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North Korean Onslaught (Paperback)

Volume II: UN Stand at the Pusan Perimeter, August 1950

Colour Books Cold War Military History

By Gerry van Tonder
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Cold War 1945 - 1991
Pages: 136
ISBN: 9781526728333
Published: 30th November 2018

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In the first volume in this series on the Korean War, North Korea Invades the South, North Korean ground forces, armour and artillery crossed the 38th Parallel, and, in blitzkrieg style, rolled back UN and South Korean forces down the Korean peninsula. Despite the US and South Korea committing army, air force and navy units, supported by forces from Australia, Britain, New Zealand, France and Canada, by 31 July, eleven enemy divisions were concentrated in a disconnected line from Chŏnju to Yŏngdong.

Along the south coast, North Korean divisions pushed eastward towards Masan. To the east and centre of the peninsula, the enemy closed in on Kimch’ŏn and the Naktong River line. On the east coast, three North Korean divisions secured the Yŏngdŏk–P’ohang axis, placing them within mortar range of the UN airfield at Yŏnil. Reeling, the UN forces desperately defended the 140-mile-line lodgement area that incorporated the port of Pusan. Supreme commander of UN forces, General Douglas MacArthur, had his back to the sea, facing thirteen enemy infantry divisions, two new tank brigades and an armoured division.

On 1 September, North Korean forces launched their strongest offensive to date, and in the first two weeks of the month, American casualties became the heaviest of the war. Of particular concern to General Walker was the danger of losing the town of Taegu in the centre. The resultant loss of the strategic Taegu–Pusan railway would be catastrophic.

MacArthur and Washington were running out of options, but the Pusan Perimeter had to be defended at all costs.

As featured 'On The Shelf'

Wargames Illustrated, November 2018

About Gerry van Tonder

Gerry van Tonder was born in Zimbabwe and came to Britain in 1999. He is a full-time historian and a published author. Specializing in military history, Gerry has authored Rhodesian Combined Forces Roll of Honour, 1966–1981; Book of Remembrance: Rhodesia Native Regiment and Rhodesian African Rifles; North of the Red Line (South African Defence Force’s border war), and the co-authored definitive Rhodesia Regiment, 1899–1981, a copy of which he presented to the regiment’s former colonel-in-chief, Her Majesty the Queen. Gerry has also written on British local history, including Derby in 50 Buildings, Chesterfield’s Military Heritage and Mansfield Through Time. He recently started with a series of Cold War titles and Echoes of the Coventry Blitz.

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