Korean War Documentary: Meet the Combat Heroes of a Forgotten War

U.S. troops cross 38th parallel into North Korea during the Korean War

Photo credit: National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) via Britannica.com

It’s a fair question: Why am I suggesting you take an hour and a half out of your precious day to watch a documentary about the Korean War?

Because this incredibly well-written documentary, Korean War in Colour, is based on actual Korean War combat footage, and reveals one of the most fascinating undiscovered chapters of modern military history, that’s why.

Full disclosure: My first reaction was TL; DW — too long, didn’t watch — too. But I decided to invest the time because my grandfather fought in Korea before my father was born. I also knew that Dwight D. Eisenhower (the subject of my college history honors thesis) had played an important role in ending the Korean War but I didn’t know exactly what.

Lessons from the Korean War 

So, yes, I had a few personal agendas going in but I couldn’t believe the insights I gained into everything from the origins of today’s conflicts with North Korea and China to the politics of the Cold War and the tactics used during the war in Vietnam.

In fact, if you’re like me, you’ll probably end up wondering why the hell our leaders never seem to learn the lessons of history, especially the one about “never get involved in a land war in Asia.”

Racial Integration and Improved Combat Medicine 

But the documentary also highlighted some amazing areas of progress: the Korean War revolutionized race relations in the military and how the creation of M.A.S.H. units utterly transformed combat medicine.

Racially integrated combat unit of soldiers during the Korean War

The Korean War marked the first time in U.S. military history that Black and white troops fought side-by-side in the same integrated units. Photo credit: Pfc. James Cox—Army/NARA via Britannica.com


Four MASH unit members pose during the Korean War

Four members of the 8063rd MASH (Mobile Army Surgery Hospital) pose together in South Korea in September 1952. From left, pictured are: Lieutenant John ‘Mumsworthy’ Holden, captains Jim C. Jones (holding grenades), Sidney Schaer, and ‘Clark’. Photo credit: Sidney Schaer/Getty Images) via Considerable.com

MASH Unit doctors pose with Jeep and helicopter during Korean War

MASH personnel pose with Jeep and helicopter at the headquarters of the 8225th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, Korea, in 1951. Photo credit: NARA via Wikipedia.com

Watch The Korean War in Colour in its entirety Here 

In short, watch Korean War in Colour in chunks if you have to, but WATCH IT!