Korean War vol 2: biographies by Sonia Benson; Gerda-Ann Raffaelle

By Sonia Benson; Gerda-Ann Raffaelle

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He soon learned some of the background to the crisis, particularly that the POWs in the camp had developed an internal government; that they received orders from Communist China and North Korea; and that some of the inmates had purposely allowed themselves to be taken captive so they could organize the prisoners from the inside. The prisoners had put the kidnapped general on trial for the deaths of nineteen inmates. They then presented the acting commandant of the camp with a list of demands. Without a go-ahead from his superiors, the acting commandant, urged on by the kidnapped commandant, met the prisoners’ demands, giving them a statement saying that some North Korean and Chinese POWs had been killed by the American and South Korean guards and promising to correct the situation in the future.

He ordered the execution of thousands of communists and forced those in the Kuomintang to resign. When Chiang’s forces captured the city of Shanghai in 1927, Chiang called on a group of about one thousand armed civilians to attack the city’s major trade unions. Chaos and terror followed, and thousands were killed. Chiang’s “party purification” movement, aimed particularly at the communists, soon spread through other provinces. After capturing the warlord capital of Beijing in June 1928, his massive military campaign came to an end.

Here he set up his Nationalist government. Six months later, the Korean War (1950–53) broke out. The United States retained its alliance with Chiang, recognizing his government in Taipai as the Republic of China. General Douglas MacArthur (1880–1964; see entry), commander of the United Nations forces in the Far East, even threatened to “unleash” Chiang’s forces on the mainland, though this was only a threat. Chiang Kai-shek 25 In the first days of the Korean War, the United States sent a navy fleet to the waters between Taiwan and mainland China with orders to prevent either the Nationalists or the Communists from returning to active combat.

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