The War for Korea, 1950-1951

They Came from the North

Allan R. Millett

Harry S. Truman Book Award

In The War for Korea, 1945-1950: A House Burning, one of our most distinguished military historians argued that the conflict on the Korean peninsula in the middle of the twentieth century was first and foremost a war between Koreans that began in 1948. In the second volume of a monumental trilogy, Allan R. Millett now shifts his focus to the twelve-month period from North Korea's invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950, through the end of June 1951—the most active phase of the internationalized "Korean War."

“Recommended for all historians of the Cold War or of Korea.

—Army History

“A meticulously researched narrative ... the author’s writing is a model of clarity . . . first-rate scholarship.

See all reviews...

Moving deftly between the battlefield and the halls of power, Millett weaves together military operations and tactics without losing sight of Cold War geopolitics, strategy, and civil-military relations. Filled with new insights on the conflict, his book is the first to give combined arms its due, looking at the contributions and challenges of integrating naval and air power with the ground forces of United Nations Command and showing the importance of Korean support services. He also provides the most complete, and sympathetic, account of the role of South Korea's armed forces, drawing heavily on ROK and Korea Military Advisory Group sources.

Millett integrates non-American perspectives into the narrative—especially those of Mao Zedong, Chinese military commander Peng Dehuai, Josef Stalin, Kim Il-sung, and Syngman Rhee. And he portrays Walton Walker and Matthew Ridgway as the heroes of Korea, both of whom had a more profound understanding of the situation than Douglas MacArthur, whose greatest flaw was not his politics but his strategic and operational incompetence.

Researched in South Korean, Chinese, and Soviet as well as American and UN sources, Millett has exploited previously ignored or neglected oral history collections-including interviews with American and South Korean officers—and has made extensive use of reports based on interrogations of North Korean and Chinese POWs. The end result is masterful work that provides both a gripping narrative and a greater understanding of this key conflict in international and American history.

About the Author

Allan R. Millett is Ambrose Professor of History and director of the Eisenhower Center for American Studies at the University of New Orleans and is the recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. His previous books include Semper Fidelis: The History of the United States Marine Corps, A War To Be Won: Fighting the Second World War, For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States from 1607 to 2012, Their War for Korea, and The War for Korea, 1945-1950: A House Burning.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series