Why write something like "The United States Military Logistics in the First Part of the Korean War"? My affection for this sudden war started with a book sale when I was 18 years old. The book sale included a book, not very historical, but with a lot of pictures, describing the Korean War. As I later attended Naval Academy in Bergen, Norway, my history teacher, who did not have the Korean War on his curriculum, helped develop my interest for military history.
I started my general study of History, on my spare time besides working at the naval base Olavsvern outside Troms , at the University of Troms , finishing the first year study in Oslo in 1988. When I later wanted to finish my university degree in History, and become what we in Norway call cand philol (a full time university study estimated to six and a half year), I had to chose a subject for my paper. My interest in today's society and political science told me it had to be relatively recent history. The officer in me, demanded I write something militarily preferably from a war. Being a supply officer or "paper worrier" with education and experience with logistics and management from the Norwegian Military Forces, I would like to write something that had to do with logistics.
From my criteria there were several wars after World War II I could choose to write about; the Korean War, the Vietnam War, several of Israel's Wars, the Falklands War, and the Gulf War. My choice was the Korean War because it was a war that came suddenly with very little time for preparations for the forces involved on the defending side. I have focused on just the ensuing pressure this put on the whole logistical system.
In the Gulf War, the allied forces used more than a hundred days to plan the counterattack and bring in the forces and their supplies. They could choose when and how to kick Sadam out of Kuwait. The British in the Falklands War also had their choice of when and how. The War in Vietnam had a very long building up face, very unlike the Korean War.
Transportation of large quantities of personnel and supplies over sea and over very long distances, is an important part of the Korean War. The wars Israel has had with its neighbors are far less transportation dependent, and mainly over far less distances.
Also important for my choice, were the fact that the USA, as an important guarantist for Norwegian security in the last more than 50 years, and probably and hopefully also in the next decades, were one of the main participants in the war.
Since this is not a general history of the Korean War, I have omitted mentioning numerous activities.
My sincere thanks to my supervisor Rolf Tamnes for his valuable help in trying to help me understand how to write a paper like this in a historical way. My thanks also to my friends Stein Meyer, Lars Petter Johansen and Kjell Inge Bjerga for their splendid help in making me go on and also giving me support with the paper itself. My college in the U.S. Navy Europe, Bruce Belden, has helped me in solving several tricky questions, Several military colleges have helped me by reading parts or the hole of my paper. I have also received help from Lars Christian Jenssen, Lars L berg, Svein Wisth, and Tor J rgen Melien.
The main archives for a paper like this, is of course the National Archives in Washington DC. Thanks to Timothy K. Nenninger for helping me at a critical moment. In addition the library at National Defense University, also in Washington DC, had plenty of interesting material. My special thanks to Holly Wise at Industrial College of the Armed Forces for helping me getting admission to the library at National Defense University. The library at the Nobel Institute in Oslo gave me access to a large portion of the more general literature of the Korean War.
None of these persons or institutions have any responsibility for errors or what otherwise is written in this paper.
Oslo, 27 April 2000
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