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Historians on the Frontline: The Activity of US Army Military History Detachment during the Korean War

CHUNG, Yong Wook 1

1서울대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This research introduces the newly discovered organization and projects of Military History Detachment(MHD), which had been to the fore of compilation of History of the Korean war of the US army. Through this research, we can comprehend not only the formation and the completion of MHD's mission but also the transition and overall projects, which could not be clarified up to this date. Moreover the research explains one of the important links of the Korean War history project. Eight MHDs were formed in the United States between October and November of 1950, which would be dispatched to Korean front. The MHDs arrived in South Korea between March and July 1951 via Tokyo, Japan. In early months of the war, the eight MHDs concentrated on writing After Action Interviews and After Action Reports and later turned them into historical records on the basis of battle experiences. By December 1951, small unit activities, combat narratives, and monographs became another crucial task. These eight MHDs amalgamated into one in January 1953 and was named the 8086 army unit. By that time, the most important task for the 8086 unit was the writing research papers later to be part of history of the Korean War of the US Army. ‘History of the Korean War’ of the US Army had five parts; war history, history of operations, special tasks, combat narratives, small unit activities and operations of service units. Among those parts, military historians took part in the writing of monographs concerning special subjects of part three and research of part four and five. But the importance of MHD activities in regard to compilation of history of the Korean War is not that military historians wrote thesis on special task or studied small unit but that they provided the foundation of compilation of history of the Korean War by producing, collecting and arranging various data. From all sorts of policy document and statements to reports done by FEC/UNC, Eighth Army, corps, and divisions, finally after action interviews and after action reports are the most important data of compilation of history of the Korean War of the US Army. Among those, after action interviews and after action reports were wholly produced and collected through MHD activities.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.