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The Imjin River remembered

Incoming from my friend Tim Evans:

Today is the sixty-first anniversary of one of the most extraordinary actions by a British army unit during the Cold War. Please, just spare 9 minutes of your time to quietly watch and reflect on a battle that has long fascinated me: the Battle of the Imjin River.

I’ve been out and about most of the day, but tomorrow morning, I will do what Tim suggests.

16 comments to The Imjin River remembered

  • Hmm

    Brave men all. They deserve to be better remembered.

  • JohnB

    Better remembered and better served, indeed.

    The tragedy, now, is that those who would implement the systems of death, against which these brave men fought, seem to be winning or to have won.

    Without an eternal perspective on things I would be very, very sad.

  • Gordon Walker

    I had an uncle who was there with the Glosters,doing his National Service. He said that the Chinese came in three waves, the first had nothing, the second had sticks and the third rifles. He was one of the lucky survivors and became in later life a Salvation Army Bandsman.

  • Steve B

    Excellent, great link. I have had this on my Amazon wish list for a while. I will definitely get round to buying it one day!

  • Jerry

    Stirring to say the least.
    Thanks You Gentlemen.

    From a grateful American.

  • John B,

    Every earthly victory is temporary. I am convinced that you are, in the terms of my comment to Brian’s previous post, a genuine pessimist, not a wants-to-look-cool pessimist – but you are still too pessimistic!

    In 1952 the inhuman system of death (good phrase) of communism ruled a third of the world’s population outright and was seen as the coming thing by much of the rest. Serious analysts thought that North Korea, given that it had much of Korea’s industry and wealth, was destined to prosper and South Korea to wither.

    Thanks in part to the Glorious Glosters (apparently that spelling is correct) several generations of South Koreans were spared the rule of Kim Il Sung, Kim Il Jong and the lastest People’s Demigod. And now, ghastly as it is, their rule is brittle and discredited.

  • Alisa


    the inhuman system of death (good phrase) of communism

    No, not a good phrase at all. That system (and others) was all too human. That’s why we have to make sure it doesn’t reincarnate itself in places where we think this could never happen, and why John’s pessimism is at least somewhat useful.

  • Thanks so much for this. Extraordinary men. Most were just doing their national service.

  • Antoine Clarke

    There’s a shock, the British ran out of ammo. That never happened before.


  • Paul Marks

    The film moves too fast for my taste – I had to rush to read the words (perhaps I read too slowly now).

    As for some of the “human waves” being unarmed (or poorly armed) – yes many were former Nationalist soldiers (betrayed by their own officers in the Civil War – due to Communist influence on the KMT military staff college set up, by the Soviets, in China way back in the 1920s). Mao and his fellow degenerates took their surrender – and then made sure that some of them were killed by Westerners (for example by being made to charge unarmed), it appealed to the sense of humour of the Marxists.

    Yes every victory is temporary.

    Whether it is the victory of the men who faught in Korea, or the CIA victories in such places as France and Italy after World War II (to people who think CIA victories do not deserve mention with military victories – I would urge you to have a long hard look at “the wall” in Langley).

    However, no eternal victory against the forces of evil is promised as long as this Earth lasts.

    All one can do is fight as best one can.

    For temporary and partial victories remain REAL victories.

    The very existance of the Republic of Korea is a slap in the face for “Progressive” forces all over the world. And, in spite of all the brainwashing of parts of the education system (which tries to teach young Koreans that the British and American, and so on, were evil) the forces of “Reaction” (i.e. civilization) yet again won the Parliamentary elections only last week.

    And, by the way, for those who say that the “Cold” War was nothing but “Anglo-American Imperialism for big business”.

    Sadly the idiotarians (the “left and right join hands” morons) have not left us.

    It would be nice to think that this film would have a beneficial effect on them – but I doubt it would.

    In the end, what actually matters is that vast numbers of human beings who would either be enslaved or murdered, get to live at least partly free lives.

    That is what battles like this are about.

  • JohnB

    Yes, I tend to agree. Substantially.

    I don’t know how those soldiers, individually, saw their battle; their war. Especially if they died.

    In that context it is only the eternal that makes sense. (Which can be engaged with, here and now.)

  • Mose Jefferson

    One afternoon awhile back my friend phoned me moments after I returned home from work. After the usual pleasantries he asked to come inside – which was a surprise. I found out my friend – an FBI agent – had been surveiling my apartment complex, watching for a kidnapper who apparently lived there. My friend would go on to get his man, a scumbag who had hidden within an ethnic enclave here. My friend, now an American, was born in South Korea.

    Forgive my rambling, but I do see a connection between the sacrifice made at Imjin River and the protection afforded to my community by my friend. But then again I am also known by my closest friends as quite sentimental.

  • Alisa

    I certainly see what you mean, Mose.

  • Angus S-F

    Battle of the Imjin River – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Rich Rostrom

    In the opening section of The Sum of All Fears, Tom Clancy describes the Israeli army’s stand on the Golan Heights in the Yom Kippur War, against massive Syrian attacks. He concludes:

    “… their Battle for the Heights would be remembered with
    Thermopylae, Bastogne, and Gloucester Hill.”