Issue Date: July 20, 1950

Communists Lag, More GIs Land, U.S. Mobilizes; Other Developments


June 25: Communist attack begins; UN orders cease-fire.

June 27: U.S. air and naval forces ordered into action as UN invokes military sanctions against Communists.

July 5: U.S. troops in action 20 miles below Communist-held Seoul.

July 8: Truman names MacArthur UN commander.

July 11: Americans fall back to Kum River line above Taejon.

July 14: UN asks 50 nations for more combat forces.

July 15: Communists cross Kum in savage fighting; Stalin tells India's Nehru Russia will talk peace in UN only if organization admits Communist China; U.S. refuses "deal" for Korean peace.

July 16: South Koreans repel Communists on east coast above Pohang.

July 18: U.S. First Cavalry lands at Pohang, 25th Infantry Division at Pusan.

July 19: President Truman announces $10 billion war program.

July 20: MacArthur says Communists have lost chance for victory by failing to deliver quick knockout; U.S. abandons Taejon.


Communists Lag, More GIs Land, U.S. Mobilizes

The North Koreans captured Taejon this week, but their progress was slowed to a crawl and paid for in heavy casualties. General Douglas MacArthur said they had lost their chance for victory.

The American effort was gaining speed: 2 more Army divisions were landed in South Korea, and President Truman sent Congress a $10 billion plan to win the Korean war and bolster defenses of the entire anti-Communist world.

Details of this week's warfare:

Kum River-Taejon Battle

The undermanned and underarmed U.S. 24th Infantry Division gave up Taejon July 20 after a 5-day stand in the nearby hills and rice paddies south of the Kum River. Front dispatches and MacArthur's communiques indicated that 2 regiments (34th and 19th Infantry), neither up to full strength, gave the better part of 2 North Korean divisions a savage battle and threw the Communists off their invasion timetable. MacArthur said July 18 that his troops, generally outnumbered 10 to one, had suffered comparatively light losses while enemy casualties were "tremendous and out of proportion to the ground gained." The American force was reported still largely intact when it made a fighting retreat from the city 2 days later.

The Communists' first Kum River crossing occurred early July 15 near Samgyo, 20 miles northwest of Taejon on the U.S. left flank. At half a dozen other places along the Kum, hundreds of Communists were mowed down as they attempted in banzai-like charges to swim or wade the shallow river under cover of artillery. About 500 Communists secured the Samgyo bridgehead July 15 and began an infiltration movement against American positions west of Taejon. The Communists wore captured U.S. Army fatigue uniforms and some of them spoke English. They would run up to American positions shouting, "Don't shoot! We are friends!" GIs mistook them for South Koreans--until the disguised Communists whipped out guns and started shooting. Guerrillas, also wearing GI fatigues or dressed like harmless South Korean civilians, likewise harassed American positions and supply roads throughout the next 5 days.

With heavy artillery support, the Communists won another bridgehead across the Kum July 16 at Kongju, 12 miles up-river from Samgyo, and drove into the center of the American defense line. The GIs, often fighting their way through nests of Communist snipers who had infiltrated the line, pulled back to within about 8 miles of Taejon. This brought the city and its airfield within enemy artillery range. Most U.S. troops pulled out of Taejon July 17 to take up lastditch positions north and west of the town. U.S. Army field headquarters also moved out and the airport was evacuated. The South Korean Government had left Taejon July 14.

But for the next 2 days there was little enemy activity except for a behind-the-lines buildup. The Taejon airport was reoccupied by U.S. troops July 19. Meanwhile American planes patrolled the Kum so effectively that the Communists could bring big guns and tanks across only at night.

The Communists unleashed their major tank-led assault on Taejon July 20. From 7 to 12 enemy tanks were reported knocked out by a new U.S. "super-bazooka" firing 3.5-inch rocket missiles [See 1950 East-West Relations: Truman Predicts Long Cold War; Other Developments]. But by nightfall the Communists had closed into Taejon and the city was in flames. Only then did Major General William F. Dean, 24th Division commander who had taken an active front-line role in the fighting all week, order his men to fight their way out in street-by-street combat with Communist troops and guerrillas.

North Korean 4th Division troops, swinging down the west coast, were about 45 miles southwest of Taejon after capturing Iri, Chonju and Kumje July 19-20. They were challenged July 20 by South Korean Marines at Kunsan.

UN Flag Favored

The UN flag was given a position to the right of the U.S. flag when General MacArthur raised the UN banner over his headquarters in Tokio July 14. This settled a question as to how the 2 flags would be displayed together. The UN does not permit its flag to be "subordinated" to any other, and anyone acting under the jurisdiction of a Congressional resolution (1942) may not fly the U.S. flag below or to the left of any other. MacArthur acted as UN commander for Korea in giving the UN flag a favored position. (In Lake Success, New York the UN flag flies above all those of member nations. National flags are ranged in alphabetical order, putting Afghanistan's first, USSR's 53rd, U.S.' 55th.) [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

New Kumchon Line Planned

The 24th Division was expected to fall back 35 to 50 miles to a new defense line in hill country around Kumchon--midway between Taejon and Taegu, still astride the highway and railroad from the U.S.' main South Korean supply port, Pusan. The South Korean Army this week stalled several Communist divisions in the Chongu, Hamchang and Andong sectors north of Taejon, Kumchon and Taegu, thus protecting the 24th Division's line of retreat.

U.S. Lands 2 Divisions

The First Cavalry Division carried out the first major U.S. amphibious operation of the war July 18 when it went ashore without opposition at Pohang, an east coast port about 80 miles north of Pusan. At the same time, MacArthur revealed that the 25th Infantry Division had landed at Pusan. Number of men landed by the 2 new divisions was not disclosed. Estimates on the First Cavalry force ranged from 5,000 to nearly full strength (about 15,000). A naval convoy commanded by Rear Admiral James H. Doyle delivered the First Cavalry to Pohang. The operation was unchallenged although Doyle said there were submarines (presumably Russian) "all around us" during the crossing of the Sea of Japan.

First Cavalry troops immediately moved inland through guerrilla-infested mountains toward Yongchon and Taegu, to the west, and Yongdok, northward up the coast. South Korean troops July 16 had dealt a North Korean amphibious force near Yongdok what MacArthur called a "catastrophic" defeat--the Communists' "most conclusive setback" of the war. But the South Koreans abandoned Yongdok by July 20 after civilians were moved out. U.S. warships then bombarded and "destroyed" it. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

The "Hell for Leather" First Cavalry, commanded by Major General Hobart R. Gay,* 56, has been motorized since early in World War II. It won fame in 1945 for liberating Manila but has few Manila veterans now. [See 1945 World War II: Russians 63 Miles from Berlin; Other Developments]

* Gay was chief of staff to the late General George S. Patton Jr. in Africa and Europe in 1942-45. He was with Patton when the latter was fatally injured in an auto accident December 9, 1945 in Mannheim, Germany. Ranks as one of the U.S.' best combat generals, but columnist Drew Pearson said July 17 that he recently suffered a heart attack and that the First Cavalry command in Japan "was picked for him as a soft berth"--before Korean war.

MacArthur Says Communists' Chance Lost

Despite the fact that his UN forces were still on the defensive, MacArthur declared July 20 that "the first phase of the campaign has ended and with it the chance for victory by the North Korean forces." He said in a communique summarizing the war to date: The enemy "failed to exploit" his opportunity after the fall of Seoul. Now, "our hold upon the south part of Korea represents a secure base.... We are now in Korea in force, and with God's help we are there to stay until the constitutional authority of the Republic is fully restored." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

President Syngman Rhee made MacArthur commander-in-chief of the South Korean armed forces July 19. He had previously been named UN and U.S. commander for Korea. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: 2d Week]

Air Warfare

U.S. and Australian fighters and bombers were given credit for slowing the Communist advance all across the South Korean front with daily strikes despite poor weather July 14-20 against enemy troops, armor, trucks and communications. Two enemy Yak-9s were shot down July 17 and 3 more July 19 over the Taejon area, making 31 enemy planes destroyed by the USAF up to that time, according to U.S. Headquarters

B-29s raided Kimpo Airfield near Seoul July 14, 16 and 17. The U.S. Navy carrier Valley Forge, after covering the First Cavalry landing at Pohang, sent its F-9F "Panther" jet planes over North Korea July 18-19. They hit airfields, oil depots and communications targets around Pyongyang, Wonsan and Yonpo. The F-9F pilots claimed to have destroyed 42 enemy aircraft on the ground. B-29s again raided North Korea July 20. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

Say U.S. Jets Successful

AF General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, who returned to Washington July 15 from a trip to Japan and Korea with Army General J. Lawton Collins, said F-80 Shooting Star jets operating from Japan were now able to stay over the Korean front for an hour. He said this was made possible by new 13-foot wingtip fuel tanks, invented by an AF officer (unidentified) who had been given the Legion of Merit. The Far Eastern AF commander, Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, defended the F-80s' performance July 15 and said they had "accounted for 85% of North Korean vehicle and materiel losses." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]


Russia's World War II-type tanks, which were rated better than any German or U.S. types used in Europe, have played a major part in the Communist invasion of South Korea. The North Koreans get their tanks from a Russian pool estimated as high as 40,000. Russia is believed to have many postwar-model tanks but none has appeared in Korea.

The U.S. had about 8,200 tanks left over from World War II but nearly all are in the U.S., and it takes 4 to 7 weeks to de-mothball a U.S. tank and get it into action in Korea. U.S. postwar-model tanks are said to be no farther along than the blueprint stage. One light U.S. tank, the M-24, armed with a 75 mm. gun, is designed for reconnaisance only.

Specifications of other principal U.S. and Russian models show the lower silhouette and greater power of the latter tanks. Russian tanks generally have thicker armor, more angled surfaces to deflect projectiles, wider tracks for better operation in mud than U.S. tanks. Comparisons:

U.S.-Russian Tank Comparisons
Type Gun Speed Engine Weight Height
General Sherman (M-4) 76 mm.* 28 mph. 500 hp. 35 tons 9.3 ft.
General Pershing (M-26) 90 mm. 25 mph. 470 hp. 45 tons 9.1 ft.
General Patton (M-46)(t) 90 mm. 30 mph. 810 hp. 48 tons 9.0 ft.
T-34 76 mm. 32 mph. 500 hp. 32 tons 7.9 ft.
T-44 85 or 100 mm. 28 mph. 500 hp. 36 tons 8.0 ft.
Jos. Stalin III** 122 mm. 20 mph. 600 hp. 57 tons 8.6 ft.
* Millimeter; 1/1,000th of a meter or .03937 of an inch. 76 mm. is about 2.99 inches; 90 mm. is 3.54 in.; 100 mm. is 3.94 in.; 122 mm. is 4.8 in.
(t)Improved Pershing; few in existence are now in U.S.
** Presence in Korean war not confirmed to date (July 20).

North Korean Leaders

KIM IL SUNG, 38, Premier and chief of state, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Communist Party leader. Born Kim Sung Chu near Pyongyang, took name in 1945 of Korean guerrilla hero who disappeared in 1919. Reportedly educated at China's Whampoa Military Academy and in Moscow. Entered North Korea with Soviet Army in 1945 as handpicked Korean Communist leader. [See 1950 Korea: 2d Week]

PAK HEN NEN (or Pak Hon Yong), 61, Foreign Minister; native South Korean who joined Chinese Young Men's Communist Party 1920, studied at Lenin U. in Moscow 1927-30, organized Korean Communist underground 1936. Led South Korean Communists after World War II, fled to North 1946. [See 1950 Korea: 2d Week]

MARSHAL CH'OE YONG GUN, 44, North Korean Army chief of staff. Studied at Whampoa (China) Military Academy 1925-30, in Russia 1931. Served with Chinese Communist 8th Route Army in mid-1930s.

COL. GEN. TERENTY F. SHTIKOV, Soviet Ambassador to North Korea, formerly Soviet delegate on Joint U.S.-Soviet Comm. for Korea, Russia's top emissary in Pyongyang. Name "Shtikov" or "Shtykov" means "bayonet man" in Russian. [See 1948 Far East: News in Brief]

Behind Enemy Lines

The U.S. Army said July 18 that it had "definite information" that Russian military advisers were attached to "certain North Korean units" fighting in South Korea.

Refugees reaching South Korea said July 16:

Communist tanks battered open the Seoul jails as soon as they entered the city June 28 and many ex-prisoners joined the new Communist police force. People's courts were set up in Seoul July 1. Food sales stopped in Seoul after the Communists decreed death July 3 for anyone selling food at inflationary prices. The Communists then raided all houses in the city for food, leaving each family only enough food for 3 meals. About 100,000 of Seoul's 1,500,000 inhabitants fled before the invaders arrived. Seoul's Communist police chief is Kim Chung Che, ex-South Korean police official arrested 3 months ago as a leftist. A Seoul Central People's Com. headed by North Korean Justice Minister Lee Seung Yop includes 2 prominent South Koreans: Kim Kyu Sik, head of the interim legislature during the U.S. occupation, and Socialist leader Cho So Ang. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: 2d Week]

UN Checks Atrocity Reports

The UN Comm. on Korea, which established new headquarters in Pusan July 17, enlarged its force of field observers July 20 to investigate reports of war atrocities. Front dispatches July 17-18 said Red Army troops or guerrillas massacred 30 wounded U.S. troops and a Catholic chaplain caught on a hillside south of the Kum River July 16. U.S. Medical Corpsmen said July 18 that they were painting out Red Cross insignia on hospital stations and ambulances because the emblem always drew fire from the Communists. North Korea announced July 16 that it had set up a committee to investigate "war crimes" committed by "American imperialism and Syngman Rhee [South Korean President]."

The Communists' Pyongyang radio claimed July 15 that 117 captured Americans had denounced President Truman's "dreams of world domination." Names and units of 114 imprisoned Americans were broadcast by the Communists July 18. Britain learned via Russia July 16 that its Minister to South Korea, Captain Vyvyan Holt, trapped in Seoul, was in Pyongyang. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

MacArthur Vetoes Censorship

General MacArthur announced July 18 that he would not invoke censorship of war correspondence. He gave correspondents and their employers responsibility for withholding information "of direct military value to the enemy." But he directed Japanese Premier Shigeru Yoshida to continue indefinitely the ban on all Japanese Communist publications. He said it would be a "travesty upon the concept of press freedom" to lift curbs on the Communist press. [See 1950 Japan: News in Brief]

AP's Tom Lambert and UP's Peter Kalischer, both barred from Korea by the Army July 15 on grounds that their accounts of GI bitterness and setbacks gave "aid and comfort to the enemy," had their credentials restored by MacArthur July 16. Marguerite Higgins of the New York Herald-Tribune was expelled from Korea, along with all other American women except nurses, by Lieutenant General Walton H. Walker July 18. But she won an appeal to MacArthur's Headquarters next day on grounds that she was in Korea "as a newspaper correspondent and not as a woman." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

Curb News on Reinforcements

Defense Secretary Louis A. Johnson ordered service posts in the U.S. July 13 to withhold information on departures of forces and war supplies for the Korean zone. Last publicized troop departure was the sailing of the Marine First Division from San Diego July 14. Johnson also announced July 14 that 500 service doctors had been sent to Japan and Korea at MacArthur's request. There were 12 Army nurses at a forward hospital in the Taejon area July 14.

The Air Force announced July 13 that it had chartered 63 4-engine planes from commercial airlines to augment the airlift of supplies to the Far East. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

South Korean Govt

The South Korean Government was revealed July 14 to have left Taejon because that town had become almost a front-line outpost. A new temporary capital was set up in an undesignated city to the south. A new Home Minister, Dr. Chough Pyung Ok, was appointed July 16. 90 of the 210 South Korean Assemblymen elected May 30 were reported missing and presumed in Communist-occupied areas July 13. How many had gone over to the Communists was unknown. 80 Assemblymen were touring South Korea to inform the population on U.S. and UN help against the invasion.

President Syngman Rhee predicted July 13 and 17 that the Communists will be beaten. He declared July 13 that the invasion wiped out the 38th Parallel as a legal dividing line in Korea. South Korean Foreign Minister Ben C. Limb sent State Secretary Acheson a message of thanks for U.S. aid July 14.

President Yongjeung Kim of the Korean Affairs Institute in Washington urged July 16 that the UN take over the government of South Korea. He said the Rhee regime is "wholly unpopular," citing the May election results. [See 1950 Korea: 2d Week; 1950 Far East: Korean Election Rebuffs Rhee; Other Developments]

United Nations Developments

Lie Asks More Armed Forces

American and other UN forces fighting for South Korea are "in urgent need of additional effective assistance," UN Secretary General Trygve Lie said in messages July 14 to 52 UN countries--all those supporting UN intervention in Korea except the U.S. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]. He asked 50* of the 52 countries to send "combat forces, particularly ground forces."

A joint State and Defense Department committee, set up in Washington July 13, was ready to screen all offers of new forces for General MacArthur's UN command. But by July 20 no countries had made any formal offers to the UN, although Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza told newsmen in Managua July 18 that he was willing to supply forces and give the U.S. Nicaraguan bases.

Arab countries, which had issued only vague indorsements of the UN action on Korea, made it plain July 15 that they resented being asked for troops. The Israeli Government said July 16 that it could spare no forces for Korea because it was still technically at war with the Arabs. Argentine Foreign Minister Hipolito Jesus Paz announced July 17 that his country would live up to its commitments to the UN, but he qualified this next day by saying that no Argentine forces could be sent to Korea without consent of the Argentine Congress. The Philippines and Netherlands said July 18 that they could spare no ground troops for Korea. Britain denied same day that there were any plans to send MacArthur a unit of British, Commonwealth or West European troops.

Although Lie declared that something better than token forces should be contributed by UN countries, indications were that there was little chance for any except Australia and New Zealand to send sizable ground units to Korea. Some American military experts said the U.S. Army would do better to fight with only South Korean aid because of the difficulties of running an army of mixed nationalities.

Present makeup of the UN forces: land, sea and air--U.S.; sea and air--Australian; sea--Canada, Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, France. Sweden announced July 14 it would send a Red Cross ambulance unit to South Korea. Denmark made a similar announcement July 19. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: U.S. Challenges Communist Invasion; Other Developments]

* Costa Rica, whose Constitution forbids it to have an army, and Nationalist China were exempted from the request for combat forces. The U.S. has turned down a Nationalist offer of 33,000 troops. Lie asked the Nationalists to consult directly with MacArthur on how they can help him. [See 1950 China: Offers Troops; Other Developments]

ECA Claims Korean Success

South Korea's economic gains as a result of U.S. aid probably hastened the Communist invasion, Arthur C. Hunce, Econ. Coop. Admin. chief for South Korea, said in Tokio July 14. He listed these achievements for South Korea the past year: 50% increase in industrial production; agricultural production exceeding prewar levels, permitting South Korea to export rice; effective efforts to overcome inflation, currency circulation dropping from 75 billion won to 55 billion; beginning of land reform; control of Communist sabotage and guerrilla activity. "This demonstration of what democratic cooperation could achieve could no longer be tolerated by its enemies," Hunce declared.

U.S. economic expenditures on South Korea from its liberation September 8, 1945 to the Communist invasion June 25 are estimated at $1.1 billion, as follows: $500 million during military occupation to August 19, 1948; $600 million in economic aid since the occupation. Americans evacuated from South Korea after the Communists attacked left behind an estimated $4 million worth of property. [See 1950 Korea: 2d Week; 1950 Western Defense: U.S., Britain Bolster Mid-East; Other Developments]

Says U.S. Blocked Southern Attack

Brigadier General William L. Roberts, head of the U.S. Military Mission in Korea the past 26 months, gave this explanation in Los Angeles July 14 of South Korea's lack of heavy weapons:

The South Koreans, believing that "the best defense was to attack," had a strong desire the past 2 years to invade North Korea. "This placed us (the U.S.) in a skittish position. To prevent the South Koreans from attacking, we gave them no combat air force, no tanks and no heavy artillery." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: U.S. Challenges Communist Invasion; Other Developments]

Stalin Offers Deal on China

If the Communists are given China's seat on the Security Council, Russia is willing to return to the Council and help negotiate for peace in Korea, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin said in a note to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru July 15.

This was rejected by the U.S. as a Soviet pressure move to get Communist China into the UN.

Nehru sent notes to Stalin and U.S. State Secretary Dean G. Acheson July 13, urging that the 2 big powers restore peace in Korea and prevent the war from spreading. He asked that the Chinese Communists be admitted to the UN so Russia would end its boycott of all sessions attended by Chinese Nationalists. (India recognizes the Chinese Communist Government) [See 1950 Korea: 2d Week; 1950 China: Russian UN Walkouts; Other Developments]

Stalin's note July 15 (made public by Tass July 17) said "reactivation of the Security Council should be the first step in ending the Korean dispute and all other problems"--meaning that Russia regards the Council as dormant while Nationalists represent China. Stalin also suggested that the Council give the "Korean people" (Communists) a hearing. He said he "welcomed" Nehru's efforts to get a peace movement going.

Acheson's reply to Nehru July 18 said: (1) Russia could "restore peace tomorrow" by directing the Korean Communists to withdraw from South Korea; (2) to make Korean peace talks contingent on Communist China's admission to UN would "subject the UN to coercion and duress." But Nehru renewed his plea in another note to Acheson July 19. He sent Stalin copies of his exchange with Acheson. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: 2d Week]

British Pessimistic

British Ambassador-to-Moscow Sir David Kelly saw Dep. Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko in Moscow July 17--their 3rd meeting on Korea in 2 weeks. But the British were pessimistic July 18 about their chances for launching a peace movement. They indicated they were calling off a new effort to get the UN to accept Communist China so Russia would end its UN boycott. Prime Minister Clement R. Attlee was cheered in Commons July 18 when he said he supported the currently-effective Security Council resolution on Korea, which calls for a ceasefire and withdrawal of the Communist invaders. He said July 20 that Britain will consider what it can do "to match the high purpose and resolve" of President Truman's mobilization message to Congress of July 19. French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman July 19 indorsed the U.S. attitude toward the Nehru-Stalin proposals and also applauded the Truman message to Congress. He said, "We must organize our defenses" to prevent more Communist "aggressions." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

(Winston Churchill told a Conservative Party meeting in Plymouth July 15 that the world faces a Communist threat as great as the Nazi menace in 1940, with Communist forces now "massing" against Tibet, threatening Iran and seeking to "overawe and quell Yugoslavia." He demanded an early British election to oust the Labor regime in favor of a Conservative-Liberal Government) [See 1950 China: News in Brief; 1950 Korea: 2d Week; 1950 Korea: U.S. Challenges Communist Invasion; Other Developments; 1950 Great Britain: News in Brief]

China Loses British Oil

Britain banned oil shipments to Communist China July 18 to insure that no British oil would reach the North Koreans. There had been complaints in the U.S. Congress that the Shell Oil Co. was still shipping oil to the Chinese Communists. The British Government said the embargo actually was "academic" because its armed forces had seized all British oil stocks in the Far East since the Korean crisis arose. It also said that Shell had delivered only 26,000 tons of oil to Communist China in January-June--under 20% of China's normal civilian requirements. But the British action severed almost all of China's oil resources outside the Soviet sphere. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

Australian Seamen Man Ships

Rank and file members of the Australian Seamen's Union rebelled against orders from Communist union leaders July 14 not to handle war shipments to Japan and South Korea. Union officials rescinded the orders July 18 after all seamen except extreme leftists refused to obey them. The Australian Government had threatened to prosecute the union chiefs if they enforced the boycott. [See 1950 World News: News in Brief; 1950 U.S.-Soviet Relations: U.S. Scores 'Saber-Rattling'; Other Developments]

Wallace Backs Korean Action

Henry A. Wallace, U.S. Progressive Party leader, announced his support July 15 of the U.S. and UN in the Korean crisis. His party's Executive Com. refused to join him in this statement. The New York Communist Daily Worker wrote him off July 17 as a recruit of the "Wall Street buccaneers" and "cold warriors of Washington" who advocate "an aggressive colonial war." [See 1950 Korea: U.S. Challenges Communist Invasion; Other Developments]

Wallace said: "Undoubtedly the Russians could have prevented the attack by the North Koreans and undoubtedly they could stop the attack any time they wish. I hold no brief for the past actions of either the U.S. or Russia, but when my country is at war and the UN sanctions that war, I am on the side of my country and the UN." He indorsed Communist China's admission to UN but not as a condition for halting the Communist invasion of South Korea. He said there will be a 3d world war if all Far Eastern questions are not settled, and that a Truman-Stalin conference should be held to launch "a real Point 4 program" for backward countries with U.S.-Soviet backing. [See 1950 May Day Demonstrations: Berlin Crisis Averted; Other Developments]

The Progressive Executive Com., which refused in a New York meeting with Wallace to indorse his views on Korea, voted 98-2 for a separate statement which (1) took no sides on Korea but demanded prompt UN action to give the country a "unified, independent and democratic government," (2) called for Communist China's immediate admission to UN to dissolve the Soviet boycott, (3) asked the U.S. to withdraw its pledge to defend Formosa and promise not to use the atomic bomb in Korea.

Wallace offered July 16 to quit as Progressive leader if rank and file members reject his policy. His stand on Korea was indorsed July 17 by the party's vice president, O. John Rogge, and a founder, James W. Wise. [See 1950 U.S. News: Progressive Convention; Other Developments; 1950 World News: News in Brief]

Communist 'Peace' Petition Denounced

Swedish Premier Tage Erlander expressed his "disgust" July 16 that Stockholm's name was associated with the pro-Soviet World Peace Partisans' "Stockholm Peace Appeal"--an 82-word declaration against use of atomic and other mass-destruction weapons. The House Un-American Activities Com. said July 13 that a million Americans had been induced to sign it through "Communist chicanery." [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

Lie Pushes Peace Plan

UN Secretary General Lie announced July 14 that the 10-point plan for a 20-year UN peace program, which he advanced June 6, will be submitted to the September 19 General Assembly session regardless of the Korean situation. [See 1950 East-West Relations: Lie Cites China, 10 Other Issues; Other Developments]

Communist Satellites

Hungary sent the U.S. a note June 14 denouncing UN intervention in Korea as "brutal" and "illegal." The Budapest press said July 18 that Hungarian factory workers were contributing part of one day's pay to send a field hospital to North Korea. Gerhart Eisler, East German Government propaganda chief, denied July 14 that East Germans were being recruited to fight for North Korea or that former Nazi generals in Communist hands had been sent to Korea. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

U.S. Developments

Truman Asks $10 Billion

President Truman asked Congress July 19 for $10 billion for a huge rearmament program that will enable the U.S. to win the Korean war and block possible Communist aggression elsewhere.

He denounced the Communist attack on South Korea as "naked, deliberate, unprovoked aggression" and said it "makes it plain beyond all doubt that the international Communist movement is prepared to use armed invasion to conquer independent nations."

He ordered the Defense Department to call up as many units of the National Guard and the Organized Reserve and draft as many men as it needed and asked Congress to remove the 2,055,000-man ceiling on the armed forces.

He also asked Congress for strong economic powers to control inflation, boost defense production, establish priorities and allocate essential defense materials.

Neither in his Congressional message nor in his radio-TV broadcast to the nation the same night did he call the Soviet Union an aggressor. But in his summary of events preceding the North Korean attack and of UN and U.S. efforts afterward to enlist Russia's efforts to stop it, he clearly held Moscow to blame.

"The attitude of the Soviet Government toward the aggression against the Republic of Korea is in direct contradiction to its often expressed intention to work with other nations to achieve peace in the world," he said.

He warned that "we must...recognize the possibility that armed aggression may take place in other areas."

He said the U.S. must increase defense expenditures and assistance to other nations "for a number of years."

The Korean campaign, he cautioned, would be "a hard and costly military operation."

"The free world has made it clear, through the United Nations, that lawless aggression will be met with force. This is the significance of Korea--and it is a significance whose importance cannot be overestimated."

He warned "those who have it in their power to unleash or withhold acts of armed aggression" that "new recourse to aggression in the world today might well strain to the breaking point the fabric of world peace."

Major Requests

The President asked Congress to:

1. Vote $10 billion more for the armed forces (the Senate is now debating the regular 1951 budget containing about $14.68 billion for the military).

2. Remove the ceiling of 2,005,882 on the size of the Army, Navy and Air Force. (Actual strength is about 1,458,400.)

3. Empower the President to establish priorities, allocate essential defense materials, requisition supplies.

4. Authorize the RFC and other federal agencies to borrow $2 billion from the Treasury for loans and procurement to speed up defense production.

5. Sanction anti-inflationary measures such as restrictions on consumer credit and credit for commodity speculation and expanding real estate. Also power to curb inventory hoarding.

In addition Mr. Truman told Congress he would ask later for:

1. "Heavier taxes," including higher personal income and corporation levies and possibly an excess-profits tax to eliminate "profiteering."

2. More funds for arms aid to friendly nations.

3. Price control and rationing "if a sharp rise in prices should make it necessary."

Radio Speech

In his speech to the nation (rebroadcast to the world by the Voice of America in 23 languages), the President declared: "The free nations face a worldwide threat. It must be met with a worldwide defense. The United States and the other free nations can multiply their strength by joining with one another in a common effort to provide this defense. This is our best hope for peace."

He called on the nation for "hard work and steady effort" to meet the war threat. He also condemned hoarding and scare buying as "foolish and selfish." The nation has plenty of food, he said. [See 1950 Truman Administration: Curbs Housing; Other Developments; 1950 Congress: Unpreparedness Scored; Other Developments; 1950 Finance and Economics: Panic Buying, Prices Up; Other Developments; 1950 Armed Forces: Truman Authorizes Draft; Other Developments; 1950 Truman Administration: Asks H-Bomb Funds; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments; 1950 Korea: U.S. Challenges Communist Invasion; Other Developments]

Congress Votes Arms Aid

Within 2 hours after hearing the President's message July 19, the House voted the $1,222,500,000 2d-year Military Assistance Program by 361-1 (Representative Vito Marcantonio, AL, New York, opposed) and sent it to the White House. The bill authorized $1 billion for the North Atlantic Pact countries, $131,500,000 for Greece, Turkey and Iran, $16 million for Korea and the Philippines and $75 million for the general China area. [See 1950 Korea: Retreat to the Kum; Other Developments]

Bills to carry out the President's economic program were introduced in both houses. The Army, Navy and Air Force announced immediate limited recall of reserve personnel. (About 2,223,000 men are available, plus 332,000 in the National Guard.) Bills were also introduced to remove the ceiling on armed forces strength and extend all enlistments for another year. Democrats and Republicans were almost unanimous in praising the President's message and promising quick action. Senator Robert A. Taft (R., Ohio) thought that perhaps the powers requested "are more than are necessary." Governor Thomas E. Dewey (R., New York) called the program "a strong step in the right direction."

Buildup Begins

The Marine Corps called up all 47,000 men and women in its organized ground-force reserve July 20 but no air units. The Navy ordered 39,000 Naval Air Reserves to active duty the same day. The Army alerted several more combat units in each of the 6 military areas in the U.S. Goal of the buildup for all the armed forces is reported to be about 250,000 men--total strength is now less than 1,500,000.

To speed volunteering by reserve officers, the Army and Air Force July 19 rescinded requirements that such volunteers give up their one-grade separation promotions received when the war ended. The Army July 17 dropped its mental test passing grade for volunteers from 90 to 70 points, same as for draftees. Half the volunteers in New York had failed to make 90.

The first of the 20,000 Army draftees were inducted.

It was disclosed July 15 that anyone belonging to one of 175 organizations considered subversive would be barred from the armed forces. [See 1950 Armed Forces: Truman Authorizes Draft; Other Developments]

© 2018 Facts On File News Services

Modern Language Association (MLA)


"Korea: Communists Lag, More GIs Land, U.S. Mobilizes; Other Developments." Facts On File World News Digest: n. pag. World News Digest. Facts On File News Services, 20 July 1950. Web. 24 June 2018. <>.

For further information see Citing Sources in MLA Style.

Facts On File News Services' automatically generated MLA citations have been updated according to the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edition.

American Psychological Association (APA)

Citation format:

The title of the article. (Year, Month Day). Facts On File World News Digest. Retrieved Month Day, Year, from World News Digest database.

See the American Psychological Association (APA) Style Citations for more information on citing in APA style.