Truman, MacArthur and the Korean War
June 1950 to July 1951Book - 2011
At 4:00 a.m. on June 25, 1950, North Korean artillery began pounding South Korean positions: the Korean War began. American officials had seriously underestimated the North Korean forces that quickly invaded South Korea nearly overrunning the country. US intelligence had failed to predict the attack. In Japan General Douglas MacArthur was sending in gloomy reports after President Truman had decided the United States had to stand up to Communist aggression in East Asia. A duel began between the president and the general throughout the first full year of the war, ending with the sacking of the man many Americans considered a national hero.
The crucial first year of the Korean War culminated in the dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur by the Commander-in-Chief, President Harry Truman. Never had a more dramatic clash taken place at the highest levels of American military power in full view of the press, the public and the enemy. It ended with the general being sacked by his chief, a decision that signaled the decline of the Truman presidency and the decision not to run in 1952. The background to the crisis was the war in Korea, the confrontation with the USSR and Communist China at the height of the Cold War.