The Cold War heats up

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1 The Cold War heats up If you ever watch the television series, M*A*S*H, you will notice that it s set in the Korean War. It was the first major conflict in the Cold War era and also saw Australia's first large commitment of troops since World War II. In this lesson, you find about Australia's involvement in the Korean War. You ll investigate links in an online exhibition called, Out in the Cold, Australia's involvement in the Korean War. This is a website created by the Australian War Memorial The right site When first going to a website, all sorts of questions should be going through your head. Like any history source you need to evaluate a website to find out if it is useful and reliable. Some of the things you need to consider are: what type of site is it, for example, government, educational or commercial who are the composers or creators of the site what is the purpose of the site, for example, is it meant to educate or is it trying to sell you something if the site is selling a product or service, does this affect its integrity; is the site more like an advertisement does the site provide links to other useful URLs is there a bibliography or reference list to check for validity is the site covered by copyright? As you navigate your way through the website for this lesson, keep these points in mind so you can judge its reliability and credibility as a source of history. Part 1 The Red threat 11

2 Let s get started The website you will use to investigate the Korean War is: You may have to open a new window to see both the website and the work in this lesson. To do this: Click on File>New>Window>http://www.awm.gov.au/korea Using this link will take you to the home page of the website. Listen to the introduction. It gives you some different points of view about the conflict from four Australians who were involved in the Korean War. Listen to the introduction, then either click on the photograph of the Korean village or on the words about this site at the bottom of the screen When the new screen appears, click on the Site Map link. The Site Map gives you a menu of all the links in this website, including the ones you will need in this lesson. Most of the website s content is found in nine sections and their sub-sections. After these sections, there is more information about the site, as well as ten movie links. The nine content sections are: Timeline Maps Origins of the Korean War/United Nations Australians in Korea Australian Operations Weapons of War Faces of War Armistice and Aftermath Glossary, Statistics and Bibliography In which of these nine sections would you find the sub-section, Australia commits to Korea? Did you answer, Origins of the Korean War/United Nations? It is the third of the nine sections. Remember to keep in mind the issues discussed in the The right site, regarding the website s reliability. You may wish to print out the first page of this lesson. 12 Australia in the Vietnam Era

3 Origins of the war Japanese forces had occupied Korea, often brutally, from 1910 to After World War II and the defeat of the Japanese, Korea was a devastated country. To assist the re-building of Korea it was divided into two sections. The southern part of Korea was controlled by the USA while the Soviet Union controlled the northern half. There was soon disagreement about the future of Korea. The Americans wanted the whole country run along capitalist lines while the Soviets, and the neighbouring Chinese, wanted to implement communism. Hostility was also quickly increasing between the two Koreas themselves. The dispute was referred to the United Nations (UN), an organisation formed in The UN s efforts to reach a peaceful solution failed, as North Korea invaded South Korea in In response to this invasion 23 members of the UN, headed by the USA, formed a miliary alliance. Its aim was to drive North Korea back across the 38th parallel. This had been the dividing line between North and South Korea. Australia commits to Korea Australia was one of the first countries to join the alliance of UN countries. Australia had many reasons for wanting to send troops to the Korean War. On the Site Map page find and click on Australia commits to Korea. Read the first three paragraphs of text. Despite World War II ending only five years earlier there was good support for the decision to go to war in Both sides of politics and many sections of society agreed with this decision. Activity 5 List four reasons for Australia s involvement in the Korean War. Part 1 The Red threat 13

4 Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. The enthusiasm of Prime Minister Robert Menzies government to support the United States was to be repeated in Vietnam and on many other occasions in the following decades. Military support for the USA is still a major part of Australia s foreign policy today. Most Australians experienced little change to their normal lives as a result of the war in Korea. There were none of the restrictions like those during World War II. Return to the Site Map page. Find the Movies section at the bottom of the page and click on the words, On the homefront. Watch the short movie. A word in the movie that may be new to you is apathetic. It means uninterested Activity 6 Answer the questions based on the movie. 1 How did Australians react to the outbreak of war in Korea? 2 Give one piece of evidence from the movie that shows this reaction. 3 How many Australians served in the Korean War? Compare this figure with the one million Australians enlisted during World War II. Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. 14 Australia in the Vietnam Era

5 Stalemate Stalemate is a term used in the game of chess. It describes a contest where neither side can win nor can they take any further worthwhile action. After a series of major offensives in the first year of the war, it is a term that described the course of the Korean War. Return to the Site Map page. Find the words, The course of the war in the section called Maps. Click on the white/yellow arrows and follow the course of the war through a series of maps. While South Korea had the support of the United Nations forces, North Korea had an important ally as well. You would have seen in the maps that they benefited from a huge commitment by China. Remember China, like Russia, was a strong supporter of communism. Activity 7 Complete the following table on the course of the Korean War based on the maps you have studied. Stages What happened 25 June 1 August, August 25 November, November, April, April, July, 1953 Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. Part 1 The Red threat 15

6 Tough conditions The two-year stalemate in the fighting and peace negotiations of the Korean War was bad enough. The harsh terrain and weather conditions for the soldiers in Korea made the experience a lot worse. If the troops weren t sweltering in oppressively hot weather, they were freezing in below-zero winters. Return to the Site Map page. Find the Movies section at the bottom of the page and click on the words, Australian Army in Korea. Watch the short movie that refers to the stalemate of the Korean War. The movie gives you some idea of the frustrating nature of the conditions that Australian soldiers faced. The movie gives you some idea of the frustrating nature of the war. It also illustrates some of the conditions that Australian soldiers faced. The next movie you will see, gives you a taste of the severe climate. Unlike the Australian Army in Korea film clip, it has no commentary. Return to the Site Map page. Again going to the Movies section, click on the words 3 RAR in the snow. RAR is an abbreviation of Royal Australian Regiment. The 3 means it was the third Australian regiment to leave for the Korean War. The Korean War ended three years before the introduction of television to Australia. If you had seen film footage like this in the early 1950s, it would probably have been a Movietone newsreel. These short clips were shown in movie theatres across Australia before the actual movie in the same way you see coming attractions before today s main features. Activity 8 Imagine you are a Movietone news reporter covering the Korean War. Write a short script for the 26-second 3 RAR in the snow clip. As well as mentioning the harsh conditions shown in the clip, you might talk about other difficulties or frustrations that Australian soldiers faced in Korea. Check your response by going to the suggested answers section. 16 Australia in the Vietnam Era

7 Peace at last After more than three years of fighting, the Korean War finally ended. The armistice was signed on 27 July Korea has been described as one of the bloodiest wars of the twentieth century. It had also been fought in some of the most severe weather conditions ever seen. Return to the Site Map page. Find and click on the section called Armistice and Aftermath. Read the first four paragraphs of text that summarise the end of the war and its terrible cost in human lives. You may also want to look at the two movies on this page. They show the return of Australian troops to Brisbane and Sydney and the warm welcome home they received. Activity 9 Answer these short questions based on the Armistice and Aftermath page. 1 Which countries had the most people killed? 2 How many Australian soldiers died and how many were wounded? 3 From which country did most of the UN casualties come? 4 What do the numbers of dead and wounded tell you about the conflict? 5 What was the result of the Korean War? Check your responses by going to the suggested answers section. After the huge loss of life, probably the saddest part of the war in Korea was the inconclusive nature of the result. It highlighted the pointlessness of the three bloody years of fighting. Part 1 The Red threat 17

8 Indeed, not a lot had changed by the end of the twentieth century. North Korea was still communist while South Korea had a growing capitalist economy. Both countries still received support from China and the USA respectively. And significantly, there was still tension and hostility between the two Koreas. Go to the exercises section and complete Exercises 1.4 to 1.6 as directed by your teacher. 18 Australia in the Vietnam Era

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