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Korean War 1 (French)

Description of film

The film is a round up for French audiences of events in the Korean War late in 1950. We see US tanks moving through a devastated town and then troops in action. The scene then shifts to show thousands of civilian refugees fleeing the fighting on boats or in makeshift settlements. Suspected communists are beaten. The clip closes with wounded troops being shipped out.


Korea was divided after the Second World War when the Japanese were driven out. The northern half was run by the USSR, and it became a Communist state. The South was run by the USA, which then set up a non-Communist state. The border between the two was the 38th parallel line of latitude. The North and South were bitter rivals and in 1950 this became open war. The North Koreans invaded the South and by September 1950 had taken most of the country. Truman immediately got the UNO to condemn this action and put together a UNO force to repel the invaders. It was mainly American, but British and Commonwealth troops also took part.

Interesting or important points about the film

This film is interesting because it is a French perspective on the war, but also because all such films present us with challenges in terms of how far they reflect the full story. The French news company Pathe made this film towards the end of 1950. This was around 3 months after the UN forces arrived in Korea. The aim of the film was to give an overall picture of different aspects of the war. It is always difficult to be sure how much cooperation they had from the military in making the news film. There were no French troops in the Korean War.

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Further information
CategoryPost-war to Present Day
Sub categoryCold War
FilmKorean War 1 (French)
SourceITN Source
ProducerFrench Pathe
DateNot known