Communist Logistics in the Korean War

Communist Logistics in the Korean War

Communist Logistics in the Korean War

Communist Logistics in the Korean War

Synopsis

This book describes the logistical systems and requirements of the North Korean People's Army and Chinese Communist forces during the Korean War. The author examines the performance of the Communist logistical system from June 1950 to July 1953, explaining the failure of the United Nations air interdiction campaign in terms of the constant improvement of Communist logistical capabilities. The author concludes that the United Nations air force damaged, but was unable to destroy, the Communist distribution system. The North Koreans and Chinese Communists were able to supply their front line units sufficiently to enable them to conduct a strong static defense, which prevented a United Nations victory, and in the last months of the war, to mount strong, sustained offensive actions.

Excerpt

For the North Korean People's Army (NKPA) and the Chinese Communist Forces (CCF), the war in Korea from June 1950 to July 1953 was above all a war of logistics. Communist strategy, operational decisions, and prospects for success were based largely on logistical considerations throughout the war, and questions of supply, storage, and distribution weighed heavily in the councils of the NKPA and CCF. Such questions also preoccupied the thoughts of United Nations Command (UNC) commanders and intelligence analysts seeking to determine Communist capabilities and intentions.

The Korean War can be divided into three distinct periods from the point of view of NKPA-CCF logistics, the first of which extended from 25 June 1950 to July 1951. The NKPA forces which invaded the Republic of Korea (ROK) on 25 June 1950 were well trained and well equipped but unprepared for an extended campaign or the intensive interdiction effort mounted against them by UNC air forces. Initially they achieved great success, driving the ROK and supporting US forces southeast into the Pusan Perimeter (shown on Map 1.1). However, the effort exhausted NKPA supplies and exposed their extended supply lines to increasingly effective UNC air interdiction. The NKPA offensive was decisively halted by the coordinated landing of UNC forces at Inchon and the breakout from the Pusan Perimeter in September 1950. Following UNC seizure of the key transportation hub of Seoul, the North Koreans were forced to retreat north in great disorder. The rout of the NKPA continued until the intervention of Chinese Communist forces in October-November 1950. The CCF also achieved initial success with their unexpected counterattack on forward UNC ground forces, but they too were unprepared logistically to support a large force over long lines of communications in the face of an intensive UNC air interdiction campaign. Consequently, the Communist offensives in early 1951 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.