The Korean War
Fire and IceDVD - 2010
Historians, battle veterans and archival footage reveal the pain, glory, and pathos of the Korean War. Part 1: When North Korea surged across the border of its southern neighbor on June 25, 1950, South Korea and its Western allies were caught off guard. The U.N. acted swiftly, but the contingent, unprepared for North Korea's fanatical determination and fighting skill, soon found itself thrown back into disarray; and the allies faced a humiliating evacuation. Part 2: With the U.N. forces on the verge of being pushed into the sea, the stage was set for one of the most dramatic reversals of the war. U.N. supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur executed an amphibious landing. Within months, U.N. troops would drive the North Koreans almost to the Chinese border. But the victory would turn to devastating defeat at the unexpected onslaught of Chinese troops. Part 3: Nearly overrun by the Chinese, American forces were soon engaged in the longest retreat in U.S. history. By December of 1950, the Communists had recaptured the North Korean capitol. A month later, the southern capitol fell. Part 4: As American casualties mounted, U.S. President Harry Truman came under increasing military and political pressure, finally resulting in MacArthur's dismissal and the arrival of General Matthew Ridgway. After retaking Seoul, the U.N. forces confronted the re-grouped enemy in the biggest battle of the war; but by now, U.S. policy had shifted from liberation to containing the communists at the 38th parallel. The war raged on until the armistice of July, 1953, a tenuous, unstable cease-fire that continues to flare into violence even today.