There were really two Korean Wars: the initial North Korean invasion in August 1950, and the Communist Chinese offensive that began in November 1950.
The three-hundred-thousand-strong Chinese force routed U.S. and UN forces out of North Korea, surged back across the thirty-eighth parallel and captured Seoul before the offensive petered out.
The question of Communist victory in Korea inevitably leads to the question of Communist victory in the Cold War.
With Truman already under attack by U.S. conservatives for allegedly losing China to the Communists, a North Korean victory would have spurred fears of Soviet invasion or subversion of Japan, which in turn might have led to a deeper U.S. security commitment in Asia.
Preventing a Communist victory in Korea might have been the circuit-breaker that stopped World War III.
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