tv Korean War and Civil- Military Relations CSPAN September 1, 2017 12:27pm-1:27pm EDT
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>> next, on lectures in history. university of north carolina at chapel hill professor joseph glathaar. removal from command by president truman and civil relations. his class is about an hour. >> today, i'm going to talk about the korean war. 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 since 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 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 sent 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 atchinson made a really 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 chinese, the north koreans
invaded south korea and as you can see from our map, they stormed right across the border. the south koreas 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 strength, the troops were badly trained and the equipment they had was carryovers 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 rounds point-blank into soviet made tanks and they bounced off. needless to say that was disconcerting for the troops, the tanks passed through 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. they're, we're 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 union was boycotting the u.n. they were boycotting it because the people's republic of china which had gained its -- had been secured in 1949 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. macarthur, 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 forces. the 8th army was commanded by walton walker. walton walker was a corps commander in patton's army. he's 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 inchon the port area for seoul. the object was to seize seoul and cutoff the north koreans. the problem was multiple.
inchon has between 29 and 35 -- 36 foot tide differentials. 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 extent 6,000 yards. 6,000 yards. so they're going to have -- that's 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. are 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 corp
divisions to makeup a single division now the 1st division. those of you who are in this class, of course, read dog company six and simmons was in the 1st marine division and landed at inchon as you certainly know. what they did was, they designated the 10th corp 7th infantry and the 1st marine division to 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 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. 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. macarthur made a critical area. he pulled out the tenth corp and sent it around by water to won san 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. further more, it's very mountainous. korea's very mountainous so what happened was the troops got disbursed and compartmentalize. they got split up as they advanced into north korea. 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 meeting off and they -- 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 at captains
because they were captains when macarthur was chief-of-staff of the army and he still saw 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 and 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 ridgway.
ridgway had been an airborne division commander in world war ii. he had a great reputation as a soldier. everyone admired him. so having ridgway there was a real asset. you can see how close we actually got. there were troops who made it to the yalu river. the yalu river is the boundary between north korea and the people's 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 6." they were chosen 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 ridgway was able to call a halt and launch a counterattack -- oops.
keep going the wrong way. and push back across the 38th parallel. what ridgway 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 fire power and that's what he did. he upgraded the fire power 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 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.
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 ridgway forced them to do it and it proved to be really successful. so ridgway 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. 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 instructed macarthur under no uncertain terms are you to allow non-korean troops to reach the yalou river. macarthur allowed non-korean troops to reach the yalou river. which infuriated the chinese. joint chiefs of staff specifically 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
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 reminded, had issued an order, quote, to make no announcements on policy without government concurrence, end quote. truman reminded macarthur of that statement that came out of the department of defense and of course 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 be in if for full victory then 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, quote, 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 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 fight it with words. that if we lose this war, 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 victory. that letter was read on the floor of the 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 chief-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? huh? yep, open rebellion. open rebellion against civil authority. that's how he described the revolt of the admirals. 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 then they all came back for another meeting and he presented the joint chiefs of staff. they were unanimous in their u 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. evi, what does it say about the president's power?
[ inaudible ] >> -- command them. like, let's see. and he's in charge of the militia and the navy, and he can call them only when they're in actual service -- [ inaudible ] >> commander in chief, right? what does commander in chief mean? he's in charge. what responsibilities does the congress have? abe? >> they're allowed to pull the navy and raise the army for two years and also raise the -- [ inaudible ] >> yep, and establish regulations. >> congress declares war. >> congress declares war. correct. so, clearly, truman has the right to issue orders and establish policies, and macarthur, what's his responsibility in this? maya? >> he has to listen to them. >> he has to listen to them.
he has to obey them, right? okay. he's got to obey them. so, what has he done? has he violated civil-military relations? has he -- where do we even get this concept? is it exclusively the constitution? those of you who had me last -- denton, you were in last semester. where do you first see civil-military relations as we're talking about? >> you can date it to the assize of arms, the middle ages in england and to the english sort of hesitation to allow a standing army, particularly after the english civil war. >> that's right. and what about george washington? emma, you know all about george, old jorge. >> he encouraged good relations and sort of good between congress and his army. >> that's exactly right. and he was very careful not to exceed what he thought was proper behavior for an army officer. what was his justification for that?
brooke? what was -- why was washington so careful about not transgressing the responsibilities of the politicians? >> because he understands that the politicians and the army are in sort of a feedback loop and that causes problems with one, then the other, you know, he can cause problems across the board and scrub the whole system. >> okay. anyone else? come on. erin. >> he didn't -- i mean, the whole reason for the revolution is that they didn't want a monarchy, and if he were to surpass his role and kind of step on the toes of politicians, that's pretty much what he'd be doing. >> yeah! he's very sensitive that we don't have some kind of aristocracy, very sensitive that we don't have some kind of 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. 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're very sensitive to this. but here comes the complication. 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 the vice president. >> yep, you've got to be nominated by a politician, in other words. so, if you -- say you had been nominated by a politician, wouldn't you feel beholden to that politician? probably so. one of my recent ph.ds, the congressman who nominated him, they've 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. 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 u.s. grant had connections in politics. so, 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, will you guarantee me that you will always speak truthfully? and you know that you're not going to get confirmed if you don't say, yes, congressman -- or i'm sorry, yes, senator.
so that puts you in a bind. what happens when the president says one thing, issues 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? you don't know? come on, you can take charge. what would you do? >> i'd probably stay loyal to the president, i guess. >> i think what -- you will stay loyal to the president, but in a clever way.
so, for example, say you want a weapons system, and the president, 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 weapons system? and what you say is, yeah, i'd like that weapons system. i'd like lots of different weapons 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 party, right, and respecting the decisions of your bosses. see how squishy this world is? now, what do you do if you are 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? no one has an answer? yeah. >> requesting like, you can request a transfer, something like that. if you receive a commission to go, like there was an example of a case of someone tried to, in iraq, i believe, a captain who didn't believe in the war in iraq, so he asked not to serve. he asked to stay on reserve forces or something like that. so that's an option to ask for different orders, essentially. and there's also, if you really believe it's morally reprehensible, you can refuse the orders. >> yep. but -- well, if you find it morally reprehensible, but you're going to 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? you know, in the 19th century -- what'd you think? >> it's kind of an oath you take as an officer. >> speak louder. >> that's the oath you take as a commissioned officer in the military. >> yep. >> 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 against it -- if it's a lawful order, then you are required to obey it. >> that's right. that's right. but then we can bring in guys like our man, eric, who is an nco. eric, what do you do when you received an idiotic order from a lieutenant or a captain? >> i mean, do it, obviously. >> you did it? >> if not, make it look like you did. [ laughter ] >> surely, you got some. >> surely i what? >> surely, you got some idiotic
orders. >> oh, there's no shortage of those, absolutely. >> no shortage. so, you see how complicated this world is. he's exactly right, you take the oath to obey all lawful orders. i don't -- you know, 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 on the wig party ticket had never voted in his life, because 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 wig party. and once they told them, then he
said, i guess i'm a wig, 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? >> yeah, i think, like he said, take that oath. you've got to do what's handed down to you. >> i think you're absolutely right. i think 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 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. we don't invade countries. and they felt like when they entered the military, they took an oath, but there was a kind of 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, 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. yeah. >> so, if you decided that you didn't agree on a moral standpoint, would that be like called conscientious objector? >> well, conscientious objectors are usually opposed to war morally, period. i think that's really, usually the case. yeah? >> in the case that you found something morally reprehensible, something like that as an officer or an enlisted person, but you also believe it was illegal, what would be the procedure you would go through in order to prove the case? >> find where it's not expressly dictated as illegal, then, yeah, like the law is the law. >> yeah, you would have to demonstrate -- i mean, you could
go to a j.a.g. officer and present evidence that this is an illegal order and i can't obey it, and the j.a.g. officer will look at it and tell you, either execute or you're going to the jail or the brig, or yeah, you're right, that is an unlawful order. yeah. >> how did macarthur respond to this when he -- >> oh, that's so interesting. so, 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. 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 like seriously pursue running for office or did he just know it wasn't going to work out for him? >> 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 people 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 him. now, did eisenhower feel snubbed? i can't speak to that, but it shows you that macarthur had a lot of support. but i think as the evidence came out, people realized that macarthur really overstepped his bounds, and he did. and of course, there was talk about utilizing nuclear weapons against china. i mean, this was a pretty tense situation. >> was the media more involved in these sort of unraveling the narrative of macarthur being more toward truman or was the administration, the cia, the department of defense, the government responsible for this? >> uncovering what macarthur was saying? no, macarthur made it public
himself. there was one episode where the "ap" picked up information from macarthur's headquarters about things that he was planning that were in violation of gacs 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 from the late -- >> no, that's a very interesting issue, and i'm glad you raised it, because it's a ticklish one. what they did was, first they recalled all sorts of reservists. people were coming home from world war ii, and they said to them, look, you know -- and you don't know if you've got 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, so you really don't need to worry about training or anything.
and most of these guys, their 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 world war -- first they brought in lots of world war ii veterans, and they were really disgruntled. after about a year, they rotated those guys out and they brought in draftees. and the draftees, of course, 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 had left. you know, you go all those years without beers and then you get an opportunity, you know what happens, you go after them. and of course, 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 they were much more fit physically and they were sent overseas for combat. so, you saw a significant, actually, a significant improvement in 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 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, was traditionally 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, about 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 learned from battle of the bulge, when black soldiers waived rank to serve in infantry units because they desperately need at the manpower, you know, in foxholes, race just does not matter. you're just glad to have a good soldier next to you. doesn't matter race, gender, anything. you just want somebody who's reliable. there's also that line, there are no atheists in foxholes. yeah. >> commissioned officers in the u.s. military also swore an oath to uphold the constitution. if there is an order that is given to them or military operation that's conducted that is perhaps unconstitutional, examples of this might be the expansion of bombing into cambodia in the nixon administration, what is the obligation that the military officers have? >> that is a tough one. tough one. what would you do?
[ laughter ] you're going to be in the army. what would you do? if you know that congress passed a law outlawing bombing in a 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? >> well, sitting here in an academic standpoint and looking at it, i would obviously say that you wouldn't because it would be illegal. but in this scenario, people that really were into the war, you can't really tell how you would act in the situation. >> i think that is -- >> there is the culture in that war. >> that is a superb answer. you're exactly right. i mean, 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, and you say i'm not going to do it, and they let old joe schmidlap, who's kind of mediocre do it, and then some of your buddies get killed because old schmidlap blew it, think of how guilty you'd feel. so then 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? >> back to the pusan. you mentioned that the u.s. had more troops in pusan. how did that compare with the numbers? >> i knew i -- i can't tell you
hoff the top of my head, but i can get back to you on that. >> like how many troops were actually coming in from china relative to the u.s. forces? >> the pusan perimeter, the chinese forces aren't in. >> once we got to the -- >> oh, i've got statistics on the korean war that are pretty staggering. nope, i didn't bring them. but i brought casualty statistics, which 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 and north koreans,
chinese are staggering, staggering. remember, we just -- we upgraded our firepower dramatically, and we were really punishing them. andrew. >> -- firepower, why was that -- [ inaudible ] >> well, for example, we had bazookas that were world war ii vintage 2.36-inch bazookas. then we upgraded them to a 3.5-inch bazooka, so larger rounds, better penetration. one of the interesting things we had was -- i know this sounds harsh, but the object is to fire these rounds and have them penetrate the outer skin and kind of bounce around in the side and bounce around in there. but what we found was the quality of the soviet steel was so bad that the rounds frequently went right through the tank and came out the back side before they exploded. so, we upgraded in that way and other equipment. >> why was that still -- [ inaudible ] >> what was going on was, we
were relying -- we were trying to expend the excess world war ii ammunition and finish using the world war ii equipment. >> was there any attempt by the previous, walker or -- >> well, what's going on is they're trying to save money. they're trying to cut back on defense expenditures because they've gone through the roof. you know, in the korean war, defense expenditures increased four-fold. so, that's a huge increase. but 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 supercarrier. yep. and each of the services suffered pretty heavy losses, you know, maybe $300 million, stuff like that. marine corps a little less because it's smaller, but the three major services. debbie? [ inaudible ] >> how did increasing staff,
sort of the support staff, people not on the front lines, was that like a big part of changing in civil-military relations? >> not so much -- well, of course, you mean civilian staff or military personnel who aren't carrying weapons? >> a little -- yeah, military personnel. >> well, you know, it's a steady process. we keep decreasing the tip of the spear, in fact, making it smaller and smaller, because we need so much support for everything that we do. it's -- i mean, you go to the civil war era, and virtually everybody in a regiment fights, or 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.
yeah. >> like a forgotten war? how is public opinion regarding the war? do people view it as we were protecting the south koreans -- >> you know, there was a lot of grumbling, obviously, when reservists got recalled, because people were upset, but truman had worked people into a little bit of a frenzy about this communist takeover and so on. so, i think the american public generally supported the war. i mean, it was easy to justify. and remember, there's a faith, or at least a hope that the u.n. will be something really 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 this institution that would 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. >> using the old world war ii materials, ammunition, was the soviet union doing the same thing? >> they had t-34s, the soviet tank in world war ii. >> so basically passing on their old models and things to the chinese? >> mm-hmm. and of course, china is encouraging this war to extend because the soviets are funneling equipment, and so the chinese are building up their military with soviet equipment as well. yeah. >> soviets involved in more than just materially? >> they were not. not combat troops, no. abe? >> those high-profile officers who found the situation to highly view their moral code or the law and refuse themselves or resign from that situation, or is that pretty uncommon? >> there's a classic story during the vietnam war, and you
should read h.r. mcmaster's "dereliction of duty," where a guy named johnson, harold k. 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, you know, if i resign and nothing changes, i've just 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, convinced himself that he was making the right decision and he turned his car around and drove back to the pentagon. and the sad part is johnson lived to regret that decision for the remainder of his life. and that's a pretty heavy burden, because you know, roughly 58,000 americans lose their lives in vietnam, so it's
a pretty bad burden to carry. yeah. >> so, if we were fighting chinese troops, were we at war with them? or what was like the official stance? >> nope. we were fighting them, they were fighting us. no declaration of war. it was a police action. yeah. >> chinese fight under their own, like, standard -- >> yes. >> -- banners of, i guess -- >> 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 -- oops. 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. 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 who were captured and imprisoned as well as chinese who did not want to be repatriated. they didn't want to go back to north korea. the u.n., especially led by the u.s., felt like we had no right to force anyone to return to their -- to return home, especially when they're going to an authoritarian regime. and 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 ft. leavenworth at cgsc. i was at the combat studies institute. and a guy in the office next to
me, jack gifford, had been captured in the korean war and in a prison camp. and he told me that they were treated really badly, fed poorly, you know, conditions were bad. then, all of a sudden, conditions improved monumentally. and what had 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, it was so obvious that something monumental had happened and they were able to connect it to stalin's death. now, whether stalin's death opened the door for north korean negotiations or north koreans read that as an opportunity because there will be a little bit of a power vacuum to act on our own behalf and do this, i don't know, but he noticed a significant difference once -- and of course, by 1953 as well, we had a presidential election
year and dwight d. eisenhower was elected president. eisenhower threatened that he would go over to korea, him personally, and if necessary, he would use nuclear weapons to bring this thing to an end. so, i think the combination of stalin's death, eisenhower in the white house and eisenhower's threats probably brought everyone to the negotiating table in a very serious way, and ultimately, the prisoners were exchanged. but those who did not want to go back did not have to. so, anyone have any questions about the korean war? okay! you're out of here. american history tv is in prime time all week with our original series "lectures in history," focusing on college
and university classrooms around the country. tonight we take a look at the civil war, including a lecture on cultural heritage and confederate monuments. american history tv in prime time begins at 8:00 p.m. eastern. labor day weekend on american history tv on c-span3. at 8:00 p.m. eastern. saturday on "lectures in history," fears about overpopulation. >> some of the issues talked about at earth day -- pesticides was a big one, pollution was a big one, nonrenewable resources, things like oil and gasoline, but the super big one, the thing that really overshadowed that first earth day was the prospect of global famine due to overpopulation of the earth. >> sunday on "the presidency," the friendship between presidents hoover and truman.
>> it is easy to overlook the fact that they both had roots in farming communities, they had known economic hardship and self-reliance, they were transformed by the con flageration of world war i, and they lived in the shadow of franklin d. roosevelt. >> and monday, the 1967 detroit riots. >> we prefer to think about it like a rebellion, because all of the energy and anger and activism that went into that moment had long been predicted. people had been begging for some remedy for the housing discrimination, the police brutality, the economic discrimination. and so, that frustration cannot be understood as just chaotic and incoherent. it was a rebellion. >> three-day labor day weekend on american history tv on c-span3. >> next on "lectures in history," hillsdale college
professor paul moreno teaches a class on 1950s american culture. he describes how post world war ii society changed due to the baby boom, suburbanization, and the emergence of teen culture. he also charged how social norms differed from the victorian era through the progressive era and into the 1950s. this class is about an hour and ten minutes. okay, we're going to start the third part of this course, the third theme of the course. the introduction of this section in the american heritage reader says that there are three salient developments that characterize the united states after the world war ii -- the continuation of the new deal's concentration of power over the social and economic life of the nation and the federal government, the continuation of american involvement in global affairs, the cold war that we've been talking about, and the collapse of traditional judo christian moral and especially sexual standards often characterized as victorian, so that's what we're going to start talking about today is the culture of the 1950s