Korean Liberation Army

Last updated
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.

Chongqing Municipality in Peoples Republic of China

Chongqing, formerly romanized as Chungking, is a major city in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of China's four municipalities under the direct administration of central government, and the only such municipality in China located far away from the coast.

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.

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 that controlled nearly all aspects of life via the Gleichschaltung legal process. 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.

The KLA was not idle 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 British Army, including the outskirts of Burma and India (Especially, Battle of Imphal in 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 defeat at Kohima and Imphal was the largest defeat to that date in Japanese history, with many of the Japanese deaths resulting from starvation, disease and exhaustion suffered during their retreat.

End of the War

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. However, the aspiration of the KLA to play a significant role in the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation was not fulfilled, as Japan unconditionally surrendered to the Allies on August 15. Three days later, a helicopter[ citation needed ] carrying twenty-odd members of the KLA landed in Seoul, only to be forced back by the Japanese military, which refused to surrender until US military forces arrived.

Office of Strategic Services 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.

August 15 is the 227th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 138 days remaining until the end of the year.

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. 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 second longest-serving non-royal head of state/government in the 20th century, in office for more than 48 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

Colonel is a senior military officer rank below the brigadier and general officer ranks. However, in some small military forces, such as those of Monaco or the Vatican, colonel is the highest rank. It is also used in some police forces and paramilitary organizations.

Major is a military rank of commissioned officer status, with corresponding ranks existing in many military forces throughout the world.

The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is also used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery. In the Chinese People's Liberation Army, a captain may also command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion.

See also

Related Research Articles

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

KLA may refer to:

A General Officer is an officer of high rank in the army, and in some nations' air forces or marines.

Zamboanga (province) former province of the Philippines

Zamboanga is a former province of the Philippines located in the western region of the southern island of Mindanao, Philippines.

Lieutenant general, lieutenant-general and similar is a three-star military rank used in many countries. The rank traces its origins to the Middle Ages, where the title of lieutenant general was held by the second in command on the battlefield, who was normally subordinate to a captain general.

Korea under Japanese rule Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910–1945

Korea under Japanese rule began with the end of the short-lived Korean Empire in 1910 and ended at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. Japanese rule over Korea was the outcome of a process that began with the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1876, whereby a complex coalition of the Meiji government, military, and business officials sought to integrate Korea both politically and economically into the Empire of Japan. A major stepping-stone towards the Japanese occupation of Korea was the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1905, in which the then-Korean Empire was declared a protectorate of Japan. The annexation of Korea by Japan was set up in the Japan–Korea Treaty of 1910, which was never actually signed by the Korean Regent, Gojong.

Jeju uprising rebellion

From April 1948 to May 1949, the Korean province of Jeju Island was subjected to an anti-imperialist, communist-linked insurgency and subsequent anticommunist suppression campaign, during which between 14,000 and 30,000 people were killed. The proximate cause of the rebellion was the scheduling of elections for May 10, 1948, by the United Nations Temporary Commission on Korea (UNTCOK) in the hope of creating a new government for all of Korea. The elections, however, were only planned for the south of the country, the area controlled by UNTCOK. Fearing the elections would further reinforce division, guerrilla fighters of the communist South Korean Labor Party (SKLP) reacted with protests by attacking local police and rightist paramilitary groups stationed on Jeju Island.

Korean independence movement independence movement

The Korean independence movement was a military and diplomatic campaign to achieve the independence of Korea from Japan. After the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, Korea's domestic resistance has peaked in the March 1st Movement, which was crushed and sent Korean leaders to flee into China. In China, Korean independence activists built ties with the National Government of the Republic of China which supported the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (KPG), as a government in exile. At the same time, the Korean Liberation Army, which operated under the Chinese National Military Council and then the KPG, led attacks against Japan.

Allies of World War II Grouping of the victorious countries of World War II

The Allies of World War II, called the United Nations from the 1 January 1942 declaration, were the countries that together opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War (1939–1945). The Allies promoted the alliance as a means to control German, Japanese and Italian aggression.

Kim Chwa-chin Korean anarchist and founder of Shinmin autonomous region

Kim Chwa-chin or Kim Chwa-jin, sometimes called the "Korean Makhno" or by his pen name Baekya, played an important role in the attempt of development of anarchism in Korea.

Hong Sa-ik Japanese general

Hong Sa-ik was a lieutenant general in the Imperial Japanese Army, and the top-ranking ethnic Korean in Japan to be charged with war crimes relating to the conduct of the Empire of Japan in World War II.

The Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army was the main anti-Japanese guerrilla army in Northeast China (Manchuria) after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Its predecessors were various anti-Japanese volunteer armies organized by locals and the Manchuria branches of the Communist Party of China (CPC). In February 1936, the CPC, in accordance with the instructions of the Communist International, issued The Declaration of the Unified Organization of Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army and marked the official formation of the organization.

The Order of Military Merit is the primary military decoration awarded by the South Korean government. It is awarded to a person who rendered "outstanding military services by participating in an action in time of war or in quasi-state of war or by performing his/her duty equivalent to combat, such as responding to the attack of an enemy in a contact area."

Allied leaders of World War II

The Allied leaders of World War II listed below comprise the important political and military figures who fought for or supported the Allies during World War II. Engaged in total war, they had to adapt to new types of modern warfare, on the military, psychological and economic fronts.

Kim Won-bong Korean anarchist

Kim Won-bong was a Korean anarchist, independence activist, and statesman from North Korea.

Leaders of the Vietnam War

The Leaders of the Vietnam War listed below comprise the important political and military figures of the Vietnam War.

Korean National Revolutionary Party

The Korean National Revolutionary Party, or KNRP, was a nationalist party formed by exiles in Shanghai in 1935 to resist the Japanese occupation of Korea. At first it was the main nationalist Korean political party, but as the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45) progressed the rival Korean National Party, later Korea Independence Party, gained more influence with the Chinese Nationalist government in Chongqing and came to dominate the Korean Provisional Government. The KNRP of America was a significant factor as a source of funds and a link to the US government. The KNRP was dissolved in 1947.

Korean Patriotic Organization organization

Korean Patriotic Organization, also known as Korean Patriotic Corps or Korean Patriotic Legion, was a secret organization that aimed to assassinate prominent Japanese figures of the Empire of Japan. It was one of the independence movements propelled by the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. The Korean Patriotic Organization was founded by Kim Gu, president of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. Its executives were Kim Suk, Ahn Gong-geun, Lee Su-bong, and Lee Yu-pil. Notable members included Yoo Sang-geun, Yoo Jin-man, Yun Bong-gil, Lee Bong-chang, Lee Duk-ju, and Choi Heung-sik.