Talk:Battle of Osan

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Has some bellend vandalised this article or is the first paragraph meant to refer to Mexico so frequently? (talk) 21:13, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

LtCol Charles B. Smith[edit]

the LtCol Charles B. Smith listed redirects to a page about a completely different person (evident since the latter Smith dies 20 years before the former Smith fought in Korea) I will remove the link. BritBoy 22:40, 25 June 2007 (UTC)


There are a couple of references listed. Do they and other sources consider the battle to have achieved any strategic purpose? Did the delay allow defense forces to better prepare, or was it a meaningless sacrifice? What have military historians said about the higher meaning of the battle? The article needs something in this line. Edison (talk) 00:05, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

"vastly outnumbered"[edit]

I understand that Americans who edit here want to have some excuse for the debacle, but 1:2 is not "vastly outnumbered" in the defense. It's actually a quite good ratio for the defenders. The rule of thumb is that an attacker wants a 3:1 superiority. The North Koreans had no strong artillery support and inferior rifles, so 2:1 was no promising ratio for an attack at all. Lastdingo (talk) 16:04, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

"Outbreak of War" lists 89,000 invading North Koreans routing 38,000 South Korean, which is the 2 invader to 1 defender ratio. Battle of Osan (subject of article) lists the strength of the opposing forces as US 540 infantry with limited antitank artillery versus North Korea 5,000 infantry with 36 tanks, which is approx 10 invader to 1 defender ratio, not even considering the advantage of the tanks. Naaman Brown (talk) 18:00, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
Note this info may not have been correct or as comprehensive when the original comment was posted; the article underwent drastic improvement in 2009-2010. —Ed!(talk) 20:22, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Battle of Osan/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Jackyd101 (talk) 09:29, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Hi there, I was going to do a peer review, but then I saw this was at GA and decided to direct my comments there. I am happy to tell you that this article has passed GA without the need for any further improvement. Listed below is information on how the article fared against the Wikipedia:good article criteria, with suggestions for future development. These are not required to achieve GA standard, but they might help in future A-class or FAC review process.

  • It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  • "direct hits on the lead tanks, but did not damage the tanks." - repetition of tanks here that needs to be rephrased.
  • "Howitzer" is capitalised throughout, is this intentional.
  • It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  • It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  • It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    a (fair representation): b (all significant views):
  • It is stable.
  • It contains images, where possible, to illustrate the topic.
    a (tagged and captioned): b (lack of images does not in itself exclude GA): c (non-free images have fair use rationales):
  • It would be nice to have a lead image, perhaps a map locating Osan on the Korean peninsula? On the same note, are co-ordinates available for the battle?
  • Overall:
    a Pass/Fail:

Thankyou and congratulations, an excellent addition to Wikipedia:Good Articles. All the best.--Jackyd101 (talk) 09:29, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Task Force Smiths letter to President Reagan[edit]

The following is a telegram sent to President Reagan in 1985.

Dear Mr. President

28 surviving members of 406 infantrymen and the 134 artillerymen who made up Task Force Smith, the first unit sent to Korea by President Truman on June 30, 1950 have just assembled commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first ground engagement of the Korean War. We were proud then and we are proud now to have been in the vanguard of the U.S. efforts to stop the new Communist aggressions spear-headed by terrorists.

Task Force Smith was able to slow the onslaught of the North Korea's armored attack of a force 50 times its own size. It failed to halt the attack because our pitifully undersized, seven year old 2.36 antitank rocket launcher (bazooka) would not penetrate the 16 year old tank (i.e. Soviet T-34/85) we faced. It has been known by the U.S. Army throughout this weapon's life that it would not kill the tanks of its day, yet we were sent to war with it. We are sure President Truman did not know how badly we were equipped when we were committed.

We now find that the U.S. Army is again in the same situation and we are sure that you do not know how bad this is. THE INFANTRY STILL DOES NOT HAVE A WEAPON IN THE FRONT LINE RIFLE COMPANIES OF ITS LIGHT INFANTRY DIVISIONS THAT WILL KILL A MODERN TANK. We find this disgraceful and an unfitting monument for the men out regiment lost in its firsts days in Korea. We want you to know this so you will not commit forces believing, as did President Truman, that they are properly equipped for a fighting mission and that they will be anything other than a token sacrifice.

General William E. Depuy, the recently retired four star commander of the Army's training and doctrine command (TRADOC) used the June, 1985 issue of Army magazine to discuss some elements of the disaster that is awaiting the light infantry [i.e. non armored/mechanized] when it nexts confronts tanks. He quotes General Gavin, the wartime commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, "sad" comments about our own regiment, still equipped with the WWII Bazooka being overrun seven years after he knew the weapon had no value. GAVIN HIMSELF DISCUSSES THE "SAD EXPERIENCE" OF BURYING PARATROOERS WHO "HAD PIECES OF BAZOOKAS (i.e. 2.36 inch version) GROUND UP IN THEM BY TANKS AS THEY WERE CRUSHED.

General Depuy cites the heroism of one our Lts., Ollie Conners, who got 22 futile bazooka hits on the tanks that overran us. He knows that "the shame of the weapons development community" has to be "bailed out with the only currency (available) the lives of our brave troops." Unfortunately, heroism is a scarce and fleeting commodity and we would not sacrifice it merely to to keep incompetent weapons developers in business. General Depuy (and we) expect that "we will be faced, inevitably, with a rerun of Task Force Smith" if we do not "think through this problem now and move with speed to resolve."

We urge you in the name of our departed comrades to require the Army and our defense industry to correct this disgraceful situation now. We do not want other Americas soldiers to face tanks in 1985 with the equivalent of what we had in 1950, nearly bare hands, and a weapon that could only annoy the enemy's tankers by scratching their paint. This situation needs correction now, not at the leisure of the weapons developers.

Sincerely, Respectfully and Faithfully
Bill McCarthy, First Sgt., US Army
(Retired) Representing the Present and
Past members of Task Force Smith
2881 North Star Road
Columbus OH 43221

Source> Wire Guided Antitank Missiles page 8, Command Publication EAGLE February 1987. The full text of the Task Force Smith veteran's letter was published in that article due to reports and controversy then that US Army and US Marine infantry antitank weapons were ineffective against the new Russian T-72 fitted with reactive armour boxes.

Jackehammond (talk) 05:30, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Fixed citation format, if you can provide the ISBN number and the issue number, the citation would look more professional. Jim101 (talk) 21:37, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Issue and volume number just added. Jim101 (talk) 20:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I have removed the source. Firstly, it's a telegram sent by a soldier, which is a primary source, wikipedia generally relies on secondary sources (Historians, military experts). Secondly, it's linked to this talk page, which is partly a problem with it being WP:CIRCULAR, and partly that talk pages can get edited and archived. I'm not even sure the source is required to support any of the existing text in the article.(Hohum @) 13:00, 10 June 2012 (UTC)


A very impressive article! Just one minor point that might fairly be described as pedantic. Except to veterans. The correct description of a British Royal Navy warship is "HMS [name]" and never "the HMS [name]" . The mis-applied "the HMS name" in it's full form reads as "The Her Majesty's Ship [name]" . Clearly a grammatical nonsense. For what it's worth, the main offenders are a new, poorly trained generation of British journalists, who like most of their generation have never served their country in uniform. That's not their fault, it's just the way it is, with the reductions in British defence forces since 1945. Hope this is helpful. George.Hutchinson (talk) 10:38, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Thank you. That was more of a problem of the grammatical construction of the sentence. It has been amended. —Ed!(talk) 20:21, 5 July 2011 (UTC)

Citation format change.[edit]

Please don't make wholesale changes the reference format without discussion per WP:CITEVAR. (Also please don't link dates per MOS:UNLINKYEARS) (Hohum @) 07:43, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

"the nation's neighbor"?[edit]

The current introduction cites: "On the night of June 25, 1950, ten divisions of the North Korean People's Army launched a full-scale invasion of the nation's neighbor to the south, the Republic of Korea." This claims that North Korea and South Korea were separate nations, whereas at the time both north and south governments considered themselves the legitimate government of the single nation of Korea. At that time, none of the UN, U.S., Russia, or either government had agreed to divide Korea into separate nations. cf. Division of Korea -- John Kim (talk) 02:06, 5 April 2013 (UTC)

Obsolete Anti Tank weapons?[edit]

How the WW2 Basooka and the 1945-1950 Era Recoiless Rifle could be considered obsolete used against WW2 Soviet Era t-34???' Its sounds more to me as a justification rather than acepting that the tanks overrun the small U.S detachment. (talk) 13:38, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

Well, we're not talking about the early WWII-era T-34. We're talking about the T-34-85 which came into common use later, and which was significantly more armored. Also, the Recoiless had been used primarily against light armor. Third, the condition of the weapons may have been a factor. —Ed!(talk) 01:13, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
The T-34-85 came into service in 1944, and was thus of the same vintage as the bazooka and RCL. It was inferior equipment rather than obsolete.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:58, 22 August 2016 (UTC)

Successful outcome?[edit]

The task force was instructed to stop the North Koreans. That was of course impossible,. But to say that "Task Force Smith accomplished its mission of delaying North Korean forces from advancing for several hours" is utterly wrong too. The mission was to stop the North Koreans, not delay them for a few hours.Royalcourtier (talk) 05:56, 22 August 2016 (UTC)