To Acknowledge a War: The Korean War in American Memory

By Paul M. Edwards | Go to book overview

Chapter 6
Leaders and Scoundrels

Someone in high authority will have to make up his mind as to what is our goal.

Gen. Oliver Smith

Though hundreds of military men and women served in responsible positions during the Korean War, few, other than General of the Army Douglas A. MacArthur, are remembered. Certainly General MacArthur, heroic leader of World War I and World War II, as well as occupation commander of Japan, deserves to be remembered. But he is often remembered only at the cost of acknowledging the significant participation made by others.

But there were many who made a meaningful impact on the United Nations mission in Korea--a not just because they were dedicated soldiers, though most were. It was not just because they did their jobs in some incredible manner. Rather, they represent all those who, having been given a job, did it to the best of their ability. Some were leaders, one or two were scoundrels, but all provide interesting pictures of the war.

Obviously the selection of persons to be included in either category is arbitrary and subject to disagreement. Just as obviously, these people are all on the United Nations side; I have not chosen North Korean or Chinese leaders. These, appearing in no special order, are my selections.


LT. GENERAL WALTON HARRIS "BULLDOG" WALKER

General Walker rose to command Eighth Army in Korea by means of a career pattern typical for general officers. His assignments included the Meuse- Argonne campaign during World War I. In 1943 he accepted command of XX Corps, which was then assigned to Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army. After World War II, Walker was sent to Chicago to command Fifth Army. Then, in 1948, he was assigned to Japan to assume command of the Eighth U.S. Army.

When the Korean War broke out, General Walker had been ordered to take Eighth Army to the defense of South Korea. Pushed back by the North Korean

-75-

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To Acknowledge a War: The Korean War in American Memory
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Military Studies ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - The Long Silence 15
  • Chapter 3 - Naming the War 27
  • Chapter 4 - Who Is to Blame 41
  • Chapter 5 - Some of the Controversies 53
  • Chapter 6 - Leaders and Scoundrels 75
  • Chapter 7 - Operations 89
  • Chapter 8 - The United Nations Force 103
  • Chapter 9 - Revising the Revisionists 121
  • Chapter 10 - The Fighting Just Stopped 135
  • Chapter 11 - The Wrong War 147
  • Bibliography 155
  • Subject Index 163
  • Military Unit Index 173
  • About the Author 177
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