Those darn misogynists in Washington fell asleep at the switch again when they appointed a woman to fill the number two spot at the Department of Defense. The woman in question was Anna Rosenberg (1902 – 1983), an experienced and well-respected hand in the Nation's Capital who served in that post between 1950 and 1953. During the middle of the war she paid a visit to the American military installations in Korea and wrote warmly about all that she had seen.
By the time November of 1952 rolled around the Korean War was in stalemate; this made the 1952 election one that was about progress as the American voters looked for a candidate who could make sound decisions and offer a leadership that would take the country (and the war) in a better direction. Neither candidate was looking for a victory in Korea, both campaigned on finding "a peace". When President Truman taunted Eisenhower to "come forward with any plan he had for peace in Korea" it resulted in the retired general standing before the microphones and uttering pensively: "I will go to Korea". The electorate was at once reminded as to how trusted he had been in the past and Eisenhower was elected, carrying 41 states and receiving nearly 58 percent of the popular vote.
More on the 1952 presidential election can be read here...
In every engagement with the enemy during the Second World War, only 12 to 25 percent of American riflemen ever fired their weapons. This was an enormous concern for the brass hats in the Pentagon and they got right to work in order to remedy the problem. Five years later, when the Korean War rolled around, they found that the situation was somewhat improved: 50% of the soldiers were now able to return fire. This article tells the story of U.S. Army General S.L.A. Marshall (1900 – 1977) and his research in addressing this issue. A good read.
After trouncing Adlai Stevenson in the November Election, President-Elect Eisenhower made good on the vow he had made earlier and packed his bag for a fact-finding trip to the stagnant front lines on the Korean Peninsula.
"No abrupt change in Korea is likely to follow Ike's visit. He doesn't plan to negotiate with the Reds there. He is interested in training, equipping and preparing South Koreans to defend themselves... The South Korean's morale is good. About 400,000 of them are mobilized."
By the close of 1952 it became evident to anyone who followed the events in Asia that the army of the Republic of Korea (ROK) had evolved into a competent and reliable fighting force; highly disciplined and well-lead, it was finally able to both take and hold ground while simultaneously inflicting heavy casualties on their the enemies. Gone from the mind was that South Korean army of 1950: that retreating mob that quickly surrendered their nation's capital to the on-rushing Communists just three days into the war, leaving in their wake a trail of badly needed equipment.
After a year and a half of the most vicious combat, the ROK Army put in place the badly needed reforms that were demanded if the war was to be won. Relying on their own combat veterans as well as their United Nation's allies, recruits were clearly schooled in what was required to survive in battle. As relieved as the many Western commanders were to see how effectively the South Koreans were able to create such a force, the liabilities of this army were still genuine and they are listed in this article as well.
As 1952 was coming to an end President Truman must have seemed delighted to pass along to the next guy all the various assorted trouble spots that existed throughout the world. President-Elect Eisenhower had promised peace during his presidential campaign - but many of the issues at hand were interrelated: French Indochina, South Africa, the Middle-east, the Iron Curtain and, of course, Korea.