Quote from budcampbell:
Chinese flooded the border with trumpets and a million troops, backed up by MIGS in Korea. US can't deploy enough fighters and A-10 warthogs and is massively outnumbered on the ground. Statements on attacking China with something like "Desert Shield" is laughable.
The Chinese entered the war on the back of a devastating civil war that claimed millions of lives in China 1945-49.
By the time the PLA crossed the Yalu River, America and the UN already had air supremacy over the Korean peninsula, which is why under strict military discipline upon pain of death, the PLA only marched at night under cover of darkness.
Whether one has more men or less men is hardly the issue, every participant in war uses his advantage, be it in numbers or technology.
Saddam had a million men under his command but that did not prevent Iraq from being overrun by a numerically inferior number of troops in weeks.
Marshal Peng De-Huai , supreme commander of Chinese forces in the Korean theatre outwitted the entire US command by subtly instituting a series of feints and retreats and releasing POWS along the way so as to maintain the appearance of weakness in their logistics, the US army fell for it, its own supply lines were overstetched and were subsequently at Chosin and Chong'Chon enveloped by the Chinese 9th and 13th army respectively. It was only a very spirited defence by the Turkish and British contingents that a devastated 8th army escaped somewhat intact. The turks paid for it as their entire brigade disintegrated. A memorial to this particular brigade can still be seen today in the centre of Ankara,turkey. I was there last year.
Who do you think wrote the Art of war? Half the 8th army collapsed and the 2nd marine division effectively lost all combat capabilities.
The only major mistake the Chinese made was by not pursuing UN and american troops when they evacuated from the Hungnam beachhead, historians conclude that with the mass concentration of 100,000+troops on the beachhead, a concerted Chinese artillery assault would effectively have wiped out the US X corps.
The point of war is not to lose more or less men but to attain your strategic objectives. In this instance, the USA certainly did not do that, it failed to accomplish Macarthur's objectives of not only destroying the North Korean regime but also bringing China under American dominance. On the other hand, Mao succeeded by keeping American troops at bay with Kim's buffer state.