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The Review of Historical Value for the Excavation of those who Killed in Battle and their Remains during the Korean War

  • military history
  • 2022, (123), pp.1-57
  • DOI : 10.29212/mh.2022..123.1
  • Publisher : Military History Institute, MND
  • Research Area : Humanities > History
  • Received : January 7, 2022
  • Accepted : June 2, 2022
  • Published : June 15, 2022

고종성 1

1대한민국역사박물관

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study inquires if the remains and their leftover objects collected by an excavation of the Korean War fallen could be used as essential historical source for the research of Korean War history. The fallen who were dead in the middle of battle did not receive any proper attention from existing studies. Along with the excavation which has been conducted as the 50th anniversary commemorative project of the Korean War, the objects left over by the fallen began to get spotlighted for the first time. The Korean armed forces confronted the outbreak of war in the absence of experience and a record system, especially the case of the war fallen. The outcome of this excavation in the current situation is the critical source for an empirical understanding of the existence of the Korean War fallen. North-Gyeongsang Province is the area where the sacrifice of the Korean soldiers eventually got the opportunity for counterattack: the defense line of the Nakdong River had been built there in alliance with the military forces of United Nations by a delaying action throughout the region of Sobaek Mountains. The distribution of the Korean War fallen in the major battlefields of Gyeongsangbukdo shows that in the battlefields such as Punggi, Andong, Mungyeong, Yeongdeok, Uiseong, and Chilgok, which had been recorded in the existing research of war history, a significant number of the fallen were excavated. Moreover, the excavated number of the fallen in the battlefields of Pohang and Yeongcheon exceeds the previously expected scale, which makes a new base to re-confirm the existing studies of the Korean War history. The objects excavated with the Korean War can be classified by types as weapon, ammunition, clothing, military boots, equipment, and personal belongings. These are used as an essential material for identification: successfully analyzing the properties of objects by types can identify the nationality of the deceased person, i.e., to distinguish whether they are friendly or foe. In conclusion, information on the remains and the objects of the Korean War fallen obtained by excavation can be used as historical source through the various ways of analysis. This allows a more empirical approach to the Korean War fallen who had been left just as an object of simple commemoration.

Citation status

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