Significance of Canada's Role in the Korean War

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On June 25th, 1950, North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel and invaded the Republic of Korea (South Korea). This was a battle between democracy and communism, where the United Nations supported the South Democrats while the Soviet Union in cooperation with China supported the North Communists. Most Canadians knew nothing about Korea during the 1950s. Despite that, the Canadian army still sent an entire brigade group to military operations there. Besides the two world wars, the Korean War remains Canada’s third bloodiest oversea conflict as it left 516 Canadians killed and at least 1,200 injured. Canada made significant military contributions to the Korean War as was demonstrated by the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the defensive navy line protecting UN aircraft carriers, and the ceasefire of war through the 1st Commonwealth Division. Initially, the war went very well for the North Korean communists, pushing the United Nations into the Southeast corner of South Korea known as the Pusan Perimeter {See Appendix B}. Most of South Korea was captured, including Seoul, the capital. In early spring of 1951, the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI) arrived in Korea. At this point, UN forces were slowly retreating, and General MacArthur hoped that with the help of the 2PPCLI, they would be able to turn the war around. Regardless, the Patricias were not fully trained nor were they prepared for war. Lieutenant Colonel Jim Stone who was the Patricias’ commander at the time did not allow any of his men to go into battle until he believed they were truly ready. After two months, the Patricias entered the war and took part in a major UN counterattack (4... ... middle of paper ... .... “The Commonwealth in Korea”. HistoryToday November 1998: 11. HistoryToday Archives. Web. 26 May 2014 Davidson, Dave. "Canadians in Korea." Canadians in Korea. KVA, n.d. Web. 24 May 2014. Futrel Frank Robert. The United States Air Force in Korea. Washington: N.p, 1983. Air Force Historical Studies Office. Web. 15 Apr. 2014 Tang Angie. “Reflections of Canadian Political Moderation and Canadian-American Relations.” Beyond Canada’s Role in the Korean War (2013): N.v.. n.i(2013): 1-6. Musée De La Guerre. 11 Apr. 2014. Thor Thorgrimsson and E.C. Russell, Canadian Naval Operations in Korean Waters, 1950-1955, Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1965. National Defence and Canadian Forces. Web. 25 May 2014 . "Korean War." History.com 2009. N.p. . A&E Television Networks. Web. 25 May 2014. . "The Korean War." Canadian Solidiers. Service Publications, n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

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