Great Expectations: The U.S. Army X Corps in Korea, September-November 1950
SAMS Monograph rept. Jun 2013-May 2014
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The U.S. Army X Corps as an organization presents a rich case study in large unit operations. It fought under General Douglas A. MacArthurs direct command in 1950 as one of two independent major subordinate commands, leading joint and multinational forces without the supervision of an intermediate army headquarters. In less than four weeks, MacArthur transformed a small planning team into an operational corps headquarters responsible for the successful amphibious assault at Inchon and the liberation of Seoul. However, just two months later, the combat-hardened corps narrowly escaped complete destruction by twelve Chinese Communist divisions as it withdrew from the Chosin Reservoir in northeast Korea. This monograph examines the corps organizational structure, operations process, and command environment using contemporary doctrine to discern the factors that affected its ability to expand the Inchon beachhead to secure Seoul, prepare for offensive actions in northeast Korea, and attack north to the Yalu River. Ultimately, no single consideration fully explains the corps fate in late 1950. Instead, this monograph finds that the X Corps lacked sufficient time to build cohesive teams before commencing operations in Korea, neglected to consistently plan ahead, provide administrative support, or coordinate the actions of its assigned units, and proved unable to engender a command environment that fostered teamwork. Together, these factors largely affected the corps between its success at Inchon and the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics