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 6

People’s Republic of China

PEOPLE’S LIBERATION ARMY

The People’s Republic of China was proclaimed on 21 September 1949 after years of battling the Nationalists and Japanese. Its massive army had existed for years but was formally created as the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in July 1946 when the Chinese civil war broke out. In Korea, the U.N. Command referred to PLA forces as Chinese Communist Forces (CCF). China, through the former Nationalist government, was a charter member of the U.N. The People’s Liberation Army, like the Soviet Army, is a unified armed force of which the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and People’s Liberation Army Navy are components. In the fall of 1950 the PLA contained 5,000,000 men. The PLA relied on volunteers and had no formal conscription system or specified period of service until 1995. Local authorities though were given quotas and individuals were induced to volunteer by various means. Enlistment was for an indefinite period with no promise of ever being discharged from duty.

Chinese forces were involved elsewhere during the Korean War. In October 1950 the PLA invaded Tibet and completed its occupation the next year. The PLA’s 3rd Field Army was preparing to invade Formosa in 1951, but the Korean War interrupted this effort. China was also actively involved in supporting the Vietminh in French Indochina.

China was unaware of North Korea’s plans to invade the south. Chinese forces first entered North Korea on 14 October 1950 and were in position to rout the victorious U.N. forces on 25 October and drive them south out of North Korea. China had first warned the

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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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