From there the front dropped south once again through the Imjin River Valley until it reached the Yellow Sea at a point roughly twenty miles north of Seoul.
Manning this line were over 554,000 UN soldiers-approximately 253,000 Americans (including the 1st Marine, 1st Cavalry, and 2d, 3d, 7th, 24th, and 25th Infantry Divisions), 273,000 South Koreans, and 28,000 men drawn from eighteen countries-Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, France, Great Britain, Greece, India, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, and the Union of South Africa.
For the most part the commander of UN forces, General Matthew B.
Ridgway, and his principal subordinate, General James A.
These works will provide great opportunities to learn about this important period in the Army's heritage of service to the nation. Although the two principal parties to the conflict-the governments of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea)-were more than willing to fight to the death, their chief patrons-the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union on the one hand and the United States and the United Nations (UN) on the other-were not.
Twelve months of bloody fighting had convinced Mao Tse-tung, Joseph V. Truman that it was no longer in their respective national interests to try and win a total victory in Korea.
Van Fleet, Eighth Army commander, confined their activities to strengthening UN positions and conducting limited probes of enemy lines.
Their Communist counterparts adopted a similar policy.
Many Korean War veterans have considered themselves forgotten, their place in history sandwiched between the sheer size of World War II and the fierce controversies of the Vietnam War.
The recently built Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall and the upcoming fiftieth anniversary commemorative events should now provide well-deserved recognition.