Wreckage of a B-29 shot down on November 9, 1950 by Soviet MiG-15s
The Korean War began seventy years ago. Stalin’s last successful war. It was a just and positive war for Russia. In it, the Russians inflicted a serious defeat on America in an air war and buried the hopes of the US military-political elite for a successful air and atomic war against Russia.
The West and the United States saw that in a land war with the Russians, the newly created NATO had no chance of winning. The Russians have the upper hand in the ground forces and the air force (not counting the strategic aviation). In an atomic attack from the West, the Soviet armies will sweep out the weak American forces in Western Europe, occupy strategic footholds in Asia and North Africa, destroying Western military bases there. At the same time, the USSR, in an extremely limited time and on the limited resources of the country devastated after the Great Patriotic War, in record time raised the economy from the ruins and created the most advanced nuclear, electronic and aircraft-jet industries. Deployed powerful tank armies and air divisions. After a terrible war, Soviet Russia performed a new military-economic miracle. The West, led by the United States, had to retreat temporarily.
In 1910-1945. Korea was occupied by the Japanese. In August 1945, the Soviet Union defeated the Japanese Empire in the Far East. Soviet troops liberated Korea from the Japanese invaders. Under the terms of Japan’s surrender, Korea was divided into Soviet and American zones of occupation along the 38th parallel. In the northern part of the Korean Peninsula in February 1946, the Provisional People’s Committee of North Korea was formed, headed by Kim Il Sung. This was the interim government of North Korea.
By a decree of September 9, 1948, a new state was established in the Soviet zone of occupation – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Power in the DPRK belonged to the Workers’ Party of North Korea (TPSK). The TPSK introduced a planned economy, carried out the nationalization of industry and trade, and the land was redistributed in favor of small and medium-sized peasant farms. The first chairman of the Central Committee of the Labor Party was Kim Du Bon. He held the positions of the head of the legislative branch and the formal head of state. The DPRK government was headed by Kim Il Sung. In 1948, Soviet troops left the peninsula. In 1949, Kim Il Sung ousted Kim Doo Bong from power over the party. Pyongyang in its policy was guided by the USSR and China.
In September 1945, the Americans landed in South Korea. They did not recognize the provisional government created in Seoul, considering it too left-wing. The Americans established a military administration, relying on local officials (including the first time the Japanese, then they were deported to Japan). The United States supported the local anti-communist movement. In 1948, its leader, Rhee Seung Man, became president of the Republic of Korea, and American forces were withdrawn from the peninsula.
Lee Seung Man studied and lived in the United States, in fact, he was being prepared for the role of the pro-Western leader of Korea. He immediately launched a campaign against the communists. Many left-wing politicians and activists have been imprisoned and killed. In fact, an authoritarian regime was established in South Korea. South Korean security forces repressed the leftist communist movement in the south of the peninsula with terror and repression. Thousands of people were killed in the course of massacres and suppression of uprisings. Rhee Seung Man’s regime sought to unite all of Korea under its rule.
“Marching North” and “Offensive South”
Both Seoul and Pyongyang considered themselves the legitimate authorities on the peninsula and were preparing for a war to unify the country. South Korean politicians directly stated about the “march to the North.” Seoul announced a “reunification strike” against North Korea. Pyongyang hoped for a quick victory over the South. First, the army of the North, which was armed by the USSR and China, was stronger than the South Korean. After the victory of communism in China, thousands of fighters returned to Korea, who fought alongside their Chinese comrades.
Secondly, the internal political situation in the South seemed unstable. In South Korea, a guerrilla movement against the Syngman Rhee regime expanded. Most of the population in the southern part of the country opposed the American-backed regime in Seoul. It was heading towards the collapse of the Rhee Seung Man regime. After the parliamentary elections in May 1950, the majority of the deputies did not support the president. Pyongyang hoped that as soon as the DPRK army launched an offensive, a large-scale uprising would begin in the South. The war will be lightning fast.
Moscow pursued a balanced policy. Direct confrontation with the West could not be allowed. Therefore, the participation of the Soviet Army in the Korean War was not planned. North Korea itself had to solve the problem of uniting the country. Only a limited number of military advisers were allowed. It was also necessary to secure China’s support. In early 1950, Kim Il Sung began to persistently ask Moscow to approve the plan for an “offensive to the South.” In April 1950, the North Korean leader visited Moscow. Stalin supported Pyongyang’s plans.
However, Moscow continued to be cautious and put forward several preconditions: complete confidence that the United States will not intervene in the war; the support of the PRC is needed; urgent strengthening of the combat capability of North Korean troops, the war should be lightning fast until the West intervenes. May 13-15, 1950 Kim Il Sung received the support of Mao Zedong during his visit to China. Only after that did Stalin give the go-ahead.
The West, led by the United States, was in a difficult situation at that moment. The former colonial system, which allowed the West to parasitize on the human and material resources of the planet, collapsed. The main reason for the destruction of colonialism was the victory of the USSR in World War II, the existence of an alternative to the Western world order. In 1946, the Philippines became independent. In 1947, Britain lost control of India. In 1949, Holland recognized the independence of Indonesia. However, the West did not want to voluntarily relinquish power over a significant part of the planet. The colonies of England and France were still preserved, and the people’s liberation war was fought there.
The civil war in China in 1949 ended with the victory of the communists. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was created. The Kuomintang and the Americans who supported it suffered a heavy defeat. The “loss of China” came as a shock to Washington. Moscow immediately recognized the PRC and began to provide large-scale economic, scientific and technical assistance. The United States was angry with this loss and sought to maintain and expand its position in the world at any cost. In Washington, in April 1950, the National Security Council Directive SNB-68 was adopted and was going to “contain communism” around the world. The United States followed the path of further militarization. And in this situation, on June 25, 1950, North Korea launched an offensive. The war began, which, in fact, is not over to this day, but only “frozen”. Back in 1947, the American military recognized that South Korea did not have great strategic value, but Washington could not give in and took an active part in the war.
Thus, Stalin did not need a major war on the Korean Peninsula. A quick operation and victory with the massive support of the people in the South is one thing. Another thing is the protracted war with the Western coalition, the threat of confrontation with the United States. The strategic importance of North Korea for the USSR: a defensive line on the path of possible US aggression. Moscow was also interested in the supply of rare earth minerals. Therefore, there was no threat from the Russians for the West in Korea. As soon as the DPRK was created, Soviet troops immediately left the peninsula. The main task was solved.
Washington needed the war. First, Rhee Seung Man’s regime was in danger of collapse. There was a threat of the unification of Korea under the rule of the communists. The war made it possible to strengthen the American puppet regime with the support of the world community, the military power of the United States and the emergency laws of wartime.
Secondly, the United States needed to mobilize the “world community” against the “Russian (communist) threat.” The attack by Stalin and Kim Il Sung provided an excellent informational pretext for condemning the “aggressor” and rallying the ranks of the capitalist countries. In 1949, the North Atlantic Alliance was created. The war made it possible to test the work of NATO. The United States gained new levers of influence over Western Europe, drawing it into a long-term Cold War.
In fact, the Americans knew about the impending attack by Pyongyang. Intelligence had all the information about the military preparations of the North. However, the States needed this war. In a January 12, 1950 statement by Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Washington excluded South Korea from its “defense perimeter” in the Far East. That is, Kim Il Sung was given the green light. Immediately, the United States adopted Directive SNB-68, which implied a tough response to any attempts at an offensive by the communist bloc. Both sides were actively preparing for war. On June 17, 1950, the Korean Peninsula was visited by the special envoy of US President Truman, future Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. He visited South Korean forces at the 38th parallel. Dulles told the South Koreans that if they held out for two weeks, then “everything will go smoothly.” On June 19, Dulles delivered a speech to the South Korean National Assembly and approved all of Seoul’s military preparations. He promised moral and material assistance from the United States to South Korea in the struggle against the communist North.
The last battle of the red emperor
The war began 70 years ago and has not actually ended today. The Korean Peninsula is one of the planet’s “powder magazines”. However, the main thing is that Stalin won his last victory in this war. The USA had complete superiority in the outbreak of the third world war, the “cold war”. The Americans had immense wealth; highly developed, undisturbed and war-free industry (a quarter of all world production); a monopoly on nuclear weapons (Moscow tested an atomic bomb only in 1949) and, most importantly, its carriers – the strategic air fleet. The Americans had powerful aircraft-carrying groups of the Navy, a ring of military bases that covered the USSR from all sides. Washington had clear plans to undermine Soviet forces in the arms race, intimidate with threats of a nuclear air war and dismember it.
However, this did not happen! Stalin won another great victory in 1946-1953. In 1948, the Soviet leader declared that “he does not consider the atomic bomb as a serious force, which some politicians tend to consider it to be.” Nuclear weapons are designed to intimidate the faint of heart, but they do not decide the outcome of a war. The Red Emperor found the best way to contain the American nuclear threat: a build-up of ground and air forces. With atomic strikes against the USSR, Stalin’s tank armadas, with the support of the air armies, could capture all of Europe, establish their control over Asia and North Africa. At the same time, Moscow is creating a foreign sabotage network to strike at the most important US military installations in Western Europe.
Soviet Russia made an incredible leap forward during these years! It seemed that the country was devastated and bled by the war. Millions of her best sons and daughters lay in the ground. But then we had a great leader. The country rises from the ruins in record time. In the USSR, superpower branches are being created: atomic, electronic, jet and missile. And the Korean War showed that the United States cannot beat us from the air. What are we ready to answer. The United States had to retreat and switch to a strategy of long-term “cold” confrontation.