6 February 1951

The Canadian Army enters combat in the Korean War.

Lieutenant General Charles Foulkes, then Chief of the General Staff was in favour of Canada providing an infantry brigade for the 1st Commonwealth Division. Since Foulkes favoured keeping the Canadian Army’s Mobile Striking Force intact for the defence of North America, he recommended recruiting a separate Special Force for the Korean War.

Recruits for the Special Force were enlisted for a period of eighteen months with recruits coming from both the Active Force, World War II veterans and adventure seeking young men. The normal recruitment standards were lowered since “the army would not wish to retain the ‘soldier of fortune’ type of personnel on a long term basis'”. Units of the Special Force would be second battalions of the existing three Permanent Force regiments.

On 15 August 1950, the 2nd Battalion was created within Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry as a component of the Canadian Army Special Force in response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea. The new battalion trained in Calgary and at CFB Wainwright, before boarding the USS Private Joe P. Martinez on 25 November 1950, to Pusan in South Korea. The battalion landed in Korea in December and trained in the mountains for eight weeks before finally taking part in the war on 6 February, becoming a component of the 27th British Commonwealth Brigade of the IX Corps in the 8th US Army. The 2nd Battalion of the PPCLI was the first Canadian infantry unit to take part in the Korean War.

Special Force Second Battalions of the Royal Canadian Regiment and Royal 22nd Regiment were formed and sent to Korea in 1951.

By spring 1951, 8500 Canadians troops were supporting the United Nations, alongside 12,500 British, 5000 Filipino troops and 5000 Turkish troops.

Two Canadian officers Lt. Green and Captain Claxton Ray in Korea

Area of operations.
From the summer of 1951 to the end of the war, most of the Canadian involvement centered on a small area north of Seoul “between the 38th parallel on the south and the town of Chorwon on the north, and from the Sami-Chon River east to Chail-li”.

The Canadian war front was about 30 miles across and was a section of the United Nations front occupied by British Commonwealth forces. Most of the Canadians’ combat missions took place on the 30 mile zone. The Canadians’ two main adversaries during the war were the North Korean army and the Chinese in the Battle of Kapyong. Canada’s military objective was to give military support towards the resolution of the war on the central front, which was central Korea.

4 January 1951

Chinese and North Korean forces capture Seoul during the Korean War.

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border. The United Nations, with the United States as the principal force, came to the aid of South Korea. China came to the aid of North Korea, and the Soviet Union also gave some assistance to the North.

With Lieutenant-General Matthew Ridgway assuming the command of the U.S. Eighth Army on 26 December, the PVA and the KPA launched their Third Phase Offensive on New Year’s Eve of 1950. Utilizing night attacks in which UN Command fighting positions were encircled and then assaulted by numerically superior troops who had the element of surprise, the attacks were accompanied by loud trumpets and gongs, which fulfilled the double purpose of facilitating tactical communication and mentally disorienting the enemy. UN forces initially had no familiarity with this tactic, and as a result some soldiers panicked, abandoning their weapons and retreating to the south. The Chinese New Year’s Offensive overwhelmed UN forces, allowing the PVA and KPA to conquer Seoul for the second time on 4 January 1951.

B-26 Invaders bomb logistics depots in Wonsan, North Korea, 1951
These setbacks prompted General MacArthur to consider using nuclear weapons against the Chinese or North Korean interiors, with the intention that radioactive fallout zones would interrupt the Chinese supply chains. However, upon the arrival of the charismatic General Ridgway, the esprit de corps of the bloodied Eighth Army immediately began to revive.

UN forces retreated to Suwon in the west, Wonju in the center, and the territory north of Samcheok in the east, where the battlefront stabilized and held. The PVA had outrun its logistics capability and thus were unable to press on beyond Seoul as food, ammunition, and matériel were carried nightly, on foot and bicycle, from the border at the Yalu River to the three battle lines. In late January, upon finding that the PVA had abandoned their battle lines, General Ridgway ordered a reconnaissance-in-force, which became Operation Roundup. A full-scale X Corps advance proceeded, which fully exploited the UN Command’s air superiority, concluding with the UN reaching the Han River and recapturing Wonju.

Following the failure of ceasefire negotiations in January, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 498 on 1 February, condemning PRC as an aggressor, and called upon its forces to withdraw from Korea.

In early February, the South Korean 11th Division ran the operation to destroy the guerrillas and their sympathizer citizens in Southern Korea. During the operation, the division and police conducted the Geochang massacre and Sancheong-Hamyang massacre. In mid-February, the PVA counterattacked with the Fourth Phase Offensive and achieved initial victory at Hoengseong. But the offensive was soon blunted by the IX Corps positions at Chipyong-ni in the center. The U.S. 2nd Infantry “Warrior” Division’s 23rd Regimental Combat Team and the French Battalion fought a short but desperate battle that broke the attack’s momentum. The battle is sometimes known as the “Gettysburg of the Korean War”. 5,600 South Korean, U.S., and French troops were surrounded on all sides by 25,000 Chinese. United Nations forces had previously retreated in the face of large Communist forces instead of getting cut off, but this time they stood and fought, and won.

27 February 1951

The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

Twenty-second Amendment, amendment to the Constitution of the United States effectively limiting to two the number of terms a president of the United States may serve. It was one of 273 recommendations to the U.S. Congress by the Hoover Commission, created by Pres. Harry S. Truman, to reorganize and reform the federal government. It was formally proposed by the U.S. Congress on March 24, 1947, and was ratified on Feb. 27, 1951.

The Constitution did not stipulate any limit on presidential terms—indeed, as Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 69: George Washington, the country’s first president, opted to retire after two terms, setting a de facto informal “law” that was respected by the country’s first 31 presidents that there should be rotation in office after two terms for the office of the presidency.There is no clear indication that the decision to pursue the amendment was triggered by any single event or abuse of power. Indeed, throughout U.S. history, few presidents ever expressed the desire to serve more than the traditional two terms. Ulysses S. Grant sought a third term in 1880, but he was denied his party’s nomination. Theodore Roosevelt sought a third term in 1912 but lost it would have been his second elected term

9 February 1951

Geochang massacre occurs during the Korean War.

The Geochang massacre was a massacre conducted by the third battalion of the 9th regiment of the 11th Division of the South Korean Army between 9 February 1951 and 11 February 1951 of 719 unarmed citizens in Geochang, South Gyeongsang district of South Korea.The victims included 385 children.The 11th Division also conducted the Sancheong-Hamyang massacre two days earlier. The general commanding the division was Choe Deok-sin.

In March 1951, Shin Chung-mok, a leading assembly lawmaker from Geochang reported the massacre to the National Assembly against South Korean Army cover up.The National Assembly’s special investigation team investigated, but was hampered by the South Korean Army’s interruption.Shin was arrested and sentenced to death in an Army court martial.In May 1951, the second investigation team was dispatched by the National Assembly and they reported the South Korean Army involvement. After the investigation, Major Han and Colonel Oh Ik-gyun were sentenced to life in prison by a military court. President Syngman Rhee subsequently granted clemency to criminals.This massacre is pointed out as an example of oppression under his rule.In April 2004, the Geochang Massacre Memorial Park was founded in memory of the victims, in Geochang.On 20 February 2006, National Archives and Records Service reported the files about the massacre were found.

1 November 1951

buster-jangle-explosion
1000’s of American soldiers are exposed to the ‘Desert Rock’ atomic explosions for training purposes in Nevada.

Desert Rock was the code name of a series of exercises conducted by the US military in conjunction with atmospheric nuclear tests. They were carried out at the Nevada Proving Grounds between 1951 and 1957. Their purpose was to train troops and gain knowledge of military maneuvers and operations on the nuclear battlefield. They included observer programs, tactical maneuvers, and damage effects tests. From 16 July 1945 through 1946, about 1,000 military and civilian personnel took part in Project TRINITY or visited the test site. All participants, civilian as well as military, were under the authority of the MED. Project activities included scientific studies. Military exercises were not conducted at TRINITY.

Before the detonation, civilian and military scientists and technicians, assisted by other military personnel, placed gauges, detectors, and other instruments around ground zero. An evacuation detachment consisting of 144 to 160 enlisted men and officers was established in case protective measures or evacuation of civilians living offsite became necessary. Such action was not deemed necessary, however, and the evacuation detachment was dismissed late on the day of the detonation for return to Los Alamos.A substantial amount of activity took place at the test site during the first 3 days following the detonation, as scientists entered the ground zero area to retrieve instruments or to perform experiments.

11 April 1951

The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, is found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalist students from its place in Westminster Abbey.