Under Army Orders: The Army National Guard During the Korean War
Between 1950 and 1953, 138,600 Army National Guardsmen -- 43 percent of the force -- were called up for federal service. In Under Army Orders William M. Donnelly illuminates one of the more obscure aspects of U.S. involvement in the Korean conflict, focusing on what it meant to be a citizensoldier caught up in an international struggle that raged both hot and cold.
Donnelly begins by examining the reconstitution of the guard after World War II. Next he offers the first indepth look at the army's use of the guard during the Korean conflict, detailing the experiences of guard units mobilized during this period by following them from the alert notice to postmobilization training and then through their use by the army for the remainder of their federal service. Previous attention given to the guard during the Korean War has focused on the units sent to Korea; while those units provided critical reinforcements for the Eighth Army in 1951, they amounted to only 14 percent of mobilized units.
Under Army Orders also sheds light on what it was like to live in America during the early Cold War. The National Guard's dual statefederal status, its strong local ties, and its powerful lobbying organization made it a force at all levels of American society during this period. And through the mobilization of guard units, the costs of the Truman administration's decisions were passed on to many American communities and homes. The partial mobilization of the guard for the Korean War raised questions of equity of sacrifice that would foreshadow events fifteen years later.
Military historians and general readers alike can mark the halfcentury that has passed since the Korean War by reading Donnelly's study. Military planners and political leaders will consult this book when charting the guard's role in conflicts yet to come.
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