Korean War #32: Chinese Whispers

Aug 12, 11:01 PM

Episode 32: Chinese Whispers follows on from Truman’s speech requesting those yummy defence budget increases, by rolling our coverage back to the immediate aftermath of the American intentions to intervene which were announced on 26th June 1950. For Mao Zedong, our main focus for the next two episodes, the really aggravating aspect of Washington’s policy wasn’t that the Yanks were suddenly supporting Seoul with more enthusiasm – it was instead the fact that America now identified Taiwan as being part of this policy of support. They moved their fleet in between the Taiwan Straits, it was said, to prevent Chiang Kai-shek from intervening and breaking open the limited war, but Mao read between the lines, and believed that the act was done to interfere and jeopardise Chinese Communist interests, rather than protect the fragile Asian peace.

Here we examine the Chinese leader’s fears and plans during the first half of 1950 and then his responses to the numerous challenges to the Chinese position immediately after the outbreak of the war. We question what the Chinese planned to do in Korea, how they viewed the conflict and what Beijing expected the US to do. We also see how transparent the allied plans for Korea were, and how MacArthur’s supposedly top secret brainchild was so well-known, even the Times was hinting at an Inchon landing to turn the tables against Pyongyang. Under such circumstances, and in light of what we’ve learned in the last few episodes, Mao’s attitude towards Korea suffered a series of shocks, and before long Stalin was requesting that the Chinese intervene in force to aid the Northern invasion which he had helped to sabotage.

This episode collects together several threads then, and sees the Americans resume their more belligerent policy towards the Chinese after some weeks of appeasement; in early August, MacArthur appeared on Taiwan and began to converse with Mao’s mortal enemy Chiang Kai-shek. The message was clear – the US was not a friend of Beijing, and the US knew how to hurt the Chinese. Mao began to prepare for intervention, and in the process walked right into the trap so carefully laid by both the Soviets and Americans.


Music used: “Mama Goes Where Papa Goes”, by Isabelle Patricola, released in 1923, available: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/IsabellePatricola/AntiquePhonographMusicProgram04072015/MamaGoesWherePapaGoes-IsabellePatricola SPONSORS 1) Use the code WDF15 to get 15% off your stylish new pair of headphones/earphones/listening things 2) To access some fascinating books, nerd out with like minded enthusiasts, further your knowledge of some classical works, get 25% off your first three months AND help the show, head on over to onlinegreatbooks.com! Remember to BEFIT! B is for blog E is for email wdfpodcast@hotmail.com F is for Facebook, the Page and the Group I is for iTunes, please rate, review and subscribe T is for TELL ANYONE! 1) Pre-order our...