The Korean War - Turning Point in the Cold War

This revision sheet looks at the Korean War in the wider context of the Cold War. The factors that contributed to the Korean War itself and the consequences it had on those involved.

All notes taken from the excellent, 'Access to History - The USA and the Cold War, 1945-63'.

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  • Created by: toomerj
  • Created on: 22-06-11 14:25

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War in Korea: Turning Point?


June 1950 ­ 90,000 North Korean soldiers attack South Korea
Ordered by Kim Il Sung ­ nationalist, wanted to unify Korea under Communist rule
Encouraged by support of communism in South and growing opposition of current regime.
Part of on-going civil war ­ recent…

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Bad start for the Americans ­ August 1950, N. Korean's capture Seoul, capital of S. Korea
Terrible conditions, monsoon season ­ US soldiers drinking standing water from rice fields ­
many affected by dysentery.
September ­ UN forces occupy tiny area of south, S. Korea around area of Pusan.


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Dubbed `Truman's war' ­ US people annoyed with lack of quick victory and high casualty
Truman would remain deeply unpopular for the rest of his second term

Ridgway took command in Korea
Feb 1951 ­ counter-attack launched, Operation Killer. Followed in March by Operation
Superior firepower and air…

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Must achieve near-parity with Soviet forces and maintain nuclear superiority
Therefore, Truman now supported NSC 68
1950 ­ Truman asked for $10 billion for Armed Forces, £260 million for Hydrogen Bomb &
$4 billion in military aid for US allies.
Korea marked the militarisation of the Cold War



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However, the Korean War ended any hopes of Mao becoming an ally
Truman sent support to Taiwan and defended her with economic and military aid.
Denial of Taiwan to China was an important means of limiting the power of Chinese
communism in Asia.

Australia & New Zealand

Australia & NZ…


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