Generals Ridgeway and van Fleet - girding up for another offensive from the North.

Generals Ridgeway and van Fleet - girding up for another offensive from the North.
Generals Ridgeway and van Fleet – girding up for another offensive from the North.

Voices And Events – News-for-week-ending-may-13th-1951 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

Another week of war, this week ending on May 13th in 1951. The war this time was Korea and UN troops were preparing for what they believed was a second Spring offensive by North Korean troops. All that was happening now was waiting and gearing up.

The UN May–June 1951 counteroffensive was a military operation performed by the United Nations Command (UN) during the Korean War launched in response to the Chinese spring offensive of April-May 1951. It was the final large-scale offensive of the war that saw significant territorial changes.

By 19 May the second phase of the spring offensive, the Battle of the Soyang River, on the eastern section of the front, was losing momentum due to reinforcement of the UN forces, supply difficulties and mounting losses from UN air and artillery strikes. On 20 May the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army (PVA) and Korean People’s Army (KPA) began to withdraw after suffering heavy losses, simultaneously the UN launched their counteroffensive in the west and central portions of the front. On 24 May, once the PVA/KPA advance had been halted, the UN began a counteroffensive there also. In the west UN forces were unable to maintain contact with the PVA/KPA as they withdrew faster than the UN advance. In the central area the UN forces made contact with the PVA/KPA at chokepoints north of Chuncheon inflicting heavy losses. In the east UN forces had remained in contact with the PVA/KPA and progressively pushed them back north of the Soyang River.

Meanwhile on Capitol Hill, testimony regarding our role in the Korean War  was being examined with representatives from the White House giving their side and representatives of the recently dismissed General MacArthur giving theirs. The MacArthur point of view stressed waging a wider war as a way of bringing the Korean conflict to a quick conclusion. President Truman believed the opposite – a wider war would only create far more casualties and open up the conflict to areas not now in danger. And the controversy raged on.

That and more was covered during this week of May 13th 1951, although Korea, the recent firing of General MacArthur and what the future had in store for the Korean conflict were pretty much the stories that dominated the news as presented by NBC’s Voices and Events program for May 13, 1951.

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3 thoughts on “May 13, 1951 – War In Korea – Getting Ready For the Spring Offensive –

  1. George Marshall expressed qualms about relieving MacArthur to Truman, who then requested Marshall review his all his correspondence with the general since the outbreak of the war. Marshall was waiting for Truman when the president got to his office the next morning, and told him (and I paraphrase): “You should have fired him months ago”.

  2. That last clip of a Commercial “Radio Moscow”, was hilarious!!Anyone who lived in the 1950’s should remember listening to Radio Moscow, and the thought of mimicking American Media was really on their minds, though they tried to downplay the differences between the two Systems. The Song, “His Heart doesn’t belong to Daddy” was very pointed for the time. Marshall Tito was indeed breaking ranks with His Comrades(He received quite a bit of advanced American Military equipment as a result!)

  3. JWL- Your comments about General Marshall are correct. Many thought Mac Arthur wanted an all out war against Communism. Something I think President Truman handled very well, if not politically Clumsy, by discharging Mac Arthur. I think that one move ultimately lost him the 1952 Elections.

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