U.S. Bludgeoning of North Korea, War Crimes, and the Sinchon Incident

Oh, the wonders of Air Force history! Last night, at the end of a session directing Japanese war crimes research at the University of Washington Suzzalo library (amid epic microfilms of Japanese consulates, students steeped in daily journals of yesteryear), I wandered up into the stacks again and found this:

1. John Schlicht, “The Impact of the Orient on Air Power,” in The American Military and the Far East: Proceedings of the Ninth Mlitary History Symposium,U.S. Air Force Academy/ Office of Air Force History, Joe C. Dixon, ed. (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980), pp. 160-171.

Obscure! But interesting. It is certainly worth a read by Jeff Rud and others interested in how the USAF pulverized, traumatized, and sensitized to atomic possibilities the North Korean populace from 1950-1953.

Perhaps the editors of the above volume didn’t have a chance to discuss, since it is never taken seriously by most folks outside what Allen R. Millett perjoratively refers to as the “koreanized….[Bruce] Cumings School“, propaganda like the following:

"Do Not Forget the American Jackals", or, in bastardized Mc-Cune Reichshauer, "Yi c'hi malla songnyongyi Mijaerul!"
"Do Not Forget the American Jackals", or, in bastardized Mc-Cune Reichshauer, "Yi c'hi malla songnyongyi Mijaerul!"

This recalls an earlier exchange I had with Bruce Cumings and others on the Sinchon massacre, which the above is presumably intended to evoke, here.

I am hoping that young scholars like Mr. Rud will be able to eventually travel to the DPRK to dive into the extensive museumage there, even if archival documents are rather impossible to access. Otherwise we will always have Cumings’ skeptical, entertaining, and ultimately haunting War and Television, via the magic of Google books.

The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) offers a June 25, 2008 retrospective with lots of primary documents, some discredited and others not, on Sinchon and other atrocities.

Expect more writing on this topic, Korean War Crimes, in the future!


  1. I wanted to note that I’ve read this and I’m continuing to review, however I’m far too ignorant on Korean History to make any pre-liminary analysis.

    But fascinating to read.

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