Korean Liberation Army

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Korean Liberation Army
Flag of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.svg
Flag of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
Active1940–1946
Allegiance Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea
BranchInfantry
Type Infantry
Role Guerrilla warfare, special operations
Size339
Part ofFlag of the Republic of China Army.svg National Revolutionary Army
(Naval Jack of the Republic of China.svg Kuomintang) (~1944)
Motto(s)"대한독립만세" (Korean)
"Long live the Korean Independence"
March Le Chant des Partisans
Commanders
President Baekbeom
Kim Koo
Commandant Ji Cheong-cheon
Notable
commanders
Lee Bum-suk,
Kim Won-bong
Kim Hak-gyu
Park Si-chang
Kim Hong-il
Insignia
Coat of arms Coat of arms of the Korean Liberation Army.svg
Korean Liberation Army
Korea Independence Army.jpg
Korean Liberation Army
Korean name
Hangul
한국광복군
Hanja
韓國光復軍
Revised Romanization Han(-)guk Gwangbokgun
McCune–Reischauer Han'guk Kwangbokkun

The Korean Liberation Army, established on September 17, 1940 in Chungking, China, was the armed force of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Its commandant was General Ji Cheong-cheon, with General Lee Beom-seok, a hero of the Battle of Cheongsanri and future prime minister of South Korea as the Chief of Staff. Effectively a part of the Chinese forces upon which it was dependent, the army was limited by available manpower and did not get much above 339 strong. The KLA became the basis of the modern day Republic of Korea Armed Forces. [1]

Chongqing Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Chongqing, alternately romanised as Chungking, is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration of central government of the People's Republic of China, and the only such municipality located far away from the coast. It is the largest city proper in the world.

Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea Partially recognized Korean government-in-exile

The Korean Provisional Government (KPG), formally the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea, was a partially recognized Korean government-in-exile based in Shanghai, China, and later in Chungking, during the Japanese colonial rule of Korea.

Ji Cheong-cheon, also known as Yi Cheong-cheon, was a Korean independence activist during the period of Japanese rule (1910–1945). He later became a South Korean politician. His name was originally Yi Dae-hyeong, but he took the nom de guerre Ji Cheong-cheon, meaning "Earth and Blue Sky", while leading Korean guerrilla forces against the Japanese.

Contents

Early days

The KLA brought together many Korean guerrilla armies that proliferated in northern Korea, Manchuria and mainland China during the 1920s. After the declaration of war by the Provisional Government against Japan and Germany on December 9, 1941, the units of the KLA participated on the allied side in the Chinese and Southeast Asian theatres. The Regulation regarding the activities of the Korean Liberation Army, imposed by the Chinese Nationalist Government upon the provisional government in 1941, placed the KLA under the supreme authority of the Commander-in-chief of the Chinese army. This regulation was repealed in 1944, after the provisional government had achieved improved financial standing and greater importance in the eyes of the Chinese government. [1]

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Nazi Germany The German state from 1933 to 1945, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler

Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

During this period the KLA sent troops to fight alongside British soldiers in the South-East Asian theatre of World War II by request of the British Army, including the outskirts of Burma and India (especially the Battle of Imphal in the Burma Campaign). In 1943, socialist-aligned guerrilla groups joined the KLA, and their leader, General Kim Wonbong, became the deputy commandant of the KLA. Its numbers were continuously boosted by the influx of Koreans escaping from the Japanese army (into which some in mainland Korea had been impressed) and through the recruitment of Koreans living in China. From its humble beginnings with an officer corps of 30 men at its foundation in 1941, the KLA grew to a substantial force with 339 in active service by the end of the war.

South-East Asian theatre of World War II campaigns of the Pacific War in Burma, Ceylon, India, Thailand, Indochina, Philippines, Malaya and Singapore

The South-East Asian Theatre of World War II was the name given to the campaigns of the Pacific War in Burma, Ceylon, India, Thailand, the Philippines, Indochina, Malaya and Singapore. Conflict in this theatre began when the Empire of Japan invaded French Indochina in September 1940 and rose to a new level following the raid on Pearl Harbor, and simultaneous attacks on Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Malaya on 7 and 8 December 1941. The main landing at Singora on the east side of the Isthmus of Kra preceded the bombing of Pearl Harbor by several hours. Action in the theatre officially ended on 9 September 1945.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

Battle of Imphal battle fought in 1944

The Battle of Imphal took place in the region around the city of Imphal, the capital of the state of Manipur in northeast India from March until July 1944. Japanese armies attempted to destroy the Allied forces at Imphal and invade India, but were driven back into Burma with heavy losses. Together with the simultaneous Battle of Kohima on the road by which the encircled Allied forces at Imphal were relieved, the battle was the turning point of the Burma campaign, part of the South-East Asian Theatre of the Second World War. The Japanese defeat at Kohima and Imphal was the largest up until that time, with many of the Japanese deaths resulting from starvation, disease and exhaustion suffered during their retreat.

End of World War II

KLA Soldier KLA Soldier.JPG
KLA Soldier

In 1945, the KLA was working in cooperation with the US Office of Strategic Services to train men for specialist military operations within Korea. The leading units were due to depart on August 20, with General Lee in command.

Office of Strategic Services Former United States intelligence agency

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a wartime intelligence agency of the United States during World War II, and a predecessor to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was formed as an agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Other OSS functions included the use of propaganda, subversion, and post-war planning. On December 14, 2016, the organization was collectively honored with a Congressional Gold Medal.

The KLA's goal was achieved with the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. However, USSR quickly attacked the Japanese force for gained the North part of the Korean Peninsula and this decision made the USA used the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for gained the early surrender of the Japanese Empire and blocked the USSR attempted strongly influence of Korean Peninsula. On August 15, 1945, the Japanese empire was collapsed and the Korea finally gained the Korean Peninsula. This independence was reaffirmed in the Treaty of San Francisco. After the end of World War II, KLA disbanded on June 1946. [1] [2] [3]

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially known as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a federal sovereign state in northern Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, in practice its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centers were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometers (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometers (4,500 mi) north to south. Its territory included much of Eastern Europe, as well as part of Northern Europe and all of Northern and Central Asia. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Korean Peninsula Peninsula in East Asia

The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water.

Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki the use of atomic weapons by the United States on Japan towards the end of World War II

The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively, with the consent of the United Kingdom, as required by the Quebec Agreement. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict.

Post-war

Lee Beom-seok with Korean Liberation Army and OSS agents. ceolgi ibeomseoggwa gwangboggun, mi OSS yoweon.jpg
Lee Beom-seok with Korean Liberation Army and OSS agents.

The members of the KLA returned to Korea during late 1945 and 1946. Many of its members, including Generals Ji and Lee, became part of the South Korean government, while General Kim contributed to the North Korean regime of Kim Il-sung, who himself claimed to have been a KLA commander.

Kim Il-sung President of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea

Kim Il-sung was the first leader of North Korea which he ruled from the country's establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994. According to the North Korean law, he is still the eternal leader despite of his death. He held the posts of Premier from 1948 to 1972 and President from 1972 to 1994. He was also the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) from 1949 to 1994. Coming to power after the end of Japanese rule in 1945, he authorized the invasion of South Korea in 1950, triggering an intervention in defense of South Korea by the United Nations led by the United States. Following the military stalemate in the Korean War, a ceasefire was signed on 27 July 1953. He was the third longest-serving non-royal head of state/government in the 20th century, in office for more than 45 years.

There has been a movement in South Korea for years to change the National Armed Forces Day from October 1 to September 17 in honor of the foundation of the Korean Liberation Army in 1941.

Army ranks

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 "한국광복군" [Korean Liberation Army]. terms.naver.com (in Korean). Retrieved 2019-05-24.
  2. "한국광복군 창건일과 국군의 날".
  3. "[오늘의 경제소사] 1945년 일본 몰락 작전".