Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


This is coolbert:
The Chinese Communist volunteer Forces [CCVF] Korea went into battle wearing a low quarter tennis shoe, NOT a boot. The shoe worn by the Chinese was made of rubber and canvas, totally inadequate, and the cause of monstrous trouble in the cold, wet weather of the Korean winter, 1950.

"His [Chinese] uniform is a good cotton quilted pants and jacket. When it gets wet it becomes a deadly situation. The Chinese soldier for the most part has tennis like shoes for his feet, and were not satisfactory."

"The rubber-and-canvas tennis shoes worn by the Chinese soldiers provided no protection against the cold and resulted in extremely heavy rates of frozen feet. The basic uniform was heavily quilted cotton . . . Warm in dry weather, the quilted uniforms were impossible to dry when soaked. Few Chinese soldiers had gloves, so many suffered from frostbitten or frozen hands. They often had to sleep out in the open, in minus-30 degrees Centigrade, without blankets . . . In fact, two-thirds of the Chinese casualties were from the cold that winter, against one-third from combat. Chinese veterans later declared that 90 percent of the 'volunteers' in Korea suffered from some degree of frostbite in the winter of 1950."

Right, we think that American troops in Korea as suffering from the cold. The Chinese suffered even worse. That quilted down filled uniform is NO GOOD when wet. Those tennis-like shoes made of canvas cannot be dried properly and contribute to "trench foot". The purpose of puttees was to PREVENT water and muddy wet cold slosh from getting inside the low quarter cut shoe, but the Chinese did not even have those [puttees].

As I have said before, historically, most casualties in war are either due to water [not having enough or polluted with disease!] and feet!!




Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting article about the logistics(or lack of) of the PLA. My uncle fought in Korea and said that the PRC and North Korean soldiers were the toughest, hardest people he had vere had the misfortune to run into. After a fight at night where he and his men were dug in, they found some dead Chinese the next morning who had no rifles, just pouches of hand grenades(which they thankfully never got close enough to throw). And this was a guy who fought the SS in France. I remember him saying that captured Chinese were wearing what looked like Converse All-Stars in the dead of winter. The GIs had a problem with their footwear as well. Apparently, sweat froze inside the boot, leading to frostbite and then a cold casualty. I remember him saying he had never been colder, before or since and that the psychological aspects of it were almost as bad as the physical. Plenty of suffering to go around.

And Coolbert, Off Topic, but speaking about winter, found this:

Fascinating stuff.

9:57 AM


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