Pusan Beachhead, South Korea

Encyclopedia Article


During the Korean War (1950-1953), South Korean and United Nations forces were forced to retreat to Pusan Beachhead, now known as Busan, after a series of unsuccessful battles with the North Korean Army. This beachhead is located in the far southeast portion of the Korean Peninsula. The combined forces fought to retain control of the beachhead, as the loss of this area would have meant the loss of the entire Korean Peninsula. Realizing that continuing a battle at Pusan would result in an untenable number of deaths of UN peacekeeping forces, Supreme Commander of U.N. forces, General Douglas MacArthur, staged an aquatic landing behind enemy lines. The U.S-led U.N. forces invaded Inchon, located along the northwest coast of the peninsula, and regained control of Seoul. The U.N. troops then pressed south, cutting off supplies for the North Korean Army. This allowed the troops in Pusan Beachhead to resupply from the Port of Pusan and push the North Korean army north toward MacArthur's advancing forces.

Photo Credit: 

"Robert Smith and Pvt. Carl Fisher, 27th Infantry Regiment, dug in and firing at Communist-led North Korean positions, September 4, 1950" by U.S. Army is licensed under Public Domain.

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