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Friday, Dec. 1, 1950
(Published Dec. 1, 1950, in the New York World Telegram)
(Note apparent typographical error in 3rd paragraph from bottom, with words repeated in the following paragraph)
MacArthur cable to UP's Hugh Baille
FRANKFURT, Germany, Dec. 1, 1950 (UP) - Following is the text of the cable sent today by Gen. of Army Douglas MacArthur to Hugh Baille, the president of the United Press:
Never before has the patience of man been more sorely tried, nor high standards of human behavior been more patiently and firmly upheld than during the course of the Korean campaigns.
From the initiation of the North Korean aggression against the Republic of Korea until the total defeat of the North Korean armies, support from the Communist Chinese from behind the privileged sanctuary of neutral boundaries was open and notorious and all inclusive.
Long lines of supply from the international boundary to the southern battlefront offered some opportunity for air interdiction and proved a tortuous route with much that entered destroyed before reaching its destination.
When the lines of battle moved northward following the Inchon landing, however, the area of possible interdiction of such supply movements contracted until there was left but a night's march from the border sanctuary to the area of immediate hostilities.
This provided the means for the Chinese Communist authorities to move troops as well as supplies forward in great force and quantity with the ability to elude air detection and interdiction under the cover of darkness and rugged terrain.
Our general assault launched on Nov. 20 revealed that availing themselves of these distinct military advantages, Chinese Communist forces in army corps and divisional organization of an estimated aggregate strength of over 200,000 men then confronted our lines.
Such revelation, through the timelines of our attack, disclosed that the tactic of the North Koreans in initially effecting preparations for war behind the containment of political boundaries and then striking with overwhelming force without warning or notice of belligerency was followed without variation by the Chinese Communists.
This strategic plan - which may well find repetition in future aggressions - undoubtedly envisaged a massing, under cover of concealment, of such a powerful force as to enable the complete destruction of the United Nations command and conquest of all Korea, unquestionably the Communist objective, in one invincible movement.
The premature exposure of the plan, while not denying the enemy some tactical success, through force of numbers although at staggering personnel loss, resulted in a partial strategic failure.
The existing situation under which the United Nations command is confronted with a new and fresh and well-trained and equipped enemy of vastly superior and ever-increasing numbers, initiating an entirely new war to cover the North Korean defeat results largely from an acceptance of military odds without precedent in history - the odds of permitting offensive action without defensive retaliation.
These odds have been and are being cheerfully accepted in the effort to uphold the high principles and standards which have been characterized guiding policy and given nobility to the cause for which we fight, and to further the universal desire that the war be localized.
Indeed, throughout the war against the North Koreans we meticulously respected and held inviolate the international boundary and I at no time even recommended that authority be granted to retaliate beyond it.
Against such odds, officers and men of all services and participating nations have fought and, if need be, will continued to fight with unexcelled gallantry.
With this background of devotion to high principles and invincible determination to achieve the stated objectives of the United Nations, it is disturbing indeed to note the irresponsible comments appearing in responsible sections of the European press.
There appears to be a more general failure, intentional or from misinformation, to comprehend the mission prescribed for this command by resolutions of the United Nations of which their governments were joint architects and directors, or fairly to recognize that in success or adversity this command has proceeded unerringly in compliance with controlling policies and directives.
I can only attribute this to a somewhat selfish though most shortsighted viewpoint.
To the European, the welfare and security of Europe is naturally paramount. He has no fear of attack from the West, solely from the East. It is not unusual therefore that he sees in every dedication of friendly resource toward the stabilization of Asia but a subtraction from that available for the betterment and security of Europe.
This is, of course, fallacious reasoning. Any breach of freedom in the East carries with is a sinister threat to freedom in the West.
The issue is a global one and failure to comprehend this fact carries the germ of freedom's ultimate destruction.
If the fight is not waged with courage and invincible determination to meet the challenge here, it will indeed be fought, and possibly lost, on the battlefields of Europe.
Every strategic and tactical movement made by the United Nations command has been in complete accordance with United Nations resolutions and in compliance with the directive under which I operate, every major step having been previously reported and fully approved.
I have received no suggestion from any authoritative source that in the execution of its mission the command should stop at the 38th Parallel or Pyongyang, or at any other line short of the international boundary.
To have done so would have attribute any degree of responsibility to the U.N. and the directive received in implementation thereof.
It is historically inaccurate to attribute any degree of responsibility for the onslaught of the Chinese Communist armies to the strategic course of the campaign itself.
The decision by the Chinese Communist leaders to wage war against the U.N. could only have been a basic one, long premeditated and carried into execution as a direct result of the defeat of their satellite North Korean armies.
Copyright 2007 by United Press International.