National Geographic : 1951 Aug
Europe Looks at Asia Across the Bosporus, World Crossroads Since Jason's Voyage A I sat chatting with a Turkish journal ist in his office in Ankara, a messenger entered with a sheaf of heavily head lined newspapers. My friend skimmed one across to me. The black letters, in the nation's modern alphabet of Latin characters, announced that Turkey had offered to send troops to join the armed forces of the United Nations in Korea. The Turkish Brigade, 5,190 strong, and third largest United Nations contingent in Korea, arrived in the battle zone six weeks before the Chinese Communist armies launched their offensive in November, 1950.* By the end of that month the Turks had shown their mettle in decisive fashion. They were called on to plug a gap between retreat ing South Korean forces and the exposed flank of the American Eighth Army. The situation was critical. Short of food and ammunition, the Turks stopped the Red flood with bayonets, sticks, and bare fists for two days, and protected the American flank. Their mission accomplished, * By mid-1951, 16 members of the United Nations had sent armed forces to aid Korea in its fight against Communist invaders; three had sent medical units. The contingents: Army units-United States, Great Britain, Turkey, France, the Netherlands, Greece, Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia. Thailand, Ethiopia; Naval units-United States, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Nether lands, France, Thailand, Colombia; Air Force units United States, Great Britain, Union of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Greece; medical units-Sweden, India, Denmark. The Republic of Korea had all its land, sea, and air forces in action.