Striking Back: Combat in Korea, March-April 1951

By William T. Bowers | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

UN forces continued to push north as Operation Dauntless unfolded. In the 25th Infantry Division sector, the 24th Infantry Regiment, flanked by the Turkish Brigade on the left and the 27th Infantry Regiment on the right, gained the Pogae-san high ground south of Ch’orwan after crossing the Hant’an River. To their east, the 24th Infantry Division of I Corps and the 6th ROK and 1st Marine Divisions of IX Corps kept pace. The enemy offered sporadic resistance and fell back before the UN advance.

The beginning of Operation Dauntless on 11 April also saw important changes in the UN command structure in the Far East. Gen. MacArthur had not quietly accepted President Truman’s restrictions on the conduct of the Korean War. MacArthur voiced his concerns to the press, timing his comments to ensure the maximum disruption of a peace initiative by Washington directed at the Chinese Communists. Additionally, MacArthur wrote a letter outlining his criticisms of administration policy to Congressman Joseph Martin, the House Minority Leader. When Martin read the letter on the floor of the House of Representatives on 5 April, Truman decided that MacArthur must go. Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Omar Bradley, recommended that MacArthur be replaced by Ridgway and that Lt. Gen. James A. Van Fleet become the Eighth Army commander. Communication interruptions botched the carefully arranged timing of the announcement of the relief, and MacArthur was informed that he had been fired through a news broadcast the afternoon of 11

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