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The series ran from untiland its final episode was the most-watched in television history. By the end of the decade, two new states had formed on the peninsula. In the south, the anti-communist dictator Syngman Rhee enjoyed the reluctant support of the American government; in the north, the communist dictator Kim Il Sung enjoyed the slightly more enthusiastic support of the Soviets.
Neither dictator was content to remain on his side of the 38th parallel, however, and border skirmishes were common. Nearly 10, North and South Korean soldiers were killed in battle before the war even began.
As far as they were concerned, this was not simply a border dispute between two unstable dictatorships on the other side of the globe. Instead, many feared it was the first step in a communist campaign to take over the world.
For this reason, nonintervention was not considered an option by many top decision makers. As the North Korean army pushed into Seoul, the South Korean capital, the United States readied its troops for a war against communism itself. At first, the war was a defensive one—a war to get the communists out of South Korea—and it went badly for the Allies.
Also, it was one of the hottest and driest summers on record, and desperately thirsty American soldiers were often forced to drink water from rice paddies that had been fertilized with human waste.
As a result, dangerous intestinal diseases and other illnesses were a constant threat. By the end of the summer, President Truman and General Douglas MacArthurthe commander in charge of the Asian theater, had decided on a new set of war aims.
Now, for the Allies, the Korean War was an offensive one: Initially, this new strategy was a success. An amphibious assault at Inchon pushed the North Koreans out of Seoul and back to their side of the 38th parallel.
This was something that President Truman and his advisers decidedly did not want: They were sure that such a war would lead to Soviet aggression in Europe, the deployment of atomic weapons and millions of senseless deaths.
As President Truman looked for a way to prevent war with the Chinese, MacArthur did all he could to provoke it. For Truman, this letter was the last straw. On April 11, the president fired the general for insubordination. Still, the fighting continued along the 38th parallel as negotiations stalled.
Finally, after more than two years of negotiations, the adversaries signed an armistice on July 27, Nearly 5 million people died. Almost 40, Americans died in action in Korea, and more thanwere wounded.This Cold War glossary contains definitions for key terms, concepts and events between and It has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors.
Contains words and terms from M to Z. If you would like to suggest a term for inclusion in this glossary, please contact us. The Madman. America's Cold War: The Politics of Insecurity [Campbell Craig, Fredrik Logevall] on pfmlures.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
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