Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, 1950-1953

By Gordon L. Rottman | Go to book overview

Chapter 2

United Nations Contingents

THE UNITED NATIONS COMMITMENT

The United Nations was established in 1945 with 59 member states, the General Assembly, with the goal of maintaining international peace and security. This was to be accomplished through collective and mutually agreed actions to prevent or remove threats to peace, suppress aggression, and arbitrate the peaceful settlement of international disputes. The U.N.’s charter, specifically Article 42, provides for the use of armed force to halt aggression and restore peace. In order to dispatch such a force, two-thirds of the General Assembly must vote and approve the issue. The Security Council then votes on the proposal and authorizes the use of force. In 1950, the Security Council was comprised of the United States, Great Britain, USSR, France, and China as permanent members plus 10 temporary member nations elected every two years by the General Assembly. At the time of the South Korean invasion, the USSR was boycotting the Security Council because of Nationalist China’s seat on the Council rather than Communist China. If the USSR had been present on the Council it could have voted against the U.N. commitment of troops to the R.O.K. Because the USSR and Communist China were not represented on the Security Council, they declared the Council’s actions illegal and that the conflict was internal. The U.N. maintained that it had the moral responsibility to protect the R.O.K. The Korean War was to be the U.N.’s first commitment of armed forces to conduct and end a war. It is also the largest such U.N. intervention effort ever undertaken. The Soviet U.N. delegate later ceased his boycott and assumed the presidency of the U.N. Security Council.

Within days after the communist invasion of South Korea, the U.N. called on all member nations to support the military effort in Korea. Fifty-three countries approved of armed action against North Korea: 15 committed ground combat forces, nine provided naval forces, six sent air force elements, and five contributed medical support, either military or civilian (Red Cross). The foregoing included the U.S. and British Commonwealth nations. Besides the British Commonwealth, the first countries to offer the commitment of combat units on 19 August 1950 were the Philippines, Turkey, and Thailand. Other countries

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Korean War Order of Battle: United States, United Nations, and Communist Ground, Naval, and Air Forces, 1950-1953
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • A Brief Overview of the Korean War xv
  • Chronology of the Korean War xix
  • Chapter 1 - United States of America 1
  • Chapter 2 - United Nations Contingents 117
  • Chapter 3 - British Commonwealth 125
  • Chapter 4 - Republic of Korea 149
  • Chapter 5 - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea 161
  • Chapter 6 - People’s Republic of China 173
  • Chapter 7 - Other Nations’ Participation 185
  • Selected Bibliography 221
  • Index 225
  • About the Author 231
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