Background On The Inchon Landing History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Korea known as “The Land of Morning Calm,” is located in North East Asia. It is 684 miles long and 200 miles wide mountainous peninsula and has natural water boundaries for almost the entire distance on all sides. Yalu and Tumen Rivers are on the north, Sea of Japan on the east, Korea Strait on the south, and Yellow Sea on the west. The Korea peninsula is sharing boundaries with China across the Yalu and Tumen Rivers and USSR along the lower reaches of the Tumen River.
Korean Peninsula covers around 85,000 square miles. It has more than 5,400 miles of coast line. High mountains on the east with few harbours, but on the south and west a heavily indented shoreline. There is almost no tide on the east coast. On the west coast at Inchon the tidal reach of thirty-two feet is among the highest in the world. The mountains are highest in the North, some reaching 8,500 feet. Weather is hot during summer and winters are equally extreme with temperatures well below freezing with frosty winds and plenty of snow. This proximity to three great Asian powers makes Korea an extremely valuable piece of real estate, despite its unappealing climate.
3. On 25th June 1950, the army of the Democratic People’s Republic of(North) Korea stormed across the 38th parallel and invaded the Republic of(South) Korea. North Korea’s Communist leader, Kim Ill Sung, intended to destroy the rival government and abolish the division of Korea that resulted from international tensions after World War II. Kim launched the attack because he, and the communist leaders in Moscow and Beijing, believed that the United States would not protect South Korea. They had made a critical mistake, however, because President Harry S. Truman roundly Condemned this blatant act of aggression and persuaded the United Nations (UN) to resist the invasion. Truman also ordered U.S. ground, air and naval forces into combat in Korea. Thus began the Cold War’s first major armed conflict. Weakened by the drastic setbacks in defense spending after World War II, the U.S.armed forces were hard pressed to delay much less stop the onrushing North Korean People’s Army (NKPA).Only a small number of Navy carrier and Air Force planes were on hand to strike enemy front-line units and supply convoys. A hastily gathered and deployed Army unit made a brave, but futile stand in central South Korea.
4. By early August, the hard charging NKPA armoured and infantry forces had pushed the U.S. Eighth Army and Republic of Korea(ROK) troops into an ever tightening pocket around the port of Pusan on the south-eastern tip of South Korea. Barring a dramatic turn of events, it looked like the U.S. and the ROK troops would be forced to evacuate the Pusan perimeter under fire, much as the British and French had done at Dunkirkin World War II. The effort to rescue South Korea, however, was underway.
5. On August 15, 1945 after the surrender of Japan in world war II, Korea a colony of Japan was divided into Soviet controlled north above 38th Parallel and U.S. controlled south below 38th Parallel. In north, USSR installed a communist government led by Kim Il Sung and U.S. installed Syngman Rhee in south and withdrew their occupation forces.
6. Japan was under US occupation since 1945 and was governed by Gen Mac Arthur. Lack of US commitment in Asia made USSR to believe that US in not interested in Korea. US was drifting towards preparation for only one kind of war i.e. a global atomic war. The constant reduction of the U.S. Army and Navy made it a calculated and acceptable risk to the Soviet leaders that the U.S. would not or could not interfere in time in Korea. Believing US not interested in South Korea, USSR allowed North Koreans to invade south in 1950.
7. The aim of this research is to critically analyze an amphibious landing and to study the importance of joint planning.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE SITUATION
Aggression by North Korea
8. In March 1950, there was an influx of USSR military hardware and personnel for training. The battle hardened North Korean forces began the war with artillery attack on Kimpo and attack across the 38th Parallel on June 25, 1950. Ten North Korean infantry divisions with 125,000-90,000 personnel and 150 tanks attacked South Korea. The South Korean army numerically inferior 95,000 ill-equipped troops proved no match to the north onslaught. Within three days Seoul the capital of south was captured.
9. On same day in an emergency session UN Security Council passed condemnation Resolution 82, subsequently UN authorized use of force through Resolution 83,84 and 85 against North Korea first time ever under UN umbrella in the absence of USSR. On 5 July the first U.S. ground troops went into action at Osan. Task Force Smith was landed to deter North Korean Army. Task Force Smith failed to scare off North Koreans by their presence as perceived by US. The Task Force was overrun by North Korean forces. Remaining US and South Korean forces fought delaying war across South Korea until 4 August, when the Pusan Perimeter was established with five South Korean divisions and three U.S. Army divisions under the command of General Walton Walker.
Aims and Objectives of Opposing Forces
10. Strategic Aim. To attack South Korea in order to reunite Korea under communism militarily.
11. Operational Aim. To destroy UN Command at Pusan.
12. Strategic Aim. To regain lost territory of South Korea.
13. Operational Aim. To disrupt North Korean People’s Army (NKPA) lines of communication in order to cripple her.
Objectives for Inchon battle
14. North Korea. To deny UN Forces landing on North Korean controlled territory.
15. Un Forces. The objectives of UN forces for Inchon Landing were;
To seize the port of Inchon and establish beachhead.
To advance rapidly and seize Kimpo airfield.
To seize and occupy Seoul after crossing Han River.
Provide relief to US Eighth Army at Pusan Perimeter in order to breakout and envelop NKPA in south.
Comparison Of Opposing Forces
16. a. UN/USA
General Douglas MacArthur: Commander -in-Chief, UN Commands
Vice Admiral Arthur Dewey Struble: Vice Admiral Commander Joint Task Force 7.
Major General Edward M. Almond: Commander X Corps
Marine Major General Oliver P. Smith: Commanding general of the 1st Marine Division (Commander Landing Force)
Rear Admiral James H. Doyle. Commanded Task Force 90.
Major General David G. Barr: was commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division
Kim Ill sung
Wol Ki Chan
REPUBLIC OF KOREA
10 Divisions (30 regiments)
8 Divisions (22 Regiments)
1 Tank Brigade
242 Tanks (T-34)
Mech Infantry Reg (560 cars)
27 armoured cars
1 Air Division
8 Liaison planes
14 Training aircraft
17. UN Landing forces as on 15 September 1950 comprised of X Corps comprising 71,339 men out of which 13,000 were put ashore on D-Day. Total of 230 ships participated which mainly comprised of US 7th Fleet.
MCMs / Minelayers
RETALIATION BY UN FORCES
Operation Blue Hearts
18. To prove relief to EUSA at Pusan Gen Mac Arthur and his Chief of Staff General Edward M Almond planned operation BLUE HEARTS with 1st Cavalry Division landing at Inchon with the objective of capturing Seoul on 22 July 1950. Operation was abandoned due to deteriorating situation on fronts. Thus, division was landed behind friendly lines on 18 July at Pohang-dong on the east coast.
19. In July 1950 General Mac Arthur established the joint strategic plans and operations groups (JSPOG). On 23 July, General Edwin Wright ACOS drafted outline of Ops CHROMITE which is the amphibious operation was meant for September with three proposed landing sites.
Plan 100-Bravo, landing at Inchon on the west coast.
Plan 100-Charlie, landing at Kunsan on the west coast.
Plan 100-Delta, landing near Chumunjin on the east coast.
20. Plan 100 B. Amphibious landing at Inchon on west coast with a simultaneous attack by US Eighth Army from Pusan Perimeter was planned. On 12 August PLAN 100 B with Inchon- Seoul area as target for 1st Marine and 7th Infantry Division was chosen. X Corps was raised under the command of General Almond. General MacArthur believed that success at Inchon could end the war, while a seizure of Kunsan or another alternative site would be indecisive and lead to a brutal winter campaign.
“The only alternative to a stroke such as I propose (landing at Inchon and capturing Seoul) will be the continuation of the savage sacrifice we are making at Pusan, with no hope of relief in sight. Are you content to let our troops stay in that bloody perimeter like beef cattle in the slaughterhouse?”
21. Plan 100 C. Plan proposed amphibious landing at Kunsan which was located south of Inchon and was much better suited for amphibious assault. The tides seawalls and defences were far less difficult. Landing at Kunsan would have provided a pincer effect along with EUSA, and would create a defensive front. Kunsan was near to enemy’s main supply routes. However, landing at Kunsan would not affect the North Korean communication lines at Seoul.
“As to the proposal for a landing at Kunsan, it would indeed eliminate many of the hazards of Inchon, but it would be largely ineffective and indecisiveâ€¦ Better no flank movement than one such as thisâ€¦ It would be better to send the troops directly to Walker than by such an indirect and costly process.”
22. Plan 100 D. Plan proposed a landing at Chumunjin, up on the east coast of Korea. This east coast landing was never seriously considered, as a landing on the same coast as the Pusan Perimeter would not cut any of the North Korean supply or communication lines.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTING INCHON
23. The fact that Inchon was so unlikely for an amphibious landing was the attractive point for landing. General Mac Arthur called a strategic conference in Tokyo on 23 August 1950 at HQ FECOM.
“The very arguments made as to the impracticability involved will tend to ensure for me the element of surprise. For the enemy commander will reason that no one would be so brash as to make such an attempt. Surprise is the most vital element for success in war.”
General Mac Arthur
24. MacArthur noted in this conference that North Koreans were committed around Pusan perimeter so would have failed to prepare Inchon properly for defence. He followed Sun Tzu’s words of “Take him unaware by surprise, attack where he is unprepared”.
25. Inchon harbour divides into an outer and an inner area, separated by a long breakwater and the islands of Wolmi-do and Sowolmi-do. GM landing at Inchon had numerous disadvantages. Lieutenant Commander Arlie Capps commented on proposed landing “We drew up a list of every conceivable and natural handicap – Inchon had them all”. This implies how difficult the operation.
The approach route to Inchon culminated in a dead end with no room for manoeuvre.
There is a deep enough tidal range of 32 feet but only 3-4 days per month. Therefore, the only day, when the tides would be acceptable before winter weather would be 15 September, giving only 23 days of preparation and build-up time. If the landings were delayed, then MacArthur would have to wait for an entire month for the right conditions to recur.
LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicles and Personnel) and LCMs (Landing Craft, Mechanized) required 23 feet of tide to clear the mud flats, and the LST’s (Landing Ship, Tank) required 29 feet of tide.
The greater part of the inner harbour becomes a mud flat at low tide leaving only a narrow dredged channel of about 13 feet in depth with very less room to manoeuvre.
The approaches were also difficult due to channel currents of at least 3 knots and up to 8 knots caused by the extreme tides.
Wolmi Do Island was garrisoned.
The tides are high enough for landing craft only twice a day: morning high tide 45 minutes after sunrise and evening high tide 37 minutes after sunset. The landing craft would have to manoeuvre in the daylight, so the landing would have to be made in two stages, on the morning and evening tides, with the first landing party exposed all day.
There were no beaches due to a high sea wall of 14 feet and mud flats of 18,000 feet from shore.
There were no available army troops that were trained in amphibious operations.
There was also the issue of the distance between Inchon and Pusan, which precluded mutual support between the two separated U.N. forces. It was theoretically possible that due to the distances involved, one or both of the two forces could be defeated in detail, before the other could respond.
26. Despite the disadvantages, landing at Inchon also offered several significant advantages:
Inchon was the nearest landing site to the largest airfield in Korea, Kimpo, which was essential for aerial re-supply missions and air operations.
Inchon was the chief port for the Korean capital, Seoul, which was only 20 miles away.
Landing at Inchon would open a second front against the North Koreans, who, at a minimum, would be forced to fight both to their front and rear which could lead to their strategic encirclement.
27. By analysing both, it was obvious that the disadvantages were more and of tactical nature whereas advantages were less but gave UN forces strategic edge over NKPA.
DECEPTION AND SECURITY LEAKS
“All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable feign incapacity, when active
inactivity. When near make it appear that you are far away, when far away that you are near. Offer the enemy a bait to lure him feign disorder and strike him”
28. As important as it was to provide friendly forces with current intelligence, it was absolutely vital to deny North Koreans information on the UN landing site. MacArthur’s command staged an elaborated deception operation. The purpose was to encourage North Koreans to believe that landing would occur at Kunsan, 105 miles south of Inchon. Far Eastern Air Force (FEAF) bombers began isolating Kunsan on 5 September by bombing roadways and bridges leading to the port. On 6 September, cruisers and destroyers bombarded Kunsan.
29. Disinformation was also part of the deception effort. On Pusan dock, Marine officers briefed their men about landing beaches at Kunsan. As the actual landing date came closer, activity near Kunsan was increased. In addition to regular FEAF attacks, on 11 September B-29 bombers struck Kunsan’s military installations. During the night of 12-13 September, ships landed U.S. Army Special Operations troops and Royal Marine Commandos on the docks of Kunsan, who made sure that North Koreans, knew of their presence ashore.
30. With men, supplies and ships concentrating in the ports of Japan and at Pusan, it was impossible to hide the fact that an amphibious operation was about to take place. So widespread was the speculations that press in Japan referred to the impending landing as “Operation Common Knowledge.” In early September, a North Korean-Japanese spy ring was uncovered and leader arrested with a copy of Operation CHROMITE. No one was sure if he had been able to transmit the plan to Pyongyang.
INTELLIGENCE GATHERING – OPS TRUDY JACKSON
31. 39-year-old Navy Lieutenant Eugene Clark assisted by two South Korean interpreters was launched on the island of Yonghung-do two weeks prior to the landing with a team. Clark organized a force of men and boys who returned with valuable intelligence from the islands, Inchon, Kimpo, and Seoul. Clark reported that Japanese tide tables were accurate, sea walls were higher than estimated, and Wolmi Do was fortified and armed with Soviet artillery. The intelligence also estimated that about 6,500 North Koreans are around the landing site, 5,000 in Seoul, 500 around Kimpo airport, and 1,000 in Inchon. He also repaired the lighthouse beacon on Palmi-Do on the night between 14 and 15 September to guide the naval ships Advance Attack Group through the difficult approach of Flying Fish Harbour.
32. The first priority of Inchon landing was to secure the heavily fortified small island of Wolmi-do, which was connected to city of Inchon, by 800 yards causeway. The 315 ft. high Radio Hill on Wolmi-do completely commanded the harbour.
33. North Korean mines were not a serious threat at Inchon. On the morning of September 10, a South Korean Patrol Craft neutralized a small boat laying mines. With pre-invasion bombardment of Wolmi-do on the morning of September 13, destroyers MANSFIELD and DE HAVEN discovered and destroyed an entire minefield during extreme low water. Later mine sweepers swept the inner anchorages of Inchon Harbour at 0600 on D-Day.
34. Phase I. D-day for Landing was 15 September 1950, with H-hour for Green Beach, on Wolmi-do, at 0630. This early morning landing started at 0633 by 5th Marines on a 200 yards strip on northwest shore of Wolmi-do mostly rocks with patches of sand and a low ridge.
35. Phase II. This phase called out for landing on Red and Blue beaches simultaneously at 1730 the same day. 102 feet high Cemetery Hill, a sheer cliff to the harbour guarded the area of Red Beach. Whereas, Blue Beach was a semi open area at south edge of the city on the other side of Inchon four miles southeast of Red Beach.
36. Phase III. Last phase commenced with the breakout on second day of assault and culminated with fall of Seoul on 28 September.
CONDUCT OF OPERATION CHROMITE
37. Preliminary naval bombardment of Wolmi-Do Island began on D-10 from northern approaches. Meanwhile softening up operation commenced at Inchon on D-5.
38. At Kobe, Japan typhoon JANE interrupted 1st Marine Division naval preparations on 3 September. On 11 September (D-4), the main assault force left Kobe for Inchon.
39. Meanwhile, Kunsan was battered on the night of D-2/3 as a diversionary tactics.
40. Command ship MOUNT MCKINLEY, with MacArthur and Vice-Admiral. Struble set sail from Sasebo, Japan on 13 September (D-2), the same day that 7th Infantry embarked from Yokohama. Typhoon KEZIA, with 125 mile per hour winds, struck task force off the island of Kyushu. Anticipating this typhoon, forces were wisely moved out of Kobe a day early than planned.
41. Just after midnight on D-day, 15 September, the Advance Attack Group entered Flying Fish Channel. At 0540, cruisers, destroyers and Marine A/Cs (Corsair) inaugurated the third day of shelling at Wolmi-do and other targets in and around Inchon.
42. Soon after first light, landing commenced on Wolmi-do. At 0633 (three minutes after H-Hour), 3rd and 5th Marines stormed ashore on Green Beach. By 0800, Radio Hill was capture. By midday Green Beach was under control of UN forces.
43. Assault on Red Beach commenced with landing Two Platoons followed by E-Coy with heavy support weapon. Cemetery Hill was captured by 1755. Eight obsolete LST’s of Japanese origin were grounded on beach as diversion. Red Beach was captured by mid night.
44. Eight Amphibious Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) formed the first wave of three waves assault on Blue Beach. Beach was secured after stiff resistance on D+1.
45. NKPA realising the situation sent T-34 tanks in support of retreating forces which came under attack from US Marine A/Cs.
46. D+2, NKPA reinforcements were rushed from Yongdungpo and Ansan City, same day NK Air force sprung into action for first time with bombing runs by two A/Cs on USS ROCHESTER and HMS JAMAICA. Despite fierce resistance by NKPA Ansan City and Kimpo Airfield fell on same day.
47. With Wolmi-do, Ansan and Kimpo lost, NKPA reinforced Seoul defences with 5000 combatants under the command of Major General Wol Ki-chan. UN forces faced stiff resistance at Yongdungpo & Han River and managed to cross river on D+9, subsequently Yongdungpo fell on next day.
48. D+8 EUSA broke out of Pusan after sustaining heavy casualties.
49. D+11, Walker EUSA and X-Corps made first link up. On D+13 i.e. 28 September Seoul officially fell to UN Forces.
50. GM, in the aftermath of battle details of casualties are as follows.
INCHON BATTLE CASUALTIES
ANALYSIS IN GENERAL
51. When we analyse this landing, we find that battle at Inchon was won with 1:40 ratio with complete air superiority and sea control. It would not be wrong to say that such defeat of NKPA was inevitable against overwhelming forces. Despite other advantages UN invasion forces were hard pressed.
Invasion force left Japan a day earlier anticipating Typhoon Kezia landfall. Invasion could not be delayed due to critical tide factor and approaching winters.
Due to post World War downsizing, demobilization and complacence, US Army was ill prepared for ground combat.
Lack of trained crew was evident during landing as boat driver were incapable to use compass which resulted in wrong landings at Blue Beach under strong currents. Haze, black smoke, rain, darkness also aggravated the situation.
Secrecy of operation was almost compromised when landing options were openly discussed in print media prior invasion. (Operation Common Knowledge)
NKPA maintained their attack against Pusan Perimeter for an additional seven days after Inchon landing. General Walker had great difficulty in breaking out of the Pusan Perimeter. There were heavy losses in equipment and men and at one stage Mac Arthur was sceptical of Walker capability to break the siege.
General Almond was criticised for incompetence and not deploying troop judiciously. This allowed successful retreat of North Koran People’s Army.
Gen Mac Arthur decision to re-deploy X-Corps to Wonsan through sea lost the critical time to deny enemy retreat.
52. Despite odds there were few aspects which went into UN’s advantage:
During Inchon landing UN army, navy, air force and marines cooperated and coordinated with each other regardless of personal feeling and personality clashes.
Intelligence gathered in advance proved comprehensive and accurate.
Flying Fish Channel could have been blocked easily using mines or sunken vessels. Whereas only two dozen obsolete contact mines were found during reconnaissance which were easily neutralized.
Flexibility and manoeuvrability of naval forces in support of ground operations was evident in Inchon Landing.
Absence of NK Navy and Air Force made the landing relatively easier despite all natural odds.
Seaport of Inchon proved a logistical key to Operation CHROMITE and subsequent capture of Seoul.
Kimpo Airfield was effectively utilized by UN Forces for extending air operations from fourth day of landing.
Last North Korean troops in South Korea were defeated when Walker’s Eighth Army broke out of the Pusan perimeter and joined Army’s X Corps in a coordinated attack.
Identifying the CoG
53. General MacArthur correctly assessed that the North Korean’s critical vulnerability which was their extended, landlocked logistical lines of communication. Seoul was a rail and road hub that was vital to the maintenance of these re-supply routes. Additionally, Seoul served as a strategic center of gravity. MacArthur realized from early on that amphibious maneuver would be his force of choice to attack the North Korean critical vulnerability.
“Inchon landing is the most intricately complicated amphibious operation I had ever attempted”
General Douglas McArthur
Statement during planning stage
54. General MacArthur’s bold concept was complemented by the presence of a solid amphibious planning team. Experienced “amphibians” were at hand to conduct extensive detailed planning in an exceptionally tight time frame.
55. These three units were thrust into the crisis action planning being conducted by MacArthur’s Joint Strategic Plans and Operations Group (JSPOG). The JSPOG was tasked with turning the concept of an amphibious envelopment into operational reality. Logistical constraints and real world setbacks delayed the landing, but the JSPOG was in place and functioning. This experienced group was able to calculate and define the real world requirements for MacArthur’s concept.
“We drew up a list of every natural and geographic handicap and Inchon had them all”
A US Naval Specialist
56. The problems with Inchon ranged from tidal variations to channel access. The tides ranged thirty two feet and only at short intervals during the month could these huge shifts support naval shipping. The access to Inchon was through the circuitous and constricted Flying Fish Channel, a navigation dilemma that could be compounded by mine emplacement and shore battery fires. The landing site lacked true beaches and instead offered mud flats and sea-walls that would require scaling ladders. Worse yet the Marines would be landing in the middle of a built up area in the heart of an industrial city.
57. These handicaps did not sway MacArthur’s faith in the Inchon plan, instead they served to strengthen his resolve. The same factors that made the site an unlikely choice would serve as operational strengths. MacArthur realized that the operational benefits of this landing outweighed the tactical risks. This calculation was based on in-depth knowledge of the operational and tactical levels of amphibious warfare. MacArthur fully understood the capabilities and limitations of his forces. His risk versus gain assessment for Inchon was backed by a thorough understanding of the mechanics and nuances of amphibious warfare.
“All warfare is based on deception. Therefore, when capable feign incapacity, when active inactivity. When near make it appear that you are far away, when far away that you are near. Offer the enemy a bait to lure him feign disorder and strike him”
– Sun Tzu
58. The Navy-Marine team afloat tried to energize planning by sending higher headquarters a descriptive list of ten employment options for amphibious forces. Scattered between these extremes were demonstrations, feints, and deception operations. The versatility and breadth of potential operations was discussed in detail.
59. The North Koreans would never expect a landing at that location. Inchon’s proximity to Seoul would facilitate the capture of this vital political/logistical center of gravity. MacArthur realized that the operational benefits of this landing outweighed the tactical risks. This calculation was based on in-depth knowledge of the operational and tactical levels of amphibious warfare. MacArthur’s extensive amphibious experience from World War II gave him the requisite technical knowledge to make this operational gamble.
“Best I can say is that Inchon is not impossible”
Rear Admiral Doyle
At a briefing held in Tokyo
“The amphibious landing is the most powerful tool we have. To employ it properly, we must strike hard and deep…I realize that Inchon is a 5000 to 1 gamble, but I am used to taking such odds…We shall land at Inchon and I shall crush them!”
General Douglas McArthur
Dissertation MacArthur on the merits of his plan at the same forum
61. MacArthur had clearly defined the parameters for accomplishment of the amphibious “Basic Decisions”. These actions spawned detailed planning in all facets of the operation, a time consuming and laborious process. The commitment to the Inchon landing site enabled planners to streamline their efforts in accordance with an unwavering intent, concept of operations, and force list. The planners ensured that a high priority was placed on the integration of fires, protection, maneuver, intelligence, logistics, and command and control. The cumulative effect of these efforts placed the Allied forces inside the North Korean Observation/Orientation//Decision/Action (OODA) loop.
62. The Inchon landing was prefaced by a high volume of point blank fires. During the “softening” up of Wolmi-Do island the United States Navy fired 1000 rounds of five inch shell in less than one hour. Destroyers closed to within 1300 yards to destroy North Korean gun emplacements. The overwhelming magnitude of these preparation fires totally disrupted the meager enemy defense. The fires from Navy ships sent “1,732 rounds at Wolmi-Do, only slightly less than the number of five inch shells that hit Omaha Beach before…..Normandy….” . Naval air also strafed and bombed this target with tons of ordnance. These initial fires were a warm up for the subsequent bombing of Inchon. Naval gunfire and air delivered munitions pounded the city, sparking fires and substantial collateral damage.
63. Both of these experienced cadres worked closely with RADM James H. Doyle’s Amphibious Group One. Doyle had extensive combat experience from World War II and had worked as Admiral Kelly Turner’s operations officer. The command and control of fires for Inchon was exceptional because only Navy or Marine airplanes dropped ordnance on designated targets. MacArthur did not let the Air Force conduct operations in the Navy/Marine Amphibious Objective Area (AOA). The air and sea space for Inchon belonged to MacArthur’s Joint Task Force commander, Vice Admiral Struble. During World War II Struble had served with MacArthur during the landings at Leyte, consequently the General’s comfort level with his on-scene commander was high. Additionally, Struble had witnessed the difficulties of integrating Air Force strategic bombing assets into tactical bombing missions during the Normandy landing. Lastly, naval air support of Marine ground forces had proven its worth. The Air Force was irritated at their exclusion from the AOA but they were powerless to overrule a five star general. This event seems unbelievable in comparison to today’s requirements under the Joint Force Air Component Commander (JFACC).
64. Inchon exemplified the utility of amphibious warfare. The leadership and st
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