It was 61 years ago today that General Douglas MacArthur was named commander of United Nations forces in Korea. The final command in an illustrious career, MacArthur’s tenure in Korea led to a controversial feud with President Harry Truman and ultimately his dismissal.
The Korean War began on the morning of June 25, 1950, when troops from communist North Korea crossed the 38th parallel and attacked the Republic of Korea. Within hours the United Nations Security Council convened to adopt Resolution 82, which called for the withdrawal of all North Korean forces. When no withdrawal occurred, the UN passed a subsequent resolution asking member nations to provide military assistance for the removal of all aggressive forces below the 38th parallel.
Since the United States military was leading the aid effort, the United Nations authorized the American government to select the commander-in-chief of UN forces. The Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously proposed that General MacArthur lead the coalition.
By early September, MacArthur’s forces had pushed most of the North Korean troops back beyond the 38th parallel. Filled with confidence after a major tactical victory at Inchon, MacArthur lobbied to push up into North Korea and crush further aggression. This request, however, made many inside the Truman administration wary.
President Truman and his advisers believed that since North Korea shared its northern border with China, an aggressive … [ Read all ]
Posted by Gregory Marose on July 8, 2011, under - Cold War, - Presidents.
Tags: Eighth Army, General Douglas MacArthur, Inchon, Korea, North Korea, President Truman, Resolution 82, South Korea, Wake Island