desegregated literally in korea. they started putting white guys in and lots of other white units started getting lots more black soldiers. so i think as i recall, don't bet the house on this, 20% of all troops in the coming into the army around that time period were african-americans. so you saw a significant integration of military forces literally in combat in korea and so that was a real positive step. as you have learned from the battle of the bulge, when black soldiers waived rank to serve in infantry units because they desperately needed the manpower,
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in fox holes race just does not matter. you're just glad to have a good soldier next to you. it doesn't matter race, gender, anything. you just want somebody who is reliable. there was also that line there's no atheists in fox holes. yeah? >> commissioned officers in the u.s. military also swore an oath to uphold the constitution, if there's an order that's given to them that's conducted that is perhaps unconstitutional, examples of this might be the expansion of bombing into cambodia under the nixon administration, what is their obligation that the military officers have? prof. glatthaar: that is a tough one. tough one. what would do you? [laughter] prof. glatthaar: you're going to be in the army. what would you do? if you know that congress passed a law outlawing bombing in a
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certain area and they order you to go in and bomb in that area, or say you're a helicopter pilot to convey american troops into that area when you know congress has forbidden it. >> sitting here in an academic standpoint and looking at it, i would obviously say that you wouldn't because it would be illegal and, but in this scenario, people that really were into the war and you can't really tell how you would act in the situation. there's a different culture in that war. prof. glatthaar: that is a superb answer. you are exactly right. you're in a very difficult predicament. your boss orders you to do it, you know it's coming down from way up on high, you know it's illegal but everyone's counting on you. and then, say, you're a really good pilot. if you pass on it or you're really good at whatever you do
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and you say i'm not going to do it and they let someone mediocre do it, and some of your buddies get killed because he blew it, think about how guilty you'd feel, so what do you do? do you take it on? your bosses have ordered you to do it and you know if you do it, you can probably save some lives. these are tough choices in life. big moral issues. anyone else have any questions or comments about this stuff? yeah? >> going back to the pusan perimeter, u.s. had more troops, what were the numbers? prof. glatthaar: i can't tell you off the top of my head but i can get back to you on that. >> how many troops are actually coming in from china relative to
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the u.s. forces? prof. glatthaar: the pusan perimeter, chinese forces aren't in. i've got statistics on the korean war that are pretty staggering. nope. i didn't bring them. [laughter] prof. glatthaar: but i brought casualty statistics that i will read to you next class. as i recall off the top of my head, we lose about 33,000 americans killed in korea. of course the loss of republic of korea, north koreans, chinese are staggering, staggering. remember we just upgraded our
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firepower dramatically and we were really punishing them. andrew? >> what do you mean by upgrading firepower? prof. glatthaar: for example, we had bazookas that were world war ii vintage, 2.36 inch then we upgraded them to 3.5 inch. larger rounds, better penetration. one of the interesting things we had and i know this sounds harsh, but the object is to fire these rounds and have them penetrate the outer skin and bounce around in the side and explode in there. the quality of the soviet steel was so bad that it passed right through the tank and came out the backside before they exploded. so we were upgraded in that way and other equipment. >> [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: what was going on was we were trying to expend the excess world war ii
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ammunition and finish using the world war ii equipment. >> is there any attempt by the [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: what is going on is they are trying to save trying to cut back on expenditures because they've gone through the roof. in the korean war, expenditures increased fourfold. that is a huge increase. prior to that, remember we talked about the revolt of the admirals, they're trying to cut the defense budget and they do so by eliminating a super carrier. and each of the services suffered pretty heavy losses, maybe $300 million, stuff like that. less,rine corps a little but the three major services. >> [indiscernible] how did the increase of staff, the support staff, people not on the front lines, was that a big part of like what's changing in civil military relations?
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prof. glatthaar: not so much -- well of course you mean civilian staff or military personnel who aren't carrying weapons? >> military personnel. prof. glatthaar: it's a steady process. we keep decreasing the tip of the spear in effect, making it smaller and smaller because we need so much support for everything that we do. i mean, you go to the civil war era, virtually everybody in a regiment fights, virtually everybody in the division fights. by the time you get to world war ii, you know, in a division of 15,000, 3,500 do the fighting and the other 11,500 are in some way, shape or form supporting those 3,500. so you see a monumental shift just in that time period. >> i've heard the korean war referred to as a forgotten war. prof. glatthaar: yeah. >> what was public opinion?
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did people view it as we were protecting the south koreans? prof. glatthaar: there was a lot of grumbling when reservists got recalled because people were upset, but truman had worked people into a little bit of frenzy about this communist takeover, so the american public generally supported the war. it was easy to justify and remember there's a faith or at least a hope that the u.n. will be successful. by our time now, we're kind of jaundiced about the u.n., what it can and can't do and what it does well and what it doesn't do well. but i think there was a level of optimism that the u.n. could be utilized as the institution that could protect countries from these acts of aggression. and here's where we have to start the practice. and so i think that makes a big difference in people's lives. yeah.
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>> [indiscernible] were the soviets doing the same thing? prof. glatthaar: they had their world war ii tanks. >> [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: and china is encouraging the war to extend. the soviets are fondling equipment. the chinese are building up their military with soviet equipment as well. yeah? >> [indiscernible] prof. glatthaar: they were not -- combat troops, no. abe. >> examples of officers who found the situation to -- moral code or law and recuse themselves from the situation? prof. glatthaar: there's a classic story from the vietnam war, where a guy named harold k
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johnson, chief of staff of the army, is fed up with the johnson administration policies. and so he gets in his car, and he's driving to the white house to submit his resignation in protest. and he got stuck in traffic in washington. and as he was stuck in traffic he started thinking, well, if i resign and nothing changes, i have wasted things. but if i stay in the game, i might be able to alter policies and make things better for the troops. and so ultimately he convinced himself he was making the right decision and turned his car around and went back to the pentagon. the sad part is, he lived to regret that decision for the remainder of his life. that's a pretty heavy burden because roughly 58,000 americans lose their lives in vietnam. so it's a pretty bad burden to carry. >> so if we were fighting chinese troops, were we at war with them or what was the official stance?
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prof. glatthaar: nope. we were fighting them, they were fighting us, no declaration of war. it was a police action. yeah? >> do the chinese fight under their own standards? prof. glatthaar: yep. they were chinese troops with chinese equipment, chinese officers, on and on. remember chinese and koreans don't speak the same language. all right, we've got a few more minutes so let me wrap up the korean war. ultimately what happened was -- i know i'm bad with the clicker. ultimately they settled in on roughly the truce line, and both sides would attack and there'd be fighting back and forth. the big stumbling block was exchange of prisoners of war.
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now, i should mention that both south korea and north korea treated the civilian populations in each other's countries pretty brutally. but there were large numbers of north koreans captured as well as chinese who did not want to repatriated. they did not want to go back to north korea. the u.n., especially the u.s., felt like they couldn't force anyone to return home to an authoritarian regime. so that became a huge stumbling block for prisoner exchanges and therefore the truce. when i first got a job out of graduate school, i went to fort leavenworth, the combat studies institute. and the guy in the office next to me, jack gifford, had been captured in the korean war and in prison camps.
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and he told me that they were treated really badly, fed poorly, conditions were bad. and then all of a sudden, conditions improved monumentally. and what happened was joseph stalin had died. and with stalin's death, that opened the door for a negotiated solution. and he said things were wrapped up in no time. and he said it was so noticeable, so obvious that something monumental had happened, and they were able to connect it to stalin's death. whether it opened the door to north korean negotiations or north koreans read it as a power vacuum to act on their own behalf, i don't know. but he noticed a significant difference. and of course, by 1953, we had a presidential election year and dwight d. eisenhower was elected president.
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eisenhower threatened he would go over to to north korea personally and if necessary use nuclear weapons to bring this to an end. so i think the combination of death, eisenhower in the white house and threats brought everyone to the table in a serious way and ultimately the prisoners were exchanged. but those that did not want to go back did not have to. anyone have any questions about the korean war? ok, you are out of here. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] >> join us every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern as we join students in college classrooms to hear lectures on topics ranging from the american revolution to 9/11. lectures in history are also available as podcasts.
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visit our website or download them from itunes. >> monday on "the communicators," russia's involvement in the 2016 election. >> hasn't said they learned a bunch of ads placed during the election were placed by a russian outfit under anonymous accounts. they were politically divisive ads, not necessarily aimed at one candidate or another but aimed at sewing divisiveness on charge topics. night at 8:00y eastern on c-span2. on october 20 6, 1967, navy flier john mccain was shot down over north vietnam during his
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23rd mission. he was ejected from his bomber into a lake, was captured, beaten and held in conditions with poor medical care despite life-threatening injuries. this sunday, on the 50th anniversary, senator mccain talks with american history tv about the impact of the vietnam war on his life and the country. here is a preview. touch -- >> they have an idea about graduated escalation, more,stepped up a little it would drive them to the negotiating table and it would become a peaceful end. i was actually happening is it was propping up the morale of the north vietnamese, they felt they were beating us. we are able to fight back. the whole concept was fatally
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flawed. when thethat point was ,alks in paris have broken down finally richard nixon said, go wipe them out. andwe went in with b-52s other aircraft and took out all of the resistance. guess what? the agreed to negotiate. think, had a lot somehowth a belief that you can convince the enemy to compromise when the enemy does not think they are being beaten. >> you can watch the entire interview with senator john mccain looking back 50 years to the vietnam war sunday at 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span3. >> this year marks the 60th
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anniversary of the integration of little rock central high school in arkansas. in 1957, president dwight d. eisenhower ordered troops to escort nine african american students to the all-white school, enforcing the supreme court's decision which declared state laws establishing separate schools for blacks and whites was unconstitutional.


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