Previous Next

In from the Cold

List of maps and figures

Map 1. The United Nations Command counter-offensive, September–November 1950

Map 2. Korean Peninsula highlighting major actions fought by Australians, 1950–53

Map 3. Positions held by the United States Eighth Army, 15 March 1952

Map 4. Brigade dispositions of the 1st Commonwealth Division during the final weeks of the war, June–July 1953

Squadron Leader Ronald Rankin (second left) and Major Stuart Peach (right) travelled to the 38th parallel in June 1950. Their report assisted the United Nations Security Council’s decision to aid the Republic of Korea

General Douglas MacArthur was the driving force behind the initial UN response to North Korea. His decision to invade North Korea would have fateful consequences for the outcome of the war

China’s entry into the Korean War caught the United Nations Command by surprise and forced the UN and South Korean troops to withdraw from near the Chinese border back beyond Seoul

The Republic of Korea Army recovered quickly from its mauling by North Korea and became a battle-hardened and effective force

ANZUS saw Australia, New Zealand and the United States form a defence pact for the Pacific region. For Australia, the treaty offered some protection against any future Chinese or Soviet aggression

Australian soldiers were initially not equipped to deal with the onset of the Korean winter. The deficit was made up from US and British stores. Private Ian ‘Robbie’ Robertson, a member of 3RAR’s sniper section, wears a mixture of British and US winter kit, c. November 1950

The RAAF transitioned to jet fighters during the Korean War. The Meteor F.8 was outclassed by the MiG-15 in dogfights, but it was an excellent ground attack platform

The RAN Fleet Air Arm’s 21st Carrier Air Group, flying Sea Fury and Firefly aircraft off the deck of HMAS Sydney (III), conducted 2,366 sorties over a period of 64 days during the latter months of 1951

HMAS Sydney (III)’s deployment to Korean waters was the first time a dominion carrier had been deployed on active service. It was the only time Sydney saw active service as an aircraft carrier

Senior Australian army officers in Korea, c. April 1953

The dogged defence by Australians, Canadians and New Zealanders at Kapyong was instrumental in blunting the Chinese drive on Seoul, and helped to save the city from falling into communist hands again

New Zealand artillerymen provided accurate and devastating firepower in attack and defence to various nationalities of the United Nations Command

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Hassett (centre) took over 3RAR during a period of change and, with support of his junior officers, welded the battalion into a fine fighting unit

In the early hours of 3 October 1951, the start of Operation Commando, A and B Companies, 3RAR, crossed this valley floor and captured Hill 199

British units in Korea were brought up to strength with national servicemen and men from other battalions. Private Bill Speakman of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders served with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and was awarded the Victoria Cross

Wounded soldiers were often sent to Japan for further treatment and convalescence. Pictured is Second Lieutenant William Purves of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, resting at the Commonwealth Forces Convalescent Depot in Kure, Japan

Captain Perditta ‘Dita’ McCarthy, of the Royal Australian Army Nursing Service, served at the British Commonwealth General Hospital at Kure during the Korean War and took part in aeromedical evacuation flights to Korea

Sister Betty Washington, of the Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service, had over a period of 10 months amassed 259 hours on casualty evacuation flights between Kimpo and Japan

The morning after the armistice came into effect, Australian soldiers stand above their front-line trenches at the Hook. For the first time in more than three years the front line was silent

Defence in depth was vital in case of a Chinese breakthrough. Here men from 2RAR unload timber baulks to construct bunkers, most likely on the Hook

A Chinese officer, Hshwang Shon Kwang, presents a red ‘peace’flag to Douglas Bushby, an Australian war correspondent, in no man’s land, the day after the ceasefire in Korea took effect. Jamestown Line, the Hook, 28 July 1953

A Republic of Korea military policeman stands guard at Panmunjom in 2001. South Korean and North Korean guards still continue 
to face off, only metres apart, at Panmunjom

The Korean War remains unfinished. As yet, no peace treaty exists between the West and North Korea. This propaganda poster, produced after the armistice in July 1953, remains relevant today. c. 1953

The long-lasting individual and social influences of the Korean War on Australia are remembered and recognised at the Australian National Korean War Memorial in Canberra, Australia


Previous Next