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The Military Participation of Canada in The Korean War

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The Korean war was as a result of the conflict between the North and the Southern part of Korea. This war began on the 25th of June 1950 when the North Koreans invaded South Koreans as a result of multiple clashes along their borders in which over 2.5 million people lost their lives. The combat phases of the Korean combat lasted until an armistice was signed in 1953 on the Month of July the 27th (Melady, 2011, pp. 116-118).

As part of the United Nations forces, the military personnel who participated in the Korean war totaled to over twenty-six thousand from the 16 United Nations countries. However, Canada assisted in peacemaking mission after the end of the fight, with the last military personnel leaving the combat in 1957 (Johnston, 2011, p. 127). This was the time when the first and the second world war had already taken place in which Korea had third-bloodiest oversees conflict with Canada claiming the lives of 516 people and left more than 1200 wounded (Bercuson, 2002, pp. 136-138).

Description and Evaluation of Canada’s Role in the Korean War.

Canadian military personnel got involved in the Korean war between 1950 to 1953 and subsequently its aftermath (Meyers, 1992, p. 68). Over 26,000 Canadians participated in the combat, in which they helped counter the North Korea’s inversion into South Korea. They provided aircrafts to facilitate the battle, and hence enhance the provision of transport, supplies and logistical services to the military forces. After the end of the Korean war which costs the lives of 516 Canadians, 312 of which were from the combat, the Canadian troops served as military observers for three years (Cook, 2011, p. 97).

The Canadian military participation in the Korean war was pivotal especially in trying to maintain peace by assisting resolve the conflict that existed between the North and the South Korea. In spite of their high effort to fight the Nazi Germany, Canada nevertheless contributed significantly to the Korean combat to counter the inversion of North Korea to South Korea. For instance, the second Battalion of Canada’s military brigade helped to halt the advance at the Battle of Kapyong (Bercuson, 2002, pp. 103-104).

Additionally, the Royal Canadian Air Force enabled and enhanced the provision of transportation and logistical services to and from South Korea. The carriage squadron No. 426 was primarily devoted to the Royal Canadian Air transportation services and the 600 Trans-Pacific flights facilitated the ferrying of supplies and military forces (Johnston, 2011, p. 76). The Royal Canadian Navy destroyers played a vital role in serving as escorts to the United States’ Navy aircrafts carriers and subsequently providing fire support such as participating in the train busters club.

Discussions on What the Army, Navy and Air Force Did

The South Korean military personnel were mainly law enforcement forces until the outbreak of the combat. However, South Korea was significantly damaged by both the Chinese and the North Korean attacks, and hence relied wholly on the United States’ support for weapons, ammunition and warfare technology (Meyers, 1992, pp. 69-72). After the Korean war was over, South Korea maintained a vast army ground force which in 1967 had about 585,000 personnel. This was nearly 345,000 more than the Northern troops (Bercuson, 2002, pp. 111-113).

The Navy was among one of the branches of armed forces which was responsible for conducting marine and other amphibious landing operations (Melady, 2011, p. 78). However, as part of its mission, the navy also engaged in multiple peacemaking operations after the end of the combat. The structural organization of the Navy included but not limited to Naval Education and training command, the Republic of Korea Fleet and the Naval Logistics Command (Johnston, 2011, pp. 217-219).

The Chief of Naval Operations was the top ranking officer in the Navy. In 1995, the 20th Chief of Naval Operations presented a visionary plan to the Navy during his inaugural process. The vision was to build a “Blue Ocean Navy” to a strategic mobile fleet and as part of the future “Defense Reform 2020” (Johnston, 2011, p. 56). The Navy was then required to reform its organization under the Commander-In-Chief of the Republic of Korea Fleet to upgrade the submarine and the naval aviation operations. This was achieved by the establishment of Mobile Flotillas to facilitate the structuring of the Navy to a Blue-Water Navy by 2020 (Meyers, 1992, p. 49).

Additionally, the role of Navy was to provide naval reinforcement to the South Korean during the combat. Thus they were supposed to work closely with United Nations’ naval forces. The deployment of eight Canadian ships was meant to “excite” the shore attacks and destructing the North Korean trains and railway lines, and thus to maintain the reign at the Peninsula of Korea (Melady, 2011, pp. 43-45).

When Canadian vessels were attacked by the Inchon, there were no significant damages experienced on the part of Canada’s military forces. This was because the defense fire on the coastal was inefficient as it could not hit the target making more comfortable for the Canadian ships to double their efforts back to silence the guns. The subsequent attacks later were also unsuccessful; there were no damages on the Royal Canadian Navy (Bercuson, 2002, p. 87). However, the shooting on the Eastern Coast part of Iroquois was fatal, it resulted in the death of 3 sailors and wounding of 10 Canadians forces. Eight Canadian ships and over twenty-eight trains were destroyed (Melady, 2011, pp. 119-121).

The Air force was to maintain some new military personnel through the provision and supply of depots and transporting of groups, to defend itself from the various probable attacks and threats from the North Korean Army. Therefore, the Air force had roughly 450 combat aircrafts of the American design to facilitate and enhance their space operations (Cook, 2011, p. 137). On the contrary, the North Korean military personnel had over 650 Aircrafts, but mostly old types of China and Soviet Union origin.

In 1950, the primary role of the Royal Canadian Air force was to ensure and enhance efficient provision of transportation and logistics services to military personnel so has to provide Canada’s fighting forces ‘efficiency to the combat (Bercuson, 2002, p. 163). Thus, the carriage squadron No. 426 was primarily devoted to the Royal Canadian Air transportation services, and the 600 Trans-Pacific flights facilitated the ferrying of supplies and military forces

The significance of the Canadian Army was to provide military support to help resolve the Korean war on the dominant front. Therefore, the battalion was trained in Calgary and at CFB Wainwrights, before they were being deployed to Pusan in South Korea on the 25th of November 1950 (Bercuson, 2002, pp. 85-87). The training of the Battalions took place on mountainous terrains for two months before participating in the Korean War.

The Battalion was therefore established to counter the inversion of North Korean military forces into South Korea, and hence facilitate the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Army Force. The composition of the 2nd Battalion included Canada’s Royal Troops and the 22nd Brigade (Johnston, 2011, pp. 99-101). However, the involvement of the Canada military forces was only to focus on the northern part of Seoul and the urban area of Chorwon in North Korea.

In conclusion, it’s evident that Canada played a significant role in the conduct and the outcome of the Korean War. For instance, the brigade of Canada’s second battalion assisted in halting the advance at the Battle of Kapyong, and hence ending all the hostilities at the North Korea. Additionally, it leads to the formation of the United Nations Commission on North Korea to ensure active monitoring of the situation and make the relevant report findings to the United Nation’s security council (Melady, 2011, p. 67).

The role of the Canadian army with regards to the Korean war stretches further as demonstrated by the United Nations. For instance, when the security council of the United Nations asked Canada and other members countries to aid in preventing the attacks on the Northern part of Korea. The Military forces of Canada proved more efficient in their role in the Korean war as the Canadian Army Infantry Brigade’s contribution received a United States presidential unit citation (Johnston, 2011, p. 115).

The military forces of the North Korean had already continued to extend towards the Pusan port and almost conquering most parts of North Korea. The Canadian military personnel nevertheless contributed significantly to counter the inversion of North Korea to South Korea, and hence playing a vital role in the conduct and the outcome of the Korean war (Melady, 2011, p. 127)

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The Military Participation of Canada in the Korean War. (2018, October 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from
“The Military Participation of Canada in the Korean War.” GradesFixer, 22 Oct. 2018,
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