How Significant was China’s intervention in deciding the course and outcome of the Civil War?

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How Significant was China's intervention in deciding the course and outcome of the Civil War?
China's intervention in the Korean played a significant part in deciding the course and
outcome of the Civil War in a variety of ways. Among the most significant of these factors are
the role played by the Chinese `volunteer' army in pushing the UN forces back to the 38 th Parallel
and then South Korea, which prolonged a conflict which was seemingly going to be won by the
UN. Without this intervention, the stalemate that led to the eventual Armistice would never have
happened. Also, if China hadn't intervened, then General MacArthur may not have been sacked by
Truman, as part of the reason for his sacking was his failure to prevent the advance of the PRC; this
would have been academic if the PRC hadn't intervened in the war. If China had not intervened,
MacArthur could have still been in control of the army ( as Truman would have had less reason to
dismiss him), and as a result the US could have held a more aggressive stance towards attacking
mainland China, as this is what MacArthur wanted in order to end the conflict quickly. Chinese
intervention also meant that the damage and cost to all sides increased, as well as the significant
impact China had on the eventual peace terms.
One of the main factors that demonstrate the significance of the Chinese
intervention was the role played by the `volunteer' Chinese army. Although this force was made up
of 300,000 poorly equipped fighters, they were experienced fighters as many had already fought in
the Chinese Civil War. Initially, it seemed that the Chinese intervention was `too little, too late', as
they lost their first major battle with the UN forces, and in October 1950, the ROK's troops crossed
the 38th Parallel. In addition to this, the US Eighth Army captured the capital of North Korea on the
20th October 1950, as well as the X command capturing the important port of Wonsan on the East
Coast. As a result, it initially seemed that Chinese intervention might prolong the Civil War, but
ultimately, a UN victory would be inevitable. However, the apparent weakness of the Chinese forces
was just a carefully planned illusion that caused the UNC to view China as a weaker force than it was.
The fact that officially it was a `volunteer' force would have further added to this view. As a result,
by the 25th November, the CPV had defeated the 2nd Corps of the ROK, and had successfully cut off
the US First and Ninth Marine Corps and the US Secondary Infantry Division. As a result, the Chinese
intervention was having a growing significance on the course of the war, as it was forcing the UNC
troops back to the 38th Parallel. This was accentuated by the fact that the morale of the UNC troops
was greatly damaged ­ just when they thought the war was almost won, they were faced with
experienced, fresh-faced troops from the CPV. It would ultimately have great significance on the
outcome of the war as well as without it; the war would never have reached the stalemate that it
Another way in which Chinese intervention was significant was the impact it had on
the US leadership of Army, i.e. the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur. The Chinese
intervention played a significant role in this because without it, Truman would have had little reason
to dismiss him, as previously, after the very successful battle of Inchon, the UNC forces were moving
swiftly and were close to victory. After Chinese intervention, MacArthur had to pay the price for his
rash and over-aggressive tactics as the UNC forces were pushed back to the 38 th Parallel, which lead
to MacArthur losing favour with President Truman. In addition to this, MacArthur publicly spoke of
his discontent at not being able to blockade and bomb industrial and military targets on mainland
China and end the war quickly, despite Truman not wanting him to, which ultimately led to his
dismissal. Although it could be argued that Truman was waiting for an excuse to fire the Republican
MacArthur (not just because of his political side, but also due to his rumoured Presidential
ambitions), and would have eventually found a way to even if China had not intervened in the Civil
War, without the Chinese intervention and as a consequence the rash military and general decisions
made by MacArthur, he would probably have retained his job for the time being, largely because of

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Republicans in Congress, but also because of what
would have been a successful US intervention in Korea. As a result, assuming MacArthur had kept his
job and China had not intervened, MacArthur would have been able to pursue his aggressive tactics
in Korea, and probably have been successful quite soon after.…read more

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