Author(s): Gerry van Tonder
Cold War crescendo: in the author's first three volumes in a series on battles of the Korean War, North Korean forces cross the 38th Parallel, rolling back US and South Korean forces into a small corner of the Korean peninsula. Months later, commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) in Korea, General Douglas MacArthur, launches a daring counteroffensive invasion at Inchon, enveloping North Korea.
Despite a warning from Beijing that it will intervene if US forces cross the 38th, MacArthur uses the UN's conditional authorization to land elements of the US X Corps at Wonsan and Riwon in North Korea. The Eighth US Army and South Korean forces capture the North Korean capital, P'yŏngyang, while American paratroops make the first combat jump of the conflict at Sunch'ŏn and Sukch'ŏn, cutting the road to the Chinese border.
While MacArthur's ground forces edge closer to the Yalu River, and the general having designs of chasing the retiring North Koreans across the river into China, in October 1950 the Chinese politburo immediately deploys 200,000 members of the 13th Army Group of the newly titled People's Volunteer Army (PLA) on a preemptive 'defensive' operation into North Korea.