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Operation Ripper, Korean War - Essay Example

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This is because it was able to recapture Seoul, Koreas capital city. The plan for the operation was completed in March 2 and was started five days later as General Ridgways troops…
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Operation Ripper, Korean War
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Operation Ripper Operation Ripper was one of the most important United Nations offensives during the Korean War. This is because it was able to recapture Seoul, Koreas capital city. The plan for the operation was completed in March 2 and was started five days later as General Ridgways troops advanced to the city. On its first week, the offensive was delayed due to strong resistance but by March 13, significant gains were achieved and several days later, the enemy began to finally retreat and drove the North Korean and Chinese troops north of the 38th Parallel.1 The operation involved the entire divisions of Eighth Army as well as the airborne troops of the 187th Regiment Combat Team and the 2nd and 4th Ranger companies.
A number of the historical accounts on Operation Ripper identified it as offensive with an exclusive objective of capturing Seoul. However, there are accounts that Operation Ripper has a deeper goal than merely driving away the enemy from a specific location. Dorr and Thompson (2003) explained that throughout the Korean War, the American soldier did not have the killer mentality that would ensure efficacy in the battlefield: "A study showed that 27 percent balked, deliberately passing up a chance to aim and shoot their MI Garand rifles when an enemy soldier presented a target."2 So, the newly installed General Matthew Ridgway, planned Operation Ripper to remedy this problem and inflict as much casualty as possible. The operation was originally called Operation Killer, describing its ultimate objective. Soldiers were conditioned to kill. They were reminded that the job entailed killing and the destruction of enemy equipment. This is demonstrated in the standard pep talk delivered by sergeants to the UN troops: "Your job is to point that goddamned thing into the other guys face and shoot him deader than a doornail."3 The tactics involved included the coordinated offensives and strictly preserved lateral security that avoided immediate interdiction.4 After the operation, it was reported that the United Nation troops were able to kill 7,000 Chinese soldiers.5
While Operation Ripper did not decimate the enemy completely, it successfully drove them out of Seoul and further up north. In this respect, it was able to attain some degree of success for the United Nations efforts during the Korean War. The success of the operation was able to change the lackluster performance of the troops. There are those who argued that the outcome turned the tides of the war. In the political front, Operation Ripper convinced policymakers back in United States as well as in the United Nations that the outcome of the operations could usher in a fresh round of diplomatic dialogue. The casualty inflicted by Operation Ripper was widely seen to have put the Chinese and the North Korean side at a disadvantage.
Before the Operation Ripper, the United Nations war efforts during the Korean War was lackluster and on the defensive. After the operation, the war took a different turn. The enemy retreated and, finally the UN-led alliance was in a position to claim favorable terms later on when both sides agreed on a ceasefire.
Dorr, R. and Thompson, W. (2003). Korean Air War. Zenith Imprint
Edwards, P. (2000). To acknowledge a war: the Korean War in American memory, Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group
Schnabel, J. (1998). United States Army in the Korean War: Policy and Direction, the First Year. Washington, D.C.: US Government Printing Office
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