Korean War Records

Not much to say about captured records in the Korea War as I have never checked on them. I assume there must be some taken from North Korean and Chinese units and they are files away somewhere. My father did capture a Chinese soldier during the Korean War.

Oddly enough, there not been much done in the world of quantitative analysis on the Korea War outside of the work that ORO (Operations Research Office) did in the 1950s. We have never done any significant work on the Korean War. In the late 1980s we did explore conducting some analysis of Korean War battalion-level combat. As part of that effort Trevor Dupuy and I went over to the National Archives at Suitland and pulled up some U.S. Army Korea War records. They appeared to be quite complete. There were a couple of French infantry battalions attached to the U.S. Division and we appear to have good strength and loss data for them also.

Later, in 1989, Trevor Dupuy arranged with China to conduct a joint research project. It was funded by OSD Net Assessment (Andy Marshall). Trevor Dupuy really wanted to do some two-sided analysis of combat with the Chinese Army in Korea, but apparently getting access to the Chinese Army records was still too sensitive at that point. So, instead, they arranged to do a joint research contract on a more general and less sensitive theme like perceptions of each sides intentions during the Korean War. But then in June 1989 the Chinese government rolled over the student protestors in Tiananmen Square with tanks. That ended all joint research projects for many years.

We never got back to trying to conduct a joint research project on combat with China. Instead in 1993, we started a research project on Kursk using Russia records.

Trevor Dupuy did mention that the Chinese informally told him that the United States often overestimated the size of the Chinese forces they were facing, and often underestimated the casualties the Chinese took. I have no idea how valid that is.


Anyhow, this is an extended discussion of captured records originally inspired by this post:

The Sad Story Of The Captured Iraqi DESERT STORM Documents

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Christopher A. Lawrence
Christopher A. Lawrence

Christopher A. Lawrence is a professional historian and military analyst. He is the Executive Director and President of The Dupuy Institute, an organization dedicated to scholarly research and objective analysis of historical data related to armed conflict and the resolution of armed conflict. The Dupuy Institute provides independent, historically-based analyses of lessons learned from modern military experience.
Mr. Lawrence was the program manager for the Ardennes Campaign Simulation Data Base, the Kursk Data Base, the Modern Insurgency Spread Sheets and for a number of other smaller combat data bases. He has participated in casualty estimation studies (including estimates for Bosnia and Iraq) and studies of air campaign modeling, enemy prisoner of war capture rates, medium weight armor, urban warfare, situational awareness, counterinsurgency and other subjects for the U.S. Army, the Defense Department, the Joint Staff and the U.S. Air Force. He has also directed a number of studies related to the military impact of banning antipersonnel mines for the Joint Staff, Los Alamos National Laboratories and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation.
His published works include papers and monographs for the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Vietnam Veterans of American Foundation, in addition to over 40 articles written for limited-distribution newsletters and over 60 analytical reports prepared for the Defense Department. He is the author of Kursk: The Battle of Prokhorovka (Aberdeen Books, Sheridan, CO., 2015), America’s Modern Wars: Understanding Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam (Casemate Publishers, Philadelphia & Oxford, 2015), War by Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat (Potomac Books, Lincoln, NE., 2017) , The Battle of Prokhorovka (Stackpole Books, Guilford, CT., 2019), The Battle for Kyiv (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2023), Aces at Kursk (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024), Hunting Falcon: The Story of WWI German Ace Hans-Joachim Buddecke (Air World, Yorkshire, UK, 2024) and The Siege of Mariupol (Frontline Books, Yorkshire, UK, 2024).
Mr. Lawrence lives in northern Virginia, near Washington, D.C., with his wife and son.

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