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Korea/2. N.S.contrbution
IP: 1.129.106.228


The under 19s. where sent into battle.

More than 100,000 British troops were involved, three quarters of them inexperienced lads in their teens called up for their compulsory two years of national service.
Wet behind the ears, some straight out of school, they said goodbye to Mum and Dad, and, after basic training, were on their way by ship to a land most had never heard of. There they fought — and 1,078 died — in a largely forgotten war.
The Korean War was a bloodbath in which 40,000 American troops, 500,000 North Korean and Chinese soldiers and at least 2.5 million civilians all died — a slaughter 30 times greater than today’s conflict in Syria.
And yet, once over, it passed so quickly into history that it now seems no more than a footnote.
+4
The Korean War was a bloodbath in which 40,000 American troops (pictured), 500,000 North Korean and Chinese soldiers and at least 2.5 million civilians died - a slaughter 30 times greater than today's Syria conflict
Even at the time the fighting was woefully under-reported. Unlike today, when bulletins from war fronts are immediate and extensive, press coverage back then was sparse, televisions were few and far between, and only the occasional black-and-white newsreel told cinema audiences what was going on 5,500 miles away.
It was real enough in its horror to the dwindling band of men now in their late 70s and 80s who fought it, and their memories — and indignation — still burn bright, as a gripping new book of reminiscences shows.
Some shouldn’t have been there. Regulations decreed that no one under 19 should go into battle. But this was ignored as 18-year-olds were thrust into the front line. Most barely knew why they were there. ‘All anybody told us,’ recalled one, ‘was that we were fighting the reds.’
The ins and outs for which they were laying their lives on the line went unexplained. They were, in fact, the first front-line troops in the Cold War between the democratic West and the communist-controlled east.
Regards William.

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