Interesting Facts About Korean War: “6-2-5 Upheaval”

The Korean War was a war between North Korea, with the support of China and the Soviet Union, and South Korea, with the support of the United States. The war began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea invaded South Korea, following a series of clashes along the border.
The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea, while China and the Soviet Union, supported North Korea’s advance.
The United States entered the Korean War for two main reasons: 1) to protect South Korea and prevent communists from taking over other countries and 2) to protect Japan, which the U.S. thought would be next on the list of countries that the communists wanted to invade.
In South Korea, the war is called “625” or the “6-2-5 Upheaval,” which refers to the day North Korea invaded South Korea, June 25. Take a look below for 15 more fascinating and interesting facts about the Korean War.
1. To avoid boredom while in a POW camp during the Korean War, Lt. John Thornton would ride an imaginary motorcycle around. He did this every day until the guards called him to their headquarters and took away his imaginary motorcycle stating that it was against rules and regulations.
2. Tensions created by the Korean War led both Presidents Truman and Eisenhower to consider dropping a nuclear war on Korea. With strategic missiles and thermonuclear (hydrogen) bombs still in testing, the bombs that would have been dropped were atomic bombs delivered by B-47s, similar in yield to the 1945 bombs. Both presidents ultimately decided not to drop the bombs because they were afraid of starting WW III.
3. During the first few weeks of the Korean War, the U.S. rushed a new weapon into service to provide an effective counter to North Korean armor: M-20 bazooka. It was nicknamed “super-bazooka” and could fire a larger, 3.5-inch rocket capable of penetrating North Korean armor.
4. The most famous representation of the Korean War is the television series “M*A*S*H,” which ran from 1972 to 1983. Its final episode was the most watched in TV history.
5. The capital of South Korea, Seoul, changed hands four times during the Korean War. It was first captured by the North Koreans on June 28, 1950, and then retaken by UN forces that September. The Chinese seized the city in January 1951, but gave it up two months later.
6. It was during the Korean War that the intravenous use of amphetamines was first reported. Some soldiers had developed the habit of mixing heroin with amphetamines and injecting the combination. A significant number of servicemen returning from the Korean War brought back the habit with them.
7. After the Korean War, 21 American soldiers chose to stay with their Chinese captors. Hailed in China as “Peace Fighters,” in America they were denounced as turncoats and traitors. The U.S. media claimed the soldiers were brainwashed by their captors. Most of them later recanted their statements and returned to America.
8. The U.S. Army used approximately 1,500 dogs during the Korean War and 4,000 in the Vietnam War.
9. During the Korean War, like in other wars, prostitutes were available and became more available the farther back from the front line a soldier was. Venereal diseases were a constant fear of the military, and many men contracted them.
10. Months before the North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel, the CIA noted that North Korean troops were moving south. The CIA, however, did not take any action and viewed the movement as a “defensive measure.”
11. One of the most embarrassing incidents during the Korean War was when U.S. Army Brigadier General Francis Townsend Dodd was held hostage by North Korean POWs during a camp uprising. The incident led to a North Korean propaganda victory, and Dodd suffered career-ending embarrassment.
12. Although actual hostilities during the Korean War ended on July 27, 1953, Congress lengthened the war period to January 31, 1955, to extend benefit eligibility for soldiers because peace was so uncertain after the 1953 peace negotiations.
13. The Korean War began at 4:30 a.m. on June 25, 1950, and ended on July 27, 1953. There are still more than 7,000 U.S. soldiers missing in action from the war.
14. Many soldiers died of frostbite during the Korean War before ever reaching the battlefields. The temperature in some areas fell below zero for long periods of time.
15. Because North Koreans would fight UN forces by disguising its soldiers as refugees who would ask UN forces for food and help and then open fire and attack, U.S. soldiers adopted a “shoot first, ask questions later” policy against anyone looking like a civilian refugee approaching U.S. battlefields.

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