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Abstract: On June 25, 1950, the US Ambassador to the Republic of Korea received an alarming call from his deputy chief, E.F. Drumright, warning him that the communists were hitting along the front. The invasion caught the Republic of Korea and its American counterparts by surprise. This case chronicles the events that took place directly following North Korea's invasion of the 38th Parallel. It examines the strategic decisions that were made during this era, centering on the ways in which the US Department of State dealt with the attack and subsequent conflicts for a greater Korea. Part A looks at these events in detail and includes excerpts recalling the events from President Truman's memoirs. Part B presents more details on the events that transpired at Manchuria and the Rhineland. It also explains the role of China, Ethiopia, Spain, Austria, and then Czechoslovakia. Much of this is done through Truman's vantage point.
Learning Objective: This case is meant to help students evaluate the strategic decisions make during a high stakes era in global politics. Students will evaluate the decision-making process and assess possible outcomes at each critical juncture.