Cold War Hot Wars

“Second Cold War Front [would be] in Asia.”
 What is a Hot War?
 How is it different from a “Cold War?”
 Why are Hot Wars important to remember in the Cold
War Unit?
 Background:
 Girl and Boy fall madly in love. They are separated, Girl
thinks the Boy is dead. Girl is betrothed to a Prince, and
she is captured in order to cause a war between the
Prince’s nation and a neighboring nation… Her capture is
fighting a mind game with a Masked Man….
 Speaking of Wars…. Where wouldn’t you want to fight a
 Anywhere particularly in the World?
 Certain terrains? Locals?
 Listen VERY closely to the little man. What does he say
that connects to the Cold War???
 Annexed by Japan 1910
 USSR invaded Manchuria, going straight into Korea
(beginning August 1945)
 After WWII, it was decided that the 38th Parallel (an
arbitrary point) would divide North (USSR) from
South (US)….
 First American soldiers: 1945, September
 Japanese were used to help govern Korea—not Koreans
 Economic chaos and hardship
 Inflation
 Poverty
 Civil Disturbances!
 Ultimate Goal: Re-unification of N & S
 As time continued, it was moved farther from possible,
yet there was still a continued expressed desire to
 Middle class,
 US Doctorate
 Appealed to US; Koreans gave little support
 Positives (US POV):
 Anti-Communist
 Perfect English
 Not present during Japanese Occupation
 Became Corrupt and Ruthless
 No interest in popular democracy
 No interest in personal freedoms
 Yet, was still considered the best option that the US
had to rule in South Korea….
 Feb 1947 – People’s Assembly of North Korea
 Kim II Sung:
 Elected chairman
 Strongly opposed Japanese occupation
 1945 lead Korean Unit in Red Army
 Land reform (tenant farmers given own land)
 Viciously put down all Anti-Communist opposition
 UN demanded elections take place
 USSR refused
 South participated
 Communists in south boycotted
 Repression of Communists
 ((Were the results true??))
 1949, Aug – Rhee becomes President
 “major excursions” across 38th
 Tensions increase
 N= Propaganda predicted invasion
 S= Communist arrested and imprisoned
 By June 1949, both Soviet and US forces had
withdrawn from Korea
 Wanted to invade South
 Stalin would not back him
 Honoring WWII treaties
 Stalin consented when:
 Detonated first USSR A-bomb ( Aug 1949)
 Communism Takes over China
 Thought US would be hesitant to enter a war so far
away, even with the threat of the spread of
 Stalin pledged military and technical assistance
 BUT dictated day of Invasion (June 25th, 1950)
 WHY?
 To pull out Soviet Advisors
 WHY?!?!?
 North invaded on pretext of Southern launching an
“armed” incursion
 Was a total Surprise
 Rhee outnumbered and outmatched
 Within hours, South was retreating
 US State Department agreed that this aggressive
action would not be tolerated
 Condemned Invasion
 38th Parallel withdrawal
 June 27th- Military assistance from UN members
 Truman – “Police action”
 Ultimately: UN providing Multinational support for
Rhee’s weak and corrupt gov’t
 USSR in UN??
 Previous predictions ((fears?)) of Soviet aggression
were coming true!
 Seen as Soviet Plot to overthrow Asian democracies
((Communist Conspiracy?!))
 Reality: Stalin was complying with an over ambitious ally
and utilizing a perceived weakness in US
 War Hero
 Previously declared that Asia would be where
Democracy would fight against the spread of
 South: Weak military and Gov’t
 Army fled, like civilians did
 S army blew up bridges—killing civilians– to prevent
the N from following
 While pursuing, N executed Rhee sympathizers
 Not Prepared, No Battle Plan Flown in from Japan
 First US-Communist Confrontation resulted in a
miserable US defeat, time and time again.
 Missing anti-tank artillery
 US winning only in the skies
 Truman: “Aggression must be met firmly”
 July 7th> MacArthur is titled “Supreme Commander of
the UN Force”
 Expanded Presidential Powers
 Expanded Draft
 Recalled previous duty soldiers (WWII)
 Increases Military Expenditures by 5 times
 They quickly become over extended
 Moved too quickly to form stable and secure supply lines
 US “dug in” at Pusan, creating the Pusan Perimeter
 “Complete mobilization of the Korean People”
 Meaning?
 Without training
 Civilian Men rounded up
 Thrown to front lines
 MacArthur formulates and launches a beach attack 150
miles behind enemy lines
 “it will not fail”
 Capital recaptured (Sep 25th)
 50,00 civilians died
 Move North/ Northeast, to recapture South Korea
 North Army beginning to dissolve
 Withdraws military advisors
 Tells Kim to start planning for evacuation
 UN forces reach the 38th Parallel
 Invade North? Or be happy to have South?
 MacArthur & Rhee
 They hadn’t gone this far to stop where the tensions
 Re-unification and Re-habilitation of Korea
 Stalin was more disappointed with Kim, and
completely withdraws aid
 China (who was also frustrated with Kim) was told to
aid Korea
 Advised Korea to use guerilla tactics to fight
 Dropped international hints to their intentions of aiding
 China hints that any farther and they would use troops
 US believed it was a bluff
 Mid-October- Chinese Army volunters fighting with
Koreans and meet UN and US troops
 MacArthur pushes troops northward…
 Upon getting closer to the boarder, China attacked.
 Despite heavy casualties, China won.
 Full-scale war with China?!?!
 China pressed southward, recapturing North’s capital
 Seoul (capital S) falls into Chinese control again (Jan
4th, 1951)
 February – UN troops reinvigorated
 March – Seoul recaptured
 MacArthur advocates Chinese invasion
 He is shortly replaced
 Why:
 US regarded Korea as limited operation and didn’t want to
start a direct confrontation with Soviet Union
 April 1951 – Stalemate was reached, at the 38th
 Armistice talks began July 1951, but flounder after 6
weeks of no agreements
 Troops have dug in, fighting resumes
 Like trench warfare from WWI, with modern
 MiG-15 Soviet fighters used, even flown by Russians
 Americans ignored this, fearing open fight with Russia
 600,000 tons of bombs dropped
 Industry moves underground
 Workers encouraged to increase production
 Nationalism, proud of standing up to US
 Despite continuous requests for military aid, Stalin
reuses a majority
 Fear of causing war with US
 China was given hardware, but had to pay for it
 Armistice talks begin October 1951
 Lasts 18 months
 Atrocities on POWs
 Dwight D. Eisenhower elected 1952
 Stalin dies March 1953
 New leadership decided in 2 weeks that Korea had to
 Mao (China) decided the same…
 Increased fighting June 1953
 Eisenhower
 Bombs dams, threatens Nuclear bombs against China
 Rhee opens POW gates (South)
 Churchill cables US saying Rhee needs to leave office
 US: 54,000 dead, 100,000 injured
 UN forces: 3,000 dead, 12,000 injured
 North: 1 million deaths
 Chinese: 112,000 (maybe double?)
 5 million homeless civilians in South
 Major cities flattened
 Japan’s economy boomed during; S Korea’s boomed a
generation later
 Mid-1800s – French occupation Began
 May 1954 – France could no longer hold out against
Vietnamese nationalists
 After WWII defeat, returned to Indochina to retain
colonial powers
 Leader of the League for the Independence of Vietnam
(Viet Minh)
 Dedicated North Vietnamese Communist
 Declared Vietnam’s independence after Japan’s
surrender (WWII)
 USSR and China supplied heavy weapons and
 Indochina labeled as being declared devoid of decisive
military objectives
 Eisenhower: “row of dominoes”
 “The possible consequences of the loss are just
incalculable to the free world.”
 Included: Laos, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, India
 Communist Conspiracy
 Strengthening of the Communist bloc
 Ho Chi Minh
 Land reform, education, health care
 Broadened popular support
 More extreme Communist take over:
 Private land confiscated
 Pilloried, labor camps, or executed
 A million refugees flee Communist North for the
 Ngo Dinh Diem took over: Republic of Vietnam
 Catholic,
 Confucian,
 Anti-communist
 Religiously intolerant
 He ruled like an Emperor
 Arrest detains opponents (mainly Communists
 Within a few years Viet Minh were eliminated from
South Vietnam
 Ignored and abolished elections (1956)
 He would appoint officials
 He was fearful of communists winning the elections
 US funded his gov’t….
 As our commitment intensified to keep Communism
contained, our aid increased
 Yet, he listened to family more so than the US
 December 1960
 National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam
 National Liberation Front
 Wanted to overthrown Diem
 Eisenhower to Kennedy
 “pay any price”
 “Bear any burden”
 Sent in military advisors
 To train S Vietnamese in counterinsurgency
 1961 3000 military professionals
 1962 – Undeclared war, 11,500 personnel
 Diem came under scrutiny
 Religious intolerance (raiding, destroying Buddhist
Shrines, pagodas, arresting monks etc)
 Monks –Self-immolation
 Burning themselves to death
 A cable was sent, telling military personnel to look for
new leader of Vietnam, should it be necessary to
replace Diem.
 It was interpreted as an order for a coup…
 The CIA was involved
 “We are launched on a course from which there is no
respectable turning back.”
 Nov 1963 – Diem agreed to step down, when S
Vietnamese rebel generals surrounded the presidential
palace, and taking over facilities
 Diem and second in command (brother) fled, but
were captured.
 They were murdered, once picked up en route to the
rebel military headquarters…
 Convinced of Soviet and Chinese involvement in
 Give priority to Vietnam over social concerns…
 August 1964, in the
Gulf of Tonkin
 US ships conducting
surveillance the area
 Claimed it was
 These ships came under fire
 2 days later there was reports of more attacks
 Although these were false
 Johnson seized the chance
 Claiming unprovoked aggression
 Launched attack at Northern bases
 President can use “all necessary measures,” defending
American or allied troops, and to “prevent further
 President decides when “peace and security” has been
 Resolution “covered everything”
 Johnson could approach and take care of Vietnam in any
manner he saw fit to
 Passed 88-2 (senate), 416-0 (HoR)
 Chinese saw themselves as defending countries against
imperialism, desiring to help N Vietnam through aid
 Russians wanted a peaceful coexistence with the US,
and tried to persuade Minh to initiate peace talks with
the US. Despite not following their persuasion, Minh
was still given Soviet aid
 1965 – roughly 170,000 men and women.
 Full Metal Jacket: “ Half of these… [prostitutes] are
serving officers in the Viet Cong…”
 Could at attack at any time
 Attacked US bases
 Used car bombs
 8 died, 100+ wounded
 These guerrilla tactics prompt Johnson to begin
bombing North Vietnam
 For eight years
 It did not succeed to getting the N Vietnamese to start
peace talks
 Napalm, high explosives and other bombs were not
seen as effective means for fighting against an
undeveloped country.
 Yet, to ease up these attacks would make the US
possibly appear weak in the international community
and to the Viet Cong
 18 million gallons of herbicides dumped on Vietnam
 Agent Orange (defoliant)
 Cancer causing
 US had dropped more tons of explosives on Vietnam
than all that were dropped in WWII
 1965, March 8th
 3500 Marines
 In full battle gear
 Seek and kill
 You will need more and more men to complete an
unrealistic, unattainable goal….
 Johnson: it was a black and white issue: either full-
scale war or humiliating retreat
 By the end of 1965 – 183,000 troops
 US brings technology to the undeveloped country
 Creates roadways, bridges, new radio and
communication towers, airfields, floating piers
 Forced from the Agent Orange, Napalm and other
bombings, peasants flee to the cities, and build
“towns” (shanties) on the outskirts…
 This decimates their traditional culture/lifestyle,
destroying families (through forcing them to abandon
their farms)
 An “Underworld” appeared around the soldiers,
providing them with prostitutes, massage parlors,
 Nightly TV
 Destruction and carnage
 TV networks, rather than military reporters
 ((Would this change public opinion against or for the
war effort?))
 Attempted to befriend Villages, looking for Viet Cong
and Communists
 Pacification
 Policy of “Shoot first ask questions later”
 ((Why would you want the peasants supporting your
side of the war effort?))
 ((How can you tell who is and who is not a Viet
 1961
 Cuban Exiles “secretly” assisted
by the CIA
 Invade Cuba (through Bay of Pigs)
 Exiles landed, US was supposed to
provide air support, but we pulled
out, leaving the exiles to be
 Was supposed to cause a popular uprising amongst the
people (didn’t)
 Supposed to have air support (didn’t)
 People versus tanks…
 Of the 1500 exiles, 14 rescued by the US, 100+ were
dead. The rest surrendered
 US has bases in Turkey with missiles that can hit
targets within the USSR…. Yet, the USSR did not have a
site like this…. Until Cuba
 After negotiations with Cuba, USSR sent Soviet ships
with the missiles , July 1962
 October 14th, 1962, a U-2 Spy plane photographs the
 Cuba 90 miles from US
 Within a 1100 range, Washington and 40% of the
Strategic Air Command would be vulnerable.
 Within 2200, Most cities, except Seattle could be
targeted, wiping out all Strategic Air Command bases
 Missiles had 1 mill tons of TNT power (Hiroshima was
only 13000)
 Kennedy originally backing a strategic and precise air
 He decided to follow a naval blockade
 Less aggressive than an attack
 Yet, keeping the Soviets away from Cuba
 Called it a “Quarantine”
 Khrushchev: “If the US insists on war, we’ll all meet
together in hell.”
 He tells the US that the blockade is illegal and Russian
submarines will sink American ships
 The first ships to meet:
 Russian ship promises that it only has oil, and the US
ship allows it through
 “I don’t want to push him [ Khrushchev] in a corner
from which he cannot escape.”
 ((What won’t the blockade do?))
 Amidst talks (initiated by a KGB operative, through his
own initiative), quid pro quo is raised
 If Russia takes down the Cuban missiles, US has to take
down Turkey missiles
 They agree to take down the Cuban missiles,
providing the US does not invade Cuba, and that the
US gradually take out the Turkey missiles

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