Interesting Facts About the Korean War

  The Armed Forces History Museum has a number of dioramas in its Korean War Gallery.  They include the Inchon Landing, MASH and the Battle of Chosin Reservoir to name a few.  The museum also has a fully restored, fully operational M47 Patton Tank and an M41 Walker Bulldog Tank.       Below is a list of interesting facts about the Korean War: The war started on 25 June 1950 after 75,000 N. Korean soldiers crossed over the 38th parallel in an attempt to impose communism on S. Korea. The war lasted from June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953.  Over 7,000 US soldiers are still missing in action as a result of this war The Korean War resulted in close to 5 million dead, missing in action or wounded.  It is estimated that half of them were civilians. Peace negotiations after the war were fairly uncertain, which resulted in Congress extending the official ending of the war from its actual date – July 27, 1953, to January 3l, 1955.  This assisted with extending benefit eligibility for soldiers. In March of 2013, N. Korea declared the armistice that ended the war in 1953 invalid Though combatants signed a cease-fire to the conflict, there is no treaty or official ending of the war No formal declaration of war was ever declared by the United States.  President Truman never asked Congress. A total of 6.8 million American men and women served in the US military during the Korean conflict.  The United States suffered 54,200 casualties during the hostilities, of which 33,700 were battle related. One of the heroes of the...

Today’s Top Ten Armies (Military Powers) in the World

This list of Top Ten Armies (Military Powers) in the world is subjective at best.  Unless you looked at specific aspects and judged based on that criteria alone, the list cannot be definitive.  One can look at a nation’s defense budget or the size of their enlisted members, or combine the two.  Another area for consideration is the amount of armor a nation has inventoried including tanks, helicopters, aircraft and ships.  This top ten took in a little of all of that, but it is still one perspective looking at the Armies around the world.  Input and educational pieces on other armies not listed here, or any additional information that may have been omitted, are welcomed.   Before listing the top ten, one country fell just short of making the list, but certainly deserves to be mentioned – North Korea.  They not only have one of the largest Special Forces in the world – 120,000 members – they have a very large inventory of armor.   10.  Pakistan Pakistan is known for their good upper leadership.  Founded in 1947, their three branches of service totals more than 600,000 people – all volunteers.  They have close ties to the militaries of the US and China.  Pakistan’s budget of over $5 billion is smaller than all the other top ten militaries, but it does exceed the overall defense budget of a number of other countries around the world.  While Pakistan has about the same number of naval craft as the United Kingdom (see below), they have more aircraft and helicopters and an incredible total of 9,000 tanks and armored vehicles.  They...

Working Dogs in the Military

The use of working dogs in the military dates back to ancient times.  Some of the first use of dogs in a military role dates back to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Persians and the Romans to name a few.  The Greeks and the Romans often used dogs as guards – or sentries – and on patrols.  They were sometimes used in battle.   During the Middle Ages, European Royalty accepted dogs as tokens if they were specifically bred for war.  Other civilizations during that time were known to armor the dogs and use them to defend their caravans or attack oncoming enemies.  During the Seven Year War with Russia, Frederick the Great utilized canines as messengers.  Some believe they were used up until the mid to late 1700s to guard France’s naval installations.   In the United States, the first canine on record to serve in the military is noted during the Seminole War.  Later, during the Civil War, they were used for a variety of reasons including protection and as messengers.   It is believed they were used during WWI as mascots to lift the morale of the men in the trenches.   They were also used during this time to pull small carts containing guns and other necessary supplies.   WWII Canine Roles Canines were used in a variety of roles during World War II.  The USMC used them to assist with overtaking islands in the South Pacific that were occupied by the Japanese Forces.  It was during this time the Doberman Pincher was named the official dog of the United States Marine Corps.  This did not exclude...

The M1942 Bayonet from World War II

  A well-known bayonet used in World War II was the M1942.  Though Bayonets have been a weapon of choice as early as the 17th Century, they were also extensively utilized throughout WWII.  Their design, shape and application evolved some, but overall, the bayonet has maintained a basic structure since its inception.   Early History Prior to the 17th Century reference to bayonets, the term was in fact used during the 16th Century, however, sources are unable to confirm if the name referred to what has since been called a bayonet, or if the term referred to an object more in line with a knife.  In either case, the bayonet is believed to have first been developed as a hunting weapon.  It was used in early battles in conjunction with muskets.   M1942 Bayonet Bayonets evolved over the centuries and but the M1942 Bayonet was used extensively as its design enabled it to be used with the M1 Garand.  The blade on the M1942 is 16” long and the handle is 4” long.  This particular bayonet is an exact duplicate of the M1905 Bayonet, used with the US Rifle Model 1903.  The construction of these bayonets allowed them to be used interchangeably with the M1903 fitting the M1 Garand and the M1942 fitting on the M1903 and the other variants of this weapon produced throughout WWI and WWII.   By 1943, a change in design was proposed.  The US Army had decided that a shorter bayonet would better serve the military on a number of levels.   At this time, a number of the M1905 and M1942s were recalled and...

U.S. Army’s Youngest General – Mark W. Clark

   U.S. Army’s youngest General, Mark W. Clark, is thought by many to be one of the best U.S. Generals of World War II.  His service career started in April of 1917 as a graduate of West Point Academy.  He was appointed as a 2nd lieutenant of Infantry but rose quickly in rank with the rapid escalation of the United States involvement in WWI.    By August of that same year, he was already a captain.      More Promotions for Clark During WWI, Clark served in France with the US 11th Infantry.  As a result of the serious shrapnel wounds he received, he was transferred General Staff Headquarters of the First US Army and then eventually began serving with the Third Army in Germany. Following World War I, General Marshall took note of Clark’s capabilities.  From 1921 – 24, Clark served in the office of the Secretary of War as an aide.  The following year (1925), he finished his professional officer’s course at the Infantry School.  From there, Clark began serving as a staff officer with the 30th Infantry in San Francisco.  He then went to the Indiana National Guard where he served as a training instructor.  It was during this time he received a promotion to Major (January, 1933).  Duties from 1935 through 1940 1935-36:  Deputy commander of Civilian Conservation Corps in Omaha, NE 1935:  Tour at Command and General Staff School 1937:  Tour at Army War College 1940:  Chosen to instruct at Army War College While at the Army War College, Clark was promoted to lieutenant colonel.  In August of 1941, Clark received a two grade promotion...

United States M3 Submachine Gun

The M3 submachine gun was adopted into service by the US Army in December of 1942.  This .45cal submachine gun had a 30-round magazine and was considered superior to the its counterpart, the Thompson submachine gun. The M3 was not only cheaper to produce than the Thompson, it was also lighter and more accurate.  This submachine gun design was called the ‘Grease Gun’ or ‘the Greaser’ as it resembled the grease tool used by mechanics.   Step back in time as you step into the Firearms and Ordnance Gallery at the Armed Forces History Museum.  Here, reality awakens within, as you marvel at the weapons and experience a sense of their power.  A US M3 Submachine gun is a part of this extensive collection of authentic weapons from around the world which dates throughout history.  The oldest piece on display is a very rare bayonet from the Revolutionary War.   The M3 began replacing the Thompson in the front-line service from late 1944 to early 1945.  However, both the M3 and its variant (M3A1) saw very little combat during WWII due to production problems.   History The M3 design emerged when the US Army Ordnance Board began observing the effectiveness of submachine guns used in Western Europe.  They had a particular interest in the German 9mm MP40 and British Sten guns.  In October of 1942, they began looking into developing their own submachine gun based on the Sten.  They had the US Army – as well as their Infantry and Cavalry branches – submit requirements for an automatic or semi-automatic, shoulder-fire weapon with either a .45 ACP or .30 Carbine caliber.    The...