Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
While on a government-sponsored holiday to the ROK last month, I had a chance to visit the Korea War Museum. Very nice building, spared no expenses. Some neat history of the Korean peninsula going back a 1000+ years, but obviously a lot of it focused on the Korean War.

The MiG-19 pictured is the one described in the placard. I remember reading about this very same jet when the pilot defected back in 1983.

Lots of weapons displays, but many of them were poorly displayed... note the 1903 Springfields in an odd configuration for display! Lots of Japanese rifles, many of the same type repeated throughout. Lots of Soviet weaponry too.

The Chinese quartet was something of an enigma to me. It is as though there were a travelling rock band that perhaps went around the KTO performing morale concerts. I think they could have put a bridge and fret on the SKS and strung it up, but that's just me.

The big rock is outside the Marine Forces Korea building. The rock is inscribed with a phrase "invincible Marine", which is a term the president of S.Korea during the war attributed to the ROK Marines after a fierce, costly but successful fight against the Chinese. The Garand, PPSh and M44 are displayed inside the building. It's a 1944 Izhevsk, by the way.

The picture taken through my cheap binocular lens is of a North Korean soldier up at the DMZ. He and his buddy (who was peering out of the lower half of the window to the left) watched our group like hawks the whole time. We were told they constantly film visiting groups for examples of bad behavior, thus the slacks/collared shirt dress code for all who visit the DMZ.

Overall, it was a great experience, and I may go back again next year.
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
A few more shots. The North Korean soldiers only assumed their post on the line (see the 5" high cement wall) when they have tour groups visiting from the North. The South Korean soldiers stand at a position of readiness at all times. Note that the one is partially hidden by the building. They do this because they never know what the North Koreans will do (i.e. take a pot shot at them). The North is like that.

The village in the distance is "Propaganda Village" built by the North to show how luxurious life in the DPRK is.... except that this town is mostly uninhabited (you can see the buildings are without windows). The flag pole is interesting. After the Seoul Olympics, the city of Seoul donated a flagpole to a similar village on the South Korean side inside the DMZ, which is a subsidized but functional farming village. Well, the North Koreans shortly afterward erected this monstrosity of a flagpole, evidently some 160 meters high. They estimate that the flag weighs 600 lbs and is one of the largest in the world.

The blurry pic is me about 10 feet inside North Korea. Whenever either side is in the T-2 building (it is jointly owned and it is where most negotiations still take place), they lock the door. Whenever the South Koreans are inside and they go to lock the door behind us, a second soldier holds onto the belt of the ROK locking the door. This is to prevent the ROK from being pulled out the door by the North Koreans who may be right outside the door, so they can claim an attempt by a poor ROK soldier to defect to the glorious North. Yes, they've tried to do that in the past!

The last is a pic of the US display in the hall honoring the UN participants. We all noted that there is a big downplay of the UN role in the war in the museum. I guess I can see the point, as they want to draw attention to their own forces. However, given how many Americans died over there, I thought there could be a bit more inclusion of US and UN operations.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
105,691 Posts
Those are some neat pics Earl. Never got the opportunity to go to Korea through the generosity of Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, but I have a better idea now what it looks like.

PS... Love the "go fasters" look. Priceless!
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Yep, they advised us to wear running shoes because later on we visited one of the tunnels the North dug under the border, and it's a fairly steep and long descent down into the ground.

Plus, my Skecher walking shoes had a catastrophic failure while over there... and they were only 6 years old!
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
549 Posts
Great pictures ! Thanks for sharing.


regards....roger
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Wow that's awesome!!

Thanks for posting the pics!!!!
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
13,655 Posts
Thanks for an interesting post. Nice pics.. Wonder where the 1903A4 rifles' scopes went to. Would love to have the p-51 or the MIG. May as well dream big.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
490 Posts
Thanks for an interesting post. Nice pics.. Wonder where the 1903A4 rifles' scopes went to. Would love to have the p-51 or the MIG. May as well dream big.
Maybe start with the scopes and work your way up to a P-51.....Baby steps..... :)
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
The selection of aircraft, armor, artillery and equipment on the grounds are pretty extensive. Besides the P51, they have an F-86, AH-1 Cobra, and AN-2 Colt, a B-52(!), lots of armor and arty, etc. Also a number of older 50's vintage helicopters and radar sets.

I'll post a few more pics later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,471 Posts
I wonder how widespread the use of the SKS was in Korea. You don't see or hear of it very much. Of course, the war ended before china actually started producing the SKS.

Any good info on SKS use in Korea?
 

·
Moderator/Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
8,793 Posts
Very interesteing pics, thanks for sharing. Sounds like a real eye-opener of a trip!
Poot
 

·
Gold Bullet member
Joined
·
11,385 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I wonder how widespread the use of the SKS was in Korea. You don't see or hear of it very much. Of course, the war ended before china actually started producing the SKS.

Any good info on SKS use in Korea?
Bill, the museum had quite a number of SKS rifles on display. I can only surmise that most of these came from captured stocks of weapons.

I just read Colder Than Hell, by Joseph Owen, a Marine plt commander in Korea. He describes the use of bolt action rifles and PPSh "burp guns" a lot, but never mentions anything about SKS's. However, he fought in 1951, so perhaps SKS type rifles didn't show up until later in the war. I used to assume all bolt rifles used by the North and Chinese were Mosins, but now I realize that a good many of them were probably Japanese rifles. In fact, Lt. Owen was wounded by a ChiCom using a Japanese rifle (and also by a burp gun). He even has a loaded clip of Jap ammo that the deceased Chinese soldier was about to reload before one of Owen's Marines killed him. His is a very good, tell-it-like-it-was book to read, if anyone is interested.

Here's another shot of one. Lighting in their exhibits wasn't great, and the glass made it hard to use a flash.


The trip was interesting for me, even moreso as my uncle (whom I am named after) was a Marine machine-gunner in 3rdMarDiv and was wounded a couple times there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
When the Chinese got heavily involved in the war they were armed with Soviet guns and ammo. My great uncle came home from Korea with a Russian made Tokarev pistol and ammo he took off a dead Chinese soldier. No doubt they had Russian SKS rifles and used them. The fighting was very intense and left my uncle a very different man. Thanks for the pictures. I love the history and how it ties in with gun collecting. The men who fought over there went through it all and deserve us to keep their memories alive. Thanks for sharing.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top