(Or as it came to be known as . . .World War 2 1/2)
June 1950 was a very busy month and by the end of it we were up to our eyeballs in the Korean conflict. Originally called a Police Action and occasionally referred to as World War 2 1/2, it all began on June 25th when North Korea (with the help of China, although Russia was implicated) decided it was time to invade South Korea and almost succeeded in pulling it off. By the end of the month Seoul had been captured and the South Korean Army (along with American peacekeepers who had been there since the end of World War 2) were pushed as south as the 38th Parallel. The U.S. was completely surprised by the move and immediately called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council to try and resolve the situation in what became the first significant conflict of the Cold War.
Which dragged on for three years, or sixty if you want to get technical about it.
President Truman was quick to rally bi-partisan support for a military intervention.
Sen. Alexander Wylie (R-Wisconsin): “I think that at least in a minor crisis which may develop into a big crisis, it all depends on whether or not Russia is going to back down. If Russia backs down now, of course officially she doesn’t admit she’s in the picture. But if she is in the picture and stays put, why it may develop into a real crisis and then we’ll be in it all over.”
Reserves were called up, the draft was extended for another year. And less than five years after the end of World War 2 we were stuck in another drawn out war. And North Korea is still actively involved in saber rattling.