Accession Number : ADA565881


Title :   High Seas Buffer: The Taiwan Patrol Force, 1950-1979


Descriptive Note : Monograph


Corporate Author : NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI CENTER FOR NAVAL WARFARE STUDIES


Personal Author(s) : Elleman, Bruce A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a565881.pdf


Report Date : Apr 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 189


Abstract : Following its defeat on the mainland in 1949, the Nationalist government retreated to Taiwan. Although the Nationalist navy was comparatively large, to many it seemed almost certain that the People's Republic of China (PRC) would attack and take Taiwan, perhaps as early as summer 1950. The Korean War began on 25 June 1950, however, and the possibility of a PRC invasion of Taiwan was countered when on 27 June President Harry S. Truman ordered the Seventh Fleet to neutralize the Taiwan Strait. Mao Zedong at first postponed and eventually canceled altogether his planned invasion of Taiwan. The U.S. Navy's Taiwan Patrol Force operation lasted from summer 1950 until at least 1979, arguably even sporadically after that date. Lasting 29 years, the Taiwan Patrol Force was one of the longest naval operations in modern history. It was also one of the most successful, since it ensured that friction over the Taiwan Strait did not escalate into a full-blown war. The Taiwan Patrol Force did its job so well that virtually nothing has been written about it. U.S. Navy ships acted both as a buffer between the two antagonists and as a trip wire in case of aggression. The force fulfilled the latter function twice in the 1950s -- during the first (1954-55) and second (1958) Taiwan Strait crises -- and a third time in the next decade (1962), at which point additional U.S. Navy vessels were called in to assist. Even after the Taiwan Patrol Force was terminated in 1979 it continued in spirit, as shown by a fourth Taiwan Strait crisis. During the PRC missile tests of 1995-96 two U.S. aircraft carriers were deployed to the area, and in 2001, during the 10 days of negotiations over the EP-3 incident of 1 April, a carrier was almost sent. As recently as 2009, when maritime tensions between an American survey ship and Chinese vessels threatened to escalate into a larger conflict, a U.S. Navy destroyer was sent to the scene.


Descriptors :   *CHINA , *MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , *MILITARY HISTORY , *NAVAL OPERATIONS , *NAVY , *PATROLLING , *STRAITS , *TAIWAN , AIRCRAFT CARRIERS , CONFLICT , CRISIS MANAGEMENT , DESTROYER ESCORTS , DESTROYERS , FLIGHT TESTING(GUIDED MISSILES) , INTERNATIONAL TRADE , KOREAN WAR , MILITARY COMMANDERS , MILITARY MODERNIZATION , NAVAL TRAINING , UNITED KINGDOM , USSR


Subject Categories : Humanities and History
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE