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How North Korean Tanks Overran the Army’s Task Force Smith in Korea

Nonetheless, the experience of Task Force Smith emphasizes the terrible price paid by soldiers asked to fight unwinnable battles on short notice with inadequate equipment and too little training. Fortunately, despite the battle’s disastrous outcome, it was part of a series of desperate defensive actions that—just barely—prevented the conquest of all of South Korea until reinforcements could arrive.

Sébastien Roblin holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution from Georgetown University and served as a university instructor for the Peace Corps in China. He has also worked in education, editing, and refugee resettlement in France and the United States. He currently writes on security and military history for War Is Boring.

Image:  A team mans a Bazooka at the Battle of Osan. Members of the 24th Infantry Division, first United States ground units to reach the front, go into action against North Korean forces at the village of Sojong-Ni, near Osan. At right is Private First Class Kenneth Shadrick, who was killed by enemy fire a few moments after this photo was made, thus becoming the first United States soldier to die in the Korean campaign.​Wikimedia Commons