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Korean War


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General Douglas MacArthur Dismissed

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When the Korean War started in June 1950, Truman called on General Douglas MacArthur, the hero of the Pacific in WWII, to lead the troops in Korea. MacArthur made a successful amphibious campaign, landing behind the enemy’s lines at Inchon. His invasion began on September 15, 1950, and by November the U.S. Army had crossed the 38th parallel, taking control of the greater part of Korea. Although MacArthur’s actions were approved by Washington, the U.S. invasion northward provoked the Chinese. Prior to the invasion, MacArthur assured President Truman that China would not get involved, but he was proved wrong when the Chinese mobilized their troops The Chinese Army invaded Northern Korea and MacArthur pushed for a counter-offensive, but Truman and others in Washington disagreed. They felt that Europe and the Soviet Union were the priority and not war with China. An enraged MacArthur publicly denounced the President’s orders and Truman had no choice but to remove him from duty. Truman’s decision was not well received by the public. MacArthur came home a hero while Truman looked like a Communist appeaser. Without MacArthur, the war fell into a stalemate. For two more years the war continued and men died on the battlefield while Washington tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a cease-fire with China.

  • April 1951

Contributor: Clio
Created: September 8, 2008 · Modified: May 18, 2011

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