New BBC documentary, 23/10/19, Korea the never ending war

Having searched there are lots of threads about Korea but most are about the shenanigans of the current leadership.

This is a new documentary about the war on BBC4 iPlayer at 21:00 tonight, as it is an hour and a half long I'm hoping that it will be a 'serious' piece about that war, and not dumbed down and aimed at teenagers.

My dad was there with the RASC and was invalided home with tuberculosis, spending 6 months in an isolation ward before leaving the army.
He would never speak about his time there or during WWII to me.

Only after his death did my older brother tell me that he had been in the Dunkirk evacuation, spent a long time training in the UK before being shipped to North Africa where he was captured after only 8 days at a supply dump by a German armoured recce column and handed over to Italian troops..

He was shipped to Poland and as an OR spent the rest of the war working in a salt mine - funnily enough he hated the Germans and especially the Italians who only fed them spaghetti and oranges, no doubt as their own rations were dire.

It must have been a real shock to him, having stayed in the RASC after the war, being sent again to war, it certainly explains why he was a taciturn and grumpy old sod.
The only time I ever saw him laugh was when Dad's Army was first aired in black and white.

 
As part of our Rgt history, we were taught the story of hill 282. The Yanks didn't believe it was still held so napalmed strafed it.
 
It will be interesting to see how this effort compares to the 2001 BBC Documentary .which was certainly made treating viewers as adults and liberal contributions by actual participants .

 
Having searched there are lots of threads about Korea but most are about the shenanigans of the current leadership.

This is a new documentary about the war on BBC4 iPlayer at 21:00 tonight, as it is an hour and a half long I'm hoping that it will be a 'serious' piece about that war, and not dumbed down and aimed at teenagers.

My dad was there with the RASC and was invalided home with tuberculosis, spending 6 months in an isolation ward before leaving the army.
He would never speak about his time there or during WWII to me.

Only after his death did my older brother tell me that he had been in the Dunkirk evacuation, spent a long time training in the UK before being shipped to North Africa where he was captured after only 8 days at a supply dump by a German armoured recce column and handed over to Italian troops..

He was shipped to Poland and as an OR spent the rest of the war working in a salt mine - funnily enough he hated the Germans and especially the Italians who only fed them spaghetti and oranges, no doubt as their own rations were dire.

It must have been a real shock to him, having stayed in the RASC after the war, being sent again to war, it certainly explains why he was a taciturn and grumpy old sod.
The only time I ever saw him laugh was when Dad's Army was first aired in black and white.

Thanks. That was well worth watching.

It will be interesting to see how this effort compares to the 2001 BBC Documentary .which was certainly made treating viewers as adults and liberal contributions by actual participants .

This too. Thanks. There probably wasn't enough time budget for the documentary to include more accounts from former prisoners. Some years ago I read Lofty Large's account of the intensity of the situation, his capture, the long march to prison camp, the attrition of starving and diseased prisoners and the determination he had to survive.

ETA this which followed in the YT sequence:

 
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I’ve recorded it to watch this weekend. I caught glimpses of it tonight and it looks like a very informative and fascinating 90 minutes.
 
Regrettably I was unable to watch the whole broadcast ... what I did see I found enlightening ... I was not aware of the background of the drawing of the 38th Parallel ... shall download and view soon .
 

MrMemory

War Hero
The part that stayed me was where the (now) old Korean woman described how, when she was bombed as a child by the Americans and she had pull her own eyeball out whilst lying next to the corpse of her mother.
 
Most informative and thought provoking.

Having recently watched a similar documentary on the Vietnam War, I was again disappointed - but not surprised - by the US instruction to their troops that they were to treat/regard anyone, everyone, to their front as the enemy . . . and kill the poor bastards !!

Bit of a disappointment - that towards the end - whole decades were simply dismissed/passed-over. I can’t believe nothing happened during that time.
 
The part that stayed me was where the (now) old Korean woman described how, when she was bombed as a child by the Americans and she had pull her own eyeball out whilst lying next to the corpse of her mother.
The horrors of war - rarely witnessed up close and personal by the Political class! :x
 
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Most informative and thought provoking.

Having recently watched a similar documentary on the Vietnam War, I was again disappointed - but not surprised - by the US instruction to their troops that they were to treat/regard anyone, everyone, to their front as the enemy . . . and kill the poor bastards !!

Bit of a disappointment - that towards the end - whole decades were simply dismissed/passed-over. I can’t believe nothing happened during that time.
Not mentioned last night - and I can not now remember from where I remember it - but unfortunately seared into my imagination was the description from an American, of North Korean troops advancing towards them on the stumps of their legs . . . with their feet already frozen off ( . . . shudder!).

Seeing the footage of that (first?) winter, I can well understand.
 
Initially I could not remember the name of the documentary in my Post #3 having watched it some time ago . Whilst searching YouTube I came across this …



.. some fine moustaches on parade . I wonder , apart from the OC and Sergeants , how many Medal awards were to National Service members of the BW .

Looks like some many are wearing very early issue Green Combat Kit complete with stitch reinforced collar .

ETA ... Minor but necessary correction pursuant to @Stonker 's post #21 .
 
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A sweeping inaccurate statement

And then there are the politicians of the 50s - 70s (and 80s in some cases) who served in WW2. The ending of that group of people worsened politics as well as planning-and-procurement, or possibly that is coincidence?
 
some fine moustaches on parade
0:45, the chap whose 'tache has 15 confirmed kills of its own seems a little shy of moving the weapon around his head.
 

Lacking Moral Fibre

Old-Salt
Book Reviewer
Max Hastings did a superb book and documentary on this about 30 yrs ago. A very good book, the chapter on prisoners, a few dozen Americans chose to stay in North Korea and one Brit, a RM but they all came back eventually.
The opening chapter when a few hundred GI's tried to block a N Korean T-34 equipped column. The GI's had been flown in from a the quiet peaceful life of post war Japan. Their bazooka rounds bounced off the T-34 their only artillery had no AP rounds and the comm line to the FOO had been cut and spliced on training exercises didn't work. The N Koreans brushed past, the Americans abandoned the position leaving the padre and medics with wounded, none of whom were seen again.
 

MrMemory

War Hero
Korean War folklore.

1. From a Brit (infantry) veteran of the campaign - a recollection of coping with Chinese human wave assault closing on their trenches, by being one of a bunch of guys sat down on the firestep, each with a box of primed 36 grenades, pulling the pins one by one/as fast as they could, and lobbing them over the parapet, because the enemy were so damn close (echoing, strangely, an Aussie War Diary entry I read, years and years later, describing an action at Gallipoli).

2. From Jock Berry (SNCO and later WO2 in 2RRF back in the day), whose own early years had been spent in the Black Watch, with a Pl Sgt of Korean vintage. The latter SNCO had taught all his lads to keep with them at all times, a ready-to-use sheath knife with a very, very sharp blade, because he'd learned the hard way that if your oppo got flecked with white phosphorus, the best thing you could do for him was to slice away the bits of flesh through which the flecks were burning their way to the bones beneath . . . .
 
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Initially I could not remember the name of the documentary in my Post #3 having watched it some time ago . Whilst searching YouTube I came across this …



.. some fine moustaches on parade . I wonder , apart from the OC and Sergeants , how many Medal awards were to National Service members of the BW .

Looks like some are wearing very early issue Green Combat Kit compete with stitch reinforced collar .
I read somewhere (Mark Adkins' "The Last Eleven?" perhaps?) that British forces were split 1/3 regular, 1/3 recalled reservists, 1/3 National Service. I'm not sure how true that was. Phillip Curtis VC was of of those recalled reservists.

I also recall that a "large" number of British PoW's had previously been prisoners of the Japanese, Germans and Italians. Again, I don't know how "large" is defined, and I wonder if it has anything to do with the large number of recalled reservists.
 
Max Hastings did a superb book and documentary on this about 30 yrs ago. A very good book, the chapter on prisoners, a few dozen Americans chose to stay in North Korea and one Brit, a RM but they all came back eventually.
The opening chapter when a few hundred GI's tried to block a N Korean T-34 equipped column. The GI's had been flown in from a the quiet peaceful life of post war Japan. Their bazooka rounds bounced off the T-34 their only artillery had no AP rounds and the comm line to the FOO had been cut and spliced on training exercises didn't work. The N Koreans brushed past, the Americans abandoned the position leaving the padre and medics with wounded, none of whom were seen again.
My Bold .... some of that is also covered at about 20 mins into the documentary .
 

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