An extract on #kepcekulak
In a postwar analysis of the unpreparedness of U.S. Army forces deployed to Korea during the summer and fall of 1950, Army Major General Floyd L. Parks stated that "Many who never lived to tell the tale had to fight the full range of ground warfare from offensive to delaying action, unit by unit, man by man ... [T]hat we were able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat ... does not relieve us from the blame of having placed our own flesh and blood in such a predicament."
By 1950, U.S. Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson had established a policy of faithfully following President Truman's defense economization plans, and had aggressively attempted to implement it even in the face of steadily increasing external threats. He consequently received much of the blame for the initial setbacks in Korea and the widespread reports of ill-equipped and inadequately trained U.S. military forces in the war's early stages.
As an initial response to the invasion, Truman called for a naval blockade of North Korea, and was shocked to learn that such a blockade could be imposed only "on paper", since the U.S. Navy no longer had the warships with which to carry out his request. Army officials, desperate for weaponry, recovered Sherman tanks from World War II Pacific battlefields and reconditioned them for shipment to Korea. Army Ordnance officials at Fort Knox pulled down M26 Pershing tanks from display pedestals around Fort Knox in order to equip the third company of the Army's hastily formed 70th Tank Battalion. Without adequate numbers of tactical fighter-bomber aircraft, the Air Force took F-51 (P-51) propeller-driven aircraft out of storage or from existing Air National Guard squadrons, and rushed them into front-line service. A shortage of spare parts and qualified maintenance personnel resulted in improvised repairs and overhauls. A Navy helicopter pilot aboard an active duty warship recalled fixing damaged rotor blades with masking tape in the absence of spares.
Army Reserve and Army National Guard infantry soldiers and new inductees called to duty to fill out understrength infantry divisions found themselves short of nearly everything needed to repel the North Korean forces: artillery, ammunition, heavy tanks, ground-support aircraft, even effective anti-tank weapons such as the M20 3.5-inch (89 mm) Super Bazooka. Some Army combat units sent to Korea were supplied with worn out, 'red-lined' M-1 rifles or carbines in immediate need of ordnance depot overhaul or repair. Only the Marine Corps, whose commanders had stored and maintained their World War II surplus inventories of equipment and weapons, proved ready for deployment, though they still were woefully under-strength, as well as in need of suitable landing craft to practice amphibious operations (Johnson had transferred most of the remaining craft to the Navy and reserved them for use in training Army units).
Due to public criticism of his handling of the Korean War, Truman decided to ask for Johnson's resignation. On September 19, 1950, Johnson resigned as Secretary of Defense, and the president quickly replaced him with General of the Army George C. Marshall.