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China Enters Korean War

27 OCT 1950: Korea, and the Chinese enter the Korean War. Having secretly moved at least 180,000 men into North Korea, Chinese forces began attacking south, surprising UN Command. The battle of Pakchon marked the furthest point that the Australians reached into North Korea. It was also the first time Chinese forces were encountered in large numbers.

Unbeknownst to UN intelligence sources, Chinese troops had been infiltrating North Korea across the Yalu River, and in late October they began an offensive against, annihilating several UN divisions and badly mauling others before seeming to melt away. The ensuing weeks saw an eerie quiet settle over the battlefield.

In November, buoyed with a false sense of security, UN forces under MacArthur’s direction once again began to advance north towards the Yalu River.

On 25 November the Chinese launched the next phase of their offensive and by January 1951 had pushed the UN forces back across the 38th Parallel. During the retreat, the 27th Commonwealth Brigade had fought many rear-guard actions, allowing formations from the US and South Korea to pass through their positions.

The brigade was the last formation out of Seoul before the city once again fell to Communist forces in January 1951.

At the UN headquarters in New York ceasefire negotiations between the UN and the Communist coalition broke down before any real progress could be made.

The Chinese sought to renew their advance in February, but were halted and forced to retreat by UN troops. Seoul was recaptured by UN forces in March and the Chinese were pushed back towards the 38th Parallel.

Opinions were divided amongst the UN commanders whether to pursue Chinese forces across the 38th Parallel or to push for a ceasefire at the border.

General MacArthur pushed for the advance to continue and on 11 April 1951 he was relieved of command by President Truman. Photo; Evacuation of wounded soldiers of the 1st Commonwealth Division shortly after China’s entry into the Korean War, north-west Korea, 1950. More;

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