That 54,000 included other deaths during that war. The Pentagon used those figures for 50 years and recently revised them to include about 33,000 combat deaths and about 3,000 other deaths. The old figures were used on the 50th Anniversary of the war.
Total combined losses for China and N. Korea were about 1.5M - 400,000 from disease and starvation. China couldn't even feed it's own troops and God help American POWs.
I read somewhere that most of the American deaths occurred before the Chinese entered the war and during the initial N. Korean invasion which caught Americans by surprise- doesn't it always?
Today we have nukes pointed down their throats which has kept them at bay. The US will use them if they attack. They seem to be playing chicken and are testing America's will.
China went along with the latest UN sanctions on N.Korea so they still control them.
BTW, we were kicking China's ass at the end of the war. They pushed us back to Seoul and came within a few miles of it. Then we pushed them back across the 38th line and that's when they gave up and wanted peace. They actually wanted peace earlier as they crossed the 38th but Stalin pushed them to fight on another year.
A million man army couldn't push about 350,000 Americans into the sea and they sure as hell tried.
STROUD - No way of knowing but do you think MacArthur could have gone into China like he wanted. It got him fired.
IKE finally ended the war when he threatened to drop the bomb in Central N. Korea and another one along the Yalu. China was scared to death of the guy who killed Hitler.
China would have been too big just like Russia would have been too big for Patton to invade.
China's military in 1950 is very different than their military today.
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If China is going to attack anyone, it will be NK.
Attacking us would be financial suicide for China. We are so intertwined with them (and them with us) it would send them right into ruin.
NK may end up doing something stupid like launch their one missile or attack SK. If they do, they will be a glass parking lot by weeks end.
As to your question on another post, I just don't believe carrying the war into China would have had a good result unless nukes were used, and I'm kind of glad they were not despite the fact that NK remains an issue 60 years later. Conventionally, as Solo said, the Chinese Army was far different in 1950 then now, but my God, the pool of soldiers was never ending, and the country is vast.
Their belief is they can win any war via "human waves". Send in so many men, you simply cannot kill them all.
They can protect their borders but that's really it. Even today, they'd have an impossible time ever invading us. Nor do I think they want to.
China owns us. They own trillions of our debt as Clinton was always going over there begging them to buy our notes. Their economy is expected to pass ours some day, maybe sooner. The only thing saving us is the dollar is still the dominant currency in the world. Everyone wants the US dollar not the yen - not yet.
How in the hell can we fight China when they own us? All they have to do is pull their money out of our economy and they've already decreased buying our debt.
China is also more different in technology, not just numbers thanks to Slick Willie, another Clinton who gave them a lot of American technology after they helped finance his election. They even have space technology that can shoot our space ships down. Like I mentioned, they have 6,000 nukes pointed at Tawain alone and thousands more pointed at us.
They had none in 1950. They've also updated their Navy recently adding nuclear air craft carriers. They not as big as ours but fast and quite a menance to Tawain and Japan.
We have the edge in subs with about 20 Tridents around the world and probably a few in the China Sea. One sub can wipe out the entire Chinese population with 24 nuclear missiles and all containing multiple war heads.
We also have the most carriers in the world and there's always our SAC bomber force, second to none.
Yet, China can do a lot of damage if their nukes hit the US.
And don't forget this frightening thought. While China is updating their nuke force, our great leader is reducing ours.
The Obama administration is committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons and has reportedly been conducting internal studies envisioning massive cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal. A number of policy makers with whom I've spoken in recent weeks tell me that if Obama is re-elected, he will seek to slash unilaterally the size of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Such a move could grant China nuclear parity with the United States, or at least put it in reach. Such a move would give China greater nuclear leverage not through an expensive buildup on their side, but through disarmament on ours.
The clincher here is that China already has a bow out from their military backing of NK. If someone attacks NK, China will essentially be obligated to help. However, if NK does something...even provocative...China could interpret that as NK starting a war.
Japan, South Korea, and the US are all not happy with NK.
China may go against just one of those...but not all three.
Thus why they're so damn good with cyber espionage. They figured out a decade ago that the easiest way to beat the US was to steal all of our intellectual property. Plain and simple: They'd rather attack us from behind a computer than from behind a gun.
Some light reading for all of you that I highly recommend:
China went against all three of them in 1950 while saving N. Korea. We still have the nuclear deterrent - for now. If NK hits one of the three the US will hit them and China will come in vs us
and our allies like before.
Is China over-taking US in space? Well, not yet but they are very patient. China can thank Slick Willie for this.
Maybe they would diplomatically push for a smaller, puppet state NK?
CNN had the former US Ambassador to S. Korea on last night saying the WH should be talking to China and not N. Korea since they control N. Korea.
A former REar Admiral and national security advisor said they always do this when they want something and we usually give it to them and they go away for a while til the next time.
But the title of the program was THE N. KOREAN CRISIS.
Someone is watching.
For those taking this as a grain of a salt, it looks like N. Korea does have nuke capability.